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Five Cougars named to NHL Central Scouting Final Rankings

Five Prince George Cougars have been named to NHL Central Scouting’s Final Draft Rankings ahead of the 2022 NHL Draft.

Prince George is the only team in the WHL to have two goalies and three defencemen listed in the final draft rankings.

Goaltender Tyler Brennan is the top ranked North American Goalies. His partner, Ty Young, is the 6th ranked North American netminder. Defencemen Hudson Thornton (109th), Keaton Dowhaniuk (120th), and Viliam Kmec (186th) were ranked among North American Skaters.

Brennan, from Winnipeg, Man., played in 39 games this season, and posted a 11-25-1-1 record, with a 3.58 goals-against average (GAA) and .899 save percentage (SV%). He also had four shutouts. Brennan was excellent in the WHL Playoffs, as he posted a 1.86 GAA and .954 SV% in four games against the Portland Winterhawks. Brennan was the top-rated goaltender in NHL Central Scouting’s midterm rankings in January.

Young moved up from his midseason ranking of 21st to sixth among North American Goalies.  The Coaldale, Atla., product appeared in 23 games this season and compiled a 6-9-3-0 record, while sporting a 3.50 GAA and .899 SV%. He was at his best in the last month of the regular season. In six games in April, the Coaldale, Atla., product posted a 2-2-2-0 record and an impressive 2.35 GAA and .931 SV%.

Thornton has had breakout rookie campaign in the WHL. The Winnipeg, Man., product was the Cougars’ top scoring defenceman with 45 points (14G-31A) in 65 games. Thornton ranked third in Rookie scoring among defencemen in the WHL. His 14 goals were ranked sixth among WHL defencemen. The 18-year-old was the recipient of the Cougars’ Michael Fogolin Memorial Player’s Choice Award. Thornton shot up the rankings in the second half of the season, climbing all the way to 109th from his midseason ranking of 211th.

Dowhaniuk, from Sherwood Park, Atla., had 22 points (1G-21A) in 64 games this season and surpassed his career high in points from last season. The 17-year-old rearguard had a strong finish to the regular season, as he posted 8 points (1G-7A) over his final 17 games and had the second-best plus/minus rating on the Cougars’ roster over that span. Dowhaniuk moved up 16 spots from his midseason ranking of 136th.

Kmec, who hails from Košice, SVK, had 14 points (2G-12A) in 62 games this season. The blue-liner represented Slovakia at the 2022 World Junior Hockey Championship in Alberta in December. Kmec played in a pair of games before the tournament was cancelled due to COVID-19 concerns. Kmec was ranked 92nd in NHL Central Scouting’s midterm rankings in January.

In all, 53 players from the WHL were named to NHL Central Scouting’s Final Draft Rankings. The 2022 NHL Draft is scheduled from July 7-8, in Montreal, Que.

In its 47th year of operation, NHL Central Scouting provides evaluation and scouting of draft-eligible players to NHL member clubs. Headed by Director of Central Scouting Dan Marr, NHL Central Scouting employs eight full-time scouts throughout North America.

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