There have been a lot of Tri-City Americans who've gone on to the NHL, and many have lasted for years: Olaf Kolzig, Stu Barnes, Cary Price, Brian Boucher, Scott Gomez, Eric Comrie and the latest, Brandon Carlo. But this season a record number of Americans are ranked NHL prospects.

Much like baseball, the NHL ranks junior players by position, according to the NHL website, at least 217 players are ranked in each catagory by North American skaters, European skates, and North American and European goalies.

For the first time ever, 7 Americans are ranked. They include:

Michael Rasmussen is the highest rated American, ranked 6th overall in North America, and a projected First Round NHL pick, possibly top ten overall.

Defenseman Jusso Valimaki is 11th, Morgan Geekie 45th, Kyle Olson 56th, Dhylan Coghlan 77th, Brett Leason 133rd (he was Am's rookie of the year) and Dakota Krebs is 153rd.  All are approaching or will hit their 'draft year' next season or will be close to it.

The Americans are still among the youngest WHL teams, and are expected to be very potent next season.