By Medicine Hat News on January 14, 2020.
An impressive start to his WHL career has landed Medicine Hat Tigers goaltender Garin Bjorklund a coveted spot on NHL Central Scouting’s midterm rankings.
The 18-year-old was listed in the 10th spot among North American netminders in the rankings released Monday. He still ranks behind Moose Jaw’s Brock Gould (fourth), Lethbridge’s Bryan Thomson (fifth) and Kamloops’ Dylan Garand (seventh) among WHL talent on the board, but his 16-3 record will no doubt continue to attract attention.
Bjorklund, from Calgary, is already 3-0 in 2020 having backstopped two Tigers wins in the past week.
Only one other Tiger made the rankings, which are a guide for NHL scouts ahead of the annual summer draft. Lukas Svejkovsky, acquired in last month’s trade with Vancouver, is the 195th-rated skater. The Washington-born forward has 20 points in 32 games between the Giants and Tigers this season, including a goal in Saturday’s win over Moose Jaw.
World junior championship MVP Alexis Lafreniere is the top-ranked North American skater, having registered 24 goals and 49 assists in 34 games with the Rimouski Oceanic so far. Fellow Canadian team gold medallists Quinton Byfield (Sudbury Wolves) and Jamie Drysdale (Erie Otters) are ranked second and third, respectively.
German Tim Stuetzle is the top-ranked international skater.
Nicolas Daws (Guelph Storm) is the top-ranked North American goalie, while Russia’s Yaroslav Askarov is the top-ranked international netminder.
The 2020 NHL draft will be held June 26 and 27 in Montreal.
The Tigers hold their annual skills competition Thursday, 7 p.m. at Canalta Centre before hosting the Lethbridge Hurricanes Saturday and heading to Edmonton Sunday to play the Oil Kings.