2012 NHL Draft Prospects: Power Ranking Class' Elite Players

David DanielsSenior Writer IJune 21, 2012

CALGARY, CANADA - JANUARY 5:  Nail Yakupov #10 of Team Russia waits for a face-off during the 2012 World Junior Hockey Championship Gold Medal game against Team Sweden at the Scotiabank Saddledome on January 5, 2012 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.  Team Sweden defeated Team Russia 1-0 in overtime.  (Photo by Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images)
Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images

A new era is approaching.

The 2012 NHL Draft will be held this weekend, and in it the future of the league will be introduced. Here are five dominant players that’ll hear their names called right off the bat.


5. Teuvo Teravainen, Left Wing

The 17-year-old Teravainen needs to add weight at only 165 pounds, but his speed makes you forget about his lack of size quickly. He then complements that athleticism with an extremely high hockey IQ.

Chip Alexander of the News Observer reports that Carolina Hurricanes Director of Amateur Scouting Tony MacDonald said of Teravainen:

“He’s similar in stature and style and skill to Patrick Kane. This kid has that kind of skill. He’s a Patrick Kane style player.”


4. Filip Forsberg, Left Wing

Forsberg is an offensive juggernaut. He’s capable of scoring at will with an off-the-chain skill set. And while his ability to put the puck in the net is top-notch, Forsberg’s phenomenal passing ability is often overlooked because he’s such an amazing scorer.

CALGARY, CANADA - JANUARY 3:  Mikael Granlund #20 of Team Finland skates with the puck while being chased by Filip Forsberg #16 of Team Sweden during the 2012 World Junior Hockey Championship Semifinal game at the Saddledome on January 3, 2012 in Calgary,
Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images


3. Alex Galchenyuk, Centre

Galchenyuk does it all. He’s a prospect that truly makes everyone around him look better (on his team, that is—he has the stickhandling to make opposing defenders look silly.

Seth Rorabaugh of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette tweeted that the NHL player that Galchenyuk studies the most isn’t too bad.


Alex Galchenyuk said he tries to model his game after Evgeni Malkin.

— Seth Rorabaugh (@emptynetters) June 20, 2012


2. Ryan Murray, Defence

Murray is a competitive force of nature. He isn’t the flashiest guy on the ice, but he’s the type of player that fans fall in love with. His intelligence, toughness and fluid skating will translate to him being a defensive fiend.


1. Nail Yakupov, Right Wing

Yakupov is the consensus No. 1 pick in the NHL Draft, and no one else is even close to him. He doesn’t look like a physical freak at 5’11”, 190 pounds, but if you blink, he’ll blow right by you with unparalleled athleticism.

Yakupov isn’t all talent, though; he’s an elite competitor as well that doesn’t play just to put up big numbers but to win.


David Daniels is a featured columnist at Bleacher Report and a syndicated writer.