NHL Draft Start Time 2012: Centers You Can't Miss in Early Goings

Ryan RudnanskySenior Writer IJune 22, 2012

Photo Credit: Metcalfe Photography
Photo Credit: Metcalfe Photography

The 2012 NHL draft is finally almost here and we're all wondering who will go where.

There are some impressive prospects at the center position this year, ready to prove their worth on the big stage. Whoever lands these guys should be mighty happy down the line.

Here are center prospects you can't miss as the draft kicks off at 7 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Network.

Alex Galchenyuk, Sarnia (OHL)

Alex Galchenyuk is a fantastic prospect who figures to be selected in the top five picks on Friday. He may not be the most explosive of prospects, and he's coming off a torn ACL, but his overall skill set and intangibles make him hard to pass up early on. You name it, Galchenyuk has it: playmaking ability, vision, shooting and smarts.

It also doesn't hurt that his work ethic is phenomenal. This is the kind of player who has the ability to run an entire offense. He could go as high as No. 3 overall in the draft.

Mikhail Grigorenko, Quebec (QMJHL)

There are plenty of concerns about Mikhail Grigorenko, some of them unwarranted—lack of desire, fear of him bolting for the WHL—but in a draft class that doesn't figure to be spectacular, Grigorenko is a man amongst boys on the ice.  

Grigorenko is above-average in skating, shooting, playmaking, puck control and finishing. The only thing that will hold him back in the NHL is himself. He has the potential to be a top-five pick, and should surely land in the Top 10.

Radek Faksa, Kitchener (OHL)

Radek Faksa proved his worth this past season when he racked up 29 goals and 67 points in 62 games for Kitchener. He's big, he plays gritty and he can hurt you on both offense and defense. His strength, physical play and finishing ability completes a promising package and he figures to be a difference-maker in the NHL for a long time.

He's not the most explosive prospect and he isn't going to lead the charge like Galchenyuk, but his two-way ability should see him form a solid career in the league.

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