Vancouver Giants forward Zack Ostapchuk has made the ‘Players to Watch’ list, issued Friday, Jan. 22, by the NHL Central Scouting Service.
He was given a ‘C’ rating, which indicates players expected to be fourth-, fifth-, or sixth-round candidates in the 2021 NHL draft, which is tentatively scheduled for July.
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When the 6’3” Ostapchuk was selected 12th overall by the Giants in the 2018 WHL Bantam Draft, Giants GM Barclay described the 2003-born left-handed shooter from St. Albert, AB, as “a talented, driven player and an explosive skater who can help you win in a variety of different ways.”
Ostapchuk recorded his first point as a Giant on Oct. 10, 2019 in Winnipeg. He scored his first goal with the Giants on Oct. 12, 2019 against Regina.
In 44 games with the Langley-based Giants, Ostapchuk scored five goals and recorded three assists, serving 14 penalty minutes.
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He helped the team end 2019 on a winning note against Kelowna Rockets on Dec. 30 taking a Cole Shepard pass, skating in close and sending his shot over Kelowna goalie Cole Schwebius’ left shoulder. Giants won 6-2.
— Vancouver Giants (@WHLGiants) January 23, 2021
Ostapchuk is one of 36 WHL players from 18 clubs to make the list issued by the Central Scouting Department, which was established prior to the 1975-76 season as a scouting service for the NHL member clubs.
Central Scouting identifies players with a rating system that includes four categories.
‘A’ ratings indicate players projected to be first-round candidates. ‘B’ ratings indicate players projected to be second- or third-round candidates, and the ‘C’ rating indicates players projected to be fourth-, fifth-, or sixth-round candidates.
Six WHL players were assigned ‘A’ ratings, three were given ‘B’ ratings, and 27 earned ‘C’ ratings.