Drury and Copeland Ascendant
Waterloo, Iowa - Big finishes helped boost Waterloo Black Hawks forwards Jack Drury and Ben Copeland dramatically in the final NHL Central Scouting Rankings, released on Monday in preparation for this summer's NHL Draft.
During the last seven weeks of the United States Hockey League regular season, Drury and Copeland each had 22 points. In that span, no USHL player produced more offense, and both Hawks forwards ended the campaign among the league's top six point producers. At the other end of the ice, goaltender Jared Moe joined Drury and Copeland as a bona fide Draft candidate.
Drury vaulted from a midseason ranking of 60th in January, up to 27th on a list of 210 eligible skaters playing in North America this winter. He finished his second season in Waterloo with 24 goals and 41 assists. The resulting 65 points stand fifth in the USHL for 2017/18. Nearly half of them (32) were recorded during a 23-game point streak between November 22 and February 16th. It was the longest run of its kind in the league in approximately two decades. Drury is committed to Harvard.
Copeland was not listed in the Central Scouting midterms. Beginning to gain greater attention around the time that report was released, he was a late addition to the USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game, at which he recorded two assists. That performance was appropriate, because Copeland would go on to lead the USHL with 44 assists while finishing with 62 points, the league's sixth-highest total. The Colorado College recruit ended the season on an 11-game point streak, which accounted for 18 points.
On a separate list of North American goaltenders, Moe was slotted 10th. In 32 appearances, the future Minnesota Gopher was 23-6-1 with two shutouts. His win total tied for fifth in the league. Moe was also fourth in goals-against average (2.23) and seventh in save percentage (91.9%). He won his last seven starts to cap his first USHL season.
The 2018 NHL Draft will be June 22 and 23 in Dallas. The 15 clubs which did not qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs will participate in a Draft Lottery later this month. Last summer, four members of the 2016/17 Black Hawks (Shane Bowers, Dylan Samberg, Mikey Anderson, and Nick Swaney) were chosen by NHL teams.
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