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Tuesday, January 15, 2013

AMERICAN JONES RATED #1

Calgary, AB -- Portland Winterhawks defenceman Seth Jones is at the top of the list among North American skaters in NHL Central Scouting's Mid-Term rankings for the 2013 NHL Draft.

Jones, a 6'3", 208-lb rearguard from Plano, Texas, is in his first WHL campaign with the Portland Winterhawks, and has been a key factor in helping the Winterhawks to first place in the overall WHL standings.  The smooth-skating defenceman recently helped lead the United States to a Gold medal in the 2013 World Junior Championships, serving as an alternate captain.

"Seth is a big, rangy defenseman who has a nice command of his shifts," NHL Central Scouting's B.J. MacDonald told NHL.com. "He has the ability to be a game-changer because he has good instincts and awareness. He's an underrated passer, possesses solid one-on-one play and can skate the puck out of danger at any time. He's already the complete package, but I get the feeling he still has another gear to go to."

Medicine Hat Tigers' forward Hunter Shinkaruk ranks fifth among North American skaters in the mid-term rankings.  Now in his third season in the WHL, the Calgary, AB, native has already amassed 88 goals and 188 points in 170 career WHL games for the Tigers.

Brandon Wheat Kings' defenceman Ryan Pulock is the third WHL player ranked among the top 10 North American skaters.  A product of Grandview, MB, Pulock has put up 10 goals and 31 points in 37 games for the Wheat Kings this season.

Seven other WHL players are among the top 30 North American skaters in the mid-term rankings including defencemen Josh Morrissey of the Prince Albert Raiders (11th), Mirco Mueller of the Everett Silvertips (12th), Shea Theodore of the Seattle Thunderbirds (17th) and Madison Bowey of the Kelowna Rockets (22nd), and forwards Morgan Klimchuk of the Regina Pats (24th), Curtis Lazar of the Edmonton Oil Kings (26th) and Oliver Bjorkstrand of the Portland Winterhawks (29th).

Tri-City Americans goaltender Eric Comrie remains the top-ranked WHL goaltender in the mid-term rankings, coming in at No. 2 on the lost behind Zachary Fucale of the Halifax Mooseheads among North American goalies.  Comrie, a native of Newport Beach, CA, has posted a 20-14-3 record in 37 games for the Americans this season while boasting a 2.62 goals-against average and a .915 save percentage.

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