Hello there again all my draft lovers,
The amateur hockey seasons as well as the Euro leagues are just starting to get underway, and with that comes another year of watching those draft prospects as we watch the boys whose rights will be selected next June.
We are coming off one of the most hyped draft classes in many seasons, with sterling names like Tavares, Hedman, Duchene, and Kane leading the head of the '09 class. The depth in the class was also enormous at the top and throughout the second round, the percentage of players taken in the top 40 in my opinoin have a shot to be one of the highest success percentages in terms of making the NHL in recent history.
We head to the 2010 class though, and with it at the head comes names like Taylor Hall and Kirill Kabanov. Both are exceptionally, explosive left wingers who have very elite skillsets.
Hall has been touted since his Bantam years and as of now is the favorite to go No. 1 to whoever is unfortunate enough to bomb this season. Rounding out the top of the class is former OHL No. 1 pick John McFarland, the juggernaut from the point in Cam Fowler, the two way skilled forward in Tyler Seguin and the dazzling Fin in Mikael Granlund.
In my honest opinion in this following league year, all have at least a somewhat decent shot to make a run to be No. 1 although they will have to battle hard to dethrone Hall (and/or he sucks).
The 2010 class lacks the depth of the '09 class, however, no longer are there any true possible first liner/pairings players past 20 or at least one who at the moment look like they have a good shot at becoming one.
Anyways, here are my preseason rankings for the 2010 class, there will be a midseason update as well as a final ranking, the legend follows.
Rank. Name, Position, Team—League:
1. Kirill Kabanov, Left Wing, Moscow—Spartak Russia 91
2. Taylor Hall, Left Wing, Windsor Spitfires—OHL
3. Tyler Seguin, Centre, Plymouth Whalers—OHL
4. Cam Fowler, Defense, USA—U-18 NTDP
5. John McFarland, Centre, Sudbury Wolves—OHL
6. Mikael Granlund, Centre, Karpat—Finland Jr. A
7. Brett Connolly, Left Wing, Prince George Cougars—WHL
8. Eric Gudbranson, Defense, Kingston Frontenacs—OHL
9. Brandon Gormley, Defense, Moncton Wildcats—QMJHL
10. Vladimir Tarasenko, Left Wing, Novosibirsk—KHL
11. Stanislav Galiev, Left Wing, Indiana Ice—USHL
12. Joey Hishon, Centre, Owen Sound Attack—OHL
13. Jordan Weal, Centre, Regina Pats—WHL
14. Ryan Spooner, Centre, Peterborough Petes—OHL
15. Evgeny Kuznetsov, Centre, Mechel—2 Russia 91
16. Tyler Toffoli, Right Wing, Ottawa 67’s—OHL
17. Jeffrey Skinner, Centre, Kitchener Rangers—OHL
18. Mark Pysyk, Defense, Edmonton Oil King—WHL
19. Teemu Pulkkinen, Right Wing, Jokerit—Finland Jr. A
20. Curtis Hamilton, Left Wing, Saskatoon Blades—WHL
21. Austin Watson, Right Wing, Windsor Spitfires—OHL
22. Maxim Kitsyn, Left Wing, Novokuznetsk Mettalburg—KHL
23. Jonathan Merrill, Defence, USA—U-17 NTDP
24. Victor Ohman, Right Wing, Malmo IF Redhawks—SuperElit
25. Alexander Burmistrov, Centre, Kazan AK Bars—2 Russia 91
26. Steven Shipley, Left Wing, Owen Sound Attack—OHL
27. Tom Kuhnackl, Centre, Landshut EV Jr—Germany 2
28. Nick Mattson, Defense, USA—U-18 NTDP
29. Stephen Silas, Defence, Belleville Bulls—OHL
30. Ben Duffy, Centre, PEI Rocket—QMJHL
1. Kabanov ahead of Hall is not a knock on Taylor but more of just how good Kirill is, also its pretty close and could swing either way, both are exceptional players.
2. Russia strikes with force with a top of the line prospect as well as two in the Top 10 and five in the Top 30. Mother Russia did not appreciate their 2009 draft class.
3. The lack of defense is notable, the last few drafts have pumped up plenty of great defenders at the top of the draft, but unless theres two or more Oliver Ekmans who just come out of nowhere, this year its going to be Folwer, Gubrandon and Gormley. Great players, but hardly a blow you away assemblage of defense. There's no middle class really, just a top of the class.
4. As I eluded to before there's not as much meat towards the latter end of the Top 30.
Here are other lists for your viewing pleasure:
Bob McKenzie's Top 10:
1. Taylor Hall
2. Cam Fowler
3. Tyler Seguin
4. Kirill Kabanov
5. Brett Connolly
6. John McFarland
7. Brandon Gormley
8. Erik Gudbranson
9. Vladimir Tarasenko
10. Mikael Granlund
International Scouting Services Top 10:
1. Taylor Hall, LW
2. John McFarland, C
3. Kirill Kabanov, LW
4. Cam Fowler, D
5. Tyler Seguin, C
6. Vladimir Tarasenko, RW
7. Mikael Granlund, LW
8. Joey Hishon, C
9. Erik Gudbranson, D
10. Evgeny Kuznetsov, RW
Let the 2010 NHL Draft season begin!