My favorite, Gabriel Landeskog (and rumored Florida Panther target), ranks second for North American skaters, Sean Couturier falls to sixth and Dougie Hamilton jumps into the top five as the draft's second best D.
|1||NUGENT-HOPKINS, RYAN||WHL||04/12/93||6' 0.5"||164||C||69||31||75||106||51|
|2||LANDESKOG, GABRIEL||OHL||11/23/92||6' 0.5"||207||LW||53||36||30||66||61|
|3||HUBERDEAU, JONATHAN||QMJHL||06/04/93||6' 1.25"||170||C||67||43||62||105||88|
|4||HAMILTON, DOUGIE||OHL||06/17/93||6' 4.25"||187||D||67||12||46||58||77|
|5||BEAULIEU, NATHAN||QMJHL||12/05/92||6' 1.75"||174||D||65||12||33||45||52|
|6||COUTURIER, SEAN||QMJHL||12/07/92||6' 4"||197||C||58||36||60||96||36|
|7||BAERTSCHI, SVEN||WHL||10/05/92||5' 10"||181||LW||66||34||51||85||74|
|8||STROME, RYAN||OHL||07/11/93||6' 0"||175||C||65||33||73||106||2|
|9||MURPHY, RYAN||OHL||03/31/93||5' 10.5"||166||D||63||26||53||79||36|
|10||SIEMENS, DUNCAN||WHL||09/07/93||6' 2.5"||192||D||72||5||38||43||121|
|11||NAMESTNIKOV, VLADISLAV||OHL||11/22/92||5' 11.5"||166||C||68||30||38||68||49|
|12||MORROW, JOSEPH||WHL||12/09/92||6' 0.25"||197||D||60||9||40||49||67|
|13||OLEKSIAK, JAMIESON||H-EAST||12/21/92||6' 7"||244||D||34||3||9||12||51|
|14||MCNEILL, MARK||WHL||02/22/93||6' 1.5"||201||C||70||32||49||81||53|
|15||PHILLIPS, ZACK||QMJHL||10/28/92||6' 1"||178||C||67||38||57||95||16|
*top 15 only*
In Europe, Adam Larsson remains top dog and will most likely go in the top three. Sweden is the dominant country, with Larsson, forward Mika Zibanejad and D Jonas Brodin as the top three skaters.
|1||LARSSON, ADAM||SWEDEN||11/12/92||6' 3"||200||D||37||1||8||9||41|
|2||ZIBANEJAD, MIKA||SWEDEN||04/18/93||6' 1.5"||191||C||26||5||4||9||2|
|3||BRODIN, JONAS||SWEDEN||07/12/93||6' 1"||169||D||42||0||4||4||12|
|4||ARMIA, JOEL||FINLAND||05/31/93||6' 3"||191||RW||48||18||11||29||24|
|5||JASKIN, DMITRI||CZREP||03/23/93||6' 1"||196||RW||33||3||7||10||16|
|6||KLEFBOM, OSCAR||SWEDEN||07/20/93||6' 3.5"||200||D||23||1||1||2||2|
|7||SALOMAKI, MIIKKA||FINLAND||03/09/93||5' 11"||198||RW||40||4||6||10||53|
|8||NERMARK, JOACHIM||SWE-JR.||05/12/93||6' 1"||187||C||37||8||18||26||16|
|9||GRANLUND, MARKUS||FINLAND-JR.||04/16/93||5' 10"||169||C||40||20||32||52||49|
|10||BENGTSSON, RASMUS||SWEDEN-2||05/14/93||6' 2.5"||189||D||45||2||7||9||6|
|11||HOFMANN, GREGORY||SWISS||11/13/92||6' 0"||170||C||41||3||9||12||2|
|12||RASK, VICTOR||SWEDEN-2||03/01/93||6' 1.5"||194||C||37||5||6||11||8|
|13||FRIBERG, MAX||SWEDEN-3||11/20/92||5' 11"||185||LW||34||13||27||40||6|
|14||BOYCE ROTEVALL, JEREMY||SWEDEN||08/28/93||6' 0"||169||LW||33||1||2||3||4|
|15||JOHANSSON, KARL||SWE-JR.||01/21/93||5' 8.5"||167||D||35||6||5||11||49|
*top 15 only*
The Florida Panthers finished with the third-worst record in the NHL this year and most likely will have the third overall pick. With their deep, young core of defenseman, it is expected that they are going to take a forward.
With Nugent-Hopkins most likely going in the first two picks, the Panthers could take Swede Gabriel Landeskog of the OHL. Landeskog, according to scouts, may not be the best player in the draft, but is the most complete and NHL-ready player.
Nugent-Hopkins and Larsson are considered to be the best of the draft, although I wouldn't put Landeskog far behind them.
If Nugent-Hopkins falls to the Panthers, I would not be unhappy. This is a possibility as the Edmonton Oilers are stocked with young offensive talent, but lack any defensive talent. They could take Larsson first, and the Panthers could get second in the lottery.
However, the Panthers are attracted to Landeskog's leadership capabilities. They need their Mike Richards or Jonathan Toews. Nugent-Hopkins, while more talented offensively, does not have natural leadership qualities like Landeskog.
A key to drafting players is not always taking the best available player overall, but rather the best available player that matches your wants and needs. Hopefully, Landeskog turns out to be both for the Florida Panthers.
We will know more as June 24th approaches.
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Original article @ www.zelepuckin.blogspot.com