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 Portland Winterhawks

Buttazzoni, Zakreski Named to NHL Central Scouting Final Rankings

April 16, 2024 - Western Hockey League (WHL)
Portland Winterhawks News Release


Portland, Ore. - The Portland Winterhawks Hockey Club is proud to recognize two current players who have been named to NHL Central Scouting's Final Rankings ahead of the 2024 NHL Draft. The draft is reportedly set to take place at the Sphere in Las Vegas from June 28 to 29, 2024.

Forwards Diego Buttazzoni and Josh Zakreski were recognized on today's list after previously being named on both of the earlier Central Scouting lists this season.

NHL Central Scouting is a department within the National Hockey League that ranks prospects for the NHL Entry Draft at specific times during the hockey season. Players are ranked based on how well they are projected to translate to the professional game.

Buttazzoni, 18, ranks 134th among North American skaters on the final list. The Langley, B.C. native enjoyed a breakout campaign with 29 goals, 26 assists and 55 points in 67 games. Originally drafted by Medicine Hat in the second round, #37 overall, of the 2021 WHL Prospects Draft and acquired by Portland via trade prior to the 2022-23 campaign, Buttazzoni posted 15 points as a 16-year-old rookie last season, bringing his career total to 70 points in 123 career regular-season games. He has also tallied four assists in seven games during the 2024 WHL Playoffs.

Zakreski, 18, checks in at 157 following a stellar second full season in the Rose City. A Saskatoon, Sask. native, Zakreski bagged 21 goals and 28 assists for 49 points this season while playing in all 68 games for the first time in his WHL career. The former eighth-round WHL Prospects Draft selection boasts 77 points in 146 career games, and has posted two goals and two helpers this postseason to boost his playoff totals to nine points in 21 playoff outings.

In total, 57 WHL players were named to the final list. The complete list of ranked WHL skaters and goalies follows below.

2023-24 NHL Central Scouting Midterm Rankings - WHL Skaters

Rank Last Name First Name Hometown Team Height Weight Position

3 Lindstrom Cayden Chetwynd, B.C. Medicine Hat 6'3.25 210 C

8 Catton Berkly Saskatoon, Sask. Spokane 5'10 170 C

9 Iginla Tij Lake Country, B.C. Kelowna 5'11.75 182 C

11 Yakemchuk Carter Calgary, Alta. Calgary 6'2.75 201 D

15 Parascak Terik Lethbridge, Alta. Prince George 5'11.5 173 RW

18 Miettinen Julius Helsinki, Fin. Everett 6'2.5 203 C

19 Ritchie Ryder Kelowna, B.C. Prince Albert 5'11.75 175 RW

22 Jecho Adam Zlin, Cze. Edmonton 6'4.75 197 C

26 Basha Andrew Calgary, Alta. Medicine Hat 5'11 174 LW

31 Elick Charlie Calgary, Alta. Brandon 6'3.25 194 D

36 Roberts Colton Maple Ridge, B.C. Vancouver 6'3.75 192 D

38 Smith Tarin Porcupine Plane, Sask. Everett 6'1 175 D

40 Josephson Ollie Victoria, B.C. Red Deer 6'0 178 C

41 Howe Tanner Prince Albert, Sask. Regina 5'9.5 175 LW

50 Wetsch Carson North Vancouver, B.C. Calgary 6'0.25 190 RW

52 Brunicke Harrison Calgary, Alta. Kamloops 6'2.5 184 D

53 Marques Miguel Prince George, B.C. Lethbridge 5'10.75 173 RW

58 Curran Maxmillian Prague, Cze. Tri-City 6'2.5 198 RW

63 Gojsic Hiroki Langley, B.C. Kelowna 6'2.75 198 RW

64 Mrsic Tomas Surrey, B.C. Medicine Hat 5'11.25 170 C

69 Becher Ondrej Ostrava, Cze. Prince George 6'1 184 C

77 Caswell Clarke Brandon, Man. Swift Current 5'10.75 170 LW

84 Jamieson Eric Calgary, Alta. Everett 6'2.5 199 D

86 Laing Hunter Kelowna, B.C. Prince George 6'5.25 205 C

89 Misskey Nate Melfort, Sask. Victoria 6'3.25 210 D

93 McIsaac William Vancouver, B.C. Spokane 6'3 192 D

107 Mayes Nathan Salmon Arm, B.C. Spokane 6'3.75 194 D

111 Thorpe Tyler Richmond, B.C. Vancouver 6'4 209 RW

112 Alcos Parker Port Moody, B.C. Edmonton 6'2.5 180 D

119 Mistelbacher Luke Steinbach, Man. Swift Current 5'11.75 195 RW

134 Buttazzoni Diego Langley, B.C. Portland 5'9 183 C

136 Heslop Jesse Nanaimo, B.C Everett 5'10.5 171 LW

138 Fawcett Keets Grimshaw, Alta. Calgary 5'9.75 167 RW

141 Cooper Miles Calgary, Alta. Wenatchee 5'9.75 163 C

146 Pederson Rhys Stettler, Alta. Edmonton 6'3.75 194 D

150 Vaughan Jaxsin Merritt, B.C. Regina 6'0.75 206 RW

155 Vaughan Corbin Merritt, B.C. Regina 6'0 205 D

157 Zakreski Josh Saskatoon, Sask. Portland 5'10.5 188 LW

160 Lovsin Simon Stony Plain, Alta. Seattle 5'11.5 176 RW

161 Smith Shane Cessford, Alta. Medicine Hat 6'0.25 194 C

170 Edwards Brayden Abbotsford, B.C. Lethbridge 6'0 186 C

176 McKenzie Pavel Cumberland House, Sask. Moose Jaw 6'0 186 C

179 Valliant Chase Surrey, B.C. Calgary 6'0.25 174 C

187 Drancak Samuel Strakonice, Cze. Red Deer 5'11.25 185 C

202 Pickford Bryce Chauvin, Alta. Seattle 5'11.5 170 D

204 Williams Dax Calgary, Alta. Calgary 6'0 190 D

206 Fryer Seth Victoria, B.C. Victoria 6'6.5 197 D

212 Hadland Caleb Sylvan Lake, Alta. Brandon 5'9.75 174 LW

216 Fluker Josh Boissevain, Man. Wenatchee 6'0 160 D

223 Hodnett Gavin Winnipeg, Man. Edmonton 5'6.5 158 LW

224 Ward Landen Lloydminster, Alta. Lethbridge 6'2.75 200 LW

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