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Two players of color have been upgraded to potential first-round picks in the 2018 National Hockey League Draft in June by NHL Central Scouting.

Serron Noel, a forward for the Oshawa Generals of the Ontario Hockey League, and defensman Jett Woo of the Western Hockey League’s Moose Jaw Warriors were elevated to “A” ratings from “B” ratings last week by Central Scouting.

NHL Central Scouting has elevated Oshawa Generals forward Serron Noel to an “A” rating, meaning he’s considered as a potential first-round pick in the 2018 NHL Draft (Photo/Aaron Bell/OHL Images).

An A rating designates players as potential first-round candidates. A B rating indicates a player is a likely second or third-round pick in the June 22-23 draft at Dallas’ American Airlines Center.

Noel, a 6-foot-5, 200-pound right wing and son of a former Canadian Football League player, has 10 goals 4 assists and 20 penalty minutes in 18 games for Oshawa.

“Noel is a power forward who is a strong skater with deceptive outside speed to separate himself from checking and quickness by pulling away on the rush,” NHL Central Scouting Director Dave Marr told NHL.com. “He works hard on the forecheck, forcing turnovers and finishing hits.”

Woo, a 6-foot, 200-pound blue liner, has 6 goals, 11 assists and 20 penalty minutes in 18 games for the Warriors.

“He’s a point-a-game player now, runs the first power-play unit and plays with a lot more poise and patience with the puck,” Central Scouting’s John Williams told NHL.com. “He’s not likely a power play guy in the NHL, but more of a two-way guy who can bring a physical element with enough skill to contribute.”

Moose Jaw Warriors defenseman Jett Woo has played for Team Canada and is now projected as a potential first-round pick in the 2018 NHL Draft (Photo/ Matthew Murnaghan/Hockey Canada Images).

He also owns one of the coolest first names in hockey, though he has no idea why his father chose it.

“I know he’s a fan of (Chinese actor/producer) Jet Li, but I don’t know if that’s why I got the name. I like my name, though,” Woo told the International Ice Hockey Federation’s Andrew Podnieks in April.

Niagara IceDogs forward Akil Thomas began the 2017-18 season as a prospective first-round selection in the 2018 NHL Draft (Photo/Terry Wilson/OHL Images).

Noel and Woo join Akil Thomas, a forward for the OHL’s Niagara IceDogs as minority players who could hear NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman call their name in the first round of the Dallas draft.

A 5-foot-11, 170-pound right wing, Thomas has 5 goals, 16 assists and 8 penalty minutes in 20 games for the IceDogs. He tallied 21 goals and 27 assists in 61 games in his rookie season with Niagara.

The three 17-year-olds  played for Canada’s gold medal-winning team at the 2017 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Cup tournament last August in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Thomas tallied 2 goals and 4 assists in five tournament games while Noel had a goal in five contests. Woo, an assistant captain on the team, went scoreless.

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