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Finley and Hughes Listed in NHL Central Scouting Midterm Rankings

Larry Brunt

Spokane Chiefs Jack Finley and Bear Hughes were listed in the NHL Central Scouting Service’s 2020 Midterm Rankings, as announced by the service on Monday. Finley ranks 46th among North American skaters after holding a “B” grade in the preliminary rankings released earlier this season. Hughes comes in at 80th after earning a “C” grade in the November rankings. The list serves as insight ahead of the 2020 NHL Entry Draft, scheduled for June 26-27 in Montreal, Quebec.

Finley has become a top faceoff man for the Chiefs, with his 473 wins this season ranks sixth in the WHL. At +22, he’s tied with Eli Zummack for third among Chiefs in plus/minus while his 36 points (10G-26A) also rank third on the team. He has been on a tear as of late, posting points in seven of his last eight games played, including goals in three of four.

A Kelowna, B.C. native, the 6-foot-5 power forward was selected by the Chiefs in the first round (sixth overall) of the 2017 WHL Bantam Draft. He will participate in the 2020 Kubota CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game on Jan. 16 in Hamilton, Ont.

Hughes has had a breakout 18-year-old rookie campaign, surprising many with his all-around game and offensive instincts. He ranks among top WHL freshmen in points (32; t-4th), goals (13; t-7th), and assists (19; 3rd). The Post Falls, Idaho native earned WHL Rookie of the Month honors for November after tallying 12 points in 12 games and has racked up eight multi-point games this season, highlighted by a three-assist showing on Dec. 14 at Seattle.

Hughes went unselected in the bantam draft and was listed by Spokane in 2018. He debuted with the Chiefs at the end of the 2018-19 season as a 17-year-old, appearing in the team’s final two regular season games and three postseason contests.

A total of 51 WHL players were included in the midterm rankings, including two in the top 10 skaters in North America, led by Kaiden Guhle (Edmonton, AB / Prince Albert Raiders) who is ranked seventh and Braden Schneider (Prince Albert, SK / Brandon Wheat Kings) who is ranked eighth. Two of the top five North American goaltenders come from WHL clubs as Brock Gould (Colorado Springs, CO / Moose Jaw Warriors) ranks fourth and Bryan Thomson (Moose Jaw, SK / Lethbridge Hurricanes) ranks fifth.

Click here to view the complete rankings.

About the Western Hockey League

Regarded as the world’s finest development league for junior hockey players, the Western Hockey League (WHL) head office is based in Calgary, Alberta. The WHL consists of 22 member Clubs with 17 located in Western Canada and five in the U.S. Pacific Northwest. A member of the Canadian Hockey League, the WHL has been a leading supplier of talent for the National Hockey League for over 50 years. The WHL is also the leading provider of hockey scholarships with over 350 graduates each year receiving WHL Scholarships to pursue a post-secondary education of their choice. Each season, WHL players also form the nucleus of Canada’s National Junior Hockey Team.

The Chiefs return to Spokane Arena on Tuesday, Jan. 14 to face the B.C. Division-leading Kamloops Blazers for another TicketsWest Player Magnet Giveaway. The first 1,000 fans through the gates will receive a Spokane Chiefs refrigerator magnet courtesy of TicketsWest.

Tickets for Tuesday and all Chiefs home games are available online at spokanechiefs.com and via the Chiefs’ Ticket Office, over the phone at 509-535-PUCK and in-person at Spokane Arena.

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