Ryan Suzuki leads a group of Barrie Colts hoping to hear their names called at the 2019 NHL Entry Draft being held June 21-22 at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, B.C.
The talented playmaking 18-year-old centre is expected to be the first Colt to hear his named called at the annual selection of top-rated junior hockey prospects. Suzuki, who finished his second season with 25 goals and 50 assists for 75 points in 65 games with Barrie, is ranked 18th overall among North American skaters in the final NHL Central Scouting rankings.
Suzuki, who was Barrie’s first overall pick in the 2017 OHL Priority Selection, came into this season as the top-ranked OHL player among scouts, but Hamilton Bulldogs forward Arthur Kaliyev now tops that list with an overall ranking of seventh. He’s followed by Mississauga defenceman Thomas Harley at 11th, Niagara IceDogs forward Philip Tomasino at 14th and then Suzuki.
Other Colts on the draft radar and ranked among the top North American prospects include defencemen Jack York (213th overall) and Nathan Allensen (214th overall), along with goaltender Jet Greaves, who was ranked 28th overall among North American goaltenders.
York, 18, was acquired from the Kitchener Rangers in an early December trade. The six-foot, 194-pound defender had six goals and 11 assists for 17 points in 33 games with Barrie last season. Allensen, 18, a second-round pick of Barrie in 2017, had four goals and 16 assists for 20 points in 67 games in his second season with the Colts.
Greaves, 18, had an impressive rookie season with the rebuilding Colts, finishing with a 3.36 goals against average and .911 save percentage in 27 games while splitting the crease with Kai Edmonds.
The NHL draft kicks off Friday night with the first round, with the following six rounds to be completed on Saturday. The New Jerseys Devils hold the first overall selection and are expected to draft U.S. centreman Jack Hughes. The New York Rangers and Chicago Blackhawks round out the top three picks.
Suzuki is expected to go in the first round, which would mark the second-straight year a Barrie Colt player has been taken in the opening round. In the 2018 NHL Entry Draft, Russian import and Colts winger Andrei Svechnikov went second overall to the Carolina Hurricanes.
Photo: Ryan Suzuki, ranked ranked 18th overall among North American skaters in the final NHL Central Scouting rankings, is expected to hear his name called in the first round of the NHL Entry Draft on June 21 at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, B.C.