Cale Fleury will be the first Kootenay Ice player since 2014 to be drafted into the NHL, the only question that remains is how quickly he gets snagged off the board.
According to the NHL’s official final Central Scouting rankings, which were released on Tuesday, Fleury is the 62nd best North American skater eligible in 2017 which should have him drafted somewhere in the third round on June 24 in Chicago.
Early in the 2016-17 WHL season, Fleury was ranked as a ‘C’ prospect by Central Scouting and in their midterm rankings in January, he was listed at the 74 spot for North Americans.
In TSN analyst Craig Button’s latest rankings for the draft, from March 21, Fleury was ranked 59th overall having moved down from the 54 spot he occupied in January. In Button’s initial ‘Craig’s List’ from September, Fleury was a “player to watch.”
Fleury’s name has clout amongst NHL scouts, as his older brother Hayden — also a defenceman — was drafted seventh overall by the Carolina Hurricanes in 2014.
The elder Fleury played his first AHL season with the Charlotte Checkers in 2016-17 and has picked up 25 points in 66 games so far. The Checkers have three regular season games remaining and have a chance to make the playoffs.
In addition to Fleury, Kootenay Ice forward Brett Davis also found his way onto the Central Scouting final rankings, in the 142nd spot amongst North American Skaters.
Davis was traded to the Ice from the Lethbridge Hurricanes in January. With the Hurricanes, Davis had seven goals and four assists in 29 games. He closed out his season on Kootenay’s top line, putting up 11 goals and 11 assists in 30 games.
Davis remained steady in his Central Scouting ranking, having been placed at 142nd in January as well.
The 2017 NHL Entry Draft will take place in Chicago from June 23 to 24. Fleury has previously stated that he will attend the event with his family.