Vancouver Giants forward Zack Ostapchuk has cracked the latest NHL Central Scouting ‘Players to Watch’ list (Chris Relke/Vancouver Giants)

Vancouver Giants forward Zack Ostapchuk has cracked the latest NHL Central Scouting ‘Players to Watch’ list (Chris Relke/Vancouver Giants)

Ostapchuk makes NHL list

Player with Langley-based Vancouver cracks latest NHL Central Scouting ‘Players to Watch’ list

Vancouver Giants forward Zack Ostapchuk has made the ‘Players to Watch’ list, issued Friday, Jan. 22, by the NHL Central Scouting Service.

He was given a ‘C’ rating, which indicates players expected to be fourth-, fifth-, or sixth-round candidates in the 2021 NHL draft, which is tentatively scheduled for July.

READ ALSO: Giants sign Zack Ostapchuk

When the 6’3” Ostapchuk was selected 12th overall by the Giants in the 2018 WHL Bantam Draft, Giants GM Barclay described the 2003-born left-handed shooter from St. Albert, AB, as “a talented, driven player and an explosive skater who can help you win in a variety of different ways.”

Ostapchuk recorded his first point as a Giant on Oct. 10, 2019 in Winnipeg. He scored his first goal with the Giants on Oct. 12, 2019 against Regina.

In 44 games with the Langley-based Giants, Ostapchuk scored five goals and recorded three assists, serving 14 penalty minutes.

READ MORE: VIDEO: Giants wrap up 2019 on a winning note

He helped the team end 2019 on a winning note against Kelowna Rockets on Dec. 30 taking a Cole Shepard pass, skating in close and sending his shot over Kelowna goalie Cole Schwebius’ left shoulder. Giants won 6-2.

Ostapchuk is one of 36 WHL players from 18 clubs to make the list issued by the Central Scouting Department, which was established prior to the 1975-76 season as a scouting service for the NHL member clubs.

Central Scouting identifies players with a rating system that includes four categories.

‘A’ ratings indicate players projected to be first-round candidates. ‘B’ ratings indicate players projected to be second- or third-round candidates, and the ‘C’ rating indicates players projected to be fourth-, fifth-, or sixth-round candidates.

Six WHL players were assigned ‘A’ ratings, three were given ‘B’ ratings, and 27 earned ‘C’ ratings.

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