Thomas Harley leads a trio of Mississauga Steelheads on the radar for this weekend’s 2019 NHL Entry Draft being held June 21-22 at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, B.C.
The strong two-way defenceman and teammates Cole Schwindt and Keean Washkurak will be hoping to hear their names called at the annual selection of top-rated junior hockey prospects.
Harley, a 14th overall pick of the Steelheads in the 2017 OHL Priority Selection, was rated 11th overall among North American skaters on the final NHL Central Scouting Rankings for the upcoming draft. Only Hamilton Bulldogs forward Arthur Kaliyev is ranked higher among OHL players, at seventh overall.
The six-foot-three, 193-pound Syracuse native, who was named the OHL’s Scholastic Player of the Year, is coming off an outstanding year on the Mississauga blue line with a career-high 11 goals and 47 assists for 58 points in 68 games.
Schwindt, a fourth-round pick of the Steelheads in 2017, should also hear his name go this weekend. The six-foot-three, 175-pound forward was the 96th overall rated prospect on the final NHL Central Scouting Rankings after finishing his second season with 19 goals and 30 assists for 49 points in 68 games.
Washkurak, a 2017 second-round pick of the Steelheads and a member of Canada’s under-18 national team, finished 149th overall on the final NHL Central Scouting rankings. The feisty centre, who was named the Eastern Conference’s Hardest Worker in the 2018-19 OHL Coaches Poll, finished the season with 16 goals and 31 assists for 47 points in 66 games.
Local hockey fans can also expect another familiar name to go early this weekend along with Harley. Mississauga native Philip Tomasino, a forward with the OHL’s Niagara IceDogs, heads into the NHL draft as the 14th overall prospect by NHL Central Scouting.
A fifth overall pick of the IceDogs in 2017, the six-foot, 180-pound speedster is coming off a breakout season where he recorded 34 goals and 38 assists for 72 points in 67 games.
Brampton native and Sarnia Sting winger Brayden Guy was another local player with his name listed on the final NHL Central Scouting Rankings. The six-foot, 194-pounder, who was a third-round selection by the Sting in the 2017 OHL draft, is listed at No. 181 on the NHL scouting rankings.
Guy finished his second season with the Sting with 19 goals and 13 assists for 32 points in 60 games.
The NHL draft kicks off Friday night with the first round, with the following six rounds to be completed on Saturday. The New Jerseys Devils hold the first overall selection and are expected to draft U.S. centre Jack Hughes. The New York Rangers and Chicago Blackhawks round out the top three picks.
Photo: Mississauga Steelheads defenceman Thomas Harley is expected to be selected in the first round of this weekend’s NHL Entry Draft, being held at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, B.C. Terry Wilson/OHL Images