2011 NHL Entry Draft: Adam Larsson, Sean Couturier and the Top 30 Prospects

James CriderCorrespondent IMarch 3, 2011

2011 NHL Entry Draft: Adam Larsson, Sean Couturier and the Top 30 Prospects

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    BUFFALO, NY - JANUARY 03: Artemi Panarin #27 and Artyom Voronin #15  of Russia skate against Adam Larsson #5 and Max Friberg #14 of  Sweden during the 2011 IIHF World U20 Championship Semi Final game between Sweden and Russia on January 3, 2011 in Buffalo
    Rick Stewart/Getty Images

    With many NHL teams well out of playoff position, it's up to the NHL entry draft to provide a glimmer of hope to ailing fans.

    The 2011 draft has good depth at all positions aside from goaltender, of which one or fewer may be selected in the first round.

    The draft is also unique in the fact that there are four top players—Adam Larsson, Sean Couturier, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Gabriel Landeskog—who have a high chance of being selected first overall.

30. Left Wing Shane Prince

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    TORONTO, CAN - JANUARY 19:  Shane Prince #14 of Team Cherry skates against Team Orr in the 2011 Home Hardware Top Prospects game on January 19, 2011 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Canada. Team Orr defeated Team Cherry 7-1. (Photo by Claus Andersen/G
    Claus Andersen/Getty Images

    League: OHL

    Team: Ottawa 67's

    GP: 54

    G: 25

    A: 57

    PIM: 16

29. Defenseman Joe Morrow

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    TORONTO, CAN - JANUARY 19:  Joe Morrow #27 of Team Cherry skates with the puck in a game against Team Orr in the 2011 Home Hardware Top Prospects game on January 19, 2011 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Canada. Team Orr defeated Team Cherry 7-1. (Pho
    Claus Andersen/Getty Images

    League: WHL

    Team: Portland Winterhawks

    GP: 51

    G: 9

    A: 34

    PIM: 60

28. Center Zach Phillips

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    League: QMJHL

    Team: Saint John Sea Dogs

    GP: 59

    G: 35

    A: 52

    PIM: 14

27. Center Lucas Lessio

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    TORONTO, CAN - JANUARY 19:  Scott Harrington #6 of Team Cherry holds Lucas Lessio #38 of Team Orr in check in the 2011 Home Hardware Top Prospects game on January 19, 2011 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Canada. Team Orr defeated Team Cherry 7-1. (Ph
    Claus Andersen/Getty Images

    League: OHL

    Team: Oshawa Generals

    GP: 57

    G: 23

    A: 24

    PIM: 58

26. Right Wing Nicklas Jensen

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    TORONTO, CAN - JANUARY 19:  Nicklas Jensen #17 of Team Cherry skates against Team Orr in the 2011 Home Hardware Top Prospects game on January 19, 2011 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Canada. Team Orr defeated Team Cherry 7-1. (Photo by Claus Andersen
    Claus Andersen/Getty Images

    League: OHL

    Team: Oshawa Generals

    GP: 52

    G: 26

    A: 26

    PIM: 36

25. Defenseman Jamie Oleksiak

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    League: H-East

    Team: Northeastern University

    GP: 32

    G: 3

    A: 9

    PIM: 49

24. Goaltender John Gibson

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    TORONTO - AUGUST 17: John Gibson poses for a portrait during the 2010 NHL Research, development and orientation camp at the Mastercard Centre for Hockey Excellence August 17, 2010 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Graig Abel/Getty Images)
    Graig Abel/Getty Images

    League: USHL

    Team: U.S. National Development Team

    GP: 12

    W: 6

    GAA: 2.36

    SV%: 0.927

23. Center Boone Jenner

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    TORONTO, CAN - JANUARY 19:  Boone Jenner #12 of Team Orr skates against Team Cherry in the 2011 Home Hardware Top Prospects game on January 19, 2011 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Canada. Team Orr defeated Team Cherry 7-1. (Photo by Claus Andersen/G
    Claus Andersen/Getty Images

    League: OHL

    Team: Oshawa Generals

    GP: 54

    G: 20

    A: 36

    PIM: 47

22. Right Wing Rickard Rakell

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    TORONTO, CAN - JANUARY 19:  Stuart Percy #5 of Team Orr flips a puck away from the oncoming Rickard Rakell #25 of Team Cherry in the 2011 Home Hardware Top Prospects game on January 19, 2011 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Canada. Team Orr defeated T
    Claus Andersen/Getty Images

    League: OHL

    Team: Plymouth Whalers

    GP: 49

    G: 19

    A: 24

    PIM: 12

21. Center Mark McNeill

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    TORONTO, CAN - JANUARY 19:  Mark McNeill #10 of Team Cherry skates against Team Orr in the 2011 Home Hardware Top Prospects game on January 19, 2011 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Canada. Team Orr defeated Team Cherry 7-1. (Photo by Claus Andersen/G
    Claus Andersen/Getty Images

    League: WHL

    Team: Prince Albert Raiders

    GP: 62

    G: 25

    A: 39

    PIM: 49

20. Center Mark Scheifele

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    TORONTO, CAN - JANUARY 19:  Mark Scheifele #19 of Team Cherry skates against Team Orr in the 2011 Home Hardware Top Prospects game on January 19, 2011 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Canada. Team Orr defeated Team Cherry 7-1. (Photo by Claus Andersen
    Claus Andersen/Getty Images

    League: OHL

    Team: Barrie Colts

    GP: 58

    G: 16

    A: 47

    PIM: 35

19. Defenseman David Musil

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    TORONTO, CAN - JANUARY 19:  David Musil #6 of Team Orr skates against Team Cherry in the 2011 Home Hardware Top Prospects game on January 19, 2011 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Canada. Team Orr defeated Team Cherry 7-1. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Get
    Claus Andersen/Getty Images

    League: WHL

    Team: Vancouver Giants

    GP: 53

    G: 5

    A: 19

    PIM: 64

18. Left Wing Matt Puempel

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    TORONTO, CAN - JANUARY 19:  Matt Puempel #18 of Team Cherry skates against Team Orr in the 2011 Home Hardware Top Prospects game on January 19, 2011 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Canada. Team Orr defeated Team Cherry 7-1. (Photo by Claus Andersen/G
    Claus Andersen/Getty Images

    League: OHL

    Team: Peterborough Petes

    GP: 55

    G: 34

    A: 35

    PIM: 49

17. Center Victor Rask

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    League: SWE-1

    Team: Leksand

    GP: 37

    G: 5

    A: 6

    PIM: 8

16. Right Wing Joel Armia

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    BUFFALO, NY - DECEMBER 31: Forward Joel Armia #20 of Finland during the 2011 IIHF World U20 Championship game between Slovakia and Finland on December 31, 2010 at HSBC Arena in Buffalo, New York. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
    Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

    League: SM-liiga

    Team: Assat Pori

    GP: 47

    G: 18

    A: 10

    PIM: 24

15. Left Wing Sven Bartschi

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    TORONTO, CAN - JANUARY 19:  Myles Bell #4 of Team Cherry holds Sven Bartschi #25 of Team Orr in check in the 2011 Home Hardware Top Prospects game on January 19, 2011 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Canada. Team Orr defeated Team Cherry 7-1. (Photo b
    Claus Andersen/Getty Images

    League: WHL

    Team: Portland Winterhawks

    GP: 58

    G: 30

    A: 46

    PIM: 66

14. Right Wing Ty Rattie

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    TORONTO, CAN - JANUARY 19:  Ty Rattie #8 of Team Cherry skates against Team Orr in the 2011 Home Hardware Top Prospects game on January 19, 2011 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Canada. Team Orr defeated Team Cherry 7-1. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty
    Claus Andersen/Getty Images

    League: WHL

    Team: Portland Winterhawks

    GP: 61

    G: 46

    A: 73

    PIM: 51

13. Defenseman Jonas Brodin

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    League: SEL

    Team: Farjestads BK Karlstad

    GP: 40

    G: 0

    A: 3

    PIM: 12

12. Defenseman Nathan Beaulieu

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    TORONTO, CAN - JANUARY 19:  Nathan Beaulieu #28 of Team Orr skates against Team Cherry in the 2011 Home Hardware Top Prospects game on January 19, 2011 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Canada. Team Orr defeated Team Cherry 7-1. (Photo by Claus Anderse
    Claus Andersen/Getty Images

    League: QMJHL

    Team: Saint John Sea Dogs

    GP: 57

    G: 12

    A: 28

    PIM: 46

11. Center Jonathan Huberdeau

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    TORONTO, CAN - JANUARY 19:  Tobias Rieder #9 of Team Cherry tries to stop Jonathan Huberdeau #11 of Team Orr from getting a pass away in the 2011 Home Hardware Top Prospects game on January 19, 2011 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Canada. Team Orr de
    Claus Andersen/Getty Images

    League: QMJHL

    Team: Saint John Sea Dogs

    GP: 59

    G: 36

    A: 55

    PIM: 76

10. Center Ryan Strome

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    TORONTO, CAN - JANUARY 19:  Ryan Strome #16 of Team Cherry skates against Team Orr in the 2011 Home Hardware Top Prospects game on January 19, 2011 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Canada. Team Orr defeated Team Cherry 7-1. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Ge
    Claus Andersen/Getty Images

    League: OHL

    Team: Niaga IceDogs

    GP: 56

    G: 28

    A: 64

    PIM: 74

9. Defenseman Duncan Siemens

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    TORONTO, CAN - JANUARY 19:  Duncan Siemens #5 of Team Cherry fights against David Musil #6 of Team Orr in the 2011 Home Hardware Top Prospects game on January 19, 2011 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Canada. Team Orr defeated Team Cherry 7-1. (Photo
    Claus Andersen/Getty Images

    League: WHL

    Team: Saskatoon Blades

    GP: 63

    G: 5

    A: 32

    PIM: 102

8. Left Wing Brandon Saad

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    TORONTO, CAN - JANUARY 19:  Brandon Saad #22 of Team Orr skates against Team Cherry in the 2011 Home Hardware Top Prospects game on January 19, 2011 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Canada. Team Orr defeated Team Cherry 7-1. (Photo by Claus Andersen/G
    Claus Andersen/Getty Images

    League: OHL

    Team: Saginaw Spirit

    GP: 52

    G: 26

    A: 23

    PIM: 38

7. Right Wing Tyler Biggs

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    League: USHL

    Team: U.S. National Development Team

    GP: 14

    G: 5

    A: 2

    PIM: 35

6. Defenseman Dougie Hamilton

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    TORONTO, CAN - JANUARY 19:  Dougie Hamilton #27 of Team Orr skates against Team Cherry in the 2011 Home Hardware Top Prospects game on January 19, 2011 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Canada. Team Orr defeated Team Cherry 7-1. (Photo by Claus Anderse
    Claus Andersen/Getty Images

    League: OHL

    Team: Niaga IceDogs

    GP: 58

    G: 11

    A: 39

    PIM: 69

5. Defenseman Ryan Murphy

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    TORONTO, CAN - JANUARY 19:  Ryan Murphy #24 of Team Cherry skates away from the check of Boone Jenner #12 of  Team Orr in the 2011 Home Hardware Top Prospects game on January 19, 2011 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Canada. Team Orr defeated Team Che
    Claus Andersen/Getty Images

    Ryan Murphy may not be the first defenseman selected in 2011, but his offensive skill level is unmatched. While there may be size concerns for the 5'10", 160-pound Murphy, the offensive-minded defenseman will go as early as top five in the draft due to his poise with the puck and his potential as an elite power-play quarterback.

    League: OHL

    Team: Kitchener Rangers

    GP: 59

    G: 25

    A: 52

    PIM: 34

4. Center Sean Couturier

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    TORONTO, CAN - JANUARY 19:  Sean Couturier #7 of Team Cherry skates with the puck against Team Orr in the 2011 Home Hardware Top Prospects game on January 19, 2011 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Canada. Team Orr defeated Team Cherry 7-1. (Photo by C
    Claus Andersen/Getty Images

    Once you reach the top four picks in 2011, it's basically anyone's guess as to who could go first overall. The 6'4" Couturier looks to translate into a two-way center in the NHL, very much in the mold of Jordan Staal.

    League: QMJHL

    Team: Drummondville Voltigeurs

    GP: 51

    G: 34

    A: 54

    PIM: 29

3. Left Wing Gabriel Landeskog

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    LAKE PLACID, NY - AUGUST 05:  Gabriel Landeskog #12 of Team Sweden skates against Team Finland at the USA Hockey National Evaluation Camp on August 5, 2010 in Lake Placid, New York.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
    Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

    Landeskog is a rare example of a Swedish player playing and succeeding in the CHL. Putting together an impressive offensive season with the Rangers, Landeskog is also a player who's very responsible defensively and gets involved physically. He may be a candidate to make the jump to the NHL in 2012.

    League: OHL

    Team: Kitchener Rangers

    GP: 45

    G: 33

    A: 29

    PIM: 55

2. Center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins

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    TORONTO, CAN - JANUARY 19:  Ryan Nugent-Hopkins #9 of Team Orr skates against Team Cherry in the 2011 Home Hardware Top Prospects game on January 19, 2011 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Canada. Team Orr defeated Team Cherry 7-1. (Photo by Claus Ande
    Claus Andersen/Getty Images

    Ryan Nugent-Hopkins likely possesses the most offensive upside of any player in the 2011 draft. The play-making center has 87 points this season with the Rebels, and he will likely be the first choice of an NHL club looking for a center.

    League: WHL

    Team: Red Deer Rebels

    GP: 62

    G: 20

    A: 67

    PIM: 43

1. Defenseman Adam Larsson

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    BUFFALO, NY - DECEMBER 31: Defenseman Adam Larsson #5 of Sweden during the 2011 IIHF World U20 Championship game between Canada and Sweden on December 31, 2010 at HSBC Arena in Buffalo, New York. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
    Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

    Playing his third season in the Swedish Elite League, Adam Larsson appears to be the top choice in 2011, and he will be a mainstay on the blue line of whichever team drafts him.

    League: SEL

    Team: Skelleftea HC

    GP: 35

    G: 1

    A: 8

    PIM: 41