ABC’s of NHL Scouts

Three Hawks on Watch List

The National Hockey League’s Central Scouting department knows the alphabet when it comes to the Waterloo Black Hawks: specifically Anderson, Bowers, and Copeland.

The trio of Mikey Anderson, Shane Bowers, and Ben Copeland are all prospects for the 2017 NHL Draft next June, and on Tuesday Central Scouting gave each one an early rating on its “Preliminary Players to Watch List.”

Bowers was one of 29 players worldwide to earn an “A” rating.  Last season, he was a member of the United States Hockey League’s All-Rookie 2nd Team.  At just 16, Bowers recorded 15 goals and 18 assists in 56 appearances.  The Halifax, Nova Scotia, forward is off to a strong start during his second year with the Black Hawks, having notched a goal and two assists during his first three appearances of the season.  An “A” on the NHL Central Scouting scale suggests that a player is a first round draft candidate at this stage of the season.

Anderson and Copeland were each awarded “C” grades.  According to the NHL, that mark indicates Central Scouting might anticipate selection in the fourth through sixth rounds.

Anderson joined Bowers on the USHL’s All-Rookie 2nd Team last spring.  The native of Roseville, Minnesota, appeared on defense in 57 2015/16 regular season games, with a +6 plus/minus differential and 16 points.  The Minnesota-Duluth recruit added another three goals and two assists in nine playoff contests.  During late September, Anderson appeared at USA Hockey’s All-American Prospects Game.  Prior to that, he and Bowers both skated at the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament in Czech Republic and Slovakia, representing the United States and Canada respectively.

Copeland is in his first full season as a Black Hawk after making seven appearances as an affiliate last winter.  Like Anderson, Copeland was given a “C” in preliminary grading.  Originally from Edina, Minnesota, Copeland recorded his first USHL point last Saturday against the Sioux Falls Stampede.

Central Scouting will periodically release updated grades and rankings throughout the winter.  A final ranking of North American prospects will be issued in April.

Last summer, five players with ties to Waterloo were selected during the 2016 NHL Draft.  The group included current Hawks defenseman Jake Ryczek, a seventh-round choice of the Chicago Blackhawks.

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