NHL Central Scouting – Baker makes final draft list

Trail native Joey Baker is one of six BCHL players among the top North America draft-eligible skaters, according to the NHL Central Scouting Bureau final rankings released Monday.

The final ranking covers the top 210 skaters and 30 goaltenders in North America as well as the top 140 skaters and 10 goaltenders from Europe.

The 2011 NHL draft is scheduled for June in St. Paul, Minn.

Two BCHL players, Vernon defenceman Ryan Renz and Westside defenceman Michael Kings, saw their stock rise following the midterm rankings.

Renz, a Castlegar native, went from 208th in the midterms to 195. He is the only active BCHL player as his Vernon Vipers prepare to face Alberta’s Spruce Grove Saints in the Doyle Cup this weekend.

King, who was ranked 133rd in the early-January midterm, now sits 126th overall.

Baker and two other BCHL forwards, Pearce Eviston of Victoria and Destry Straight of Coquitlam, slipped in the standings after the midterms.

Baker dropped from 134th to 197th. Straight was ranked 82nd and now is listed 100th and Eviston went from 153 to 169th.

One player, forward Joel Lowry of Victoria, wasn’t listed in the midterm rankings yet came out as the highest ranked BCHL player in the final report listed at 95th overall.

There are no BCHL goaltenders listed in North America’s top-30.

Centre Ryan Nugent-Hopkins of the WHL’s Red Deer Rebels was the top ranked North American prospect.

Defenceman Adam Larsson of the Swedish Elite League is the top European prospect.

The rest of the North American top five are left-winger Gabriel Landeskog of the Kitchener Rangers, centre Jonathan Huberdeau of the Saint John Sea Dogs, defenceman Dougie Hamilton of the Niagara IceDogs and defenceman Nathan Beaulieu of the Saint John Sea Dogs.

With files from CP