Red Line Report puts Tavares third in draft rankings Staff

4/22/2009 10:12:10 AM

According to one well-known scouting report, the top two picks in this June's NHL Entry Draft could be Swedish defenceman Victor Hedman...and Ontario Hockey League centre Matt Duchene.

The latest edition of Red Line Report has rated London Knights centre John Tavares third behind Hedman and Duchene as a result of his performance this this year's OHL playoffs.

"I've always felt Hedman should be the No. 1 pick," Red Line Report's Kyle Woodlief explained to New York's Newsday. "The reason we flip-flopped Duchene and Tavares is due to the fact Tavares's effort level has been underwhelming through the first two rounds of the [Ontario Hockey League] playoffs.

"Tavares may score 40 or 50 goals a season, but he's one-dimensional. If he's not scoring, he's not helping."

Tavares, ranked first among North American skaters by NHL Central Scouting and first in TSN's latest draft rankings, is 11th in playoff scoring through Tuesday's games with nine goals and 19 points in 13 games. The Knights trail the Windsor Spitfires 3-1 in their OHL conference final series and Tavares' junior career could end as early as Wednesday if London is eliminated.

Duchene, whose Brampton Battalion are one win away from the OHL final, has 18 points in 13 playoff games. The six-foot-six, 220-pound Hedman collected 21 points in 43 games for MoDo of the Swedish Elite League, earning rookie of the year honours.