Grigorenko retains top spot in ISS draft rankings Staff

12/16/2011 2:10:28 PM

For the second straight month, Quebec Remparts winger Mikhail Grigorenko has been ranked the No. 1 prospect for the 2012 NHL Entry Draft by the International Scouting Service.

Grigorenko leads the Remparts in scoring, netting 24 goals and 32 assists in 35 games. Those totals place him fourth in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League scoring race.

Sarnia Sting forward Nail Yakupov, who held the top spot up until November's rankings were released, remains second. He was ranked first overall in TSN Insider Bob McKenzie's preseason rankings and still sits atop TSN Scout Craig Button's Top 30.

Yakupov has been in and out of the Sting line-up for the past month after he suffered a hit to the head. The Russian missed seven games between Nov. 24 and Dec. 11. However, Yakupov was a factor in his return game against Peterborough, scoring a goal and adding two helpers.

Both Grigorenko and Yakupov have been named to Russia's preliminary roster for the 2012 World Junior Championship.

Tanner Pearson has overtaken Yakupov for the Ontario Hockey League scoring lead while the Russian has been on the shelf. Pearson, an undrafted 19-year-old, has 66 points in 30 games and is rocketing up the ISS rankings, currently sitting just outside the Top 30 at number 32.

Rounding out the top five is Leksands winger Filip Forsberg, defenceman Ryan Murray of the Everett Silvertips and Red Deer Rebels blueliner Mathew Dumba.

Dumba was one of the first cuts made by Canada's World Junior team this past week and it remains to be seen whether that will affect his ISS ranking.

The only new entry in the ISS Top 10 is Peterborough defenceman Slater Koekkoek, who rose six places from number 13 to sixth overall. Koekkoek has been one of the more impressive defencemen in the OHL this season. However, a shoulder injury that he suffered on November 27 against Windsor has threatened to sideline him for the rest of the season.

New entries to the list include Modo defender Ludvig Bystrom, Kitchener's Radek Faksa and U.S. Under-18 winger Stefan Matteau, who is the son of former NHLer Stephane Matteau.