Three Troops rated by NHL scouts
NORTH BAY, Ont. — Brady Lyle, Adam Thilander and Justin Brazeau of the North Bay Battalion are among 62 Ontario Hockey League skaters rated by the National Hockey League’s central scouting department in its final season rankings.
Lyle is No. 48, fellow defenceman Thilander is No. 96 and right winger Brazeau is No. 206 on the 217-player list of North American-based skaters released Tuesday in advance of the 2017 NHL Draft scheduled June 23-24 at Chicago.
Lyle, a six-foot-one, 203-pound native of North Bay who turns 18 on June 6, scored four goals and earned 21 assists for 25 points in 58 games this season.
Lyle, who had one goal and nine assists for 10 points in 44 games as a rookie a year ago, was the Troops’ first-round pick, 18th overall, in the 2015 OHL Priority Selection from Shattuck-St. Mary’s, a private school in Faribault, Minn. He was the top-scoring defenceman as his under-16 team won the United States national championship.
“I’m really happy,” said Lyle. “It’s a really good feeling to be ranked where I am, but the biggest thing for me is not to get complacent. I need to keep working on my game on and off the ice in order to get ready for next season and whatever the future holds.”
Thilander, a six-foot, 190-pound native of Skovde, Sweden, was the Battalion’s first-round choice, 36th overall, in the 2016 Canadian Hockey League Import Draft from the Skelleftea AIK under-20 team. He scored six goals and added 29 assists for 35 points in 64 games.
Thilander, who turned 18 last Sept. 18, won a silver medal with Sweden at the 2016 world under-18 championship at Grand Forks, N.D. He had two assists in five games at the 2015 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament held in the Czech Republic and Slovakia, in which Sweden lost the championship game 7-3 to Canada, coached by the Battalion’s Stan Butler.
Brazeau, a six-foot-five, 210-pound native of New Liskeard, Ont., scored 22 goals and had 15 assists for 37 points in 67 games. A 13th-round pick from the New Liskeard Cubs midgets in the 2014 OHL Priority Selection who had six goals and seven assists for 13 points in 65 games as a rookie in 2015-16, he turned 19 on Feb. 2.
Centre Nolan Patrick of the Western Hockey League’s Brandon Wheat Kings is No. 1 on the list, while centre Gabriel Vilardi of the Windsor Spitfires is the top-rated OHLer at No. 4.
The NHL also released rankings of 31 North American-based goaltenders, 140 international skaters and 13 international goaltenders.
There are eight OHLers on the North American goaltending list, with Windsor’s Michael DiPietro the highest-ranked at No. 4.
Players are first-time eligible for the NHL Draft in the year they turn 18, unless they are born Sept. 16 or later, in which case they must wait until the following year.