Last year saw Crusader goalie Matt Tomkins drafted to the Chicago Blackhawks in an entry-level contract, and it seems there could be more where that came from for the Sherwood Park squad.
The NHL Central Scouting list was released on Tuesday as the next phase on the road to the 2013 NHL Draft, with the release of its preliminary rankings for top levels of North American and European Junior hockey.
Of the 27 players named on the list from throughout the Canadian Junior Hockey League, six were from the Alberta league.
Of those six, two are from the Crusaders.
Listed as the top skaters from the league are defenceman Marshall Donald and forward Andrew Taverner.
Both are listed as C Skaters, indicating a fourth through sixth round draft
Although Donald is now being pinned as a top skater by the central scouting list, Crusader head coach and general manager Tim Fragle has long said the defenceman has NHL-calibre speed.
“He’s such a strong skater, has real good gap control and he’s just got huge potential. I know NHL scouts see that and he’s only 17, so there are lots of positives there,” Fragle said.
Donald, who has committed to Northern Michigan University, has picked up one goal and five assists across his 22 games played so far this season.
Those statistics are quickly catching up to his 2011-2012 offensive output, when he managed one goal and nine assists for 10 points across 42 matches.
Taverner, who has committed to Quinnipiac University, is another player who’s been boasted about since the start of the season.