The National Hockey League Central Scouting final rankings were released on Monday in advance of the 2018 NHL Entry Draft, scheduled for June 22 and 23, with two Kootenay Ice players making the cut.
Duncan McGovern fell slightly from his midterm rank of 22nd amongst North American goalies, landing at 24th place, and defenceman Martin Bodak ended up as the 172nd ranked North American skater after being previously absent from the list.
McGovern was acquired by the Ice in late October from the Medicine Hat Tigers and played 34 games for Kootenay, posting a 13-13-3-0 record with a 3.10 goals against average, a 0.893 save percentage and earning two shutouts.
The 17-year-old product from Winnipeg previous played eight games for the Medicine Hat Tigers and spent time with the Dauphin Kings of the Manitoba Junior Hockey League.
Bodak, meanwhile, was the Ice’s second-round selection in the 2017 CHL Import Draft and finished his rookie season as the team’s top defenceman with 31 points in 59 games. Additionally, the 19-year-old Spisska Nova Ves-born blueliner represented Slovakia at the 2018 World Junior Championship in Buffalo, New York.
Serving as team captain, Bodak had three goals in five games and was one of the nation’s top performers, helping them achieve a round-robin upset win over the United States.
According to media in his home country, Bodak was invited to Slovakia’s camp for the upcoming IIHF World Hockey Championships and hopes to at least play in some pre-tournament games. While Bodak is most interested in continuing to play in North America next season, hopefully in the NHL, he also said that there is expressed interest in him from the Kontinental Hockey League’s HC Slovan Bratislava.
Bratislava selected him in the second round, 31st overall, in the 2015 KHL Draft. Last year, Bodak was ranked 71st amongst European Skaters by NHL Central Scouting, after a season in the Finnish junior league, but was not selected. This summer will be Bodak’s final year of eligibility for the draft.
This summer’s NHL Entry Draft will be hosted by the Dallas Stars in Dallas, Texas. There were a total of 45 WHL players listed by NHL Central Scouting in their final rankings, highlighted by Spokane Chiefs defenceman Ty Smith, who is number 14 amongst North American skaters.