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D Jones ranked as NHL's top midseason prospect

The SportsXchange

Defenseman Seth Jones of the Western Hockey League's Portland Winterhawks was named the top draft-eligible skater from North America in the NHL Central Scouting Bureau's midseason rankings for the 2013 NHL Draft released Tuesday.

Jones leads all rookie WHL defensemen with 28 points in 33 games for a team with the WHL's best record at 37-5-1.

If the Arlington, Texas, native is selected first overall in the NHL draft, he would be just the third U.S.-born defenseman to go No. 1. The others are Bryan Berard in 1995 and Erik Johnson in 2006.

Center Nathan MacKinnon of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League's Halifax Mooseheads received the No. 2 ranking among North American skaters. He leads the Mooseheads in scoring with 55 points in 32 games.

Rounding out the top five North American skaters are Halifax left winger Jonathan Drouin, Ottawa center Sean Monahan and Medicine Hat Tigers center Hunter Shinkaruk.

Halifax's Zachary Fucale is the top-ranked North American goaltender.

Finnish center Aleksander Barkov, who plays in Finland's top league, is rated the No. 1 European-based player by Central Scouting.
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