The National Hockey League’s Central Scouting final rankings for the upcoming 2016 NHL Entry Draft was released Tuesday and two Lethbridge Hurricanes cracked the list as Brayden Burke and Egor Babenko were both ranked.
Burke was the highest ranked of the two Hurricanes being listed 63rd among North American Skaters, a five spot jump from his 68th ranking in the midterm rankings. Burke had a career season shattering his previous career high in points. The Edmonton, Alberta product lead the Hurricanes in scoring with 109 points (27g-82a) along with a team-high plus-36 rating and 44 penalty minutes. Burke finished tied for first in assists in the WHL and was third in league scoring. He was the first Hurricane to reach the 100-point plateau since Jeremy Jackson who registered 102 point in 2002-2003. Burke was also named an Eastern Conference second team All-Star.
Babenko came in at 106th among North American skaters after being ranked 77th in the midterm rankings. The product of Tyumen, Russia had a tremendous first season in the WHL registering 69 points (29g-40a) along with a plus-26 rating and 36 penalty minutes in 67 games this season. He was fifth in team scoring and was third in plus-minus on the Hurricanes. Babenko finished third in both goals and points by a rookie.
A total of 51 Western Hockey League players were listed in the NHL’s final rankings; the highest ranked WHLer being Calgary Hitmen’s defenseman, Jake Bean. An additional nine WHL goaltenders were ranked in the final rankings, the highest being Everett Silvertips netminder, Carter Hart.
The 2016 NHL Entry Draft is slated to take place in Buffalo, New York at the First Niagara Center from June 24-25.