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Button: Dumba and Clarke making an impression

Craig Button

10/17/2011 3:48:30 PM

My second ranking has Sarnia Sting sensation Nail Yakupov still leading the pack of prospects for the 2012 NHL Entry Draft. Nail has been nothing short of excellent despite not having superb center Alex Galchenyuk in the lineup as he rehabilitates a knee injury.

In fact there is no change in the top five rated players. Mathew Dumba continues to show that he may be a unique and special talent.

Productivity becomes a distinguishing factor when I am watching these players and the change in the Top 10 has been because of this factor.

Mikhail Grigorenko has moved to sixth, Derrick Pouliot has moved to ninth and Jacob Trouba has moved to No. 10. They are showing productivity to match their skills.

There have been some other slight movements in the rankings but highly skilled center Andreas Athanasiou has not been matching productivity with his skills and has fallen out of the top ten. Pontus Aberg of Djurgarden has remained at 12th but has scored five goals in the elite league and is a player to watch as he very well may challenge in the top ten.

The big mover in the Top 30 and he moved right from obscurity to a prominent place at No. 22 is Michael Clarke, a center playing in Windsor. He is a well-rounded player who reminds me of Brandon Dubinsky and has been very good for a young Windsor team.

I have seen too much of Alex Galchenyuk and Martin Frk before this season and while both have been recovering from injury they remain prominent on my list as top prospects.