The Hockey Spy’s 2010 NHL Entry Draft Preview

Christopher Ralph is a hockey writer with a focus on prospects and the entry draft, as well as the Leafs’ correspondent here at THW.

Last Update: June 24th, 2010

This marks the second year my annual monster draft preview has been hosted here at The Hockey Writers (THW). For last year’s detailed draft preview click here – 2009 NHL Entry Draft Preview.

*Also note, “We’re pleased to announce that The Hockey Writers will be hosting a webcast covering the entire First Round of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, being held in Los Angeles on June 25th. We’ll be webcasting live from the Rbar, in the shadow of Nationwide Arena, from the beautiful Arena District in downtown Columbus, Ohio.”

*Check out and bookmark this link for more information on the Live Draft Coverage!

There are some changes in store for this years preview. I have recently just returned from a month long amazing European Vacation. And “no” to NHL scouts and GMs I did not uncover any hidden hockey gem prospects while touring Southern Germany, Vienna, Transylvania and Bucharest. Obviously, this has cut into my preparation time, but there is still plenty of information to be had and yet to be revealed.

The profiles are even more jam-packed with information this year with additional categories.

Notes Up Front: (*Denotes New Feature)

  • My draft rankings at this point are based on my opinion of the BPA (Best Player Available). This is not an attempt at predicting who I think will be drafted at a certain position. I will be posting a 2 (possibly 3) round mock draft in the near future.
  • Check back to this article often. A series of prospect profiles will be released daily, leading up to the June 25th and 26th NHL entry draft, in the order I have them ranked. The rankings will be updated below simultaneously as the prospect profiles are released, with links to the respective profile. I will be releasing detailed profiles on the Top 30 players for the draft.
  • *Note: Hall & Seguin profiles were completed earlier in the year while the remainder were mostly completed recently. While much has happened with respect to Hall and Seguin, my feelings and scouting profiles on them remain the same.
  • Stay tuned, as well, as I post overall rankings for the Top 100 draft-eligible prospects, with a brief description for those prospects for which I did not have the opportunity to complete a detailed profile. I also plan an article highlighting some key sleepers, who might prove to be the diamonds in the rough in this year’s draft.
  • I am not a big fan of drafting a goalie in the first round unless the talent and potential are simply undeniable. In 2008, for instance, given the astronomical odds of actually being a NHL GM, I would have considered selecting Jacob Markstrom and Chet Pitkard in the first round. Last year, I would not have selected a netminder at all in the first round. Stay tuned to see what I think of this year goaltending crop.
  • “One-Timer heading is meant to be a quick and concise synopsis of each prospect.
  • *Scout’s Honor highlights what the hockey scouting world (and occasionally coaches) have to say about the prospect.
Jeff Skinner – Underrated Sniper Prospect {Photo Credit:}
  • NHL Player Comparisons” are simply to give the reader a feel for the player’s style and ultimately likely equal the player’s ceiling potential being reached. It is often an exercise in futility, but does offer up some value. If I add the suffix “-lite” or “Jr.” after a NHL player comparison, it simply refers to the fact the prospect likely has no chance to reach that high a potential, but rather resembles or plays a style reminiscent of the respective NHLer.
  • Scouting Combine Performance”: included where available to give the reader some insight on the prospects fitness levels. This is definitely not a sole basis for drafting a prospect, but might be a deciding factor when considering too closely rated players. It is also a good resource when a prospect is coming back from an injury as a guidance to what his health level is.
  • “Risk/Reward Analysis”: Both “Risk” and “Reward” rated out of “5”. For the risk rating, the higher the rating out of five, the higher the risk of the prospect not turning out as projected. For the reward rating, also out of five, the higher the rating, the higher the potential the prospect has. For the latter, of course, the prospect has to still reach that potential.
  • “Fantasy Hockey Potential”: Offensive and defensive ratings out of 10 are given for forwards and defenseman based on perceived potential in each area. Offensive potential is obviously the key factor in most fantasy hockey leagues, but defensive potential should prove useful for those armchair hockey simulator GMs.
  • Legend:
  • ETA = Estimated Time of Arrival to NHL

    ISS = International Scouting Services (These are taken from their May Top 30 rankings or THN’s quoted ISS ranking, where available.)

    CSB = Central Scouting Bureau (NA = North America , E = Europe, G = Goalie)

    TSN = Bob McKenzie’s mid-season rankings

    THN = The Hockey News Draft Rankings

    The Hockey Spy’s 2010 NHL Entry Draft Rankings:

    Round 1:

    {Click on Prospect’s Name for link to “Full Potential” Profile}

    1. Taylor Hall

    2. Tyler Seguin

    3. Cam Fowler

    4. Nino Niederreiter

    5. Erik Gudbranson

    6. Brandon Gormley

    7. Emerson Etem

    8. Brett Connolly

    9. Jeffrey Skinner

    10. Ryan Johansen

    11. Mikael Granlund

    12. Jack Campbell

    13. Alex Burmistrov

    14. Austin Watson

    15. Quinton Howden

    16. Dylan McIlrath

    17. Mark Pysyk

    18. Derek Forbort

    19. John McFarland

    20. Vladimir Tarasenko

    21. Jaden Schwartz

    22. Evgeny Kuznetsov

    23. Kirill Kabanov

    24. Tyler Toffoli

    25. Nick Bjugstad

    26. Jordan Weal

    27. Jarred Tinordi

    28. Beau Bennett

    29. Riley Sheahan

    30. Tyler Pitlick

    *View: Top 100 Prospect Rankings: In sortable table format.

    Updated 2010 Entry Draft Order of Selection:

    2010 Mock Draft(s)

    {Note: There are differences between the mock drafts and the above rankings.}

    *Photo Credits:

    *For all the latest prospect and draft news follow me on Twitter: The Hockey Spy


    This document is the intellectual property of Christopher Ralph and cannot be used or duplicated in anyway without expressed written consent. Any use of this document without the expressed written consent of Christopher Ralph will result in public exposure and legal prosecution.

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