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Vannelli tops final NHL rankings

By Craig Roberts, MHCA, 04/25/13, 12:30AM CDT

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Minnetonka defenseman leads list of 18 Minnesota high school products on Central Scouting list


Tommy Vannelli of Minnetonka is 44th on NHL Central Scouting's final North American rankings. Photo by Katherine Matthews

A total of 18 Minnesota high school players are among the 245 North American skaters listed in NHL Central Scouting’s final rankings.

The top high school player is Minnetonka defenseman Tommy Vannelli, who completed his senior season with the Skippers this season and was a finalist for the 2013 Mr. Hockey Award. He moved up 33 spots from his mid-season ranking to be ranked 44th in the final rankings. Vannelli is currently competing with the USA Under-18 team at the World U18 Championships in Sochi, Russia.

Six of the 10 Mr. Hockey Award finalists this year are among those 18 players, including Vannelli. The 2013 award winner, Grant Besse of Benilde-St. Margaret’s, who moved up from 124th to 106th. The other finalists who were ranked include Edina’s Parker Reno (140th), Eagan’s Zach Glienke (160th), Tartan’s Jake Jackson (170th) and Hibbing’s Adam Johnson (176th).

Chris Forney, who finished his senior season at Thief River Falls this season, was also included on the final list without a ranking. He was 168th in the mid-season rankings.

A pair of 2012 high graduates were also included in the final rankings. Jonny Brodzinski of Blaine, who skated for St. Cloud State this season, came in at 132nd while 2012 Mr. Hockey Award winner Justin Kloos of Lakeville South was listed 203rd.

Four draft-eligible juniors were also ranked, a group headed by Edina’s Connor Hurley, ranked 45th. Teemu Kivihalme of Burnsville was ranked 64th, Grand Rapids’ Avery Peterson 77th and Hermantown’s Neal Pionk 141st.

The 2013 NHL Draft will be held Sunday, June 30, with all seven rounds being conducted on the same day for the first time since 2006. The New Jersey Devils and Prudential Center, Newark, N.J., will host the event.

2013 NHL Central Scouting Final Rankings
Minnesota High School Players

Rk Player Position High School
44 Thomas Vannelli Defenseman Minnetonka
45 Connor Hurley Center Edina
64 Teemu Kivihalme Defenseman Burnsville
70 Hudson Fasching Right Wing Apple Valley
77 Avery Peterson Center Grand Rapids
80 Jake Guentzel Center Hill-Murray
81 Blake Heinrich Defenseman Hill-Murray
106 Grant Besse* Right Wing Benilde-St. Margaret’s
132 Jonny Brodzinski Center Blaine
140 Parker Reno Defenseman Edina
141 Neal Pionk Defenseman Hermantown
148 Gage Ausmus Defenseman East Grand Forks
160 Zach Glienke Left Wing Eagan
170 Jacob Jackson Center Tartan
176 Adam Johnson Left Wing Hibbing
203 Justin Kloos Center Lakeville South
209 Vinni Lettieri Center Minnetonka
226 Christopher Forney Defenseman Thief River Falls

* Mr. Hockey Award winner (top senior skater)

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