Two Red Deer Rebels have been named to NHL Central Scouting’s ‘Preliminary Players to Watch’ List for the 2024 NHL Draft.

The full list, which includes 63 WHL players, was released Wednesday.

Centre Ollie Josephson (’06, Victoria, BC) has been given a ‘B’ rating as a potential 2nd or 3rd round 2024 NHL Draft pick.

Josephson was selected by the Rebels in the first round, fifth overall at the 2021 WHL Prospects Draft. The 17-year-old has 27 points (7 goals, 27 assists) in 80 career games with the Rebels, including 7 points (2 goals, 5 assists) in 11 games this season. Josephson was a member of Team Canada that won gold at the 2023 Hlinka Gretzky Cup in Czechia and Slovakia.

Forward Samuel Drancak (’06, Strakonice, CZE) has been given a ‘C’ rating as a possible 4th or 5th round 2024 NHL Draft pick. 

Drancak was Red Deer’s lone selection, 54th overall, at the 2023 CHL Import Draft and has four points (2 goals, 2 assists) in his first 11 games with the Rebels. The 17-year-old played the 2022-23 season with HC Motor České Budějovice in the Czech U17 league and was the league’s second leading scorer with 65 points in 34 games. He played nine games at the U20 level, racking up 12 points, and suited up for two games with HC Motor České Budějovice in the Czech professional league. Drancak played at last year’s World U17 Hockey Challenge in Langley, BC and won silver at this year’s Hlinka Gretzky Cup.

The 63 WHL players listed leads the entire Canadian Hockey League. In total, 161 CHL players are listed including 62 from the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) and 36 from the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL).