Two Winterhawks Listed on NHL Central Scouting Final Rankings

WHL Network
Ben Ludeman

Two Portland Winterhawks skaters were named on the final NHL Central Scouting List in preparation for the June NHL Draft. Forward Reece Newkirk was listed No.81 on the rankings while defenseman John Ludvig clocked in at No.128 among North American skaters.

First-year eligible player Reece Newkirk (Moose Jaw, SK) finished with a career high 23 goals, 36 assists and 59 points in 68 games this season. He also added two assists in five playoff appearances. Newkirk is a consistent top six forward for the Winterhawks who can play wing or the center position. During his second year in Portland, Newkirk found ample playing time on the power play and penalty kill. The tenacious forward very well could be the 31st Winterhawk drafted in the NHL this decade.

Second-year eligible player John Ludvig (Kamloops, B.C.) was the Hawks’ best defensive player and shot blocker this season, leading the team with a +38 rating during the regular season. Consistently playing against the opponent’s top lines, Ludvig was a shut down player and a pivotal piece on the top-five penalty kill in the Western Hockey League. Ludvig doubled his offensive totals in year two of his WHL career, scoring five goals and 14 assists for 19 points.

50 WHL Players Listed on NHL Central Scouting Final Rankings

Calgary, Alta. –  The Western Hockey League announced that 50 WHL players have been listed by NHL Central Scouting in its final rankings in advance of the 2019 NHL Draft, scheduled for June 21-22 in Vancouver, B.C.

Headlining the list are three WHL players among the top four skaters in North America, led by defenseman Bowen Byram (Cranbrook, B.C. / Vancouver Giants) who is ranked second. Forwards Kirby Dach (Fort Saskatchewan, Alta. / Saskatoon Blades) and Dylan Cozens (Whitehorse, Yukon / Lethbridge Hurricanes) rank third and fifth respectively.

Joining Byram, Dach, and Cozens in the Top 10 North American skaters is Winnipeg ICE captain Peyton Krebs (Okotoks, Alta. / Winnipeg ICE). Mads Søgaard (Aalborg, Denmark / Medicine Hat Tigers) is ranked second among goaltenders in North America, leading all WHL net minders.

Including, the aforementioned four skaters, eight WHL players are ranked inside the Top 31, including defenseman Lassi Thomson (15th – Tempere, Finland / Kelowna Rockets), forward Brayden Tracey (21st – Calgary, Alta. / Moose Jaw Warriors), forward Brett Leason (25th – Calgary, Alta. / Prince Albert Raiders), and defenseman Matthew Robertson (26th – Sherwood Park, Alta. / Edmonton Oil Kings).

Notable risers on the final rankings, include Tracey, who led all WHL rookies in scoring with 81 points (36G-45A). He rose 52 spots from the midterm ranking to rank 21st. Adam Beckman (Saskatoon, Sask. / Spokane Chiefs), who ranked second in rookie scoring, rose 10 spots to rank 34th. On defense, Gianni Fairbrother (North Vancouver, B.C. / Everett Silvertips) moved up 35 spots to rank inside the top 50.

Overall the list includes 26 forwards, 14 defensemen, and 10 goaltenders from the WHL, representing all 22 WHL member clubs. The East, Central, and U.S. Division each have 13 players on the list while 11 come from the B.C. Division. The Eastern Conference holds a slight edge with 26 players on the list to 24 from the Western Conference.

Of the 50 players identified by NHL Central Scouting, five are currently competing with Canada at the 2019 IIHF Under-18 World Championship. The team’s leadership group features Krebs as the captain and Cozens as an alternate captain.


Final Rank Player Height Weight Position Amateur Club
2 Bowen Byram 6’0” 193 Defenseman Vancouver
3 Kirby Dach 6’4” 197 Center Saskatoon
5 Dylan Cozens 6’3” 180 Center Lethbridge
10 Peyton Krebs 5’11” 180 Center Winnipeg
15 Lassi Thomson 6’0” 190 Defenseman Kelowna
21 Brayden Tracey 6’0” 177 Left Wing Moose Jaw
25 Brett Leason 6’4” 200 Right Wing Prince Albert
26 Matthew Robertson 6’3” 201 Defenseman Edmonton
32 Kaedan Korczak 6’2” 192 Defenseman Kelowna
34 Adam Beckman 6’0” 168 Left Wing Spokane
37 Nolan Foote 6’3” 190 Left Wing Kelowna
44 Aliaksei Protas 6’5” 205 Center Prince Albert
50 Gianni Fairbrother 6’0” 194 Defenseman Everett
66 Oleg Zaytsev 6’1” 180 Center Red Deer
79 Sasha Mutala 6’0” 200 Right Wing Tri-City
81 Reece Newkirk 5’11” 172 Center Portland
94 Quinn Schmiemann 6’2” 185 Defenseman Kamloops
100 Luke Toporowski 5’11” 179 Center Spokane
117 Ben McCartney 6’0” 182 Left Wing Brandon
118 Vladimir Alistrov 6’2” 175 Left Wing Edmonton
123 Henrik Rybinski 6’0” 176 Right Wing Seattle
126 Luka Burzan 6’0” 184 Right Wing Brandon
128 John Ludvig 6’0” 196 Defenseman Portland
132 Mark Kastelic 6’4” 213 Center Calgary
136 Cole Moberg 6’2” 187 Defenseman Prince George
138 Jackson van de Leest 6’6” 222 Defenseman Calgary
142 Krystof Hrabik 6’4” 218 Center Tri-City
145 Josh Williams 6’1” 190 Right Wing Edmonton
146 Jake Lee 6’1” 214 Defenseman Seattle
164 Connor Horning 6’3” 188 Defenseman Swift Current
168 Mitchell Brown 6’3” 205 Defenseman Tri-City
170 Bryce Kindopp 6’2” 185 Right Wing Everett
171 Brett Kemp 6’0” 162 Center Medicine Hat
175 Alex Swetlikoff 6’2” 188 Center Kelowna
186 Nikita Sedov 6’1” 186 Defenseman Regina
188 Logan Barlage 6’4” 202 Center Lethbridge
192 Emil Malysjev 6’3” 187 Defenseman Saskatoon
199 Tarun Fizer 5’10” 163 Center Victoria
202 David Kope 6’4” 170 Right Wing Edmonton
206 Cole Muir 6’2” 205 Center Winnipeg

For the complete list, CLICK HERE.


Midterm Rank Player Height Weight Position Amateur Club
2 Mads Sogaard 6’7” 196 Goaltender Medicine Hat
6 Trent Miner 6’0” 182 Goaltender Vancouver
7 Taylor Gauthier 6’1” 195 Goaltender Prince George
12 Dustin Wolf 6’0” 156 Goaltender Everett
17 Roddy Ross 6’2” 180 Goaltender Seattle
18 Roman Basran 6’2” 195 Goaltender Kelowna
21 Ethan Anders 6’1” 172 Goaltender Red Deer
22 Nolan Maier 6’0” 173 Goaltender Saskatoon
27 Jesse Makaj 6’3” 209 Goaltender Winnipeg
30 Max Paddock 6’2” 162 Goaltender Regina

For the complete list, CLICK HERE.

About the Western Hockey League
Regarded as the world’s finest development league for junior hockey players, the Western Hockey League (WHL) head office is based in Calgary, Alberta. The WHL consists of 22 member Clubs with 17 located in Western Canada and five in the U.S. Pacific Northwest. A member of the Canadian Hockey League, the WHL has been a leading supplier of talent for the National Hockey League for over 50 years. The WHL is also the leading provider of hockey scholarships with over 350 graduates each year receiving WHL Scholarships to pursue a post-secondary education of their choice. Each season, WHL players also form the nucleus of Canada’s National Junior Hockey Team.

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