2011 NHL Entry Draft Rankings Top 100 – March Madness Edition

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!

It’s quite interesting to take a quick glimpse back at my Draft Rankings as the 2010-11 season just got under way last September – Top 60 Early Look. An excerpt from that article:

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.

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.

The Race For First Overall:

As THW’s Greg Thomson recently reported, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins has emerged as the frontrunner. Swedish blueliner Adam Larsson, Gabriel Landeskog, Sean Couturier and Ryan Strome will put the heat on NHL scouting teams and their decision-making process come June. I had RNH going 4th in my Holiday Edition Mock Draft – Grand Larsson-y, but his play since being cut from Team Canada World Junior team has been amazing – 65 points in 38 games.


Ryan Strome is undeniably the greatest riser in terms of NHL 2011 draft stock, since the season started. Heck, I’ve even listed him amongst the Top 10 Young Guns with Potential to join Jarome Iginla in the exclusive 10 x 30 club.

The countryman and Portland Winterhawks teammate of “El Nino” Nino Niederreiter, Sven Baertschi has had himself a superb WHL rookie season and has therefore, not surprisingly, seen his draft day value continually on the rise.

High and Low

– Prospects I have ranked higher than most:

Gabriel Landeskog
Gabriel Landeskog {Photo: Bridget DS/Flickr}


I’m quite certain some will question the placement of Ryan Strome at fourth ahead of Gabriel Landeskog. Landeskog is probably the most NHL ready prospect in the draft and one of the most complete players available. Strome’s high end potential is the main factor I considered in this case.

I wanted to have Ryan Murphy even higher than sixth to be honest. I was higher than most on Ryan Ellis in his draft year, and while the two offensive blueliners are different on many levels, they are both rare, elite, dynamic difference makers from the back-end. Size is a factor with Murphy but his skating and off the charts hockey sense will allow him to succeed in the big league.

Daniel Catenacci’s hockey sense has been compared to Rico Fata. Unfortunately, proponents of this statement are not complimenting Catenacci. However, I beg to differ. The speedster has a very high compete level and knows how to play the game.  Should he fall to the late first round, notch it up as a steal for the team selecting him.

– Prospects I have ranked lower than most:

I mentioned Landeskog already. I really like him as a player and prospect. I simply like several players more and it’s mostly to do with long-term projections.

Tyler Biggs has been creeping up many draft rankings. The power forward is definitely an intriguing combination of size and skill. My concern is does he top out as a third line checking winger?

Seth Ambroz came into the season hyped as Top 10 material. Great size. Questionable skating. He may go late first, but he’s more worthy of a second round flier.

Many also have centreman Jonathon (J.T.) Miller landing in the first round.  His lack of offensive production is the biggest red flag for me at this point.

The Rankings:

A couple of notes up front as we get on to the March Madness edition of the rankings. Also be sure to check out THW’s new Prospect Guide page.


  • 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).


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Christopher Ralph is THW’s prospect and draft analyst



11 thoughts on “2011 NHL Entry Draft Rankings Top 100 – March Madness Edition”

  1. Anyone else thinking the current NHL Entry Draft lottery system should be reviewed in a major way, except for Oiler fans, of course?

  2. Tonight is the NHL lottery…do the Oilers maintain their projected pole position and who will they add in June – RNH Edmonton bound?

  3. Tonight is the NHL lottery…do the Oilers maintain their projected pole position and who will they add in June – RNH Edmonton bound?

  4. Agree EDM likely to pick RNH with first pick. COL could go for Larsson, but Landeskog more likely. Don’t see him falling past the top three at all.

    Based on that, I am thinking that my team, the Islanders, could slip back into the #28 slot with AMac done for the season and a very tough schedule ahead. If that’s the case, I see them drafting Larsson. If he should be off the board, Hamilton. Would love for the Isles to be able to move back up again and get Zibanejad with a second pick. Larsson and Zibanejad would be a perfect draft.

  5. Nice post dude.

    I’m really curious to see where Couturier goes come draft night.

    Wondering if he’ll hold strong near the top, or drop down to 6 or 7.

    Also, why isn’t Huberdeau #2? I obviously need to do some more lobbying on his behalf


    • I’m also curious about how high Huberdeau may go, and how he compares to the other elite centre prospects.

      • Honestly, no glaring omissions.

        The one I usually catch on most people’s list is Andrew Fritsch, and you have him included. I believe NHL CS had him ranked 43 among North-American skaters at midterm, and he has been somewhat of a quiet subject but whoever gets him late may find he has some worth.

        Like everything though, really good list. Getting more and more excited for the draft

  6. Very good list.

    Where do you see Dylan Willick, Kamloops?

    Finished with 24 goals….little to no powerplay time, played all 3 forward positions, best pk forward on the team.
    5’10” 191 lbs
    Was riding a point streak of :
    6 goals in 6 games
    11 goals in 18 games
    20 points in 18 games

    until March 11th where he suffered an ankle injury….played the last 4 games on 1 leg

    Won 2 team awards-
    Most Dedicated Player
    Unsung Hero

    Top Goal Scorers- 1st Time Draft Eligible WHL Forwards
    1. Wruck 38
    2. Bartschi 34
    3. McNeill 32
    4. Nugent- Hopkins 31
    5. Rattie 28
    6. St. Croix 27
    7. Willick 24
    8. Fiddler 23
    9. Jacobs 22
    9. Franko 22
    10. Lockhart 21
    10. McColgan 21
    10, Smith 21


    • Thanks Greg – came down to numbers game for me as far as the Top 100 goes. I had Willick noted as potential 3rd rnder and even outside chance as a 2nd rnd flier. I’ll admittedly have to do a bit more probing for my final rankings.
      Appreciate the insight.

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