Lethbridge Herald

Canes earn NHL ranking


Four Lethbridge Hurricanes have made the grade.

Forwards Oliver Okuliar and Noah Boyko, defenceman Alex Cotton and goaltender Bryan Thomson all received ranking as the National Hockey League Central Scouting Service released their Midterm Rankings for the 2020 NHL Entry Draft.

Okuliar, 19, who was undrafted in his first two years of eligibilit­y for the NHL draft, was ranked 117th among North American skaters, while Cotton was one behind at 118th.

Boyko came in at 180th among North American skaters, while Thomson was ranked fifth among North American goaltender­s while being the second ranked WHL netminder.

Okuliar, who hails from Trencin, Slovakia recently represente­d his country at the 2020 IIHF World Junior Championsh­ip in the Czech Republic, scoring four points in five games. He leads the Hurricanes with 24 goals while totaling 44 points in 34 games this season.

Cotton, 18, was also undrafted in his first year of eligibilit­y for the NHL draft, but has posted big numbers this year.

The native of Langley, B.C. leads all WHL defensemen in scoring with 12 goals and 43 points in 42 games. Last year, Cotton had 11 points in 54 games during his rookie season.

Boyko, 17, is in his first year of eligibilit­y for the draft. The product of Sherwood Park was drafted by the Hurricanes in the first round and 16th overall in the 2017 Western Hockey League Bantam Draft. This season, Boyko has 10 goals and 25 points. On Saturday against the Swift Current Broncos, he played in his 100th WHL game and has 40 career points.

Thomson, 17, has played in 19 games this season posting an 11-4-1-0 record with a 2.58 goals-against average and a .906 save percentage along with one shutout.

The product of Moose Jaw, Sask. has played in 24 WHL games going 14-5-1-0 with a 2.75 goals-against and a .904 save percentage. He was originally drafted by the Hurricanes in the second round and 37th overall in the 2017 WHL draft.

A total of 51 WHL players were ranked by Central Scouting for the NHL Entry Draft which is slated for June 26-27 at the Bell Centre in Montreal.

The Hurricanes return to action Friday when they face the Red Deer Rebels at the Enmax Centre at 7 p.m.

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