2012 NHL Draft Rankings: The Next Ones Top 120

2012 NHL Draft

The 2012 NHL Entry Draft takes place on June 22-23 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvia. Hockey’s version of Christmas is less than two months away.


Click here for the Live Updated NHL 2012 Draft Preview Guide – The Next Ones – your quintessential draft resource featuring:

  • Exclusive Draft Rankings
  • Mock Drafts
  • Detailed prospect profiles in The Next Ones format
  • Team specific features
  • Fantasy-based articles
  • Looking ahead to the 2013 draft and beyond
  • Much more unique content focused on the draft and prospects


Chris’s List

A common query is how these particular rankings are formulated. There is now an abundance of sources of hockey prospect information. You can check out my blog The Next Ones for your online eNewspaper, linking to the best of the best of these resources.

TSN has Craig Button’s ‘Craig’s List’, which is a “monthly rankings represent his individual assessment of where players are slotted in the NHL draft. They will be posted in addition to Bob McKenzie’s consensus NHL rankings, which is compiled four times a year. Bob’s rankings represent the consensus NHL team view of where players are slotted in the NHL draft.”

In contrast, The Next Ones rankings take into account many influences. While I obviously cannot reveal all my trade secrets, the following are some of the considerations contemplated when compiling the rankings. First of all, my personal prospect analysis and scouting reports from live player viewings (due to geography restraints mainly limited to WHL and this year’s World Juniors) and video analysis.  Secondly, my personal ranking system with influences from contacts whom I consider respected, knowledgeable, passionate hockey people with unique insight from all over this great hockey universe of ours. Many thanks to those who passionately offer up their unequivocal outstanding scouting analysis to me – you know who you are.  Thirdly, I utilize some unique statistical analysis for guidance purposes only. Compiling and merging all of data along with copious amounts of research results in Chris’s List coming to fruition.

The rankings will be updated once more before the draft in June.


The Race For First Overall: Fail For Nail or Mikhail

Nail Yakupov
Nail Yakupov: clear cut #1 for the 2012 NHL Draft? (Metcalfe Photography)

The debate rages on as to if Nail Yakupov has a real challenger for the first overall selection now proudly possessed by the Edmonton Oilers. I’ve proclaimed Nail to be the hands down top prospect in this draft all along, but the race might just end up being a photo finish afterall. Mikhail Grigorenko was at one time a legitimate contender, but has seen his stock drop as of late. However, recent reports revealed he has had mononucleosis which goes a long way in explaining his drop off in play. Grigorenko may just be back in the pursuit of being chosen first overall.

In a defenseman heavy draft, Ryan Murray is the top blueline ice warrior on most lists. Both Murray and recently crowned World Juniors U18 leading scorer Mathew Dumba have a reasonable shot at supplanting Yakupov. Filip Forsberg and Alex Galchenyuk have outside shots having their respective names called first on June 22nd.

Mathew Dumba – 2012 NHL Entry Draft Dynamic Defenseman (Lisa McRitchie/Kukla’s Korner)


The Tiers:

The aforementioned super six prospects round out what I believe to be the top tier of prospects; albeit, the next eight prospects that could easily join them. While there may be a tier or two contained within, there is some fantastic value from prospects ranked 14 to 45 and beyond, with a lot of varying opinion out there as to where some of these young guns should be drafted come June.


Highs and Lows:

Prospects I have ranked higher than most:

  • Scott Laughton: Laughton looks to be developing into a Mike Richards clone – that’s a good thing.
  • Dalton Thrower: Thrower is not the biggest blueliner that will be selected in the first round, but he still plays an effective physical game. He is a silky smooth and efficient skater. His game goes well beyond the numbers, but he did finish 8th in defenseman scoring in the WHL. He can man the left or right point, delivers crisp and accurate passes, and has a blistering shot. Teammates will love going into battle with this talented blueliner.
  • Brett Kulak: The first thing you may notice about Brett Kulak while watching him play for the Vancouver Giants is that unless you were specifically paying him attention, he likely would be unnoticeable. In Kulak’s case, and in the case of efficient defenseman in general, this is often a very desirable trait. Looking for an NHL comparable than look no further than Duncan Keith. Kulak is a smooth skater with tremendous puck poise and always seems to make the simplest and often correct decision. It may take some time, but he also has untapped offensive upside as well.


Prospects I have ranked lower than most:

  • *Tom Wilson: I initially had him falling into the second round, but the budding power forward has been doing his best to put my offensive upside concerns to rest with a fantastic OHL playoffs.
  • Goalies: I can’t bring myself to rank goalies in the first round. Subban at the top of second round says a lot to what I think he can become; Andrei Vasilevski and Oscar Dansk are two other outstanding netminding prospects. I actually think it’s a fairly solid year for goalies with some gems to be had in the mid to late rounds of the draft,
  • Pontus Åberg: The speedy, mature and skilled Swede simply falls victim to the numbers game – I like him as a prospect, but the guys ahead of him I like better for long-term upside.


An Alternative Perspective:


Extra Reading:

The Rankings:


  • The table display approximately 60 of the prospects at a time; simply scroll down to view the other prospects.
  • NHL Central Scouting (CSB) rankings are obviously segregated as North American and European skaters and goalies, respectively.
  • Detailed prospect profiles in The Next Ones formatted are being compiled leading up to the draft. Stay tuned to The Next Ones 2012 NHL Draft Guide.


A Tale of Two Tables:

  • I have created two tables (the same rankings in each) in order to cover the different prospect demographics and statistics I wanted readers to have access to.

Table 1: The Next Ones – THW NHL 2012 Entry Draft Top 120 (Prospect Demographics)



Table 2: The Next Ones – THW NHL 2012 Entry Draft Top 120 (Prospect Statistics)







11 thoughts on “2012 NHL Draft Rankings: The Next Ones Top 120”

  1. where is Emil lundberg ??? he is far better than many, and still a working guy in process, unbelivble low ranked, top 5 swedish player for sure, out scored filip forsberg, is in the national team, big and strong, dont buy that he cant skate look at his stats…….

  2. Challenge rerun: of the top 120 choose one player who you think is ranked:
    – too high (by 8 or more places)- too low (by 8 or more places)- bang on (No Nail rule in effect)- totally out to lunch (feel free to leave blank!)
    – Who’s missing (rationale please).
    (Note: The final rankings is likely to be a Top 150)

  3. Too High- Henrik Samuelsson (Likely mid-late second round pick; I don’t think his scoring can continue at an NHL level, will most likely be an energy winger)
    Too Low- Mike Winther (One of the better offensive centres in the draft, likely early second round pick as several teams whose needs he fills are picking there)
    Bang On- Slater Koekkoek (A top 20 talent who was injured, thus falling a few spots)
    Out to Lunch- Brady Vail (Again, centres with offensive potential will be flying off the board in the early second round)

  4. Too high – Dalton Thrower. It will be close, but I think he should be around 25 to 30.
    Too low –  Matt Finn. He’s a top 20 player I think.
    Bang on – Teuvo Teravainen
    Out to lunch – Tomas Hyka. There’s a good chance he goes late 2nd round or earl 3rd

    • Thanks Joe. Great comment and well justified. re: Hyka – I simply was left unimpressed at WJCs, but agree with you on where he might land. This wasn’t a mock; rather, my own rankings. 

  5. Challenge: of the top 120 choose one player who you think is ranked:

    – too high (by 10 or more places)
    – too low (by 10 or more places)
    – bang on (No Nail rule in effect)
    – totally out to lunch (feel free to leave blank)

  6. Please note: we are aware of technical glitch as only 82 prospects shown. Hope to have this resolved in near future. Let us know if you want details on a certain prospect in the meantime.

Comments are closed.