NHL Central Scouting has released their updated rankings of North American skaters expected to be drafted during the 2018 entry draft in Dallas. Of the 217 on the list, 43 currently play in the WHL — four of which will be passing through Seattle for the Thunderbirds next five home games. If you are only able to see one of the five, I would suggest the January 27th match-up with Everett as you will be exposed to not only two future draft picks but also the highest pick of the group. Both teams are also sitting in the top three spots of the U.S. Division.
Everett @ Seattle (Jan 27 - 7:05 PM)
Birthplace: Grande Prairie, AB
Born (January 7, 1999) in Grande Prairie, Alberta, Reece Harsch is listed at #188 in the updated rankings. He was selected in the eighth round by Seattle during the 2014 draft but played most of the 2015-16 season with the Grand Prairie Storm Midget AAA program.
Reece began his first full season for the Thunderbirds in 2016-17 where he netted three goals and nine assists in 67 games played. He is praised for his hockey sense at the defensive position.
Birthplace: Calgary, AB
Riley Sutter comes from a LONG line of hockey players including father Ron Sutter, uncles Darryl Sutter, Duane Sutter, Brent Suter, Rich Sutter, and Brian Sutter. The list goes on with cousins Brett Sutter, Merrick Sutter, Brandon Sutter, Brody Sutter, Luke Sutter, and Shaun Sutter.
Riley is currently listed at #72 by Central Scouting which would place him somewhere early in the third round. He was drafted by the Silvertips in the sixth round of the 2014 WHL Bantam Draft at the age of 15 and his skillset is described as a power forward who can maintain a presence in front of the net.
Tri-City @ Seattle (Feb 6 - 7:05 PM)
Birthplace: Andover, MN
On June 1, 2017, the Tri-City Americans announced the signing of 18-year-old forward Isaac Johnson. He had previously played for the Des Moines Buccaneers of the USHL where he contributed 30 points in 51 games over two seasons, and represented Team USA in the U-17 Five Nations Tournament. Additionally, he took home gold for the US at the World Junior Hockey Challenge.
The Andover, Minnesota native is listed at #170 and expected to go in the middle of the sixth round. He has average speed but a quick release on his wrist shot.
Portland @ Seattle (Feb 10 - 6:05 PM)
Birthplace: Kamloops, BC
John Ludvig will be coming to the ShoWare Center on February 10th as the Thunderbirds take the ice against the Portland Winterhawks. Ludvig is listed at #107 and will most likely go in the middle of the fourth round. So far this season, he has seven points in 36 games and has tallied a total of 34 penalty minutes.
Born in Kamloops, BC, Ludvig played for the Kamloops Storm during the 2016-17 season. He contributed 15 points, including five goals, and 67 penalty minutes in 17 games played during that year.