Top 2010 Draft Prospects

Pre-Season Report

Updated Sept. 18
Next June, the best young amateur players in the world will be made available at the 2010 NHL Entry Draft. Follow the first TSN Rankings of the season - a compilation based on input from various scouts around the National Hockey League. (Photos: Getty Images, Canadian Press, Moncton Wildcats, Kingston Frontenacs, Prince George Cougars, Plymouth Whalers)

The Top 10

1. Taylor Hall

Left Wing - Windsor (OHL)
Born: 11/14/91, Kingston, ON
6-1, 185 lbs.

The Insider's Take: Prior to the 2009 draft, several NHL scouts told me that if Taylor Hall were eligible they would take the Kingston, Ont., native ahead of John Tavares, Victor Hedman or Matt Duchene. Hall's forte is as a tenacious goal-scorer who does everything at a high speed. He's a dynamic game-breaker who is an excellent bet to be on Canada's national junior team this year.

2. Cam Fowler

Defence - Windsor (OHL)
Born: 12/05/91, Northville, MI
6-2, 190 lbs.

The Insider's Take: The scouts often refer to the young American as the "total package." He has size, speed and skill and can be a force at both ends of the ice. Originally drafted by the Kitchener Rangers, the graduate of the U.S. national development program went back into the OHL draft when he didn't report to Kitchener, only to be selected by Windsor, where he's playing this season.

3. Tyler Seguin

Centre - Plymouth (OHL)
Born: 01/31/92, Brampton, ON
6-1, 186 lbs.

The Insider's Take: I watched him play minor hockey in his very early years in Whitby. Along the way, he moved to Brampton, Ont., and the Plymouth Whaler centre has now fully blossomed as an elite offensive force who looks like a lock to be a top five pick in this draft. He's probably viewed more as a playmaker than a goal scorer but he has an outstanding shot. Playing on a line with John McFarland and Tyler Toffoli, Seguin was outstanding at the U-18 tourney in August in the Czech Republic. Scouts raved about his play and he may have done enough there to get an invite to Canada's final national junior camp in December.

4. Kirill Kabanov

Right Wing - Spartak Moscow (KHL)
Born: 07/16/92, Moscow, Russia
6-3, 176 lbs.

The Insider's Take: The Russian, who is awaiting the transfer paperwork to allow him to play for the Moncton Wildcats of the Quebec League, is a highly-skilled, offensive minded lanky centre. Whether he falls victim to the so-called "Russian factor" remains to be seen, because his skills are elite and he's one of several Russians this year who have Top 10 potential. He was, however, shut down by his future Moncton teammate Brandon Gormley in the U-18 championship game.

5. Brett Connolly

Right Wing - Prince George (WHL)
Born: 05/02/92, Prince George, BC
6-1, 153 lbs.

The Insider's Take: Injury limited his effectiveness for Canada at the U-18 tourney in August – he got hurt in the first game, sat out the next two before dressing for the gold-medal game -- but his excellent production for Prince George in the WHL last year has demonstrated he's a smooth and polished offensive performer who plays the game with a great deal of confidence.

6. John McFarland

Left Wing - Sudbury (OHL)
Born: 04/02/92, Richmond Hill, ON
6-0, 192 lbs.

The Insider's Take: The Sudbury Wolves' right-shot left winger can play a power physical game but also has the ability to put up huge offensive numbers and was one of only three players to get a first-place vote from the scouts in the TSN survey. The first pick in the OHL draft will get a long look for Canada's national junior team.

7. Brandon Gormley

Defence - Moncton (QMJHL)
Born: 02/18/92, Murray River, PEI
6-1, 175 lbs.

The Insider's Take: The first pick in the Quebec League draft, the Moncton defenceman was Canada's best player at the U-18 tourney. The Murray River, PEI, native was a dominant player in all situations – power play, penalty killing and even strength, anchoring the team's shutdown pair. He has the ability to make the game look easy and reads the game with and without the puck to the point where he's billed as being "Nick Lidstrom smart." Many believe he has what it takes to challenge Fowler for the honor of being the first defenceman taken in the draft. As one pundit put it, "if Canada has six defencemen better than Gormley for the national junior team, it's going to be quite a team."

8. Erik Gudbranson

Defence - Kingston (OHL)
Born: 01/07/92, Orleans, ON
6-3, 195 lbs.

The Insider's Take: A big, mobile, physical defenceman whose offensive skills may be just a touch below Gormley's, but whose all-around game and maturity are at high levels. The Kingston Frontenac has a heavy shot from the point. He was deemed a top-10 prospect by each of the 10 scouts surveyed.

9. Vladimir Tarasenko

Centre - Novosibirsk Siber (KHL)
Born: 12/13/91, Novosibirsk, Russia
5-9, 165 lbs.

The Insider's Take: A dynamic offensive talent, Tarasenko was the third of only three players to get a first place vote from a scout, but five of the 10 scouts surveyed did not have him in their top 10 and he was no higher than No. 7, with the exception of the first-place vote.

10. Mikael Granlund

Forward - Karpat (Finland)
Born: 02/26/92, Oulu, Finland
5-8, 167 lbs.

The Insider's Take: The Finnish forward is on the small side, but he has terrific offensive ability and as one scout, he handles the puck as well as any player in the draft.


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