At least two young Maine hockey players will be watching with interest this weekend as the National Hockey League holds its annual entry draft.

Right wing Garnet Hathaway of Kennebunkport and defenseman Jacob Rutt of Scarborough don’t expect their names to be called during tonight’s first round at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

But both are on NHL Central Scouting’s list of the top 200 skaters from North America and could be selected Saturday during rounds 2 through 7.

“It would be a lifelong goal to get drafted,” said Hathaway, ranked 110th on Central Scouting’s final list after spending the last four years at Phillips Academy in Andover, Mass. “For me, it doesn’t really matter which team.”

“I’m pretty excited,” said Rutt, who spent last season playing for the New Hampshire Junior Monarchs in Hooksett, N.H. “I definitely have the jitters. But I don’t want to get my hopes up. Who knows? I might not get drafted.”

Neither Hathaway nor Rutt intends to become a professional hockey player anytime soon.

Hathaway will be going to Brown University in the fall; Rutt, ranked 148th on the Central Scouting list, has committed to attend the University of Maine after spending one more season playing in juniors.

“It would be nice, but getting drafted would really be the start of something,” said Hathaway, who will spend the summer training in Massachusetts. “I would have to work even harder and hopefully someday get there.”

Said Rutt: “The way I look at it, it’s all right if I get drafted, but it’s not the end of the world if I don’t.”

Hathaway and Rutt aren’t the only players with Maine ties who could be selected in the NHL draft.

The Lewiston Maineiacs of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League have five players on the roster who have turned 18 and are eligible for the draft.

“We’re a very young, strong team with a lot of highly touted players,” said Maineiacs General Manager Roger Shannon. “We’re a team of good young players.”

Forward Michael Chaput has drawn the most interest from NHL teams. Other Maineiacs entry draft candidates include center Matthew Bissonette, right wing Stefan Fournier, right wing Jess Tanguy and defenseman Samuel Carrier.

Goalie Martin Ouellette, a goalie from Kimball Union Academy in Meriden, N.H., who signed in April with UMaine, also is eligible for the draft.

NHL Central Scouting ranks him 13th among its 30 North American goalies.

 

Staff Writer Paul Betit can be contacted at 791-6424 or at:

[email protected]