*(Not affiliated with the Boston Bruins or the New England Hockey Journal)

Saturday, April 30, 2011

The Hockey News Draft Preview: Top 30

The Hockey News released its annual draft preview this week (its out in Canada but those of us in the U.S. will have to wait until later this week or next to get it) and their rankings continue the debate that started when Central Scouting released their final list earlier this month.

THN's list was compiled with the help of a survey done by a dozen or so NHL scouts according to the magazine, so there is some basis in reality with this list. At the same time, it just underscores how crazy this draft is going to be in terms of the way it breaks after the first two or three picks.

Thanks to blog friend Dom, B2011DW has the top-100, but we're just going to focus on the first round list for now. Would be interested in any reader comments as to what they think.

Here is the first round as THN has published:

1. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, C
2. Adam Larsson, D
3. Gabriel Landeskog, LW
4. Sean Couturier, C
5. Jonathan Huberdeau, LW
6. Ryan Strome, C
7. Ryan Murphy, D
8. Sven Bartschi, RW
9. Zack Phillips, RW
10. Dougie Hamilton, D
11. Mika Zibanejad, C
12. Duncan Siemens, D
13. Alexander Khokhlachev, C
14. Brandon Saad, RW
15. Joel Armia, LW
16. Mark McNeill, C
17. Jamie Oleksiak, D
18. Nathan Beaulieu, D
19. Nicklas Jensen, LW
20. Tyler Biggs, RW
21. Matt Puempel, RW
22. Jonas Brodin, D
23. David Musil, D
24. Scott Mayfield, D
25. Rickard Rakell, RW
26. Mario Lucia, RW
27. John Gibson , G
28. Tomas Jurco, LW
29. Christopher Gibson, G
30. Dmitri Jaskin, RW

Zack Phillips in the top-10 is the biggest surprise, but given his pure scoring ability, there could be some NHL clubs out there who are intrigued enough with his lethal hands and smarts even without the great skating ability to pick him much earlier than most conventional lists have him to date.

Dougie Hamilton seems too low at 10, but we have heard some things through the grapevine that could lend to his falling off a bit. How he does at the draft combine in terms of his testing and interviews will be important for him.

Sven Bartschi is also pretty high in our view, but there is no denying his offensive talent. Still, he's not a great skater considering he's undersized and there is some risk with him there. Some team would have to just love him for Bartschi to go top-10 in our estimation.

John Gibson in the first round is not a surprise. He's a first-round talent and our only feeling about him sliding out of the top-30 would be as a result of NHL teams not wanting to spend top picks on goalies. That said, he was so good at the U18s this month that he deserves to be a first-rounder.

Christopher Gibson, on the other hand, we don't see making the cut. He put up excellent numbers for Chicoutimi, but has some holes in his game and is probably a solid early second rounder.


  1. I thought this was the highest I had seen Khokhlachev ranked until you pointed out the Red Line rankings. The last edition is still sitting on my desk unopened.

    I guess what will come as a surprise to most is that Vlad Namestnikov is not on this list seeing that most had him ahead of Khokhlachev. But I always thought Alex was being underrated in a lot of lists and there are some questions about Vlad`s game. I`m not surprised really, just happy to see more than just Red Line coming around.

    The surprise for me is Hamilton at 10 because this was done before the playoffs (or at least the conference finals) and he really did not have a great conference final.

  2. I would imagine that this list was completed before the U-18's as JT Miller, Oscar Klefbom, and Connor Murphy could be in top 30. Lucia & Chris Gibson are reaches.

  3. Surprised that Beaulieu is ranked at #18. Is he dropping, or have some people just been overrating him?

  4. Not having Scheifelle in the top 30 is a big surprise. I would pick Scheifelle before Zack Phillips without a doubt in the draft.