• Nate Winans

Cedar Rapids RoughRiders Top NHL Prospects

The RoughRiders finished the USHL season in seventh place in the Eastern Conference. Although the season didn't go as expected, they technically didn't miss out on the playoffs due to the shortened season. To say that there was a lack of talent on the team would be an understatement. Although their record didn't show it, nine of their top scorers had over 20 points on the season. One of those players is eligible for this year's NHL Draft.

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Grant Silianoff - Right Winger

Grant finished the season with 32 points, good enough for second overall on the RoughRiders. The right-winger can do more than just score though. His skating ability and fancy footwork allow him to always have a step on his opponents. Another area his footwork comes in handy is on the penalty kill. His ability to stop/start and change direction on a dime will be a valuable asset for any team that lacks in that department currently.

He was ranked as high as 67 by the NHL Central Scouting Combine for North American Skaters and is rated as a "C" skater. Many scouts have him slated to be a late sixth-round pick by the Buffalo Sabres. He's committed to play for the University of Notre Dame next year.

Ben Meehan - Defenseman

Ben wasn't just one of the best defenders on the RoughRiders, he was one of the best in the league. Just like Grant, his feet are a big part of his success. His ability to find open lanes, passes, and ice, all contribute to his success as well. Another aspect of his game is his confidence and patience. He doesn't force anything and can slow the game down when needed.

As of now, he's projected to be a third or fourth-round selection due to a mid-season injury that inhibited scouts from taking a further look at him. There could be potential for him to be selected even higher. He's committed to UMass-Lowell for next season.

Both RoughRiders players had excellent careers with the team and will continue that at the next level. Grant may be flanking down the right side while Ben looks to stop him on the opposition. Who knows what the future holds for these two players. One thing we do know is that wherever they land, they will definitely make an impact sooner than later.

Follow me on Twitter @Nwinansw along with @JRHockeyPodcast for all your junior hockey news.

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