Final CSS rankings: Tips moving up

The NHL’s Central Scouting Service released its final rankings for the 2013 draft this morning, and the Silvertips continued their strong showing with five players making the cut.

Four Everett players were among the 210 North American skaters ranked. Leading the way is Swiss defenseman Mirco Mueller, who came in at ninth. That was three spots higher than he was ranked at the midterm, so his stock has gone up. He’s now the third-ranked WHL skater. The ranking suggests he’s moved solidly into the first round.

Jumping into the fray is defenseman Ben Betker. Betker was unranked at the midterm, but in the final rankings he comes in at 147th. Everett general manager Garry Davidson said after the season ended that Betker seems the likeliest Everett skater to be picked after Mueller.

The other two skaters ranked were defensmen Ayrton Nikkel (149th) and Austin Adam (175th). They both moved up a handful of spots from their midterm rankings, Nikkel from 155th and Adam from 195th. That’s interesting, considering both missed much of the second half because of injuries. Anyway, Betker, Nikkel and Adam are all ranked in the range that makes them borderline for being picked.

The final Everett player ranked was goaltender Austin Lotz, who was 10th among the 35 North American goaltenders ranked. That’s up one spot from the midterm rankings. That ranking makes him a likely mid-round pick.

Among other Everett-related rankings, former Tips prospect Seth Jones came in at No. 1 among North American skaters and is now the favorite to be picked first overall. Former Tips winger Trent Lofthouse, traded to Victoria during the season, came in at 126th among North American skaters.

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