The absolutely brilliant Corey Pronman of Hockey Prospectus, who is one of many who proclaim to be Draft Gurus but one of the few who has shown themselves to be truly knowledgeable, has published his latest top 100 drafted NHL prospects.  Check it out here.

A couple of points:

  • Despite being an Oiler fan, and despite him being the latest No.1 Overall pick, I’m a little surprised – pleasantly – that Yakupov is top of the list.  He must be good 🙂  I just thought that someone like Granlund would be ahead.
  • There is a lot of exciting European talent heading the NHL’s way, led by Granlund but also including the likes of Kuznetsov, Tarasenko, Grigorenko, Teravainen, Yakupov, Forsberg, Brodin, Zibanejad, Erixon, Baertschi.  The future of the Russian International team looks particularly good, although they could use some defence, but we must all remember that not every prospect will turn into an NHLer, let alone a bonafide star.  Still, all those prospects look mighty fine at the moment.
  • Even the secondary batch of Euros look nice: Kabanov, Nyquist, Jarnkrok, Galiev, Namestnikov, Faksa, Aberg and Collberg, not to mention many more.
  • This should be an exciting next few years for European players, although it is a shame about the apparent decline of the Czech and Slovak development systems.  Hopefully we get some more come through soon, as at the moment the only notable prospects (that I can think of) coming out of there are Faksa, and the Twin Slovakian Towers Marincin and Gernat.
  • Wow do the Minnesota Wild have a lot of talent coming up through the pipeline.  And not just talent, top-of-the-range talent.  Minnesota have sucked forever at drafting, but the last couple of years they’ve really figured it out and have some outstanding prospects coming through: Granlund, Brodin, Dumba, Coyle, Phillips, Larsson.  Whilst most are excited at the prospect of having high quality veteran players Parise, Suter, Heatley, Koivu and Backstrom playing, I think it’s the future for this club that is more exciting.  The most boring team in hockey might have finally found themselves a new identity.
  • The Canadians don’t have nearly as dominating a presence as they used to, with Huberdeau and Hamilton being the two highest rated prospects at 5th and 8th respectively.  Still a lot of talent, but not the same as what we’re used to seeing.  That was evident in the latest draft.  Whilst there was still a significant Canadian presence, there wasn’t the same star power that we’re used to seeing (compare Murray, Reinhart and Reilly to Nugent Hopkins, Huberdeau and Strome, or Hall, Seguin and Gudbranson and I’d argue that there is a gap in the top-end potential of the latter 6 to the former 3).



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