There is evidence to support the claim that the Saginaw Spirit is home to some of the best young talent in the Ontario Hockey League.
The National Hockey League and its Central Scouting Bureau has released its mid-term rankings ahead of the 2018 entry draft, which is slated for June 22-23 in Dallas, and four Saginaw players are among the North American skaters who are listed.
Left winger Blade Jenkins is the top Saginaw player listed as the 24th-ranked skater. Following Jenkins are defenseman Caleb Everett, who is ranked 86th, centre Damien Giroux, who is listed 177th, and centre Maxim Grondin, who is rated 211th.
Jenkins and Everett are both southern Michigan products while Giroux and Grondin are northern Ontario boys, hailing from Greater Sudbury and Hearst, respectively.
The 6-foot-1, 195-pound Jenkins has 15 goals, 15 assists, 30 points, just behind the 5-foot-10, 175-pound Giroux on the Spirit score sheet. Giroux has 14 goals, 18 assists, 32 points.
The 6-foot-2, 185-pound Everett has 4 goals, 13 assists, 17 points from his defense post while the 6-foot-3, 205-pound Grondin has 7-10-17 numbers.
In all, 61 players from the OHL are among the 217 skaters who made the latest NHL rankings.
Ottawa 67’s lead the way with six rated players followed by the London Knights and Oshawa Generals with five each and Saginaw, the Kitchener Rangers and North Bay Battalion with four apiece.