By Matt Stefano
The 2021 National Hockey League Central Scouting Final Draft Rankings have been released on Thursday morning with one Soo Thunderbirds graduate making the list.
That Soo Thunderbirds graduate is Robert Calisti (Ranked 156th).
Calisti, who is ranked 156th on the NHL Central Scouting Final Draft Rankings list, played one season with the Soo Thunderbirds back in 2017-2018, before earning a full-time roster spot with the Soo Greyhounds in 2018-2019.
In his only season with the Soo Thunderbirds in 2017-2018, Calisti led all Thunderbird blueliners in goals with 6 and set up 14 others in 33 regular season games.
The Toronto, Ontario native then led the Thunderbirds in scoring during the 2018 postseason with 10 points in 13 playoff games.
Calisti, who is now a member of the Ontario Hockey League’s Soo Greyhounds, also suited up for one American Hockey League game with the Belleville Senators back on March 15.
That day (March 15), the 20-year-old blueliner recorded one assist for the Senators in their 3-2 loss to the Laval Rocket.
During the 2019-2020 season with the Soo Greyhounds, Calisti led all Greyhound blueliners in scoring with 50 points, including 18 goals and 32 assists in 64 regular season games and was also the recipient of the Pino’s Award for the team’s Most Improved Player.
In 129 career games with the Greyhounds, Calisti has 20 goals, 37 assists and 57 points.
MATIER GETS RANKED
Another player who saw action with the NOJHL’s Soo Thunderbirds that is ranked for the 2021 NHL Entry Draft is defenceman Jack Matier.
The 18-year-old defenceman served as captain of the GNML’s Soo Thunderbirds Minor Midgets club during the 2018-2019 season, where he scored 10 goals and 22 points in 21 regular season games.
Matier, who is ranked 79th on NHL Central Scouting Final Rankings list, also played one game as an affiliate player with the NOJHL’s Soo Thunderbirds during the 2018-2019 regular season.
The Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario native also played one game as an affiliate player with the NOJHL’s Thunderbirds during the 2019 postseason.
Matier, who is now a member of the Ontario Hockey League’s Ottawa 67’s, also suited up for Team Canada at the 2021 IIHF World Under-18 Hockey Championship, which was held in Frisno, Texas from April 26 – May 6.
At the tournament, Matier also helped Team Canada capture its first gold medal since 2013.
In his rookie season with the Ottawa 67’s in 2019-2020, the Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario native had 0 goals and 9 assists in 56 games.
That season (2019-2020), the 18-year-old also helped the 67’s capture their fifth Hamilton Spectator Trophy (OHL Regular Season Champions) in franchise history.
The 2021 NHL Entry Draft will be held from July 23-24 from the NHL Network Studios in Secaucus, New Jersey.
Boris Katchouk was the last Soo Thunderbird graduate to be drafted by a National Hockey League team, after he was taken in the 2nd round (44th overall) by the Tampa Bay Lightning back in 2016.