Central Scouting released their list today, and got some buzz for their choice of Sam Bennett as the #1 North American. I don’t see it. For me, this is coming down to a two player race and the players are not at all similar—this should be fun!
- Sam Bennett 16-25-41
- Leon Draisaitl 13-25-38
- Sam Reinhart 13-25-38
- Michael Dal Colle 15-22-37
- Aaron Ekblad 11-14-25
This is the North American list, and I think the #1 pick is probably in that group. Bennett has a small lead in NHLE, but it’s early and his scouting report from Brock Otten looks interesting. We’re too early in the game, but the two players we’ll probably be talking about for #1 overall come draft day are the following.
- LEON DRAISAITL: With pro size, Draisaitl plays brings a consistently high compete level and has excellent hands and offensive talent. More of a playmaker than a scorer, Draisaitl has shown that he can be an offensive catalyst night in, night out, and should wind up having a good opportunity to make the jump to the NHL next year.
- AARON EKBLAD: The 17-year-old, Belle River, Ont. native is an imposing presence on the blueline as his tenacity and physical presence in combination with his size are an extremely rare combination. Ekblad’s offensive game has continued to evolve and his heavy shot and offensive zone skills project well to the next level. Ekblad has always been labeled as having ‘heavy feet’, but as he continues to develop it looks like an area of his game that is becoming less of a concern.
Scouting reports are here. Buffalo takes the German, Oilers get the blue.