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The bottom teams will need to improve and the best way to do this is through the draft. The following are five picks that could make that difference.
Sean Couturier (LW)
Current Team: Drummondville Voltigeurs
Stats: 68GP: 41G, 55A, 96P
Sean Couturier is exactly what any of these teams need. At the age of 17 he managed to lead the entire QMJHL in scoring with 96 points. The year before he played a solid part in the Voltigeurs championship run.
Needless to say he has done quite a lot already, and he still has more to come. Another full year in junior will be very beneficial to the New Brunswick native. More time to hone is skills, and a shot with the World Junior team will make Sean a very dangerous forward.
Adam Larsson (D)
Current Team: Skellefteå
Stats: 49GP: 4G, 13A, 17P
When you think of Adam Larsson the first name that comes to mind is Victor Hedman. Larsson and Hedman are very similar hockey players. Both Swedish born defenders Larsson and Hedman are very gifted in their own end, but they both have great offensive potential.
Playing in the Swedish Elites at the age of 17 Larsson has already accomplished more then any other defencemen has ever done in the Elites at his age(including Hedman). Larsson has been absolutely stellar, and has sky high potential.
Matt Puempel (LW)
Current Team: Peterborough Petes
Stats: 59GP: 33G, 31A, 64P
Matt Puempel is the reigning Ontario Hockey League and Canadian Hockey League rookie of the year. Matt is a very gifted forward with tremendous heart, and a strong will to win. While his offense speaks for itself his tenacity is what really drives him. Not afraid to do all the dirty work Matt gives 110% every night.
Another year with the Petes playing with Ryan Spooner (Bos 45th pick 2010) and Austin Watson (Nas 18th pick 2010) will definitely elevate his game, and could form one of the deadliest trios in the league, whichever team drafts Matt will not be disappointed.
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (C)
Current Team: Red Deer Rebels
Stats: 67GP, 24G, 41A, 65P
Nugent-Hopkins was the Western Hockey leagues rookie of the year, and with some pretty impressive rookies this was a very great and well deserved win. Playing with Willie Coetzee was great as the two really connected to create a dangerous first line.
Hopkins can play both ends of the ice effectively, but his skating and solid hands are what really seperates him from most of the pack. A solid U-18 tournament this year and another year with the Rebels will really show to the hockey world what Ryan brings to the table.
Seth Ambroz (LW)
Current Team: Omaha Lancers
Stats: 56GP, 22G, 27A, 49P
Seth Ambroz is blooming into a solid power forward type player, he can hit like a truck, he gets dirty and he can throw down the gloves with the best of them. After ripping it up in the United States High School league Seth has made the transition to the USHL, and has done fairly well. After two seasons with the Lancers Seth has proven he can still play at a high level.
His vision is good he has a decent shot, and he knows just where to stand.Committed to the University of Minnesota Seth will really get to prove himself, and will be a huge factor in his draft rankings. If he can play at the same level he would be a perfect fit in the NHL.