1980 Mid Season Rankings

*Note: The Central Scouting Rankings are based purely on the interpretation of statistics in the NJFHL, interpretation of real life history, and personal opinion.  In no way has the writer seen the ratings of the players or should the comments be interpreted to necessarily be accurate interpretations of the ratings the junior players have or will have.
Rank Previous Player
1 1 Jari Kurri - Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds
Kurri continues to be the cream of the 1980 draft class.  He leads the league in points despite not leading in any specific category.  However, his 24 goals are 2nd best in the league and his 41 assists are also second best.  Though, to be fair, he is 1 off the lead in both categories and it isn't unreasonable to think he will lead the leauge in both categories once the season ends.   Kurri has a fantastic shot and good speed, and is steady in all areas of the game.  He has superb hocky smarts.  He is the odds-on favourite to go #1, but even if he doesn't, any team that gets him wil have a very good player on their hands.
2 56 Troy Murray - Kamloops Blazers
The top ten ranked players sees a couple come out of nowhere, none, though, so dramatic as the surge by Troy Murray.  Ranked #56 in the preseason rankings, Murray has become a force on the best team in the NJFHL.  He is fourth in league scoring, but only Kurri has scored more goals among the top 5 scorers.  Murray, Mike Allison, and Norm Leveille are 2nd, 3rd, and 4th in league scoring (Leveille is not draft-eligible this year) and have the Blazers atop the league with the best offense around.  Murray is the defensive presence on this line, and is very strong.  He uses that strength to get in front of the net and get goals, but he doesn't have a very good shot otherwise.  He has the tools to be a good power forward, though, but will need to work on his shot to be effective.
3 37 Mike Allison - Kamloops Blazers
Murray's partner in crime in Kamloops, Allison also jets up the rankings.  Injuries were a concern in the pre-season rankings as he missed a good chunk of last year.  But he is healthy now and showing why we thought he had a chance at being a first rounder.  Now that shouldn't be in question, only where in the top ten will he be drafted.  Allison leads the league in assists.  Other than Kurri, no one is within 6 assists of him thus far.  He has great vision.  He only has 15 goals, so the shot is a concern, but team's looking for a play maker won't be disappointed.  Allison also has some chippiness to his game, one of only 2 Blazers with 100+ hits so far, but is relatively disciplined in his approach.  His 51 PIM aren't a lot, but it does indicate a willingness to get dirty and do what is required.  His defensive game leaves something to be desired, but that can be learned and his great skating will certainly help that.
4 43 Denis Savard - Hull Olympiques
As we continue the trend of players coming out of nowhere, Denis Savard looks to be a player with a high-reward, high-risk label on him.  He had a miserable season last year, but is now one of the top offensive players in the league.  He leads the league with 25 goals, but is a bit lost defensively.  Part of it certainly has to do with playing on a poor team in Hull, but his -16 rating is still 3rd worst on a team full of negatives.  He also has some discipline issues.  He may be the fastest skater on the ice at any time and there is no denying he has offense oozing out of him.  He will go in the top ten, only thing will be how much is defensive short comings and penchant for penalties put off teams.  
5 17 Andy Moog - Peterborough Petes
The Petes are in top spot in the Eastern Conference and have the best defense in the league.  Andy Moog can take a lot of credit for that.  He is 2nd among draft-eligible goalies with 24 wins, but leads the league with a .891 save percentage.  The defense in front of him has improved to the point that, despite playing the most minutes among draft-eligible goalies, he has only seen the 3rd most shots, and two other goalies are right behind him.  Fewer shots and a higher save percentage should equal success for the Petes.  Moog was the most heralded goalie heading into this season and he has finally shown why.  A certain top ten pick, arguably even top five.
6 9 Paul Coffey - Sault. Ste. Marie Greyhounds
One could wonder if projected #1 pick Jari Kurri would have as good of numbers as he does if he wasn't getting all the pucks from the blue line anchored by Paul Coffey.  Coffey could very well go in the top 5 this year as players of his ilk don't come around often.  The top scoring defenseman, Coffey combines tremendous speed with great vision and a good shot.  He doesn't have a booming shot, but when you can skate like he can, you can get yourself into positions in which you don't need to.  Coffey has decent defensive skills, something overlooked when you see his offense.  You can compare him to Ray Bourque, last year's #2 pick, though maybe a little better offensively and a little worse defensively.  However, you look at him, he is an anchor for a team's blue line.  Or a fourth forward who plays further back.
7 4 Doug Shedden - Shawinigan Cataractes
Injuries hurt Shedden's rankings and send him outside the top five.  He only missed 5 games, but still managed over a point per game.  He continues to be a monster on the power play, still ranking in the top ten for power play goals.  Shedden is 15th overall in league scoring, but if you projected his scoring rate over the 5 games he missed, he would be in the top five in scoring and probably be rated still in the top 5 for this draft.  Regardless, Shedden is a solid offensive player, with some toughness.  He won't dazzle you with skills, but, like Troy Murray, he isn't afraid to go in the tough areas and has the skills to do things once there.  
8 19 Don Beaupre - Chicoutimi Saguineens
Very similar numbers to Moog, Don Beaupre looks to be a keeper at the pro level.  He has similar GAA and save percentage, just slightly worse in both stats while facing slightly fewer shots.  But Beaupre still leads his team to wins and boasts all 23 of Chicoutimi's wins this season.  Beaupre's greatest strength is his cat-like speed, but he needs to work on his technique to step up into a true #1 goalie in the NFHL.  However, Beaupre has the mental make up to make it at the next level.  He is a few years from being in the pros, but there is little doubt he will be there if he puts in the work.
9 14 Kelly Hrudey - Edmonton Oil Kings
Three goalies in the top ten and there isn't a whole lot to choose among them.  Beaupre has slightly better numbers than Hrudey playing on teams with almost identical records.  For a team looking for a future #1 goalie and miss out on Moog or Beaupre, they can rest assured that Hrudey is a very suitable "consolation" prize.  While just as quick as Beaupre, Hrudey may not have quite the technical skills, combined with a little fire in his belly.  With a little work, he could turn out to be better than Beaupre, but at this stage of development, there isn't a lot to choose from.
10 44 Randy Cunneyworth - Medicine Hat Tigers
Another rocket up the charts, Cunneyworth is 3rd in the league with 36 assists and leads a Tigers' team that is 3 goals from being the top scoring team in the NJFHL.  He still doesn't use his shot enough, only taking a little over 100 shots and has just 13 goals on the year.  That 5 of them are special teams goals, 4 PP and 1 SH, shows how versatile he can be.  He doesn't look to have the skills of a top line player, but he is good at everything and should be able to be that 2nd line player that can fill in wherever you need him at any time.  In other words, invaluable.  Like last year, injuries have caused him to miss a few games, that may raise some yellow flags.  He also needs to use that body some more, but that is something that he may grow into as his body develops.
11 11 Daryl Evans - Peterborough Petes
Could easily find himself in the top ten come draft time.  Evans has improved his speed a lot but remains a below average skater.  Goal total down, but solid defensively and has yet to take a penalty. 
12 NR Joe Ward - Medicine Hat Tigers
One of only 4 players on pace for 30 goals, Ward leads the team in goals and almost in PIM.  But is still one of only a few plus players on a team full of minuses.
13 51 Fred Boimistruck - Edmonton Oil Kings
Leads draft-eligible defensemen in assists, but needs to use his shot more.  Very good plus/minus stat belies the fact he is penalty-prone.
14 27 Ed Cooper - Peterborough Petes
Hard to tell if improved defensive numbers are a result of his improvements or playing on a good team.  Still remains a threat on the power play and remains a clutch player.
15 29 Hakan Loob - Medicine Hat Tigers
Diminutive Swede shies from any sort of contact but is a good set up man who also likes to shoot.  Defensively suspect, but has good speed that helps him on the PK.
16 12 Brian Mullen - Shawinigan Cataractes
Slips in the rankings a bit based more on improvements made by others.  Still remains a good offensive weapon who will clear 25 goals and be defensively responsible.  That fact may still propel him into the top ten.
17 15 Bernie Nicholls - Chicoutimi Saguineens
Discipline thought to be a problem after last season, but has turned that around to the tune just 15 PIMs.  Terrific offensive skills that leave you wanting more, but still a point per game player.  Most likely skater to move into the top ten.
18 30 Aaron Broten - Sudbury Wolves
Has become better shooter, but his puck moving skills have increased the most, meaning he should become a 1st rounder like his brother, Neal.   Defensive stats the result of playing on a weak team.
19 7 Carey Wilson - Edmonton Oil Kings
A point per game player who is defensively responsible and loves to hit.  Could be a surprise top ten player if he closes out the season as well as he has gone through the first 3/4 of the season.
20 34 Larry Murphy - Kamloops Blazers
Steep fall off in points, especially on an offensive-focused blue line, but was the only blue liner with triple digits in hits and shots.  Leaves scouts drooling with potential.
21 52 Peter Andersson - Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds
Injuries a concern, but only Coffey and Boimistruck put up more points per game than he does.  Good passer and good on the power play has vaulted him into a potential first round selection.
22 8 Steve Penney - Hull Olympiques
A victim of losing a lot of players to graduation, Penney has still performed much poorer than last year's top goalie and championship performance.  Almost twice as many losses as wins and a low save percentage may cost Penney a first round selection.
23 NR Jerome Dupont - Saskatoon Blades
Talk about coming out of nowhere.  Dupont has benefitted more than anyone on the improved play in Saskatoon.  Leads all defensemen with +24 rating and tied for 3rd in points.
24 86 Mike McPhee - Edmonton Oil Kings
His 22 goals puts him 6th in the league and his 6 GWG put him tops among draft eligible forwards.  Doesn't do anything especially well and there is concern that this is a one-year wonder, considering his output last season and pre-season draft ranking.
25 50 Ric Natress - Peterborough Petes
Led all draft-eligible defensemen in goals with 12, though only one was on the power play, and was 3rd in +/-.  Doesn't have a great shot, but makes it work.
26 40 Timo Blomqvist - Medicine Hat Tigers
Good offensive defenseman tied for 3rd in points, but defensive play continues to plague him.  Bad +/- numbers again, even with playing on a poor team.  Could drop to low 2nd round or 3rd round if teams get scared off.
27 2 Marc Crawford - Shawinigan Cataractes
Preseason #2 has already lost 1/3 of the season to injuries.  Still a point per game player and pace would put him 4th in the league in assists.  Still, injuries will most likely ensure he won't hear his name until the 2nd or 3rd round.
28 23 Patrick Sundstrom - Hull Olympiques
Shot still needs lots of work but has developed into a great set up man.  Doesn't help playing on a terrible team, but has, at times, out shone Denis Savard.  Lightning quick.
29 48 Torrie Robertson - Ottawa 67's
The top ranked Ottawa player, Robertsson doesn't score a lot, but does when it is important.  5 power play goals and 5 game winners or game tying goals in his 16 markers shows he is clutch. 
30 55 Andy Brickley - Shawinigan Cataractes
Another big jumper in the ratings, Brickley has good puck skills and plays with a bit of an edge.  Decent enough shot, but it is the passing skills that will get him in the league.
31 6 Steve Larmer - Saskatoon Blades
Lots of talent and still leads team in scoring, but the team in general has struggled.  Will still come close to 30 goals and is terrific in his own end.  Should probably be a first rounder on talent alone, but team struggles and subsequent lack of production hurting his stock.
32 25 Sean McKenna - Peterborough Petes
Not strong, but likes the rough areas.  Not taking as many shots, but making better use of them, though not seeing the success on the power play that he once had.  Doesn't have a single goal with the man advantage, which should send up a red flag or two. 
33 32 Michael Thelven - Chicoutimi Saguineens
Solid all around, though is developing into a nice power play piece.  One of the few offensive minded blue liners who doesn't mind getting physical and will finish with 100+ hits once again.  Should be a good 3/4 defenseman in the bigs.
34 33 Steve Konroyd - Ottawa 67's
Was a penalty waiting to happen last year, but is playing much more disciplined.  Konroyd, simply put, is a shooter.  Loves to do it, does it a lot.  Second in shots by a blue liner and one of only 4 with 100+ shots.  Is also 2nd in goals.  Still has some meanness in him, though.
35 63 Greg Gilbert - Hull Olympiques

Not fast, but quick and with good anticipation, Gilbert is tied for the lead among draft-eligible players in short handed goals while also a has a respectable number on the man advantage.  They account for half his total goal production.   Has good puck moving skills, but needs a lot of work on the shot.

36 61 Steve Bozak - Chicoutimi Saguineens
Already with 20 goals, Bozak has developed into a decent shooter.  Doesn't move the puck very well and isn't one to initiate the play.  Will have to keep scoring to make it in the big leagues.  Could drop out of the 2nd round if his goal scoring dries up over the rest of the season.
37 58 Andy Schliebener - Hull Olympiques
Having a good year in points, there are still doubts as to his defensive play as it can be exposed playing on a bad team in Hull.  Doesn't hit and has a poor shot, but can distribute the puck.  But is that enough to make him a 2nd round pick?
38 26 Darren Jensen - Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds
Leads the league in wins, but also in goals allowed.  His 4.21 GAA is 2nd worst among draft-eligible goalies, starter or back up, and his .861 save percentage is the worst.  Can a professional goalie coach bring out the natural skills that got him this far?  Could be a high-risk pick, but a high-reward one, too.
39 5 Brent Sutter - Peterborough Petes
A huge drop from the pre-season rankings, Sutter's drop in production will cost him a spot in the first round.  He still scores and will tally close to 25 when all is said and done, but hard to ignore the inability to pass the puck and a strange lack of desire to put his body to opponents.  
40 39 Rick Lanz - Sudbury Wolves
Lanz developed his game over the off season.  Last year he had a terrible shot, though he used it often, and would run around the ice to get the hit, though never taking a penalty in doing so.  Now, his shot is one of the best and he has scored 6 of his 8 goals with the man advantage, though it has come at the expense of his physical play.
41 77 Reijo Ruotsalainen - Kamloops Blazers
A pure offensive defenseman, Ruotsalainen is one of three offensive minded blue liners on the Blazers, so he doesn't have as many chances to produce as if he were the only one.  However, he does produce and does so in all situations.  The issue with him, and what may see him fall into the 3rd round or later, is that he does whatever he can to avoid any sort of contact.  He has 6 hits this year....6!  And hasn't taken a penalty.  He has 8 goals on just 53 shots, though.  Is that worth it?
42 60 Dave Cameron - London Knights
After not being selected last year, Cameron returned to London and has had a respectable season on a very bad team.  His birth certificate may hold him back from being drafted as high as this and, quite frankly, may prevent him from being drafted at all.  But,he has a decent shot, is decent on the power play, and has enough speed to make him a threat.
43 45 Doug Wickenheiser - Ottawa 67's
One of the better passers in the league, Wickenheiser needs to work on a shot that he has used over 100 times, but has only registered 12 goals, a quarter of which came on the power play. 
44 41 Mike Moffat - London Knights
Criticized in the pre-season for his high GAA and low save percentage playing on a good team, Moffat has actually improved his save percentage and GAA while playing on the worst team in the league.  Still a long term project, but now it is easier to see that there might be success at the end.
45 18 Barry Pederson - Peterborough Petes
46 72 Jim Pavese - Saskatoon Blades
47 36 Doug Lidster - Chicoutimi Saguineens
48 NR Greg Meredith - Saskatoon Blades
49 24 Keven Lavallee - Chicoutimi Saguineens
50 NR Tim Tookey - Saskatoon Blades
51 38 Dan Frawley - Medicine Hat Tigers
52 NR Brad Palmer - Ottawa 67's
53 28 Steve Patrick - Sudbury Wolves
54 69 Fred Arthur - Saskatoon Blades
55 54 Moe Mantha - Chicoutimi Saguineens
56 68 Mike Bullard - Shawinigan Cataractes
57 42 Steve Ludzik - Peterborough Petes
58 74 Greg C. Adams - Medicine Hat Tigers**
59 13 Stewart Gavin - Hull Olympiques
60 22 Kevin McClelland - Sudbury Wolves
61 20 John Chabot - Saskatoon Blades
62 16 Steve Kasper - Ottawa 67's
63 59 Alain Lemieux - Peterborough Petes
64 3 Mark Osborne - Ottawa 67's
65 53 Michel Galarneau - Medicine Hat Tigers
66 21 Gaston Therrien - Sudbury Wolves
67 49 Jim Wiemer - Hull Olympiques
68 31 Craig Ludwig - London Knights
69 75 Lowell Loveday - Shawinigan Cataractes**
70 NR Greg Terrion - Medicine Hat Tigers
71 NR Jimmy Mann - Shawinigan Cataractes
72 79 Greg Theberge - London Knights**
73 10 Dave Babych - Shawinigan Cataractes
74 NR Randy Boyd - London Knights
75 65 Scott Kleinendorst - Edmonton Oil Kings
76 NR Darren Veitch - Peterborough Petes
77 NR Dave Morrison - Hull Olympiques
78 80 Wes Jarvis - Sudbury Wolves
79 35 Craig Muni - London Knights
80 66 Randy Hillier - Hull Olympiques
81 NR Stuart Smith - Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds
82 NR Rick Wilson - Edmonton Oil Kings
83 87 Pat Graham - Shawinigan Cataractes
84 71 Mike Moller - Ottawa 67's
85 NR Bob Brooke - Chicoutimi Saguineens
86 NR Denis Cyr - Saskatoon Blades
87 NR Mickey Volcan - Edmonton Oil Kings
88 78 Bob McGill - Hull Olympiques
**Denotes the player was passed over in the previous draft and is eligible for this draft.