Two Trail Smoke Eaters alumni improved their rankings for the 2021 NHL Draft.
NHL Central Scouting revealed its final rankings May 27 and listed former Trail Smoke Eaters forward Kent Johnson as the third top prospect in North America and Smoke Eaters goalie Logan Terness number 25 for puck stoppers.
The 2021 draft will be held virtually, with the first round going July 23 and Rounds 2-7 on July 24. The NHL Draft Lottery to determine the first 15 picks in the draft will be held June 2.
At six-foot-one, 167-pounds, Johnson became the elite forward in the BCHL during the 2019-20 season. He collected League MVP, Most Sportsmanlike and Top Scorer at the end of the year, and also earned the CJHL Top Forward nod, after tallying 41 goals and 101 points in 52 games for Trail. Sadly, the season was cancelled due to COVID following the first round of the playoffs.
Johnson went on to make an impression with the University of Michigan Wolverines in 2020-21, tallying nine goals and 27 points in a shortened 26-game season.
The Port Moody native led Michigan with three power-play goals and was first among all first-time NHL draft-eligible NCAA players in assists and points. Johnson joined teammate Owen Power on the Big Ten All-Freshman team.
Terness also had a memorable year in 2019-2020. The 18-year-old earned BCHL Rookie of the Year with 27 wins and 12 losses, one shutout, a .932 save percentage and 2.36 GAA. He played the second most minutes, 2,445, and stopped more shots than any BCHL goalie, 1,300.
The Burnaby native also played stellar in net in the 2021 Penticton Pod going 7-5 with two shutouts, a .925 save percentage and a 2.76 GAA. Terness was the only BCHL goalie ranked among the top-32 goalies in North America.
Johnson’s University of Michigan teammates also fared well in the rankings. Defenceman Owen Power retained the number one overall spot among North American skaters, with Johnson third, Michigan commit Luke Hughes fourth, despite missing the U18s due to injury, and teammate Matthew Beniers at sixth.
In all, the NCAA enjoyed a strong showing, with current or committed prospects taking 15 of the top 30 spots on the North America skaters list. However, the effects of Covid-19 did limit the opportunities for players from the BCHL and CJHL to showcase themselves.
The BCHL, including Terness and the Smoke Eaters, was restricted to a 20-game pod season this year, as opposed to a 58 game regular season and playoff.
Still, among BCHL skaters Chilliwack’s Alexander Teleguine was ranked at 138, Victoria Grizzlies’ Ellis Rickwood at 144, Noah Serdachny from Salmon Arm at 208, and Joaquim Lemay also from the Silverbacks at 224.