NHL central Scouting just released their preliminary lists for this year.
2 Tigers made the list.
Hunter Shinkaruk is rated #2
Spenser Jensen is rated #25
This list is basically a top 25 preliminary list for each league. During the midterm rankings they usually expand into 1 big list and include more players.
(When the list expands I think Tyler Lewington, Trevor Cox, and Jayden Hart will have good shots at making the mid-term lists however all players can use this as motivation for not being preliminary listed. I think Hart would have made the preliminary list if he had remained healthy)
Edit: I missed Gavin Broadhead as being draft eligible
Ty Stanton, Chad Labelle, Matt Staples, Cole Sanford are all 1st year eligilble for the upcoming NHL draft as well. They are probably not on the radar as of yet
With the Injuries at forward I'd like to see Sanford with an increased role. I think Sanford has potential to suprise given more icetime. He is on my list as an underutlized player to watch for.
Staples is too raw at this point. I see Labelle as more of a Bretton Cameron style grinder who may be able to score some goals in the whl as he gains more experience.
Stanton had a couple injuries but could be given consideration if he can stay healthy and show consistent improvement. Pre-season Stanton was seen as a physical guy, but now that a few games has passed I see him as more of a 2 way Dman with some offensive potential, a little raw but not as raw as Staples.
Gavin Broadhead I see as more of a grinder/late bloomer. I dont think he will garner consideration this year but the road is long and if he keeps up that work ethic could be a player who gets a contract at 20 but it is waay to early.
I am not suprised that Spenser Jensen made the list.
Their is a poll on the Tigers website about most improved player. IMO the "most improved player" is not on that list which is Spenser Jensen by a mile.
Spenser was a forward last year. I found myself wondering pre-season where exactly he fit on the defensive depth charts. Jensen's ice time the last month has increased, as you'll notice he has been starting the game with Busenius on the back-end.
Jensen is listed as 6'4 191 lbs. For a bigger guy he has incredible acceleration and speed to match the speed of opponent forwards who try and beat him wide. Jensen has shown that he brings a physical presence along the boards, and more often that not wins the small battles.
If Jensen can bring a bit more offense to his game and maintain his strong defensive play he will shoot up the rankings.
I've seen him listed as anywhere from 3rd-15th on overall scouting lists. One interesting note about his 2nd position on the CSS prelim rankings is that he is 6 spots above Curtis Lazar who has been neck and neck with him on other preliminary lists. I think Hunter dropped a bit early in the season but has made a slow incline the past month.
With Hunter being injured for 2 weeks it should give extra opportunities on the powerplay and more icetime to the 16/17 year old rookies. I hope a couple of them can take off with this opportunity.
I remember when Shinkaruk was 16 it was an early season injury which gave shinkaruk more icetime. He has ran with it and never looked back.