April 16, 2019
BC Born / Raised NHL Draft Prospects
Here’s a brief look at the Top 10 BC players on the NHL Central Scouting final pre-draft prospects list.
Scroll down for the full list of 20 BC born / raised players listed.
Cranbrook’s Bowen Byram of the Vancouver Giants, heads up the list of 20 BC born or raised players listed on NHL Central Scoutings final pre-2019 draft prospects list, released yesterday. He is ranked #2 among North American skaters. Byram moved to Lethbridge, and played with the Golden Hawks for Bantam AAA hockey, and then moved to the Yale Hockey Academy for first year midget before making the jump to the WHL Vancouver Giants. He is putting up well over a point per game, posting 26 goals and 71 points in 67 games, in the regular season. Post season he’s 13 points in 10 games so far. He moved up two spots from the mid-terms and is now the #2 ranked North American skater and the top ranked defenceman.
Whitehorse, Yukon born Dylan Cozens, who left home for bantam hockey at the Delta Hockey Academy and first year midget at the Yale Hockey Academy, is next in the group. Cozens, a 6’3″ center for the WHL Lethbridge Broncos, is coming in at #5 (click to see his story). Cozens is currently making waves as assistant captain for Team Canada at the U18 tournament, scoring 2G-4A in the first two exhibition games.
North Vancouver’s Gianni Fairbrother is the third highest ranked BC player. Fairbrother, who plays defence for Everett Silvertips, was one of several BC players whose stock jumped significantly from the mid-term rankings. His ranking shot up 35 spots to #50 overall. Fairbrother played briefly at North Vancouver minor in novice before moving to the Burnaby Winter Club were he played through bantam. He also played for the BWC E15 Academy as a first year midget in 2015-2016 before moving to Everett.
Another North Vancouver defenceman comes in as the fourth ranked BC player, moving up an incredible 52 positions, to #62 overall. Layton Ahac plays for the Prince George Spruce Kings of the BCHL – who are currently battling the Vernon Vipers in the BCHL finals. Ahac is committed to Ohio State in the NCAA for next year. Ahac played most of his minor hockey for North Vancouver minor, before moving to the NSWC for Bantam, winning a provincial title on the 2014-2015 club. He joined the West Vancouver Academy for first year midget before moving the Spruce Kings, to pursue an NCAA opportunity.
Four forwards make up the next group, including three former BWC Bantam A1 team mates.
Sasha Mutula (#79) who plays with the WHL Tri-City Americans, Massimo Rizzo (#84), captain of the BCHL Penticton Vees, and Henry Rybinski (#123) of the Seattle Thunderbirds, all played on the BWC Bruins bantam team that won the BC title in 2015-2016.
Mutala and Rybinski then opted for BCMML while Rizzo stayed at BWC Academy for first year midget, before moving to junior.
Rizzo elected to take the BCHL route for junior hockey and is committed to NCAA North Dakota for next season.
Luka Burzan, a 2000 born Surrey native, is next at #126. Burzan, now with the Brandon Wheat Kings, played with the NSWC Bantam A1 team for one year in 2014-2015 capturing the provincial title and the Western Bantam Championship where he was named tournamentt MVP. He then moved to the Valley West Hawks (now Giants) for a year of BCMML before joining the Moose Jaw Warriors. He moved to the Wheat Kings midway through his second WHL season.
Two defencemen round out the Top 10 BC players ranked prospects.
John Ludvic of Kamloops is #128, and Cole Moberg of North Vancouver is #136. Ludvic played a year of BCMML with the Thompson Blazers, and a year of Junior B with the Kamloops Storm before joining the Portland Winterhaws in 2017-2018.
Moberg is another one of the players who moved up significantly in the rankings, 39 positions. Moberg played minor hockey at NSWC, captained the Bantam A2 team that lost to Vancouver in the provincial final in 2014-2015, and then moved to BCMML with the North West Giants for one year before joining the Prince George Cougars in 2017-2018.
There is one other North Vancouver d-man in the BC group who also moved up significantly in the final listing, as well as Langley based forward who was not ranked at all in the mid-terms.
Carter Berger, a 1999, moved up 24 positions to #157. Berger is committed to Connecticut for next year after posting two strong seasons with the BCHL Victoria Grizzlies. Berger also played at the NSWC and played on the Winterhawks team that won the Western Canadian Championship in 2013-2014.
He played one year of midget A1 at NSWC, before joining the BCMML Giants and then moving to the BCHL in his third year of midget. He finished ninth overall in scoring in the BCHL regular season this year, and sixth overall in playoff scoring.
Forward Brendan Body was unranked in the mid-terms but is now at the #155 spot, which makes him #13 among BC born and raised players listed. Budy grew up playing in the Langley minor hockey association before moving to the Delta Hockey Academy for second year bantam and first year midget hockey. In 2016-17 he joined the Langley Rivermen, scoring 15G-30A in 56 games. The following year he wore the C for the Rivermen and went 22G-34A in 49 games. He joined the NCAA University of Denver at the start of the year, then moved to the USHL Tri-City Storm in late December, posting 11G-21A in 31 games.
20 BC players on NHL Central Scouting’s final North American Skaters prospects list:
|2||4||BYRAM, BOWEN||6.13.01||6′ 0″||193||D||Vancouver||Cranbrook||BC||WHL|
|5||3||COZENS, DYLAN||2.9.01||6′ 3″||180||C||Lethbridge||Whitehorse||YK||WHL|
|50||85||FAIRBROTHER, GIANNI||9.30.00||6′ 0″||194||D||Everett||North Vancouver||BC||WHL|
|62||114||AHAC, LAYTON||2.22.01||6′ 2″||188||D||Prince George||North Vancouver||BC||Ohio State|
|79||81||MUTALA, SASHA||5.6.01||6′ 0″||200||RW||Tri-City||Vancouver||BC||WHL|
|84||57||RIZZO, MASSIMO||6.13.01||5′ 10″||175||C||Penticton||Burnaby||BC||North Dakota|
|123||129||RYBINSKI, HENRIK||6.26.01||6′ 0″||176||RW||Seattle||Vancouver||BC||WHL|
|126||122||BURZAN, LUKA||1.7.00||6′ 0″||184||RW||Brandon||Surrey||BC||WHL|
|128||144||LUDVIG, JOHN||8.2.00||6′ 0″||196||D||Portland||Kamloops||BC||WHL|
|136||175||MOBERG, COLE||10.17.00||6′ 2″||187||D||Prince George||North Vancouver||BC||WHL|
|138||145||VAN DE LEEST, JACKSON||06.15.00||6′ 6″||222||D||Calgary||Kelowna||BC||WHL|
|145||67||WILLIAMS, JOSH||3.8.01||6′ 1″||190||RW||Edmonton||Langley||BC||WHL|
|155||BUDY, BRENDAN||6.6.00||5′ 10″||180||LW||Tri-City Storm – USHL||Langley||BC||Denver|
|157||181||BERGER, CARTER||9.17.99||6′ 0″||200||D||Victoria – BCHL||North Vancouver||BC||Connecticut|
|164||172||HORNING, CONNOR||5.11.01||6′ 3″||188||D||Swift Current||Kelowna||BC||WHL|
|167||161||LEYH, ETHAN||6.7.01||6′ 0″||190||LW||Langley||Anmore||BC||Quinnipiac|
|168||128||BROWN, MITCHELL||6.25.01||6′ 3″||205||D||Tri-City||Salmon Arm||BC||WHL|
|175||217||SWETLIKOFF, ALEX||7.6.01||6′ 2″||188||C||Kelowna||Kelowna||BC||WHL|
|195||TOPPING, KYLE||11.18.99||5′ 11″||185||C||Kelowna||Ganges||BC||WHL|
|ALEXANDER, JACSON||2.1.01||5′ 9″||178||D||Edmonton||Victoria||BC||WHL|
|85||CROZIER, MAXWELL*||4.19.00||6’1″||195||D||Sioux Falls||Calgary||AB||USHL|
*Although not technically a BC player, Maxwell Crozier lived in North Vancouver for several years, and played minor hockey at North Shore Winter Club, before the family moved back to Calgary. He finished his minor hockey at the Edge School of the CSSHL in Calgary before joining the BCHL Nanaimo Clippers in 2017-2018 and then moving to the USHL Sioux Falls Stampede for the current season. Crozier is another player who was not listed in the mid-season rankings. He is the highest ranked of all players not on the mid-term list, at #85.