Burnaby centre Turris tops Central Scouting final rankings before NHL draft

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Turris, a six-foot-one 171-pound native of New Westminster, B.C., is the first provincial junior league player ever given the top ranking by NHL Central Scouting. The ranking of 210 skaters and 30 goaltenders from North America and 175 skaters and 16 goalies from Europe was released Wednesday.

Ranked second is right-winger Patrick Kane of the Ontario Hockey League's London Knights. Left-winger James vanRiemsdyk of the U.S. National Development Team is third, just ahead of defencemen Keaton Ellerby of the Western Hockey League's Kamloops Blazers and Karl Alzner of the Calgary Hitmen.

Centre Angelo Esposito of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League's Quebec Remparts, who topped mid-season rankings, drops to eighth.

The top European skater remains right-winger Alexei Cherepanov of the Omsk club, who set a Russian league rookie record with 18 goals this season.

Swedish forwards Mikael Backlund of Vasteras and Lars Eller of Frolunda round out the top three.

"This year's draft is very even at the top," said Central Scouting director E.J. McGuire.

Jeremy Smith of the OHL's Plymouth Whalers edged Trevor Cann of the Peterborough Petes for the top ranking of North American goalies. Joel Gistedt of Frolunda is the top-ranked European goaltender.



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