NZ Cancels CHL Draft Shows & Rankings This Summer

In a normal year NZ scouts would have already released our Top 300 Rankings for the OHL, WHL and QMJHL as well as US Rankings for the top CHL prospects in the US. Given the COVID-19 pandemic this year and most organizations throughout Canada being shut down, NZ has made the decision to cancel their scheduled Live Draft Shows and Rankings.

“The CHL Drafts are a major component of our business,” said Marlin Muylaert, longtime NZ Director of Canadian Scouting. “But we can’t, in good conscience, release rankings based exclusively on their previous seasons and non-contact scrimmages this year that would be up to our standard of accuracy and due diligence. For that reason we have decided that we will not air a live draft show this summer and will not release a rankings list.”

While NZ is not releasing a draft rankings; there is still a lot of information on the site available, especially for those who played in the US this past season. For example, consensus #1 OHL pick Quentin Musty has 13 reports on his player profile. We also have a list of the top 185 Ontario Bantams from last year with reports on all those players as well as a US Top 250 ranking of the 2005’s playing in the US. NZ has multiple reports on many coveted players in the upcoming draft who played in the US this season such as Musty (OHL), McNamara (OHL), Maguire (OHL), Celebrini (WHL), Henry (WHL), Vaillancourt (QMJHL), Plandowski (QMJHL) and many others.

“We have a very specific process that has yielded a high level of accuracy in the past 5 years which is assigning a scout to each league/region within Canada, attending all the major tournaments in the first half of the seaon and then coming up with a mid-year rankings in January,” said Marlin. “We spend the second half of the season going to more individual games and playoffs to edit and update that list until we feel its accurate and ready to post our final. So not being able to do that, not having real gamse and in some cases non-contact scrimmages on video; we feel it’d be irresponsible for us to try and piece together a draft list. We have built a strong reputation throughout Canada for our accuracy and our player evaluations and star ratings; we would be potentially jeapordizing that by going into a draft without sufficient live viewings, without enough real games having been played, and without collaboration among our regional scouting staffs to do an honest job.”

NZ President Steve Wilk says his Canadian staff is chomping at the bit to get rinks opened up and hockey resumed and when that day comes, he enfacticaly states NZ will be ready.

In the meantime here are links to scouting reports that will be helpful for our CHL subscribers, players, agents and fans.

Ontario Top 185 Bantams (2020) – OHL

Mississauga Battle of the Border 2005s (2020) – OHL

U15 USA Hockey Nationals: Top 238 (2021) – OHL/QMJHL

2005 US National Rankings (2021) – OHL / QMJHL

Rocky Mountain Top 65 2006’s (2021) – WHL

“We appreciate that the league needs a draft and we appreciate all the CHL, their teams and the hard work they’ve put into trying to prepare for a draft during the pandemic,” said Marlin. “We wish the teams and the prospects the best and we will see you in the rinks as soon as they allow it.”

Photo Credit: Dan Hickling/Hickling Images