A Fantasy-Focused Ranking of 2011 NHL Entry Draft Prospects


Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (CanadaHky/Wikimedia)

Grit, work ethic, defensive-zone play, and personality: all intangibles that NHL teams consider when making their selections in the NHL Entry Draft that are not particularly relevant for fantasy hockey.

Yes, you do want to pick players who you think will make it to the NHL and contribute, so it’s important to consider bust potential and the fact that some European players take years to make their way across the pond and can easily make their way back, but first and foremost is offensive upside.

Without further adieu, here’s a ranking of the top prospects from this year’s draft in regards to fantasy potential.



* – Upside pick, meaning that the player could end up being more valuable than ranked but could also suffer developmental issues

^ – Safe pick, meaning that the player does not have more upside than the players listed ahead of him but is a safe bet to carve out a productive NHL role

Niagara IceDogs forward Ryan Strome in action. Photo Courtesy Joel Smith.

*1. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, C – Red Deer Rebels (WHL)

*2. Jonathan Huberdeau, C – Saint John Sea Dogs (QMJHL)

*3. Sean Couturier, C – Drummondville Voltigeurs (QMJHL)

*4. Ryan Strome, C – Niagara IceDogs (OHL)

^5. Gabriel Landeskog, W – Kitchener Rangers (OHL)

*6. Nicklas Jensen, W – Oshawa Generals (OHL)

*7. Alexander Khokhlachev, LW/C – Windsor Spitfires (OHL)

*8. Zack Phillips, C – Saint John Sea Dogs (QMJHL)

*9. Vladislav Namestikov, C – London Knights (OHL)

*10. Sven Bartschi, LW – Portland Winterhawks (WHL)

Sven Bartschi (gzbhow/Flickr)

^11. Mika Zibanejad, C – Djurgardens IF (SEL)

*12. Joel Armia, RW – Porin Assat (SM-Liiga)

*13. Tomas Jurco, RW – Saint John Sea Dogs (QMJHL)

^14. Mark Scheifele, C – Barrie Colts (OHL)

*15. Nikita Kucherov, W – CKSA Moscow (KHL)

*16. Rocco Grimaldi, C – US NTDP (USHL) -> North Dakota Fighting Sioux (NCAA – WCHA)

*17. Matt Puempel, LW – Peterborough Petes (OHL)

^18. Mark McNeill, C – Prince Albert Raiders (WHL)

*19. Brandon Saad, LW – Saginaw Spirit (OHL)

*20. Ty Rattie, RW – Portland Winterhawks (WHL)

Matt Puempel

*21. Lucas Lessio, LW – Oshawa Generals (OHL)

*22. Matthew Nieto, LW – Boston University Terriers (NCAA – HE)

^23. Stefan Noesen, RW – Plymouth Whalers (OHL)

*24. Seth Ambroz, RW – Omaha Lancers (USHL) -> Minnesota Golden Gophers (NCAA – WCHA)

^25. JT Miller, C – US NTDP (USHL) -> North Dakota Fighting Sioux (NCAA – WCHA)

*26. Michael St. Croix, C – Edmonton Oil Kings (WHL)

^27. Tyler Biggs, RW – US NTDP (USHL) -> Miami Red Hawks (NCAA – CCHA)

^28. Phillip Danault, LW – Victoriaville (QMJHL)

*29. Dmitri Jaskin, RW – Slavia Praha (Czech)

*30. Shane McColgan, RW – Kelowna Rockets (WHL)




*: Upside offensive defensemen with defensive issues now or potentially at the NHL level

^: All-around defensemen

Adam Larsson #5 (right) - Blake Gumprecht - Flickr

*1. Ryan Murphy – Kitchener Rangers (OHL)

^2. Adam Larsson – Skelleftea AIK (SEL)

^3. Dougie Hamilton – Niagara IceDogs (OHL)

^4. Nathan Beaulieau – Saint John Sea Dogs (QMJHL)

^5. Joseph Morrow – Portland Winterhawks (WHL)

*6. Adam Clendening – Boston University Terriers (NCAA – HE)

^7. Stuart Percy – Mississauga St. Michael’s Majors (OHL)

*8. Myles Bell – Regina Pats (WHL)

*9. Brenden Kichton – Spokane Chiefs (WHL)

^10. Connor Murphy – US NTDP (USHL) -> Miami Red Hawks (NCAA – CCHA)

Stuart Percy (Claus Andersen/Getty Images via DayLife.com)

*11. Robbie Russo – US NTDP (USHL) -> Notre Dame Fighting Irish (NCAA – CCHA)

^12. Ryan Sproul – Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (OHL)

^13. Xavier Ouellet – Montreal Juniors (QMJHL)

^14. Duncan Siemens – Saskatoon Blades (WHL)

^15. Jonas Brodin – Farjestads BK (SEL)

^16. Oscar Klefbom – Farjestads BK (SEL)

*17. Mike Reilly – Shattuck St. Mary’s Sabres (USHS – MN) -> Minnesota Golden Gophers (NCAA – WCHA)

^18. Jamie Oleksiak – Northeastern University Huskies (NCAA – HE)

^19. Scott Mayfield – Youngstown (USHL) -> Denver Pioneers (NCAA – WCHA)

^20. Rasmus Bengtsson – Rogle BK (SWE-2)

Jamie Oleksiak (Sara Melikian/Flikr)