The Tri-City Americans have seven players listed in the final NHL Draft Prospect Rankings, with 6-foot-6 center Michael Rasmussen ranked No. 5, up one spot from the midterm rankings.
“It is always nice to see your players recognized for the upcoming NHL draft by being ranked,” Tri-City general manager Bob Tory said in a press release. “We wish all of our players good luck as they continue to pursue their hockey goals, dreams and ambitions.”
Patrick Nolan of the Brandon Wheat Kings is projected to go first. The NHL draft lottery is scheduled for April 29. The NHL draft is June 23-24 in Chicago.
Rasmussen, who missed the final 18 games of the regular season with a wrist injury, scored 32 goals and had 23 assists in 50 games.
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He and defenseman Juuso Välimäki also played in the Top Prospects game in January, and both are projected first-round picks.
The Americans have had 12 first-round NHL draft picks over the years. The first was Stu Barnes in 1989 (4th overall, Winnipeg Jets). The last was goalie Chet Pickard in 2008 (18th, Nashville Predators).
Välimäki, a 6-2, 204-pound native of Finland, finished in the No. 11 spot, down two from the midterm rankings. He had 19 goals and 42 assists in 60 games. He also played for Finland at the World Junior Championship.
Morgan Geekie, a 6-2, 180-pound center, ranks 45th on the list, up five spots. He played all 72 regular-season games for Tri-City and led the team in scoring with 35 goals and 55 assists (90 points).
Winger Kyle Olson moved up two spots to No. 56. The 5-10, 160-pounder had 20 goals and 37 assists in 72 games. He also had a team-best plus-25 rating. He currently is playing with Team Canada at the U18 World Championship in Slovakia.
Defenseman Dylan Coghlan (6-2, 190), who paired with New York Islanders draft pick Parker Wotherspoon this season, was ranked 77th, moving up seven spots after posting career highs of 15 goals, 38 assists, 53 points and a plus-17 rating in 71 games.
Rookie center Brett Leason (6-4, 196) dropped three spots to 133. He finished the season with eight goals and 10 assists in 68 games.
Defenseman Dakota Krebs rounds out the group. Not mentioned in the midterm rankings, Krebs (6-4, 200) comes in at No. 153. He had two goals and two assists in 70 games.
All seven players are expected to be back playing for the Americans next season.