Five local hockey player find themselves on the preliminary list for NHL Central Scouting’s player to watch for the 2018 NHL entry draft.
Langley Rivermen captain Brendan Budy and Kamloops Blazers’ defenceman Luke Zazula, as well as a trio of Vancouver Giants — forwards Tyler Popowich and Milos Roman and goaltender Todd Scott — were on the initial list released this week (Oct. 3).
Both Budy and Zazula are products of the Langley Minor Hockey system.
All of the players are in the ‘C’ category, which indicates they are expected to be a fourth, fifth or sixth round draft pick.
An ‘A’ prospect is an expected first rounder while a ‘B’ is a second or third rounder.
Budy was one of five junior A BCHL players to make the list while the other four play major junior and are among the 27 from the Western Hockey League.
Budy is tied for fifth in league scoring with six goals and a dozen points in eight games.
Zazula is in his second season with Kamloops and has one assist in five games. He had a pair of goals and 16 points in 54 games last season.
Roman, a rookie import player from Slovakia, has one goal and four points in three games this season and is tied for the team lead in points.
Popowich is in his second season with Vancouver and has played in one game this season. He had seven goals and nine points in 53 games last season.
Scott, in his first season in the league, is the lone goalie to make the list.
The 2018 NHL draft will be held June 22-23 in Dallas.