Let the countdown to the 2009 NHL Entry Draft begin.
With a little more than six months to go until the next wave of NHL futures are ushered into the spotlight when the hockey world descends in Montreal, it’s time to look at who the top prospects are.
We polled scouts from across the NHL on who they had ranked among the top prospects eligible for this summer’s selection process. In turn, we used a formula to amalgamate all the lists into one master ranking for you to analyze and debate.
As expected, London’s John Tavares tops the charts fresh off a tremendous showing at the World Junior Championship. Victor Hedman, Tavares’ running mate for the No. 1 slot, came in at No. 2 in convincing fashion.
The following rankings are based on best player available and not based on team needs.
Impressive WJC and scoring prowess comparable to Brett Hull
A physical specimen who will intimidate, especially if he develops a mean streak
Tons of speed and a great release; blowing away last season’s offensive totals
Powerful skater is a nightmare to knock off the puck, but needs to finish more often
A towering stay-at-home defender with plenty of experience for a junior player and a Memorial Cup ring
A powerful frame with lots of room to grow; has become an offensive force this season
Excellent playmaker has a solid NHL frame to work with; brother Luke plays for the Leafs
Small figure, but quick skating ability and soft hands translate well into “new NHL”
Well-rounded player who doesn't shy away from rough stuff; held scoreless at WJC
An imposing figure, Despres will be looked upon more for his shutdown ability over his offensive prowess
Continues to improve rapidly since his rookie season; will benefit further from another long playoff run
One of the best offensive defenseman in the ‘Q’ this year; Kulikov is deadly on the power play
Tough defender to deal with down low also possesses wicked offensive potential
Committed to Colorado College, Moore has the complete package of skills, plus great size
Undersized offensive wizard can do anything and everything from the point on the power play
Hardworking student of the game skates well and is producing at a steady clip
Has ability to create offense from the backend; skates well for his size
Fastest skater at CHL skills competition, father Ray was an NHLer; scoring prowess clearly inherited
American phenom is a prodigious scorer who excels on the power play
A consistent scorer with the Wheat Kings, but can he do it without Schenn on his line?
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