Samuel Bennett heads NHL's midseason rankings for 2014 draft

By Evan Hilbert |

Samuel Bennett heads the NHL's midseason rankings for the 2014 draft.
Samuel Bennett heads the NHL's midseason rankings for the 2014 draft. (Getty Images)

The NHL has named center Samuel Bennett the top draft-eligible player in North America, according to the league's midseason rankings released Monday.

In his second season in the Ontario Hockey League, Bennett, 17, has compiled 66 points in 40 games. If he is to be taken first overall, he'll become the sixth player in the last eight years from the OHL to be taken No. 1, joining Patrick Kane, Steven Stamkos, John Tavares, Taylor Hall, and Nail Yakupov.

Following Bennett in the North American rankings is center Leon Draisaitl, originally from Germany, but currently competing for the Prince Albert Raiders in the Western Hockey League.

As for European skaters, a couple sons of NHL players rank 1-2, with Kasperi Kapanen, son of Sami leading the way, followed by William Nylander, son of Michael.

Thatcher Demko, a San Diego-born freshman now at Boston College, is the top-rated North American goaltender and is aiming to become the highest-drafted netminder ever from California.

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