6 Steelheads Players Listed on NHL Central Scouting Final Rankings

MISSISSAUGA, ON – Ahead of the upcoming 2022 NHL Entry Draft in Montreal this July, six Mississauga Steelheads players have been listed on the NHL Central Scouting Final Rankings list. The Steelheads lead the way for most players on the list amongst the OHL, alongside the London Knights and Guelph Storm.

The six players listed include Luca Del Bel Belluz, Owen Beck, Zakary Lavoie, James Hardie, Kai Schwindt, and Kasper Larsen. Four of these six players were ranked in the Midterm Rankings, with Schwindt and Larsen added to the final list.

Ranked at #8 overall for North American skaters, Luca Del Bel Belluz has made quite the improvement since the beginning of his OHL career. The Woodbridge, Ontario native was selected by the Steelheads in the 3rd round of the 2019 OHL Draft. In his first season, the forward scored 6 points (1G, 5A) in 58 games. This past year, however, Del Bel Belluz had 30 goals and 46 assists on the season, putting him in second place in single-season points by a forward in Steelheads history. He garnered significant attention from NHL scouts and attended the CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game this past March. Del Bel Belluz was promoted to assistant captain midway through the season, and was named the Most Improved Player in the Eastern Conference in this year’s OHL Coaches Poll.

Just two spots down is centre Owen Beck, ranked 10th overall. The Port Hope, Ontario native was selected by the Steelheads in the 2nd round of the 2020 OHL Draft. The rookie had 51 points (21G, 30A) for the Trout this past season, garnering significant attention from NHL scouts and participating in the CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game this past March. Earning the title of Rookie of the Month in November, Beck finished in 5th place in the rookie scoring race. The forward had five points (1G, 4A) in six games against the Barrie Colts in the first round, including the overtime winner in Game 2. Beck was also included on the OHL Coaches Poll, ranked first in the Eastern Conference for Best on Face-Offs.

At the #134 spot is Zakary Lavoie, the Steelheads’ 2020 first round pick in the OHL Priority Selection (7th overall). Lavoie had a slower start to the year, scoring his first OHL goal on November 18. Once he started though, the right-winger could not be stopped. Lavoie scored 44 points (23G, 21A) this season, finishing second place in rookie scoring on the Steelheads and earning the most goals of all rookies on the team. The Ottawa native is making his mark in the playoffs, scoring three goals in six games, including two goals in Game 6 versus the Barrie Colts.

Placing #148 is James Hardie, a sharpshooting left-winger and Steelheads’ assistant captain. Hailing from Innisfil, Ontario, Hardie has had back-to-back seasons leading the team in goals, with 34 in 2019-20 and 41 in 2021-22. This season, Hardie broke Owen Tippett’s franchise record for points by a forward in a single season (77 points) in addition to most shots on goal in a season (289) and most career game-winning goals (17). In the first round of the playoffs, Hardie led the Steelheads with 8 points (6G, 2A) in six games, including the double overtime winner in Game 4. Hardie attended development camp with the Toronto Maple Leafs last off-season.

The latest Steelheads addition to the Central Scouting List is left-winger Kai Schwindt. Making his OHL debut this season, the 6’3″, 195 lb forward made the Steelheads’ lineup as a free-agent. Following in the footsteps of his older brother, Cole Schwindt, who scored 18 points (8G, 10A) in his first season, Kai earned 17 points (12G, 5A) this year. Schwindt is a tough, hard-working forward who hopes to continue his regular season success in the playoffs.

The only defenceman to make the list from the Steelheads is Kasper Larsen. Drafted if the first round of the 2020 Import Draft (19th overall), Larsen made his first OHL appearance in the 2021-22 season. Putting up 43 points (8G, 35A), Larsen ranked second in scoring among Steelheads defenceman. A leader in and out of the Steelheads organization, Larsen was the assistant captain of Team Denmark at the 2022 IIHF U20 World Championship Division I, Group A tournament. The defenceman was listed twice on the OHL Coaches Poll, including a nod for Most Underrated Player and Hardest Shot.

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