1985 Draft 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.
Mid-Season Pre-Season Trend Player
1 2   Brent Gilchrist - Forward - Kamloops Blazers
Gilchrist moves up a spot to #1 in the mid-season rankings despite missing four games for the Blazers.  If he had played in those games, he may be leading the class in scoring.  Gilchrist has shown to be consistent, though.  He is talented at distributing the puck but needs to work on his shot to make him that much more effective.  His 13.8% effective rate was 3rd lowest among any forward with at least 10 goals and simply isn't good enough if he is to develop into a top line player.  He did hit 30 goals last year, though, so you know the ability is there.  Scouts will just need to see it in his draft year to warrant a top pick on him.
2 3   Craig Simpson - Forward - Ottawa 67's
    While his assist and points totals may not warrant his mid-season draft ranking, there is simply no purer of a scorer in this draft than Simpson.  In 31 games, Simpson already has 23 goals.  That is a pace that would be second best in NJFHL history.  What is most impressive is that only 6 of the goals have come on the power play, meaning he is a terror at even strength, something that most teams would love to have.  It is something that he has worked on, too, as most of his goals as a 16-year old came on the power play.  Simpson still loves to shoot and isn't afraid to go to the dirty areas.  He won't initiate, but he certainly isn't afraid to receive.  If you are going to draft him, you need to have a play maker to get him the puck.  If not, Simpson won't be nearly as effective.  With one, though, Simpson has 40-goal NFHL potential. 
3 39   Brad Dalgarno - Forward - Saskatoon Blades
Dalgarno has exploded out of basically no where to lead the draft class in scoring by a significant amount, scoring almost a point and a half per game through the first half of the season.  He leads the class with 29 assists and his 14 goals is 5th and he sits 6th in league scoring overall.  Dalgarno plays a perimeter game and doesn't get involved in any battles, which concerns some scouts, as does his abnormally high shooting percentage.   There is no denying his skills with the puck, though.  
4 6   Mike Richter - Goalie - Sudbury Wolves
  Richter leads the army of goalies ranked in the first round thanks to a stellar first half of the season.  He is second with his 3.26 GAA and 18 wins, but leads with 2 shut outs and a .890 save percentage.  And no goalie has played more minutes than Richter.  He has improved in every area from last season and really what more can you ask of a player?  It is almost impossible for a goalie to jump from junior to the pro ranks, so no team should expect that of Richter.  However, whoever does draft him does so with the knowledge that he will be their #1 sooner rather than later.
5 5   Curtis Joseph - Goalie - Kamloops Blazers
There is very little to choose from between Richter, Burke, and Joseph, so whoever misses out on Richter will be more than satisfied with Joseph or Burke.  Central Scouting has Joseph ranked at #5, but any of the trio could be rated higher than the other without batting an eye.  Joseph had the same number of wins, but doesn't have the shut outs and his save percentage is just .002 lower in only 11 fewer minutes of action, while his GAA is just .08 higher.  Joseph continues to use his agility and quickness around the net, though some wonder if he would be better served with a little more training on his fundamentals.  The raw talent is there, though.  
6 4   Sean Burke - Goalie - Medicine Hat Tigers
    He was the top ranked goalie in the pre-season rankings and, really, there is still little to choose from between the top four goalies.  Burke certainly has the size advantage over the others and can dominate a game.  He is prone to lapses in attention, though, but that will change once he becomes a pro.  His two shut outs are tied for with Richter and Bill Ranford and his .888 save percentage is second.  While he has a couple fewer wins and a slightly higher GAA than the two goalies ranked ahead of him, that is more of a function of the team than his play.  Burke can easily be the first goalie taken in the draft and no one would be surprised and one team will still go home very happy.
7 27   Derek King - Forward - Medicine Hat Tigers
Only Criag Simpson has more goals than King in the draft class so far this season.  They are the only two with 20+ goals.  However, King has, so far, proven to be bit more rounded as a player, even if he isn't as naturally gifted a goal scorer.  King is comfortable mucking it up in the corners and while Simpson is willing to take punishment, King initiates the contact more.  Like Simpson, he has great hands in front of the net, making him a force with the man advantage.  King leads all forwards with 106 shots so far, the only player to eclipse the century mark.  Scouts, however, are divided on his high-end potential, hence his rating in the lower half of the top ten.  But a solid second half of the season will make it hard for anyone not to want to draft him in the top 5...if they don't want a goalie, of course.
8 28   Daniel Berthiaume - Goalie - Saskatoon Blades
    It isn't a surprise to see yet another goalie in the top ten, but having it be Daniel Berthiaume did catch many off guard.  He was projected as a mid-second round pick in the preseason rankings, but after leading all goalies with 21 wins against just 9 losses, while posting a .888 save percentage certainly gives rise to a player's ranking.  Some skeptics will put this on a strong team, but others will say that the team is strong because of the goalie.  His GAA is higher than most of the others, but that second highest save percentage can't be ignored.  The second half will be the real test, though.  Berthiaume will once again have to post these kinds of numbers to get scouts to think he should be a top ten selection. 
9 12   Sylvain Lefebvre - Defense - Sudbury Wolves
Lefebvre walks into the top ten and takes over as the top ranked defenseman in the draft after a terrific first half of the season.  Lefebvre led this class' blue liners in points with 34 in 32 games, the only one to average better than a point per game.  Lefebvre proved himself at every aspect of the game, playing on both special teams, out late in close games, playing against top opponents.  He isn't big, but is able to position himself well and certainly doesn't hesitate to use it when called upon.  He is very smart.  Offensively, he seems to have a knack for knowing how the play will develop and is able to move the puck efficiently.  He doesn't have a cannon, but has a hard shot that he can place and likes to use as often as many forwards.  Lefebvre's talent may not translate into a star blue liner at the next level, but he is a safe pick.  One that will play on a team's second pairing for a decade.  Depending on team's goaltending needs, he should go in the top ten, but he is a sure-fire first rounder in the worst case scenario.
10 14   Robert Kron - Forward - Kamloops Blazers
    Kron cracks the top ten after starting the year at #14.  He was the 3rd highest point getter in the draft class last season, leading many to question why he didn't get into the top 10 in the preseason rankings.  Well he did even better in the first half, currently sitting 2nd in scoring behind Brad Dalgarno, forcing himself into the top ten.  There are still questions remaining about his compete level, and he has been known to take the easy way to the net, but when he has a few moments in the offensive zone, he can make things happen.  He shoots more than anyone not named King and has shown the ability to play short handed, giving his coach an offensive weapon while killing penalties.  He has shown a little more willingness to battle for the puck, but he will never be mistaken for a power forward.  But if he can continue to put up better than a point per game, no team will be upset with his selection.
11 15 Mike Keane - Forward - Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds
Well over a point per game and stilll responsible defensively.  Still doubt as to if his offensive game translates well to the professional level, but no doubt he will be a valuable player in the big leagues once he completes his growth and maturity.
12 9 Calle Johansson - Defense - Shawinigan Cataractes
Johansson's drop from the top ten has more to do with the quality of the goaltending available in the draft than his play.  Has really worked on the defensive aspect of his game and leads draft class with +18 rating.  Yet still remains an offensive catalyst.
13 7 Frederick Olausson - Defense - Ottawa 67's
Similar to Johansson, his drop has more to do with the play of others than his own play.  Continues to play a strong game at both ends of the ice and most scouts feel he has a higher upside than Johansson.  Strong passer, but needs to get bigger and stronger.  A little meanness wouldn't hurt, either.
14 88 Bruce Racine - Goalie - Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds
Fifth goalie in the top 15 and the most unlikely.  Ranked dead last in the preseason, Racine has taken the starting roll in the Soo and run with it.  Leads all goalies in GAA and is the only goalie to allow fewer than 100 goals thus far.  Stats say he should be ranked higher, but for coming out of nowhere, scouts are still leery and he will need an equally stellar second half to secure a ranking in the first round.
15 8 Randy Burridge - Forward - Medicine Hat Tigers
Still doubters as to his compete level, but Burridge has shown the ability to pot the puck, especially on the power play where he has 9 of his 16 goals.  Last year, he showed he can be a top set up man, now the goal scoring ability.  If he could ever put the two together, he would be a top ten pick.  
16 67 Gord Hynes - Defense - Hull Olympiques
Hynes rockets up the standings thanks to his development as an offensive force on the blue line.  With 12 goals, he is far and away the leader among blue liners and seems to be a lock to score 20. Has the ability to lead the power play, but is also defensively responsible enough to man the PK unit, where he also provides some offense.  Not a true quarterback, more of a shooter, but has quite the cannon.
17 17 Max Middendorf - Forward - Shawinigan Cataractes
No movement in the rankings for Middendorff, which is a good thing.  Has managed to stay healthy though he scaled back his physical play, perhaps to save himself from injury.  Though it has also reduced, if slightly, his penalty total.  But continues to put up a point per game and is a beast with the man advantage.
18 10 Bill Ranford - Goalie - Edmonton Oil Kings
Ranford's stats, and as a result, his rankings, take a hit playing behind a poor Oil Kings team, but scouts have seen enough of his play last year to still give him a first round ranking.  His 2 shutouts prove he has the ability to win a game on his own, but his unsightly save percentage shows his inconsistency.  While the likes of Richter, Burke, and Joseph seem to be sure-fire starters, Ranford's ultimate level may not be quite as high without some serious work by whatever team nabs him.
19 40 Tom Chorske - Forward - Edmonton Oil Kings
Putting up a point per game, but doesn't project to be a top six forward.  Plays a strong game along the boards and is tough on the forecheck.  Most of his offensive chances are a result of a solid forecheck causing turnovers.  However, given the opportunity on the Oil Kings, he has shown to possess some quick hands and his physical presence in front of the net is helpful with the man advantage.
20 11 Joe Nieuwendyk - Forward - London Knights
A disappointing first half for the lanky teen who many scouts feel should be a top five pick.  Has overcome injury concerns, but may have lost some confidence in trying to make sure he doesn't get re-injured.  His 11 goals, 2 on the power play, are especially low for someone that big with such good hands.  That he is trusted in all aspects of the game speaks volumes, but his numbers are still concerning, even on a bad London team.
21 25 Kelly Buchberger - Forward - Ottawa 67's
A fantastic first half of the season derailed by injury.  Buchberger's 1.30 points per game is 3rd best among forwards in this draft class, despite playing on a team not known for its offensive prowess.  Works extremely hard for his points, but has a tendency to cross the line and spends too much time in the penalty box, or worse, as his current suspension can attest.  Needs to focus more on the scoring and skating if he wants to remain in the first round.
22 20 Nelson Emerson - Forward - Medicine Hat Tigers
Emerson has noticeably worked on his physical game and doesn't play as much on the periphery.  Yet, it hasn't changed his game a lot.  He is still an adept distributer of the puck and uses his speed to back off defenders and create open space.  Will be hard pressed to score 20 goals, but he could lead the draft class in assists.
23 NR Brent Fedyk - Forward - Edmonton Oil Kings
24 19 Craig Wolanin - Defense - Edmonton Oil Kings
25 1 Wendel Clark - Forward - Edmonton Oil Kings
26 16 Ulf Dahlen - Forward - Kamloops Blazers
27 44 Eric Weinrich - Defense - Hull Olympiques
28 64 Tim Sweeney - Forward - Saskatoon Blades
29 33 Steve Chiasson - Defense - Ottawa 67's
30 65 Roger Johansson - Defense - Sudbury Wolves
31 13 Benoit Hogue - Forward - Kamloops Blazers
32 56 Ken Priestlay - Forward - Saskatoon Blades
33 57 Lee Griffin - Forward - Ottawa 67's
34 37 Dave Manson - Defense - Hull Olympiques
35 22 Craig Duncanson - Forward - Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds
36 26 Danton Cole - Forward - London Knights
37 47 Shane Churla - Forward - Shawinigan Cataractes
38 31 Randy McKay - Forward - Edmonton Oil Kings
39 60 Herb Raglan - Forward - London Knights
40 79 Todd Richards - Defense - Kamloops Blazers
41 30 Rudy Poeschek - Defense - Chicoutimi Saguineens
42 35 Bill Houlder - Defense - Kamloops Blazers
43 87 Tony Horacek - Forward - Edmonton Oil Kings
44 52 Kelly Chase - Forward - Sudbury Wolves
45 51 Jiri Latal - Defense - Sautl Ste. Marie Greyhounds
46 73 Scott Metcalfe - Forward - Medicine Hat Tigers
47 77 Steve Gottaas - Forward - Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds
48 72 John Bryce - Forward - Chicoutimi Saguineens
49 34 Jeff Sharples - Defense - Saskatoon Blades
50 21 Dana Murzyn - Defense - Ottawa 67's
51 50 Yvon Corriveau - Forward - London Knights
52 32 Tommy Sjodin - Defense - London Knights
53 29 Gord Murphy - Defense - Kamloops Blazers
54 18 Kay Whitmore - Goalie - London Knights
55 78 Jose Charbonneau - Forward - Saskatoon Blades
56 38 Petr Praisler - Defense - Chicoutmi Saguineens
57 63 Dan Vincelette - Forward - Medicine Hat Tigers
58 74 Robert Burakovsky - Forward - Chicoutmi Saguineens
59 55 Jamie Huscroft - Defense - Peterborough Petes
60 66 Bob Beers - Defense - Hull Olympiques
61 86 Pat Jablonski - Goalie - Ottawa 67's
62 70 Hank Lammens - Defense - Medicine Hat Tigers
63 46 Jason Lafreniere - Forward - Kamloops Blazers
64 53 Brad Lauer - Forward - London Knights
65 85 Alain Cote - Defense - Shawinigan Cataractes
66 71 Donald Dufresne - Defense - Ottawa 67's
67 59 John Druce - Forward - Edmonton Oil Kings
68 61 Ken Baumgartner - Forward - Kamloops Blazers
69 54 Jim Paek - Defense - Hull Olympiques
70 69 Chris Luongo - Defense - Shawinigan Cataractes
71 23 Jim Sandlak - Forward - Saskatoon Blades
72 75 Guy Larose - Forward - Edmonton Oil Kings
73 45 Paul Stanton - Defense - Edmonton Oil Kings
74 43 Mike Berger - Defense - Sudbury Wolves
75 81 David Latta - Forward - London Knights
76 43 Bobby Reynolds - Forward - Chicoutimi Saguineens
77 76 Myles O'Connor - Defense - Ottawa 67's
78 24 Jeff Finley - Defense - Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds
79 49 Rob Murray - Forward - London Knights
80 58 Warren Rychel - Forward - Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds
81 48 Glen Seabrooke - Forward - Chicoutimi Saguineens
82 36 Dave Williams - Defense - Peterborough Petes
83 68 Dallas Eakins - Defense - Peterborough Petes
84 80 Anssi Melametsa - Forward - Hull Olympiques
85 84 Troy Gamble - Goalie - Edmonton Oil Kings
86 NR Mario Brunetta - Goalie - Medicine Hat Tigers
87 41 Dave Thomlinson - Forward - Edmonton Oil Kings
88 83 Tom Draper - Goalie - Saskatoon Blades