International Scouting Services: Hall remains top draft pick

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TSN.ca Staff
1/18/2010 11:45:12 PM
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International Scouting Services (ISS) released their mid-season rankings ahead of the 2010 Draft and Taylor Hall of the Ontario Hockey League's Windsor Spitfires remains the top draft-eligible skater from North America.

Plymouth Whalers forward Tyler Seguin and Hall's teammate, defenceman Cam Fowler, were second and third respectively.

Hall is the leader of a dominant Spitfire club that has posted the OHL West's top record (35-7-4). He and Seguin are neck-and-neck in a battle for the Ontario Hockey League's scoring lead; Seguin with 71 points (31 goals and 40 assists) and Hall with 70 points (29 goals and 41 assists).

Hall was one of the top players on Team Canada at the 2010 World Junior Championship earlier this month and ended the tournament tied for third in scoring (six goals, six assists over his six games), helping Canada to a silver medal. The 18-year-old was named one of Team Canada's top three players at the tournament in an International Ice Hockey Federation coach's poll.

Seguin, 17, earned the No. 2 ranking among North American skaters. The 6'1" 186-pound centre, was named the OHL Player of the Month for December, picking up 18 points in 10 games including seven goals with 11 assists and a plus-minus rating of plus-6. 

Defenceman Cam Fowler is rated third among North American skaters.

Fowler ranks fifth among OHL defencemen in scoring with 42 points (three goals, 39 assists) in 37 games and was a key member of the United States team that captured the gold medal at the world junior championship. He recorded two assists and a plus-8 rating in eight tournament games.

Joining Hall, Seguin and Fowler among the top 10 North American skaters are No. 5-ranked Brandon Gormley of the QMJHL's Moncton Wildcats, No. 6-ranked winger Brett Connolly of the WHL's Prince George Cougars, No. 8-ranked Kirill Kabanov of the Wildcats, No. 8-ranked Mark Pysyk of the WHL's Edmonton Oil Kings and No. 10-ranked Erik Gudbranson of the OHL's Kingston Frontenacs.

Vladimir Tarasenko, a forward for Sibir Novosibirsk in the KHL, was ranked No. 4 overall - the top-rated European-based skater. The highly touted Russian is playing his second season in the KHL. Last year he was second in voting for Rookie of the Year and this year he's fourth in scoring on his team.

Mikael Granlund, a forward for HIFK Helsinki in SM-Liiga, the top Finnish league, was the No. 2-rated European-based skater. In 22 games, he has 21 points, second among league rookies. He also led Finland in scoring with seven points in six games at the world juniors.

The remaining two European spots in the top 30 were taken by Russian forwards Evgeny Kuznetsov and Maxim Kitsyn.

Kuznetsov is ranked third overall amongst Europeans (20th overall). The 6-foot, 172-pound centre has one goal and four assists in 25 games with Chelyabinsk Traktor in the KHL, and had two goals and 10 penalty minutes at the world juniors.

Kitsyn, a 6-2, 194-pound left wing who turned 18 on Christmas Eve, has just one assist in 10 games with the KHL's Novokuznetsk Metallurg, but had three assists and was a plus-2 rating at the world juniors.

The 2010 NHL Entry Draft will be held at Staples Center in Los Angeles on go June 25 and 26.

To view the full list of the International Scouting Services' list of the top draft-eligible prospects, click here.

Jordan Eberle and Taylor Hall (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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