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Guelph Storm's Ratcliffe gets high rating for NHL draft

One of five Storm players ranked for June's NHL draft
20161202 storm vs. Erie 2 ts
Isaac Ratcliffe celebrates his first period goal against the Erie Otters Friday, Dec. 2, 2016, at the Sleeman Centre. Tony Saxon/GuelphToday

The National Hockey League's in-house scouting service thinks Guelph Storm forward Isaac Ratcliffe is a first-round talent.

NHL Central Scouting released its final rankings for June's NHL draft this week and has Ratcliffe ranked as the 15th best North American skater. That's five spots better than it had him in its mid-season rankings.

Factoring in European players and perhaps goaltenders, that would put Ratcliffe in the last third of the draft, which takes place in Chicago on June 23 and 24.

Ratcliffe, a 6-foot-6, 195-pound London native, scored 28 goals and had 26 assists in 67 games with the Storm last season.

Ratcliffe is one of five Storm players in the Central Scouting rankings.

Forward Nate Schnarr is ranked 47th among North American skaters, defenceman Dmitri Samorukov 69th (up from 122 at mid-season), forward Liam Hawel 141, and forward Nick Deakin-Poot 213.

Deafenceman David Farrance, a former Storm pick playing for the United States National Team Development Program, is ranked 46.

Guelph native Austen Keating, who plays for the OHL's Ottawa 67's, is rated 115.