2023 NHL Draft: Dragicevic boosted to A rating by Central Scouting

Lukas Dragicevic, a defenseman with Tri-City of the Western Hockey League, is one of six players upgraded to an A rating on NHL Central Scouting’s players to watch list presented by BioSteel.

The revised players to watch list updates the preliminary list released Oct. 25. Players with an A rating are considered candidates to be selected in the first round of the 2023 NHL Draft on June 28-29 at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville.

Dragicevic (6-foot-1, 192 pounds) is joined by right wing Lenni Hameenaho of Assat in Liiga (Finland), left wing Andrew Cristall of Kelowna (WHL), right wing Koehn Ziemmer of Prince George (WHL), left wing Quentin Musty of Sudbury in the Ontario Hockey League and defenseman Beau Akey of Barrie (OHL).

Each player was a B-rated skater on Central Scouting’s initial players to watch release.

Dragicevic is second among WHL defenseman with 29 points (six goals, 23 assists) and has 12 power-play points (nine assists) in 20 games this season. The right-shot defenseman has 22 points (four goals, 18 assists) during a 14-game point streak.

“Lukas has been on a tear of late,” said John Williams of NHL Central Scouting. “He’s very smart and poised with the puck and he’s very good on the power play. He can distribute the puck really well and offers a real good shot from the point too.”

Here are the five additional 2023 NHL Draft-eligible players upgraded to an A rating, according to NHL Central Scouting (listed alphabetically):

Beau Akey (5-11, 170): The right-shot defenseman leads Barrie defensemen with 13 points (four goals, nine assists) in 18 games.

“An elite skater who plays top minutes and all situations. Very good hockey sense and transition game with and without the puck, impacts the game.” –Dan Marr, Director of NHL Central Scouting

Andrew Cristall (5-9, 167): Cristall leads Kelowna with 35 points (15 goals, 20 assists) and has 12 power-play points (nine assists), three game-winning goals and 68 shots on goal in 17 games. He has 22 points (eight goals, 14 assists) during an eight-game point streak.

“Andrew has been an offensive catalyst in Kelowna this year. He’s very gifted offensively, good on the power play, has great vision and knows how to score.” –Williams

Lenni Hameenaho (5-11, 173): The right-shot forward has 10 points (three goals, seven assists) and 63 shots on goal while averaging 15:51 of ice time in 23 games in Finland’s top professional men’s league.

“He plays a mature game, is competitive and active with an excellent work ethic. He has smooth hands and is effective in traffic, using good puck-handling skills. He plays with a lot of confidence, isn’t afraid of getting involved and often comes out as a winner from battles along the boards.” — Goran Stubb, NHL director of European Scouting

Quentin Musty (6-2, 200): The forward is second in scoring on Sudbury with 21 points (seven goals, 14 assists) and first with 75 shots on goal in 18 games.

“Power forward winger who continues to develop, effectively utilizing physical attributes and has very good offensive smarts and tools.” — Marr

Koehn Ziemmer (6-0, 204): The right-shot forward is tied with Cristall for third in the WHL with 35 points (15 goals, 20 assists) in 21 games with Prince George. He has 17 power-play points (six goals, 11 assists).

“Koehn has had a real good start to his season and shown he is among the elite scorers in the WHL. He’s a very strong player physically, strong on the puck and on his feet. He’s a hard guy for defenders to handle in tight situations , makes plays in all zones and can score. He’s a potential power forward type of player.” –Williams

Photos: Chris Mast

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