This is Ryan Nugent Hopkins. The young man from the hockey hotbed of Burnaby, BC is one of the highest ranked prospects eligible for the 2011 Entry Draft. He’ll probably go in the top 3, and it looks (increasingly) like the Copper and Blue will be drafting "in the range" come summer.
The lists are here and here. The final Central Scouting list gets a lot of play but is in fact a poor guide to the final numbers (Bob McKenzie has cornered the market in this area). The first full CSB list–this one–is the most important because it gives us a list to follow for the entire season. Most of the players drafted next summer are on the lists CSB just released. The mystery is where will they go? Here’s an early guess:
The Top 10
- C Sean Couturier (QMJHL): 6.04, 191. Tremendous combination of size and skill; he scores a lot of points at even strength. Skating has improved a lot but he’s no speed burner. Has been compared to Vincent Lecavalier. He’s a shooter (excellent wrist shot) and is 55% in the FO circle. The Oilers could really use him.
- D Adam Larsson (Swe): Big defender plays a complete game. Looks like he might be a franchise player. Calm feet and an expert puck mover, as with Couturier foot speed is the one item that has been nicked a little.
- C Ryan Nugent Hopkins (WHL): Major buzz happening in the west about this player. 6.01 and a half, he weighs just 170 but is an absolute wizard with the puck. Exceptional on the powerplay and has very good speed. Is probably the best offensive prospect among the top 3 and is certainly one dimensional compared to the other two.
- L Gabriel Landeskog (OHL): Owns a wide range of skills. Combines skill and toughess, along with aggressive play. Ranks in the top 10 in OHL scoring and that’s a helluva league, he is not considered an elite offensive talent. Power forward style and is getting there in terms of size (6.01, 207). Excellent cycle player.
- R Ty Rattie (WHL): Young winger is very close to leading the WHL in points (39 in 23 games). Very skilled (described as slick), he’s not big and his footspeed doesn’t stand out in this crowd. I’ve read in a few places that he’s taken a big step forward already this season, so he might end up going very high.
- D Ryan Murphy (OHL): There’s all kinds of chatter about him, but Murphy looks like he might be a special player. He’s 4th in OHL scoring and is dazzling with the puck. Too many moves to ignore and he apparently can play defense too. Murphy might end up being one of the best values in the 2011 draft.
- L Brandon Saad (OHL): Powerforward with good speed and hands. 6.01, 196 and he battles in high traffic areas. There’s a lot to like about him, and he’s scoring well. The only real downside is that (from what we read) he appears to be mature physically and may get passed by others in his age group as things roll along. From the resume, he looks like a strong pick.
- L Shane Prince (OHL): Skill winger is ripping it up in the OHL 17 points in his last 10 games, he ranks 5th in OHL scoring and a lot of it is at EV strength (8-18-26 at evs in 22gp). I’m not sure if there’s even a slight negative beyond size (5.11, 185) but this guy would appear to be the first of the "breakout players" for this year’s draft.
- D David Musil (WHL): Defender will make his living in with his own zone play. Big, skilled and athletic, Frank’s boy has all of that and genetics too. Some concern about his consistency but defense is a tough position. He doesn’t look like he’ll spend a lot of time on an NHL powerplay.
- R Shane McColgan (WHL): The dub keeps turning out these undersized speed demons with skill. Ennis, Etem and now this guy. Missed some games early but appears right on track at this time. Smaller player, but extremely skilled and effective.