The NHL’s Central Scouting Bureau has unveiled its midterm rankings for the 2014 NHL Entry Draft and, to some surprise, has named OHL Kingston forward Sam Bennett as the top North American skater eligible for selection.
From the European side of things, Kasperi Kapanen — son of longtime NHLer Sami Kapanen — was named the No. 1 prospect. Kasperi has spent the last two years playing alongside Sami for Kalpa of the Finnish Elite League and has eight points through 30 games this season.
Bennett, 17, got the North American nod over other highly-touted and more recognizable names, including WHL Kootenay forward Sam Reinhart and OHL Barrie defenseman Aaron Ekblad, both of whom represented Team Canada at the ’14 World Juniors (Bennett didn’t make the team.)
Bennett, a left-handed shot, ranks fourth in the OHL with 66 points (26 goals, 40 assists) in 40 games.
This year’s draft will be held on June 27-28 at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. For the full list of Central Scouting’s North American skaters, click here. For the European rankings, click here.
When it comes to point streaks for U.S.-born NHL players, Patrick Kane now stands alone.
With a power-play goal early in Saturday’s Blackhawks – Kings game, Kane extended his streak to 19 games, breaking a tie with Phil Kessel and Eddie Olczyk (who finished with at least a point in 18 straight).
As of this writing, Kane has 11 goals and 19 assists during this 19-game streak. He also leads the NHL in scoring.
Bobby Hull’s 21-game point streak stands as the Chicago Blackhawks’ overall team record, by the way.
Kane also tied Denis Savard (1985-86) for second-longest streak in Chicago history. Bobby Hull had a 21-game streak.