Jonny Sorenson, of the Fairbanks Ice Dogs, is among nine players with North American Hockey League ties who are on the National Hockey League Central Scouting’s final rankings for this year’s NHL draft.
The draft is scheduled for June 21-22 at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, British Columbia.
Sorenson, a 6-foot-1 and 175-pound center, is among seven current NAHL players in the final rankings, which were announced Wednesday. All but one of the current NAHL players are from the Midwest Division of the 24-team, Tier II junior A league. The Ice Dogs recently captured the Midwest regular-season title and are the division’s top seed in the playoffs.
“The way the NHL Central Scouting works is they’re obviously a group of people who view different players who are draft eligible,” Ice Dogs head coach Trevor Stewart said by phone Wednesday night, “and their feelings on Jonny, they determined he was a player that would be on the list, in the rankings.
“It’s a pretty cool recognition. It really obviously doesn’t mean anything concrete right now; but it’s just him being recognized and potentially, he could get drafted in June.”
NHL scouts saw Sorenson in action at the NAHL Top Prospects Tournament in February in Attleboro, Massachusetts.
Sorenson, a 6-foot-1 and 175-pound native of St. Louis Park, Minnesota, is 205th among 217 North American skaters in the final NHL Central Scouting rankings. It’s an improvement for Sorenson after its midterm rankings in January had him tied for 214th with Xavier Simoneau, a 5-foot-6, 169-pound center with the Drummondville Voltiguers, of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.
The 19-year-old Sorenson, in his first season with the Ice Dogs, led the team in scoring in the regular season. The University of Minnesota commit provided 17 goals and 39 assists for 56 points in 60 games.
“He’s a very high-end talent that’s continuing to learn the game,’’ Stewart said. “He’s a multisport athlete that this is his first year he’s actually dedicated hismelf to hockey specifically.
“So the ceiling is very high for him and he’s just going to continue to get better, and he’s obviously intrisically motivated. So he’s in a good place there mentally.”
The other NAHL Midwest Division players in the NHL Central Scouting final rankings are Minnesota Magicians forwards Jack Jensen and Jackson Jutting; goaltenders, Cole Brady, of the Janesville (Wisconsin) Jets; Ethan Haider, of the Magicians; and Jack Williams, of the Springfield (Illinois). Jack Ring, of the East Division’s Northeast Generals, also is in the final rankings.
The other two players with NAHL ties who are listed in the Central Scouting final rankings — goaltenders Isaiah Saville and Mads Sogaard — played last season in the NAHL.
Saville, who’s from Anchorage, played 2017-18 with the NAHL’s Minnesota Magicians and he’s on this season’s roster for the Tri-City Storm, of Kearney, Nebraska, and the United States Hockey League. Tri-City captured the regular-season title in the 17-team, Tier I junior A league.
Sogaard spent last season with the NAHL’s Austin (Minnesota) Bruins and he played this season for the Medicine Hat (Alberta) Tigers of the major junior-level Western Hockey League.
Among North American skaters in the Central Scouting final rankings, Jutting, a center, is 180th and fellow center Jensen is 195th. Ring, a left wing, is ranked 207th.
Sogaard, Brady, Haider and Saville are in the top 15 of the final rankings for North American goalies.
Sogaard, 6-foot-7 and 196 pounds, is second in the final rankings. The 6-foot-5, 175-pound Cole leads the current group of NAHL netminders with the No. 9 ranking.
Haider, 6-2 and 200 pounds, is ranked 11th and Saville, 6-1 and 193 pounds, is 13th in the final rankings.
Brady was 10th in the Central Scouting’s midterm rankings and Haider jumped up from 16th on the midterm list.
Saville was eighth in the midterm rankings.
The 6-3, 175-pounds Williams is 19th in the final rankings after being ninth in the midterm rankings.
The complete Central Scouting final rankings are available at atnhl.com/2VV5JsI.
The Ice Dogs face the fourth-seeded Jets at 4 p.m. AKDT Friday at the Janesville Ice Arena for game 3 of the Midwest Division semifinal playoffs.
The Ice Dogs have a 2-0 lead in the best-of-five series after wins of 2-0 Friday and 4-1 Saturday at the Big Dipper Ice Arena.
Fairbanks can wrap up the series with a win Friday. If the Ice Dogs lose, game 4 will be played at the same time Saturday in the Janesville Ice Arena.
If a fifth game is needed, it will be played at noon AKDT Sunday on the Jets’ home rink.
The winner of the Fairbanks-Janesville series advances to the Midwest Division championship series. If Fairbanks wins, it will host the first two games of the best-of-five series April 26-27 at the Big Dipper.
The winners of the NAHL’s four division championship series advance to the Robertson Cup National Tournament on May 10-14 in Blaine, Minnesota.
Contact News-Miner sports editor Danny Martin at 459-7586. Follow him on Twitter:@newsminersports.