Three members of the Okanagan Rockets’ 2014 B.C. Major Midget League championship team are garnering their share of attention from NHL scouts.
Tyson Jost, Jake Kryski and Liam Finlay were named this week on NHL Central Scouting’s Players to Watch list for the 2016 NHL Entry Draft.
Jost, a member of the Penticton Vees, and Finlay, a forward with the Vernon Vipers, were among nine BCHL players on the list released this week.
Kryski, who plays with the Kamloops Blazers, was among 40 WHL players cited on the list.
Central Scouting identifies players with a rating system that includes four categories. The ‘A’ rating indicates a first round candidate, a ‘B’ rating indicates a second or third round candidate, and a ‘C’ rating indicates a fourth, fifth, or sixth round candidate.
Jost, a projected first-round choice, is on the A list, while Kryksi and Finlay have a C rating.
Jost, Kryski and Finlay were all key members of the 2013-14 Okanagan Rockets who won the B.C. title, the Pacific regional championship, and a bronze medal at the Telus Cup national midget hockey championship.
Former Okanagan Rockets’ GM David Michaud, who is now watching Jost in his new position as director of player development for the Vees, said the 17-year-old forward from St. Alberta, Alta., is a special player with a bright future.
“(Jost is) off to fantastic start to the BCHL season, I’m not sure most young players could handle the pressure of this being his draft year, as well as being the new captain of a strong team, but Tyson makes it look easy,” Michaud said. “He’s poised to have a very special season.”
On Finlay: “I had a chance to watch Liam three times already this season and he’s the same old Liam we had with the Rockets. His vision and creativity are very special. With where the NHL is headed with an emphasis on speed and skill, Liam Finlay has a chance to be a player.”
On Kryski: “Jake was such an important part of our Telus Cup season, I think the adjustment to the WHL has been a little tougher than Jake would have liked, but he’s in a spot where the Blazers are going to start counting on him a little more, and with his skill, I’m sure he will contribute.”