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Top 10: 2012 Draft Eligible North American Skaters

As per NHL Central Scouting here are the top 10 ranked North American Skaters. With the NHL draft commencing on June 22, 2012 here is some information to wet your whistle.

1. Nail Yakupov, RW
Sarna, OHL
5′ 10.5″
189 lbs.
Via NHL Central Scouting’s Chris Edwards:

“His first step and ability to control bouncing pucks, knock them down and make a play are the best of any of the guys in the draft, in my opinion. He really gets up to top speed very quickly and his hands are outstanding. Like Pavel Bure, Yakupov is dangerous every shift. He may not have been dominant on every shift like Bure was, but he created something every shift … you have to be aware where he is on the ice all the time.”

2. Ryan Murray, D
Everett, WHL
6′ 0.5″
195 lbs
Via NHL Central Scouting’s B.J. MacDonald”

“I think Murray is more like a [Scott] Niedermayer; he just does everything under the radar and so smooth you hardly notice it. His skating is probably the best in the [WHL], but you don’t really notice that so much because you almost take it for granted he’s been there for three years. He never gets out of position and I’ve never seen him lose a one-on-one battle. He’s always, defensively, in the right spots. He just does everything so seamlessly that he reminds me of Niedermayer only because he does everything so well at such a high level and after a while, you don’t even notice it.”

3. Mikhail Grigorenko, C
Quebec, QMJHL
6′ 3.0″
200 lbs
Via NHL Central Scouting’s David Gregory:

“He’s the type of player that controls the whole pace of the game. He can play with the puck at the same pace he plays without the puck. He sees the ice and opportunities really well. He can hang onto it longer than most players; some players might feel that they have to move it quickly, but Mikhail has the patience and the ability to see opportunities and let them develop, which is a special skill. He’s got a big, long reach and an ability to move in traffic with his size (6-foot-3.25, 200). He’s the kind of forward who will control the play and make things happen.”

4. Alex Galchenyuk, C
Sarnia, OHL
6′ 0.5″
198 lbs
Via NHL.com:

In 2010-11, Galchenyuk finished second among Ontario Hockey League rookies with 83 points (31-52–83), behind only his teammate and good friend Nail Yakupov (49-52–101). A knee injury suffered in a 2011-12 OHL preseason game limited Galchenyuk to all but the last two regular season games and six games playoff games — he recorded four points (2-2–4) during Sarnia’s first round loss to Saginaw.

5. Morgan Reilly, D
Moose Jaw, WHL
5′ 11.5″
190 lbs
Via NHL Central Scouting’s Blair MacDonald:

“I’ve seen Rielly do things on the ice that nobody else was doing. I saw him make those little passes to guys who weren’t expecting the puck to get there. He’s the type of player who can lead the rush and he’ll be the first guy back. I think his creativity makes him one of the top players in the league. He’s like a chess player; he’s thinking one or two moves ahead. He sees stuff coming that a lot of players don’t see.”

6. Cody Ceci, D
6′ 2.5″
207 lbs
Via NHL.com:

“In 2011-12, Ceci finished second among OHL defensemen with 60 points (17-43–60) in 64 games. His eight power-play goals and two shorthanded goals ranked third on the Ottawa 67’s. He led Ottawa’s defensemen with nine goals and ranked second among the team’s blueliners with 34 points during his sophomore season in 2010-11. His 34 points were almost triple his production in 2009-10 (4-8–12).”

7. Radek Faksa, C
Kitchener, OHL
6′ 2.5″
203 lbs
Via NHL.com

“Faksa led all Ontario Hockey League rookies in goals (29), assists (37), points (66), game-winning goals (6) and plus-minus (+19) during the 2011-12 season. He represented the Czech Republic at the 2012 World Junior Championship, recording two goals in six games to help the Czech Republic finish in fifth place. Faksa says making the team is his most memorable hockey moment. He also played for the Czech Republic at the 2011 Under-18 World Championship with fellow prospect Martin Frk (No. 20-ranked North American skater).”

8. Olli Maatta, D
London, OHL
6′ 1.5″
202 lbs
Via NHL.com:

“Maatta made his Ontario Hockey League debut during the 2011-12 season, leading all rookie defensemen with 32 points (5-27–32) in 58 games. He was selected to represent Finland at the 2012 World Junior Championship, but was injured in Finland’s opening game and was unable to participate in the remainder of the tournament. Maatta played in six games at the 2011 World Junior Championship, becoming the first player since 1998 to represent Finland in the tournament at the age of 16.”

9. Jacob Trouba, D
6′ 2.0″
193 lbs
Via NHL Central Scouting’s David Gregory:

“He has offense skills and he really does defend well. You can just tell by how he plays in all areas of the ice that he’s a big kid who skates really well, he loves to jump into the play and has confidence because he knows his skating can get him back, so he rarely gets caught out of position. He’s going to be someone people are going to talk about; we’ve known about him for a couple years and he hasn’t disappointed.”

10. Griffin Reinhart, D
Edmonton, WHL
6′ 3.75″
197 lbs
Via NHL.com:

“Reinhart led Edmonton defensemen with 12 goals in 58 games during the 2011-12 season. He collected 25 points (6-19–25) in 45 games during his first year with the team (2010-11). He is the son of former NHL defenseman, Paul Reinhart, who played 648 games with the Vancouver Canucks and Calgary Flames. His older brother, Max, was drafted 64th overall in 2010 by Calgary and his younger brother, Sam, the 2011-12 WHL Rookie of the Year, is draft-eligible in 2014. Both Sam and Max play for the Kootenay Ice (WHL).”

Posted on by andy in Featured, Top 10's

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