Early Top 30

That`s John Tavares in the Knights uniform and Taylor Hall just over a year ago (OHL Skills competition). This photo shows us just how much size and strength can change a player in one calendar year.

In late June of last year I did a top 30 list and last month I ran a Desjardins NHLE for some of the top ranked shooters and defenders.

Since we are focused heavily on the draft this year, I thought it might be a good idea to do a top 30 earlier. My final list will still appear draft week, but this is one fan’s look (with a big hello from our friend math) at the top 30 players for the 2010 entry draft.

I also think it is a good idea because Redline is nearing their final stages which really helps get a feel for each draft. The latest installment is here. Woolief’s item on Granlund moved him up on my list (from 5 to 4).

A couple of final notes: this is a fan blog, I haven’t seen many of these kids and have zero idea what a scout looks for in terms of projection. I have a good knowledge of draft history and do know that performance at age 17 is an monumental “tell” for these kids. Desjardins NHLE has a major impact on my list and there are bias problems (the Finns get a free ride and I do favor the Canadian junior leagues) but hopefully it’ll be fun. Please add your comments, that’s what makes the blog go.

  1. L Taylor Hall: Franchise player. The next Stamkos?
  2. C Tyler Seguin: Franchise player. The next Toews?
  3. D Brandon Gormley: The most complete D in the draft.
  4. C Mikael Granlund: The next Saku Koivu. Smart player.
  5. D Cam Fowler: Exceptional puck mover.
  6. C Ryan Johansen: Enormous damage at even-strength.
  7. C Austin Watson: 2-way player underrated.
  8. R Vladimir Tarasenko: Terrific offensive talent.
  9. R Jeff Skinner: Talented scorer.
  10. R Nino Niederreiter: Best PF in this year’s draft.
  11. D Erik Gudbranson: Big, tough D plays a smart game.
  12. C Quinton Howden: Big C with a wide range of skills.
  13. R Emerson Etem: A good skater with size and skill.
  14. R Brett Connolly: Outstanding skills, hip a big concern.
  15. D Dylan McIlrath: Big, tough, physical. Shutdown D.
  16. C Tyler Tiffoli: Skill player posted good numbers.
  17. C Charlie Coyle: Size/speed/skill.
  18. D Derek Forbort: Scouts confirm a complete skill set.
  19. L Brad Ross: Big strong grinder with some skill.
  20. L Nick Bjugstad: Big PF, more an Eastern conference F.
  21. C Alex Burmistrov: Skilled Russian, brilliant with the puck.
  22. G Jack Campbell: He’ll go higher than this.
  23. C Jaden Schwartz: A wide range of skills.
  24. L John McFarland: Skill winger with excellent speed.
  25. C Tyler Pitlick: Already developing as a 2-way C.
  26. C Brock Nelson: Minnesota high school power-forward.
  27. C Evgeny Kuznetsov: Playmaking Russian.
  28. G Calvin Pickard: Big improvement year over year.
  29. L Kirill Kabanov: Lanky scorer, off-ice issues.
  30. C Ryan Spooner: Might be higher if he remained healthy.

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