The NHL Central Scouting staff released their final 2012 NHL Draft rankings and four current or future Badgers made the list.
Incoming 2012 recruit Nic Kerdiles was the highest ranked player with Badger ties. The California born C/LW was ranked as the 29th best North American skater by the Central Scouting staff. Kerdiles was ranked 27th in the mid-term rankings earlier this season.
Listed at 6'1.5, 201 pounds by Central Scouting, Kerdiles has been the top forward for the USA NTDP U18 team all season. Kerdiles currently leads the U18 squad in scoring with 39 points in 48 games heading into the World Championships that start this week.
Current Wisconsin defenseman Jake McCabe was given a very high ranking by Central Scouting as well. The Eau Claire native checked in at number 47 on the final rankings. McCabe was also ranked #47 in the mid-term ranking.
The 6'0, 195 pound blue-liner notched three goals and nine assists in 26 games for the Badgers in his rookie season in Madison.
The next player listed with Badger ties was incoming 2012 recruit Morgan Zulinick. The Kamloops, B.C. native was ranked #126 by Central Scouting, down 22 spots from his mid-term ranking of #104.
Zulinick was the victim of a player playing on a rather poor team this season in Salmon Arm. With better teammates, Zulinick likely would have put up some bigger numbers and generated a little more buzz. The 5'10, 183 pound center still managed a solid line, recording 66 points in 54 games for the Silverbacks.
The last player ranked by Central Scouting with Wisconsin ties is 2014 Badger recruit Grant Besse. Besse wasn't ranked when the mid-term list was released, but after a huge season in which he led his high school team to a state championship, he finds himself on the final list at #187.
The 5'9.25, 175 pound Besse notched 93 points in 31 games during his junior season for Benilde-St. Margaret's. It was announced this week that Besse will be returning to Benilde for his senior year, and will likely play a year of junior hockey before coming to Wisconsin in the fall of 2014.
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