There is another name that could be mentioned in the same breath as John Tavares and Victor Hedman, according to the latest rankings by International Scouting Services for the NHL Draft.
Brampton Battalion centre Matt Duchene moved up to second on the monthly prospect list, bumping Hedman and trailing only Tavares for the top spot.
It's the second time this week that Duchene has seen his stock on the rise. Red Line Report, an independent scouting agency based in the United States, also had Duchene in second, with Hedman in first and Tavares dropping to third.
"We haven't had Taveres as No. 1 for the entire season, except maybe a month during the season," Red Line's chief scout and publisher Kyle Woodlief told hockey blog site IslandersIndependent.com this week. "Hedman has been No. 1 most of the time. Meanwhile, in the playoffs, Duchene has stepped it up."
TSN's latest rankings, released last week prior to the Draft Lottery, has Duchene ranked third. The 18-year-old from Haliburton, Ont., had 31 goals and 48 assists in 57 games with the Battalion this season.
"The scouts love everything about Duchene," Hockey Insider Bob McKenzie recently wrote in TSN.ca's draft chat. "They like his size, strength, speed, skill and smarts. They see him as a character player, as someone who can score goals, make plays and work as hard without the puck as with it. There's nothing not to like about the Brampton Battalion forward. Tavares and Hedman are heavy favorites to go one-two in this draft, but if there's one player who could upset that scenario, it's probably Duchene."
Rounding out the Top 5 in this month's ISS rankings is forward Magnus Paajarvi-Svensson from Timra of the Swedish Elite League and Vancouver Giants forward Evander Kane.