The top 10 is the most coveted spot to be in for any draft. Many players make the leap from the top 10 into the NHL right away, and have made huge impacts for their teams.
Looking back just at the last three drafts the likes of: Steven Stamkos, Drew Doughty, Patrick Kane, Zach Bogosian, and Matt Duchene have all come out of this elite group. This year their is a lot of talent in the top 10, and we could see some very high impact players join the NHL ranks next season.
10. New York Rangers: Alexander Burmistrov (C)
Current Team: Barrie Colts
Stats: 62GP, 22G, 43A, 65P
Burmistrov will gain a lot of experience playing on Canada’s best major junior team. The Colts will likely have a long run, and could potentially make it to the Memorial Cup. Burmistrov is currently in his first season in North America, and is a pivotal part of this Colts squad.
Burmistrov is not the most explosive skater in the draft, but certainly is no slouch, he is a playmaker more then a sniper, but he is also a serviceable two way forward, who’s not afraid to get into the corners, and battle. Burmistrov could slip out of the top 10 unless he has a stellar playoffs with the Colts
9. Anaheim Ducks: Mikael Granlund (C)
Current Team: HIFK
Stats: 40GP, 13G, 26A, 39P
Granlund has really proven himself as a top 10 pick for the draft. Playing in the elite leagues in Finland Granlund is a near point a game player as a 17-year-old. Granlund is an amazing puck handler, with good vision of everything that’s going on.
Skating is a bit of an issue as he is not as strong on his skates as one would like. Granlund would likely be a top five pick if it weren’t for size and speed, but his amazing ability to control the puck will land him in the top 10.
8. Atlanta Thrashers: Nino Niederreiter (LW)
Current Team: Portland Winterhawks
Stats: 65GP, 36G, 23A, 59P
Niederreiter has really proven himself this year in his first year playing in North America. The next Suisse superstar is a complete package; he has size, speed, agility, and a hard accurate shot. Nino really wasn’t on a lot of radars, but he completely blew scouts away in the World Juniors.
Niederreiter was one of the best players in the tournament, and proved to be a clutch player in key scenarios. Niederreiter could develop into a strong power forward.
7. Tampa Bay Lightning: Kirill Kabanov (LW)
Current Team: Moncton Wildcats
Stats: 21GP, 10G, 13A, 23P
Coming into the season with the Wildcats Kabanov was projected to be atop three pick, and potentially go first overall. However his stock slipped a bit when he injured his wrist in early November. The young Russian started out in '08/'09 in the KHL earning a lot of money, but rarely seeing ice time.
Thus, he decided to joint he major junior ranks, and landed in Moncton. Kabanov is the perfect combination of size speed and skill, and could do just about anything. However his injury and his average play thus far in the “Q” leave more to the imagination, and he will not go as high as projected earlier, but whichever team that drafts him has a potential franchise player in the making.
6. New York Islanders: Vladimir Tarasenko (LW)
Current Team: Sibir
Stats: 42GP, 13G, 11A, 24P
Tarasenko is a very dynamic forward, he is quick on his skates, and has excellent foot work that allows him to glide around defenders with ease. Tarasenko has a quick release shot which is hard and accurate. Physicality may be an issue, because he can be bumped off the puck.
There is no doubting that Tarasenko should be a top 10 based on skill, but the ever present Russian factor is in play, which may deter teams from drafting him so early.
5. Columbus Blue Jackets: Erik Gudbranson (D)
Current Team: Kingston Frontenacs
Stats: 41GP, 2G, 21A, 23P
Gudbranson could go as high as third in the draft depending on where scouts place him. With the Frontenacs this season Gudbranson has been a rock on the back end. At 6’3” he is on the large size for his age, and he plays a more physical edge to his game.
This season he has shown some potential in the offensive side as he is starting to make better more crisp outlet passes. Scouts will look highly upon him as he can play the big minutes, and rarely makes mistakes. Look for Gudbranson to go high.
4. Florida Panthers: Brandon Gormley (D)
Current Team: Moncton Wildcats
Stats: 58GP, 9G, 34A, 43P
Brandon Gormley is another one of those players that could be slotted almost anywhere in the top five. With the Wildcats of the QMJHL Gormley has been the best player on one of the best teams in the country. The only thing likely keeping him out of the top three is that he is slightly smaller then some defensemen.
However, Gormley can play the complete game. At 43 points in 58 games he has proved he has a lot of upside offensively, but he also is very reliable in his own end, and rarely makes bad plays.
3. Carolina Hurricanes: Cam Fowler (D)
Current Team: Windsor Spitfires
Stats: 55GP, 8G, 47A, 55P
The debate can begin on whether or not Fowler truly is the best “D” up for grabs, but for most of the season he has been rated above all others. Fowler is an offensively gifted blue liner who can make a strong outlet pass and get the offence rolling. His transition is the best of any defenseman available, and he is the best powerplay quarterback in the draft.
Fowler made a hard choice going to the Ontario Hockey League over NCAA, but it shows that he wants to make the leap into the NHL right away, and he has all the tools to do it.
2. Boston Bruins: Tyler Seguin (C)
Current Team: Plymouth Whalers
Stats: 63GP, 48G, 28A, 106P
Seguin is currently rated as the top pick according to the ISS, but certain factors will likely keep him from that coveted spot. Seguin is one of the most skilled players in the league, he is very fast on his skates, he can dangle with the best of them, and has a deadly shot.
The knock on him thus far is that he does not play as well in the defensive end as scouts would like. Seguin could be thought of as a Steve Yzerman type of player when he was drafted. The potential is their, but Seguin will have a hard time landing in the first overall spot.
1. Edmonton Oilers: Taylor Hall (LW)
Current Team: Windsor Spitfires
Stats: 57G, 40G, 66A, 106P
Taylor Hall, in all likelihood, will be the first overall pick in the draft. Hall is one of the most dynamic players in the Canadian Hockey League, and could be considered the best player outside the NHL at the moment.
Hall has done just about everything you can do before making the NHL. He is the star player of the reigning Memorial Cup Champion Windsor Spitfires. Hall was the playoff MVP, and the Memorial Cup MVP. Hall has a silver medal from the World Juniors in which he was named an all-star of the tournament, and will likely be named the OHL and CHL MVP for the '09/'10 season.
Hall has the most complete skill set of the bunch, and will be able to jump into the NHL next season and make a big impact for whoever drafts him.
Due to the fact that the standings have changed a follow-up article will be written shortly with complete up to date standings, and player movement.
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