Kelowna forward Kyle Topping was ranked 59th among North American skaters. —Image: Marissa Baecker/Shoot the Breeze

No Kelowna Rockets taken in 2018 NHL entry draft

NHL teams pass on three ranked players — Topping, Zabransky and Mattson

Heading into the 2018 NHL entry draft, three Kelowna Rockets were on the radar.

But, when all was said and done Saturday, forwards Kyle Topping and Leif Mattson, as well as defenceman Libor Zabransky all went unclaimed in the seven rounds of draft in Dallas. The first round of the draft went Friday.

Topping was ranked the 59th best North American skater by NHL Central Scouting heading into the draft, with Zabransky ranked 115th and Mattson 157th.

Related story: Three Rockets ready for NHL Entry Draft

And it wasn’t just the Kelowna Rockets that had a down year at the draft this year. The entire Western Hockey League saw the number of players it has produced drop when it came to NHL teams picking players.

Only 20 WHL players were taken in this year’s draft in the seven rounds.

Topping and Mattson, both 18, have played two seasons each with the Rockets and Zabransky, also 18, just completed his rookie season with the team.

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