A trio of Swift Current Broncos have settled into the top 100 North American prospects in the NHL Central Scouting’s year end rankings.
The Broncos European duo of Artyom Minulin and Aleksi Heponiemi are joined by Tyler Steenbergen as the Swift Current players cracking the top 70 among North American skaters.
Aleksi Heponiemi moved up to 26 from his midterm ranking of 36 during a solid rookie season in Bronco blue. The slick 5’10” forward led all WHL rookies with 86 points (28 goals and 58 assists) in 72 games for the Broncos. The product of Tampere, Finland was selected by the Broncos 10th overall in the 2016 CHL Import Draft.
Artyom Minulin is the 58th ranked player, dropping from his mid term ranking of 49th. The lone Bronco defenceman on the list had an impressive sophomore season in Swift Current, scoring eight goals and picking up 42 assists along with a team leading +28 plus/minus rating. The defender from Tyumen, Russia was selected by the Broncos with the 29th pick in the 2015 CHL Import Draft.
Tyler Steenbergen made an impressive jump in the rankings, ending with a final rank of 70th after being ranked 138th during the midterm rankings. Steenbergen tied for the WHL regular season scoring lead with 51 goals, and he reached the 90 point plateau and had a +26 plus/minus rating during his sophomore campaign. The 5’10’’ forward from Sylvan Lake was the Broncos first round pick (12th overall) during the 2013 Bantam Draft.
Shaunavon’s Kole Lind is the 23rd ranked prospect, dipping slightly from his midterm rank of 21. Lind doubled his offensive output from his rookie year during his second season with the Kelowna Rockets, scoring 30 goal and 87 points and posting a +36 plus/minus raking in 70 games with the Rockets.
The top ranked North American skater on NHL Central Scouting’s remains Brandon Wheat Kings forward Nolan Patrick. Despite battling injuries for much of the season, Patrick had 20 goals and 46 points in 33 games.