EVERETT – Four Everett Silvertips players were identified today in the midterm rankings for the 2013 NHL Entry Draft released by the NHL’s Central Scouting Bureau. Defenseman Mirco Mueller was ranked 12th among all draft-eligible skaters in North America, while fellow blueliners Ayrton Nikkel (#155) and Austin Adam (#195) also made the list. Goaltender Austin Lotz ranked 11th among North American netminders.
Mueller and Lotz were both listed in the preliminary draft rankings that were released in November. This updated list includes just over 200 draft-eligible skaters and 35 goaltenders currently playing in North America. NHL Central Scouting will release its final pre-draft rankings this spring ahead of the 2013 NHL Entry Draft in Newark, New Jersey.
CLICK HERE for the complete midterm rankings of North American skaters
CLICK HERE for the complete North American goaltender rankings
Mueller is currently in Halifax, Nova Scotia, where he will participate in the CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game on Wednesday night. The 6-foot-4, 185-pound defenseman from Winterthur, Switzerland was selected by Everett with the 11th overall pick in the 2012 CHL Import Draft. Mueller has compiled 18 points on two goals and 16 assists in 36 games with the Silvertips this season, placing him among the WHL’s rookie scoring leaders. He currently leads the team with +4 plus/minus rating and recently represented his native Switzerland at the 2013 World Junior Hockey Championships in Ufa, Russia.
Nikkel came to Everett from Brandon last week in a trade-deadline deal. The second-year defender from Kelowna, BC was tabbed in Central Scouting’s preseason watch list after totaling ten points (3g/7a) and 72 penalty minutes in 59 games with the Wheat Kings last season. In 44 games this year, Nikkel has nine assists and 94 penalty minutes – including ten fighting majors. He was originally a second-round (42nd overall) bantam pick of Saskatoon before heading to Brandon in the trade that sent star center Brayden Schenn to the Blades.
Adam is also in his second WHL season from Surrey, BC. After playing 46 games with the Silvertips as a 16-year-old rookie last season, the 6-foot-5, 190-pounder missed nearly two months at the start of this year with a hand injury. Since returning in mid-November, Adam has assisted on two goals and has six penalty minutes in 21 games this season. Adam was Everett’s fourth round selection (68th overall) in the 2010 WHL Bantam Draft.
Lotz has enjoyed the best stretch of his young career over the past two months. The St. Adolphe, Manitoba product has won six of his last nine starts and was named Vaughn CHL Goaltender of the Week for the final week of 2012. In 25 appearances this season, the 6-foot, 185-pound netminder sports a 9-13-0-1 record, 3.46 goals-against average, .897 saves percentage and one shutout. A seventh-round (#150 overall) Silvertips bantam draft pick in 2010, Lotz played 17 games backing up Kent Simpson as a 16-year-old rookie last season.
Everett’s homestand continues tonight when the ‘Tips face the Tri-City Americans at 7:05 pm at Comcast Arena. The Silvertips will then battle the Seattle Thunderbirds Friday night at 7:35 and the Lethbridge Hurricanes Saturday at 7:05 pm to round out their longest homestand of the season.
Mini-game packages, flex packs and single-game tickets for the Silvertips’ 10th Anniversary season at Comcast Arena are on sale now. For more information call 425-252-5100. To keep up with all the latest team news and information, “like” the Everett Silvertips Hockey Club on Facebook or follow @WHLSilvertips on Twitter.