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Heidt, Ziemmer, and Thornton named to final rankings of NHL Central Scouting

The Western Hockey League has announced that 54 WHL players have been named to NHL Central Scouting’s Final Rankings ahead of the 2023 NHL Draft. The final rankings were issued Tuesday by the NHL Central Scouting Service.

Regina Pats captain Connor Bedard tops the list as the number-one rated North American skater. He is joined by 11 other WHL skaters among the top 28 of the North American skaters rankings, including Winnipeg ICE forward Zach Benson (sixth), Brandon Wheat Kings forward Nate Danielson (seventh) and Vancouver Giants forward Samuel Honzek (ninth).

Three Prince George Cougars have made the list. Riley Heidt is ranked 26th, Koehn Zeimmer is ranked 26, and Hudson Thorton is ranked 208th. In addition to the Cougars on the list, Prince George product Nico Myatovic, who plays for the Seattle Thunderbirds, is ranked 26th.

For the third consecutive season, the WHL boasts the top North American goaltender in the NHL Central Scouting Final Rankings. Brandon Wheat Kings netminder Carson Bjarnason is the top-ranked North American goaltender. The product of Carberry, Man. is followed by Seattle Thunderbirds puck-stopper Scott Ratzlaff (fourth), Tri-City Americans goaltender Tomas Suchanek (ninth) and Portland Winterhawks netminder Jan Spunar (10th) in the top 10 among North American goaltenders.

Overall, 20 of 22 WHL clubs are represented in the final rankings. The Seattle Thunderbirds lead the way with six players on the list, while the Vancouver Giants are represented by five players. The Red Deer Rebels have four players named to the NHL Central Scouting Final Rankings, while the Brandon Wheat Kings, Everett Silvertips, Kelowna Rockets, Portland Winterhawks, Prince George Cougars, Saskatoon Blades, Spokane Chiefs and Tri-City Americans each have three players on the final rankings. Six WHL clubs are represented with two players on the lists, while three further WHL clubs have a single player on NHL Central Scouting’s lists.

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