Portland Winterhawks defenseman Seth Jones had a nice run atop the ISS Hockey rankings for the 2013 NHL Draft. But, in that scouting organization's final release before next month's draft, Jones has been supplanted by the Halifax Mooseheads' Nathan MacKinnon as the top prospect according to ISS.
Both Jones and MacKinnon performed admirably for their respective teams as both Portland and Halifax won their league championships, allowing them to advance to the MasterCard Memorial Cup Tournament. But it may well have been MacKinnon's MVP performance at this tournament that turned the tables in his favor in the eyes of the ISS scouts.
MacKinnon finished the tournament with seven goals and six assists in four games, with six of his seven goals being tallied against Portland, including a hat trick in the championship game. In the first meeting between the Mooseheads and Winterhawks, MacKinnon blew by Jones to score a goal, part of another hat trick that the Mooseheads' center tallied against the Winterhawks.
For his part, Jones turned in a good performance at the Memorial Cup, picking up two goals and two assists in five games while finishing with a +6 rating. But it appears that ISS was very impressed with MacKinnon's commanding performance in Saskatoon, to the point of making him the top prospect for the first time since their December rankings.
It now remains to be seen if the holder of the top selection, the Colorado Avalanche, were as moved by MacKinnon's performance as was ISS. The answer won't likely come until June 30th, when the NHL Draft takes place in Newark, NJ.
Aside from the change at the top of the rankings, ISS made no further changes to the order of their top 30 for this draft. The final top five consists of MacKinnon and Jones, followed by Jonathan Drouin, who also turned in a strong performance at the Memorial Cup; Valeri Nichushkin; and Aleksander Barkov.
Below is the ISS Hockey final ranking of the top 30 prospects for the 2013 NHL Draft:
|4||Valeri Nichushkin||RW||3/4/95||L||6.04||202||Chelyabinsk Traktor||KHL||4|
|6||Darnell Nurse||D||2/4/95||L||6.03.5||189||Sault Ste. Marie||OHL||6|
|11||Rasmus Ristolainen||D||10/27/94||R||6.04||207||TPS Turku||FinE||11|
|13||Hunter Shinkaruk||C||10/13/94||L||5.11||175||Medicine Hat||WHL||13|
|17||Steve Santini||D||3/7/95||R||6.01.5||207||USA Under-18||NTDP||17|
|21||Josh Morrissey||D||3/28/95||L||5.11.75||182||Prince Albert||WHL||21|
|23||Anthony Mantha||LW||9/16/94||L||6.04||190||Val d'Or||QMJHL||23|
|24||JT Compher||C||4/8/95||R||5.10.5||184||USA Under-18||NTDP||24|
|27||Dillon Heatherington||D||5/9/95||L||6.03||196||Swift Current||WHL||27|
|28||Michael McCarron||RW||3/7/95||R||6.05||228||USA Under-18||NTDP||28|
|29||Chris Bigras||D||2/22/95||L||6.00.5||189||Owen Sound||OHL||29|
The top three goaltenders remained unchanged, as well, with Zachary Fucale, Tristan Jarry, and Eamon McAdam holding the same positions that they held in the ISS rankings that were released on May 15th.
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