AJHL defencemen Cale Makar and Jarrod Gourley (Brooks Bandits) along with Ian Mitchell (Spruce Grove Saints) have been named to the 2016-17 NHL Central Scouting Futures List. The list of 290 players indicates likely draft-eligible targets for NHL scouts in the upcoming 2016-17 hockey season.
Makar, 17, was named the Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL) and Canadian Junior Hockey League (CJHL) Rookie of the Year after scoring 55 points in 54 games in his first season of Junior A competition with the Bandits last season. Makar was also a member of the gold medal-winning Team Canada West at the annual World Junior A Challenge, where he was named to the tournament’s all-star team. Makar is committed to the University of Massachusetts.
Makar scored 7 points in 6 games at the 2016 Western Canada Cup, was named that tournament’s Top Defenceman, and was named to the All-Tournament Team. Makar also led the 2016 RBC Cup in scoring with 7 points in the 4-game round robin stage, winning the tournament’s Top Scorer, Top Defenceman, and Most Valuable Player awards, becoming only the third player in the history of the RBC Cup to win three individual awards.
Gourley, 17, scored 7 points in an injury-shortened 27-game regular season with the Bandits in 2015-16, dressing in 4 Western Canada Cup games and 5 games at the RBC Cup. The 6’2”, 195lb defenceman also won gold at the annual World Under-17 Hockey Challenge as a member of Team Canada White in 2015. Gourley has committed to Arizona State University.
In his 1st year in the AJHL, Ian Mitchell played in 54 regular season games and recorded 21 points. Ian Mitchell was selected as one of the elite players invited to Canada’s upcoming National Men’s Summer Under-18 Team selection camp. Mitchell has committed to the Universty of Denver. The 17 year-old also won Gold with Team Canada at the 2015 World Under-17 Challenge in November.
NHL Central Scouting will next release its preliminary players to watch list in September 2016.