Ovechkin likely to be No. 1 pick in draft


TORONTO -- Michigan sophomore Al Montoya topped the list of
North American goaltenders eligible for the NHL draft in rankings
released Wednesday.

Montoya helped lead the United States to the gold medal at the
world junior championships earlier this year when he was chosen as
the tournament's top goaltender. He was 26-12-2 with a 2.23
goals-against average and .917 save percentage in 40 games with

While Montoya led the list of goalies in the league's Central
Scouting Service rankings, Russian forward Alexander Ovechkin is
likely to be the first pick when the Washington Capitals are on the
clock at the June draft in Raleigh, N.C.

Ovechkin, a member of the gold medal-winning Russian team at
last year's world junior tournament, is the top-ranked European
skater. He had 13 goals and 10 assists in 53 games with Moscow
Dynamo of the Russian Elite League.

Andrew Ladd of the Western Hockey League's Calgary Hitmen was
the top ranked North American skater. Ladd led WHL rookies in
scoring and tied for 12th in the league overall with 30 goals and
45 assists in 71 games.

Following Ladd among leading North American skaters are
defenseman Cameron Barker of Medicine Hat in the WHL, left wing
Alexandre Picard of Lewiston in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey
League, center Kyle Chipchura from Prince Albert of the WHL, and
left wing Wojtek Wolski of Brampton in the Ontario Hockey League.

Montoya tops a list of North American goalies that also includes
Devan Dubnyk of Kamloops in the WHL, David Shantz of Mississauga in
the OHL, Justin Peters from Toronto St. Michaels in the OHL, and
Jeff Glass of Kootenay in the WHL.

The final ranking features the top 231 skaters and 30
goaltenders in North America and top 161 skaters and 13 goaltenders
from Europe. The first three rounds of the draft are June 26 with
rounds four through nine the following day.

The Central Scouting Service provides scouting and evaluation of
draft-eligible players to NHL clubs.