2011 NHL Entry Draft Rankings Top 60 – An Early Look

Christopher Ralph is a senior sportswriter here at THW specializing in covering NHL prospects and the entry draft.

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Update June 2011: For up-to-date draft coverage and rankings visit:

THW’s 2011 NHL Entry Draft Guide – The Next Ones

THW 2011 NHL Draft Final Rankings – Top 210

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Is it ever too early to think about the NHL’s next entry draft?

Many shots will be taken.

Many saves will be made.

Many hits will be dished out.

Many battles for loose pucks will be fought.

Many passes will be delivered.

Many savvy puck moves will be executed.

Many coach tirades will fall on deaf ears.

All before the 2011 NHL Entry Draft takes place on June 24-25th in St. Paul, Minnesota. Once again, I love the dates – the 24th and 25th representing hockey’s version of Christmas!

The quest for Tavares, Hedman and Duchene has long since passed as all three are integral parts of their respective franchises. The jostling over Hall and Seguin, Taylor versus Tyler, has recently been concluded this summer.

The debate now rages on as to who will emerge as best of class – 2011. At present, it is a three-headed race led by:  Centreman Sean Couturier of Dummondville Voltigeurs, Sweden’s brilliant blueliner Adam Larsson and centerman Ryan Nugent-Hopkins of the Red Deer Rebels.

Adam Larsson {Photo: Wikimedia Commons - CanadaHky}

Will someone, in a similar fashion to Tyler Seguin, raise the ranks to challenge these three frontrunners?

In the past couple of years, the 2011 entry draft class has been projected as a relatively weak one. The more one delves into analyzing eligible prospects more in-depth, it is quickly becoming apparent that this is likely far from the truth.

Of course, it is safe to say any rankings done at this point will evolve and look quite different as the hockey season wears on. Names like Keegan Lowe, Maxim Shalunov and Mika Partanen will be just some of the ice gladiators battling to place themselves amongst these and other rankings.

Stay tuned to the Prospects section of The Hockey Writers (THW) as I continue to provide detailed prospect profiles (see 2010 Draft Preview).  I also plan to feature prospect interviews and will do a series of articles ranking drafted NHL prospects.

Here then are my preliminary top 60 ranked 2011 draft eligible prospects.

Notes:

*The table is “sortable” – that is, if you click on any of the headings it will sort them.

*The table is also searchable (top right hand corner of table).

*Just under the title, you can click “Show” and change the quantity you show on one page or you can simply click on bottom right hand corner of table to scroll through the rankings.

*Follow The Hockey Spy on Twitter as I infiltrate, dissect and analyze happenings of hockey prospects and the NHL entry draft.

[table id=21 /]

Update March 2011: NHL Draft Rankings Top 100 – March Madness Edition

Christopher Ralph

Christopher Ralph

Managing Editor/Lead Prospect &Draft Analyst at THW
Chris is THW's senior draft/prospect analyst and a Managing Editor. Watch for Chris' regular column "The Next Ones" Prospect Profile series as well as the annual THW NHL Entry Draft Guide. Follow @ChrisRalphTHW on Twitter as he infiltrates, dissects and analyzes all happenings of hockey prospects and the NHL entry draft. Email: cralph[at]thehockeywriters[dot]com
Christopher Ralph

16 Comments

  1. ChrisRalphTHW says:

    For a more up-to-date look at the 2011 draft, check out THW’s Live Updated Draft “Home Page”:

    http://thehockeywriters.com/2011-nhl-entry-draft-guide/

  2. I have to say and I don’t know why, but Landeskog reminds me of Getzlaf.

  3. Very true. My mistake! Pretty accurate Top 60 at the beginning of the season then!

  4. Ryan Strome not in the Top 60? The Hockey News just had him ranked 6th overall..

  5. Shane Prince of the Ottawa 67′s has 1st round talent written all over him. At 5’11″ 185, tremendous speed, strength, vision and skill. Leading all CHL Draft Eligibles in points and plus minus at mid season. He is on pace to produce more points than last years #1 pick Taylor Hall. What else does Prince have to do?

  6. St. John will have as many as 7 in the 2011 draft and 4 locked first rounders

    Huberdeau and Phillips should be early first rounders.

  7. Andrew: All your points are just and Ritchie is a guy I am monitoring closely. Admittedly, I might have dropped him a little too far in my preliminary rankings. No reason in particular to be quite honest. I simply kept sliding guys in ahead of him that I am really high on. Stay tuned for future editions of the rankings to see where Ritchie lands.

    David: For pre-season rankings, I recall I had him higher than many of the rankings out there. This attests to just how high I am on Jurco. He will certainly be a high draft pick come June ’11. How high – we’ll just have to wait and see. Again, stay tuned for updated rankings throughout the season.

    • Another thing, i was veiwing some other drafts earlier today and some people had landeskog as high as number 5 in the ranking. he is a rare european player who can combine the patented european stickhandling and puck moving ability with a good north american physicallity added to his game why is he not higher?

      • Thanks for the comments, David.

        I did have him ranked 14th in these preliminary rankings.

        I am very high on #92 of the Kitchener Rangers. He was one of the many I planned to follow closely this season and he hasn’t disappointed – to the tune 14 goals & 26 pts in just 17 games thus far.

        You’re right – he doesn’t play the traditional “Swedish” game (not that there’s anything wrong with that) and is well suited to the North American game. Without revealing too much in th way of my future rankings, it is safe to say Landeskog has planted himself firmly in my Top 10, at the very least. Stay tuned…

  8. why is tomas jurco at number 9? he stick skills are even better than ovechkins. with that alone he could easily challenge for top 3 or 5

  9. Some scouts see Brett Ritchie as a top 10 pick, and competing wtih Brandon Saad as the second best forward prospect out of the O behind Puempel, and you have him 36th behind Catenacci and out of the 1st round?? After his standout performance at the U18, and confirmation from scouts pretty much unanimously praising his combination of size/speed/skill your ranking is the only one i’ve seen with him outside the top 20 let alone outside the first round. Particular reasons?

    • Andrew are you being serious about Ritchie? Have you watched any of his games this year? What has he done or even more importantly what can he actually do that would earn him a spot in the first round. Just because he has size does not automatically place him in the firs round. He doesn’t even use his size, gets plenty of ice time and is 10th on the team in scoring and who can forget, CAN’T SKATE! A player in my opinion that has a lot of promise and seems to only get better with time is Brandon Francisco of the Sarnia Sting. Size might not be there for him, but he does everything else well and at top speed. He is 5th on the team in scoring and that is with limited ice time and has a lot of potential to be a solid player when given the opportunity. That’s just my two cents, take for what its worth.

    • Look at his stats. They are not first round material. In fact I probably wouldn’t take in in the second round either based on his stats alone. Size, Speed, Toughness, they are all great, but in the 1st round, you really need to be going to someone who is going to pile up the points.

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