Recruiting Service Calls Pickard Top-Rated Goalie - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Recruiting Service Calls Pickard Top-Rated Goalie

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KENNEWICK, Wash. - With the National Hockey League's Central Scouting Service released their mid-season ranking for the 2008 NHL Entry Draft today, the Tri-City Americans are proud to announce that Chet Pickard, Kruise Reddick and Eric Mestery earned their way into the latest list.  The mid-season ranking features the top 210 skaters and 30 goaltenders in North America and top 170 skaters and 15 goaltenders from Europe.  The 2008 NHL Entry Draft will take place June 20-21 in Ottawa, Ontario.

"We are proud that our players have been recognized for the upcoming NHL Draft.  It speaks to the job being done by our coaches, scouts and the player's teammates," expressed Americans Governor/General Manager Bob Tory.  "We wish all our players well as they pursue their dreams of a professional hockey career."

Pickard (#1, North American goaltenders), who was just announced to the CHL/NHL's Home Hardware Top Prospects Game roster, is in his first full season as the starting goaltender for Tri-City and third season in the Western Hockey League.  The 6'3, 200 lb Winnipeg, Manitoba-native has collected a 24-7-1-1 record for Tri-City this season, while boasting a 2.55 goals against average and a 0.911 save percentage.  Tri-City selected Pickard in the fifth-round (89th overall) of the 2004 WHL Bantam Draft.

Reddick (#39, projected 2nd Round), who is in his second season in the WHL, raised eyebrows with his hot start to the 2007-08 season.  The 5'9, 165 lb forward from Manor, Saskatchewan, has notched 17 goals and 44 points in his sophomore season, including a seven-game scoring string to start the season.  Reddick's 44 points placed him in a tie for third on team in scoring.

Mestery (#63, projected 3rd Round), a 6'5, 195 lb defenseman from Winnipeg, Manitoba, was a first-round (seventh overall) pick by Tri-City in the 2005 WHL Bantam Draft.  Last March, Mestery helped lead Team Manitoba to a silver medal at the 2007 Canada Winter Games in Whitehorse, Yukon.  Mestery has compiled two goals and 14 points in 83 games for Tri-City.

About NHL CSS:

In its 32nd year of operation, the NHL Central Scouting Service provides scouting and evaluation of draft-eligible players to NHL member clubs.  Headed by Director of Central Scouting E.J. McGuire, NHL Central Scouting employs nine full-time and 12 part-time scouts throughout North America and works with Goran Stubb of the European Scouting Service and his staff of five full-time scouts to cover prospects playing throughout Europe.  Combined, the NHL Central Scouting and European Scouting Service will see more than 3,000 games this season.