For the third time in as many years, a Merritt Centennials player has made NHL Central Scouting’s mid-season watch list of North American skaters.
Eighteen-year-old Cents’ forward Jeff Wight is ranked 183rd on the CSS rankings list that was officially released on Jan. 13. These rankings rate the top 210 skaters and top 34 goalies currently playing in North America.
Wight, a native of Coquitlam, is in his second year with the Centennials. In his rookie season, he scored 13 goals and added 10 assists for 23 points in 46 regular season games.
Thus far this season, the six-foot two-inch Wight has picked up 15 goals and 15 assists for 30 points in 30 league games.
Back in September, Wight committed to play NCAA Division I hockey at the University of Connecticut — either next season or the season after.
In December, Wight was a member of Team Canada West at the World Junior A Challenge in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia.
A total of 19 CJHL (Junior A) players made this year’s Central Scouting mid-season list, including nine from the British Columbia Hockey League.
The other BCHL players are Alex Gillies (Salmon Arm, 102nd), Jason Cotton (West Kelowna, 118th), Brett Beauvais (Penticton, 134th), Jack Ramsey (Penticton, 151st), Mason Blacklock (Vernon, 158th), Demico Hannoun, Vernon, 185th) along with goalies Alec Dillon (Victoria, 26th) and Hunter Miska (Penticton, 32nd).
Wright joins current Centennial Dane Birks and former teammate Reece Willcox as Cents players who have made the mid-season Central Scouting’s rankings list in the last three years.
Willcox, who is in his second season at Cornell University, was ranked 114th in January of 2012, prior to being selected in the fifth round, 141st overall by the Philadelphia Flyers in the 2012 NHL entry draft.
Birks, who has committed to attend Michigan Tech in September of 2014 or 2015, was ranked 121st by Central Scouting in January of 2013. In July of the same year, Birks was selected in the sixth round, 164th overall, by the Pittsburgh Penguins in the NHL entry draft.
This year’s NHL entry draft will be held June 27 to 28 at the Wells Fargo Centre in Philadelphia.