Leason and Protas make mid-season Central Scouting rankings

Photo Courtesy of Chelsea Kemp/Brandon Sun Prince Albert Raiders forward Brett Leason fights off Brandon Wheat Kings forward Connor Gutenberg for the puck during a game in Brandon earlier this season.

Brett Leason and Aliaksei Protas continue to impress those involved with NHL Central Scouting.

On Monday, the Prince Albert Raiders forwards were ranked 17th and 77th respectively among all skaters in North America in Central Scouting’s midterm list.

Leason, a 19-year-old from Calgary, is enjoying a breakout campaign after being passed over twice at the NHL Draft.

Following Saturday’s 4-3 shootout loss to the Kelowna Rockets, Leason is fourth in Western Hockey League scoring with 73 points in 39 games and is tied with Zack Andrusiak of the Everett Silvertips for the third most goals in the league with 31.

He also had five points in five games for Canada at this year’s World Juniors and will be taking part in the CHL Top Prospects Game on Wednesday in Red Deer.

Lucas Punkari/Daily Herald Prince Albert Raiders rookie forward Aliaskei Protas celebrates after scoring a goal earlier this season.

Protas, an 18-year-old from Belarus, is tied with Rockets defenceman Lassi Thomson and Red Deer Rebels forward Oleg Zaytsev for the fourth most points by a rookie in the WHL with 29 in 39 games.

He’s also tied with Andrej Kukuca of the Seattle Thunderbirds for the third most assists by a freshman with 20 and had five points in five games for his home country at the Division I World Juniors last month.

Two former Raiders draft picks were also ranked by NHL Central Scouting.

Quinn Olson, who was picked in the sixth round in the 2016 WHL Bantam Draft and was traded to the Calgary Hitmen for forward Bryce Bader on Jan. 10, came in at 154th.

The 17-year-old forward from Calgary has 49 points in 40 games for the AJHL’s Okotoks Oilers and is currently committed to the NCAA’s Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs.

Defenceman Chase Felgueiras, a sixth round pick in 2015, was ranked 176th overall after the 18-year-old from Calgary put up 15 points in 43 games for the SJHL’s Humboldt Broncos

Former Prince Albert Mintos forward Logan Barlage, who has 23 points in 45 games for the Lethbridge Hurricanes this year, was ranked 211th.

Jack Hughes of the US NTDP was the top North American skater, with WHL players Kirby Dach (Saskatoon), Dylan Cozens (Lethbridge) and Bowen Byram (Vancouver) all ranked behind the expected first overall pick.

US NTDP netminder Spencer Knight led the way among North American netminders, with Medicine Hat’s Mads Sogaard and Prince George’s Taylor Gauthier coming in third and fifth respectively.

The top ranked European skater and goaltender were Finland’s Kaapo Kakko and Russia’s Pyotr Kochetkov.