1. Nathan MacKinnon – C – Halifax (QMJHL) – 6’0 – 182lbs. – Shoots R – September 1, 1995

Nathan MacKinnon has been at the top of our list for the better part of 16 months and nothing that happened in the hockey landscape this year did anything to change that. The term “generational talent” has been thrown around in regards to this young man and it’s become difficult to dispute that claim. MacKinnon is the total package of offensive ability. His skating is flawless, his acceleration has improved greatly over the years. His ability to put his team on his back and lead by example has been proven since his first year in the QMJHL. His defensive prowess improved significantly since last season, and I don’t believe that many of the criticisms it garners are necessary. MacKinnon as a Stamkos-esque shooting ability with an added penchant for driving to the net and creating scoring chances on an individual level. He doesn’t shy away from the difficult work in the corners and has a deep bag of skills he uses to fool defenders on a consistent basis. MacKinnon’s approach to work in the offensive zone is direct, there is a consistent value in his repeated efforts in the offensive zone and he has the ability to slow the game down, even if his vision could be served to slightly improve. MacKinnon is also a competent playmaker and utilizes his teammates effectively. His offensive zone approach is reminiscent of great players that had the ability to slow the game down and play a step ahead. MacKinnon’s approach to the game is dynamic in the sense that various defensive approaches to playing this center often end up getting beat in different ways on a consistent basis.

2012/13 Statistics: 44GP – 32G – 43A – 75PTS – 45PIM – +40

2. Seth Jones – D – Portland (WHL) – 6’3 – 208lbs. – Shoots R – October 3, 1990

Seth Jones is the sum of all the parts that make other defensemen in this draft class great. A rare combination of both size and speed, Jones is a “master of all trades, ordinary at none” type of player. His ability to handle the puck is elite, combined with his fast hands and quick decision making. His approach to the game in the defensive zone is both physical and consistent. His shot is a bazooka and his ability to get it on net with velocity is consistent in a unique way. Jones is an on-ice leader, responds well to adversity, and always seems to end up on the top of individual battles in-game and can eat big minutes. His combination of size, athleticism, and on-ice IQ make him the best defenseman available in this class and a true competition to the number one spot. Jones has the makeup of an elite defenseman in today’s NHL and will certain reap large benefits at both ends of the ice to whichever team ends up selecting this young American.

2012/13 Statistics: 61GP – 14G – 42A – 56PTS – +46 – 33PIM

3. Jonathan Drouin – LW – Halifax (QMJHL) – 5’11 – 185lbs. – Shoots L – March 27, 1995

The puck sticks with Jonathan Drouin like a magnet. Drouin competes right with MacKinnon in regards to overall offensive acumen. A true specialist with the puck that can slow the play down and can seemingly smell weakness in the opposing defense. A consistent and electrifying set of skills in the offensive zone, Drouin is almost annoying in his ability to consistently come in ways at the defense. While size is always mentioned as a concern in cases of these types of players, Drouin is effective at shrugging off defenders and winning battles in the boards. His defensive zone work has come a long way but he seems to anticipate getting up ice too quickly in various scenarios. His ability to see the ice, effectively distribute the puck in traffic, and get to the net with regularity make him one of the offensive jewels of this draft class. Drouin is perhaps the best playmaker available as well. His ability to pass the puck in difficult manners makes him a major threat to a defense, because his shot is also solid and he’s able to keep you guessing. I expect Drouin to continue to add to his frame and learn to effectively use his body at the next level, he’ll be a great offensive asset to the team that selects him. A true model of all the great offensive skills in todays NHL.

2012/13 Statistics: 49GP – 41G – 64A – 105PTS – 32PIM – +48

4. Aleksander Barkov – C – Tappara (FIN) – 6’2 – 205lbs. – Shoots L – September 2, 1995

This review starts with the obligatory mention that Barkov played in the Finnish Elite League at a young age, and for good reason. This young man was playing against adults and was able to learn how to use his frame effectively. Barkov protects the puck well, wins battles in dirty areas, and can consistently drive to the net. Those skills will be necessary in the face of tough NHL defenses that set out to prevent exactly that. Having played pro gives Barkov a huge edge. His overall offensive prowess is mature. He sees the ice very well and also possesses the ability to slow the play down and anticipate his linemates. His shot is solid, his dish ability is great, and he’s a presence in the key ares of the ice. Overall skating is probably the biggest concern here. He can get from point A to point B easily, but his cutting ability and overall agility could use some work. His offensive acumen and his size make him an attractive quality in many aspects. His approach to the game is very direct, simple, and effective.

2012/13 Statistics: 53GP – 21G – 27A – 48PTS – 8PIM – +18

5. Sean Monahan – C – Ottawa (OHL) – 6’2 – 186lbs. – Shoots L – October 12, 1994

Sean Monahan is the consummate hockey player, a true leader on the ice and perhaps the highest hockey IQ of any player available. His approach is consistently no-nonsense and includes all areas of the ice. An “any kind of minutes” player, you can find play a guy like this in virtually any situation. A dead giveaway for late game faceoffs in the defensive zone, Monahan is as effective on offense as he is on defense. His overall package of skills is deceivingly underwhelming. A true jack of all trades, master of none type player. His shot is deceptive, his ability to make great passes is inherent in his vision and on-ice IQ. Monahan is one of the most polished players available in this class and a future leader in the NHL. His defensive acumen make him a great asset to a team looking for a leadership at both ends of the ice with an added scoring touch as a bonus. Needs to continue to add to his frame but it isn’t an area of concern.

2012/13 Statistics: 58GP – 31A – 47A – 78PTS – 24PIM – -18

6. Elias Lindholm – C – Byrnas (SWE) – 6’0 – 181lbs. – Shoots R – December 2, 1994

Elias Lindholm is a great two-way center that has elite playmaking ability. This is another young forward that has a high hockey IQ and is effective with minutes in any type of situation. The key concern for a team looking for an immediate impact is that Lindholm is under contract in Sweden next year and will most likely fulfill the contractual obligation he’s under. However, another year of seasoning isn’t a bad thing, and Lindholm is already talented enough to find himself in the midst of a great pack of players in the top 10. Lindholm has quick hands, solid skating ability, and an elite set of hand eye coordination when it comes to passing the puck. A true playmaker, Lindholm is also effective in the defensive zone and doesn’t shirk responsibilities in any area of the ice. With another year should bring more size which will be necessary for the future of his NHL career. Lindholm is a quiet killer on the ice, and while his shot isn’t as good as his peers, he’s an extremely effective dish man that can thrive in a plethora of situations.

2012/13 Statistics: 48GP – 11G – 19A – 30PTS – 2PIM – +1

7. Valeri Nichushkin – Chelijabisnk 2 (RUS) – 6’4 – 196lbs. – Shoots L – March 4, 1995

Valeri Nichushkin is a rare combination of skill, speed, and power. An exciting player that always wants the puck, Nichushkin has a wicked shot, strong approach to skating, and hands for days. His ability to switch gears on a defender makes him very elusive with the puck. He’s dogged in his approach to having the puck on his stick. Many are frightened by the “Russian factor” with this player, but his approach can’t be brought into question. His ability to slow the game down while burning defenders make him an attractive option at any of the three forward positions. His shot is elite, his vision is solid, and overall this is one of the most innately talented players available from an offensive standpoint. His size is a big part of his game, but the approach needs to be more consistent. This young puck hound has the ability to beat defenders in virtually any way you can think of.

2012/13 Statistics: 42GP – 16G – 8A – 24PTS – +16

8. Darnell Nurse – D – Sault St. Marie (OHL) – 6’3 – 189lbs. – Shoots L – February 4, 1995

Size is the name of the game for Darnell Nurse, but don’t underestimate the well rounded skating that this defenseman can bring to the table. Nurse wants to play the game on his terms and is a true presence in the defensive zone. His ability to get the play going with both his feet and his passing are unique when you take his physical, workmanlike approach to defense into consideration. His shot is a low boomer that I would not classify as elite or a detriment to his value. He’s a solid penalty killer with a great reach that can break up a rush with an active stick. His approach to the game features a consistent use of his size. Nurse wants to take care of his own end first but isn’t out of place in the offensive zone. His feet make him an asset in many ways, especially on the penalty killing. Another young player with a consistent approach to the game, Nurse’s ability to be effective at the NHL level will require him to bulk up over time.

2012/13 Statistics: 68GP – 12G – 29A – 41PTS – 116PIM – +15

9. Hunter Shinkaruk – C/LW – Medicine Hat (WHL) – 5’11 – 174lbs. – Shoots L – October 13, 1994

Hunter Shinkaruk is a player that you enjoy watching as a hockey fan. His workmanlike approach to the game, inherent will to win, and offensive acumen make him a great package. Shinkaruk plays the game in fast-forward. He’s a great, pure skater with an effortless stride that can hit top gear as quick as it can reverse and stop the game completely. He has elite hands with a very aggressive approach in the offensive zone. Shinkaruk brings the same “you can’t beat me” approach to every shift he takes. Because of his speed, his two-way game has developed well over the last year. His low base makes him difficult to knock off the puck, he bears down on the stick and in tight areas and is still able to make flashy, smart, and dazzling plays. His shot is well above-average. His ability with the puck is top notch and he’s extremely creative. Shinkaruk is deceptively tough. Size has to be mentioned here. How his current frame would translate to the next level is unsure, but he has to continue to gain strength and size.

2012/13 Statistics: 64GP – 37G – 49A – 86PTS – -13

10. Max Domi – C/LW – London (OHL) – 5’9 – 193lbs. – Shoots L – April 15, 1995

Max Domi is another offensive wunderkind in this draft class. His hands are lightning fast and his ability to create is inherent in every aspect of his game in the offensive zone. While his shot isn’t yet elite, it’s deceiving and he keeps goaltenders and defensemen guessing with his release and creativity. Another player that you want to say has to bulk up to be effective, but his low base, strong balance, and gritty determination make him a difficult player to knock off the puck. An extremely crafty forward, his offensive skill set is such that he’s the type of player that can beat you on an individual level or find a teammate and dish the puck off tape to tape at the last second. Domi plays a creative offensive game at the relentless attitude his father exhibited. Domi sees the ice at an elite level and has deceptive speed that allows him to change gears on defenders quickly and gives him a distinct advantage in one on one situations. Again, size may be a concern for many, but this young player has offensive tools that are difficult to teach. His approach in some ares of the ice could be more refined, but this is an extremely coachable youngster with great character.

2012/13 Statisitcs: 64GP – 39G – 48A – 87PTS – 71PIM – +33

11. Alexander Wennberg – C – Djurgardens (SWE2) – 6’1 – 174lbs. – Shoots L – September 22, 1995

We’re very high on Alexander Wennberg. This young center is versatile in all three zones and is an extremely mobile, fluid, and natural skater. His ability to cover all areas of the ice make his defensive zone presence even more noticeable. His offensive skill set is above-average in both shooting and playmaking. Wennberg plays a very simple North/South game and has a great hockey IQ. A true compliment for his age, Wennberg is a player that is comfortable with or without the puck. He doesn’t shirk defensive responsibilities and embraces what’s required of him in every zone. It appears Wennberg will return to Frolunda of the SEL next year, but a year of pro in Sweden will only serve to further refine this young man’s game. Wennberg is a smart, lethal hockey player. It’s easy to overlook his offensive contributions because of his success in all zones of the ice. Wennberg needs to continue to bulk up to be effective at the next level, but he plays the game with a consistently intense approach and can do so with ease based on command of the game he exhibits.

2012/13 Statistics: 48GP – 15G – 19A – 34PTS – 14PIM – +10

12. Bo Horvat – C/LW – London (OHL) – 6’0 – 200lbs. – Shoots L – May 4, 1995

Bo Horvat is a large, physical presence with a great work ethic and a solid set of offensive skills. A strong and natural skater for his size, Horvat isn’t afraid to do whatever it takes to win a hockey game. Horvat is a big minutes eater that can play in any situation and is cognizant of his responsibilities at each end. He isn’t afraid to throw the body around and does a great job of winning battles in tough areas and having an impact on the defense with his wave after wave approach to playing the same way offensively. While he lacks some of the flair and shooting ability of his peers, his vision and dish ability is top notch. Perhaps the biggest criticism of Horvat is his lack of a presence in front of his own net from time to time, which is not a cause for concern to me. Overall, Horvat’s consistently intense approach to the game make him an asset. His ability to play in every situation and his overall attitude, combined with his size, puts him in a gritty, two-way forward mold.

2012/13 Statistics: 67GP – 33G – 28A – 61PTS – 29PIM – +3

13. Rasmus Ristolainen – D – TPS Turku (FIN) – 6’3 – 203lbs. – Shoots R – October 27, 1994

Rasmus Ristolainen is a big, hulking, puck-moving defenseman. He exhibits all the traits that scouts look for in a modern day NHL defenseman. Ristolainen combines an element of physicality and playmaking that is a real treat to watch. He’s the type of the defenseman that is extremely comfortable in carrying the puck up ice and creating offense on his own. His vision, heads up skating style, and passing ability create a ton of chances up ice. His north/south speed is solid, but his first step and pivot ability needs to slightly improve for the next level of play. Another great bonus with the play of Ristolainen is his booming shot from the point, he has a real cannon that he isn’t afraid to let loose on the net. Hits the net with his shot more often than not. A very intimidating player that isn’t easily taken off his game. This is a great combination of size and puck-moving ability.

2012/13 Statistics: 52GP – 3G – 12A – 15PTS – 32PIM – -7

14. Nikita Zadorov – D – London (OHL) – 6’5 – 200lbs. – Shoots L – April 15, 1995

Nikita Zadorov is a defensive specialist. For starters, he’s an excellent skater for his size. His mobility allows him to get to loose pucks quickly, patrol the blueline, and step up to hit puck carriers without fear of getting torched. The attention he pays to detail in his own zone makes him a great asset in front of his own net and on the penalty-kill. His overall approach to defense is consistently aggressive. He isn’t afraid to play the body and is a very intimidating presence on the ice. His long reach assists in breaking up rushes. On the other side of the puck, Zadorov has a large, booming shot, but his overall offensive acumen is missing. Selecting this player is about defensive approach, size, and physicality. He doesn’t really involve himself in the rush up ice with the puck and his poise with the puck could be better served to improve as he continues on a path to the NHL.

2012/13 Statistics: 63GP – 6G – 19A – 25PTS – 54PIM – +33

15. Josh Morrissey – D – Prince Albert (WHL) – 5’11 – 182lbs. – Shoots L – March 28, 1995

The report on Josh Morrissey starts and ends with the word smooth. Morrisseyis an extremely fluid and elusive skater and those abilities command every aspect of his game. His abilities in the offensive and defensive zone are predicated on his skating ability and his penchant for sneaking into the play unnoticed. Morrissey isn’t deterred by a lack of size, but it does have an effect on his business in the defensive zone. He plays the game as if he is five inches taller at times, but with the rigors of pro hockey come a need to significantly bulk up. Morrissey is a creative offensive player that naturally wants to take the initiative with the puck and move the play up ice. His hands are very crafty and his mobility allows him to take risks at the offensive blue line with the puck. His vision and offensive IQ are very high. Almost plays like you have a fourth forward on the ice. His shot is very consistent. He has great vision that allows him to dish the puck around. Again, size may dictate effectiveness at the next level, but Morrissey has all the right tools to get the job done.

2012/13 Statistics: 70GP – 15G – 32A – 47PTS – 91PIM – +14

16. Anthony Mantha – LW – Val d’Or (QMJHL) – 6’4 – 190lbs. – Shoots L – September 16, 1994

Anthony Mantha is the most polarizing player in this draft class. If he could consistently exhibit the skills that he has, he’d be in the top 10 of this draft class. I classify Mantha as a +5/-10 player because he could get draft five spots higher than this or ten spots lower. Mantha has an elite shot with a deceptive release, lightning quick hands and dangle ability, and smooth, crisp passing ability. His overall offensive acumen is among the highest in this draft class exhibited by the fact that he was the only CHL player to score 50 goals this year. Mantha can stick handle in a phone booth and his bear down style of offense makes it difficult for defenders to get a true beat on what he is doing. The issue is game by game consistency and in-game consistency. With size like he has, Mantha has to be able to do the physical things in-game that will be required of him at the next level. He has a penchant for taking shifts off or shirking defensive responsibilities at the wrong time. Mantha can be a very frustrating player to watch in that regard. Overall, you’d be hard pressed to find a lot of players with this combination of skating, size, and pure offensive skill. He needs to find a way to put it all together to be successful at the next level. His hands and vision make him an extremely volatile forward that has a bag of tricks that are among the best in this class.

2012/13 Statistics: 67GP – 50G – 39A – 89PTS – 71PIM – +21

17. Mirco Mueller – D – Everett (WHL) – 6’3 – 176lbs. – Shoots L – March 21, 1995

Mirco Mueller is another young player we’re very high on. He has a no-nonsense approach to the game and can play big minutes in any situation. Mueller is the type of player that you might not notice on a consistent basis but he does all the things required of him to ensure his team wins. He could be well served to add a few more pounds but plays an effective physical game. His skating isn’t awe-inspiring but he handles himself very well on the ice. He has an unflappable demeanor and handles his shift by shift duties on a consistent basis. His understanding of the game is rock solid and he doesn’t play outside of his abilities. His one on one abilities are extremely solid and he has an effective reach with an active stick. Mueller is a jack of all trades defenseman that projects to be a real shutdown guy that you can rely on in big minutes and plays with a great sense of responsibility. I also believe he does have some kind of untapped offensive potential.

2012/13 Statistics: 63GP – 6G – 25A – 31PTS – -10

18. Samuel Morin – D – Rimouski (QMJHL) – 6’7 – 200lbs. – Shoots L – July 12, 1995

Samuel Morin is as high as he is in this ranking because of his size. His game is enhanced in all aspects by his ability to move the puck. He’s a physical presence with a long reach that’s effective in one on one situations. He also has solid vision and a large, booming shot. The issues with Morin lie in agility, start/stop ability, and his ability to turn on a dime and change directions. His ability to move the puck up ice is there and he’s very comfortable doing so. He’s an intimidating presence on the ice and does a great job keeping players at bay one on one. He’s not incompetent with the puck and appears to be a natural at involving himself up ice. The issues here are mobility issues, how they pan out depends on how this young, hulking defenseman’s career ends up.

2012/13 Statistics: 46GP – 4G – 12A – 16PTS – 117PIM – +10

19. Curtis Lazar – C – Edmonton (WHL) – 5’11 – 193lbs. – Shoots R – February 2, 1994

Curtis Lazar is a strong center with a great first step that he uses to haunt any opposing player with the puck. He does a great job of handling himself in the defensive zone and also has a great compliment of offensive skills. His shot is above-average and he isn’t afraid to use it. The difficult part of watching Lazar play is his inconsistent approach in all areas. Lazar is the type of player that is difficult to get a beat on. We know he’s defensive adequate and has a great shot. He’s also a fluid and quick skater. But I’m not completely enamored with his overall bag of tricks. He’s a really smart player with an understanding for the game, but I think he has a tendency to watch the play develop a bit too much. His attitude on the ice is great and his approach to the game is refined for his age. Projects as a bit of a two-way center to me that has the ability to eat big minutes and shut down opposing players. Offensively, his shot is his biggest attribute and he isn’t afraid to test goaltenders from all areas of the ice.

2012/13 Statistics: 72GP – 38G – 23A – 62PTS – 47PIM – +25

20. Adam Erne – LW – Quebec (QMJHL) – 6’1 – 195lbs. – Shoots L – April 20, 1995

We think Adam Erne is one of the most promising young power-forwards in this draft class. Erne’s combination of north/south skating, power, finesse, and volatile offensive capabilities make him a treat for any fan or scout to watch. Erne has a high-quality shot with adequate vision and a nose for the net. His first step and overall agility might be just average, but his breakaway speed is there. His hands are silk and he’s very creative with the puck. He makes a living in front of the net and along the tough areas of the ice. His shot is above-average and his hands are elite. He’s not afraid to battle in the tough areas and doesn’t wait for the defense to initiate contact in the offensive zone. He’s a smart, responsible player that is in the true mold of a modern NHL power-forward. Perhaps the most attractive combination that Erne has is his physical presence combined with his hands and shooting ability. His overall size and offensive acumen make him a multi-faceted threat in the offensive zone. Erne is a consistent presence in the offensive zone and should continue to become an intimidating player as his size continues to improve.

2012/13 Statisitics: 68GP – 28G – 44A – 72PTS – 67PIM – +11

21. Morgan Klimchuk – C/LW – Regina (WHL) – 5’11 – 180lbs. – Shoots L – 1995

Morgan Klimchuk is a great skater with a strong plethora of offensive skills. His shot is extremely deceptive and his vision and passing is above-average. When I think of Klimchuk’s game, I envision him with his shoulder down driving into key areas. He’s a very difficult player to contain and he did a fantastic job this year of getting to the dirty areas of the ice and taking a bigger beating on a nightly basis. As always, size is a bit of a concern, but he plays the game with the attitude of a bigger player. He’s effective in all zones of the ice and can eat big minutes in big situations. He’s not afraid to go to the front of the net and his low, strong skating base combined with a good first step make him a real handful for opposing defensemen. His heads up style of play make him a difficult player to gauge when he has the puck. He’s made large improvements this year in getting to the rough areas but there’s still room for improvement. If he can bulk up, he’ll be a very intimidating forward with a strong set of offensive skills.

2012/13 Statistics: 72GP – 36G – 40A – 76PTS – 20PIM – -1

22. Valentin Zykov – LW – Baie-Comeau (QMKHL) – 6’0 – 210lbs. – Shoots R – May 15, 1995

Valentin Zykov had about as good of a first year of North American hockey has you could have. His game has become predicated on his physicality. He’s adjusted to board work well and consistently gets to the difficult areas of the ice. His offensive skills are consistent and he has above-average passing and shooting ability. His skating is good for a guy of his size but could be served to improve slightly. Zykov doesn’t really have the “Russian-factor” in his draft evaluation because of how well he adapted to the game this year. He’s not a player that will score a lot of “wow factor” goals. He gets to the rough areas, effectively screens the goaltender, and is fairly relentless in his hunt for the puck. I think his game needs to be refined in several areas. Appears to be a “down the road” prospect in the sense that further adjustments and refinements have to be made. Overall, he’s a solid skater with a big frame that is handful for opposing defenses. Zykov’s future lies in being a power-player with an adequate set of offensive skills.

2012/13 Statistics: 67GP – 40G -35A – 75PTS – 60PIM – +29

23. Frederik Gauthier – C – Rimouski (QMJHL) – 6’5 – 210lbs – Shoots L – April 26, 1995

Frederik Gauthier is a large, two-way forward with a slightly above-average offensive skill set. He covers all areas of the ice and is mature beyond his years in his own zone. His understanding of the game and anticipation of the play are both elite. He has an adequate set of offensive skills and his skating is solid for a player of his size. While he may not be as deadly with the puck as some of his peers, he’s difficult to knock off the puck and his puck control is a great aspect of his game. He’s not an overly physical player but he’s a handful in the difficult areas and does whatever it takes to win a battle. He provides value in every shift he takes regardless of what end of the ice he’s on. He needs to shoot the puck more and work on making his shot an additional asset to his game. Overall, Gauthier is a smart, responsible player that has a high upside in both the offensive and defensive zone. He’s the type of player that exhibits the in-game understanding and maturity of a professional.

2012/13 Statistics: 62GP – 22G – 38A – 60PTS – 26PIM – +22

24. Zachary Fucale – G – Halifax (QMJHL) – 6’1 – 181lbs. – Shoots L – May 28, 1995

Zachary Fucale is a goaltender mature beyond his years. His steady approach to the game allows him to play within himself and consistently use his athleticism and mechanics to prevent goals. His approach to goaltending is steady and well-maintained. He shuts down the lower half of the net and has a great glove hand. Fucale can play a lot and never seems to wear down from it. He’s the consensus among scouts for best goaltender available in this draft class.

2012/13 Statistics: 55GP – 45-5-2 – 2.35GAA – .909% – 2SO

25. Ryan Pulock – D – Brandon (WHL) – 6’0 – 211lbs. – Shoots R – October 6, 1994

Ryan Pulock is an offensive wunderkind that can play big minutes in big situations. His skating is powerful yet effortless. His approach to the game is consistently offensive and he has an elite shot. His vision and passing ability are also very strong. He takes the lead on the ice and isn’t afraid to start the rush himself. Seems to thrive with the puck on his stick. His most glaring deficiencies come in the defensive zone but his skating ability gets him out of a lot of trouble and seemingly masks a lot of his errors. He needs to use his size more effectively in the defensive zone. His hands are above-average and he has a great, heads-up style of play. This is a young defenseman that might need a bit of seasoning, especially in his own end, but he plays major minutes and can thrive in any situation because of his ability to skate the puck out of danger. Pulock as the mentality of a workhorse and seems to thrive in the spotlight.

2012/13 Statistics: 61GP – 14G – 31A – 45PTS – 22PIM – -7

26. Ryan Hartman – C/RW – Plymouth (OHL) – 5’11 – 187lbs. – Shoots R – September 20, 1994

Ryan Hartman exhibits all the same traits as a giant piece of sandpaper. He’s an extremely difficult player to play against and can be difficult to handle both during play and after the whistle. He’s a fluid, quick, and agile skater that heads north in a hurry. His puck control leads the way in a very steady set of offensive skills. He heads directly to the net when he has a path and wins a good bit of battles along the wall. He’s the type of player that can get in the head of the opposition and he’s consistent with his efforts in the offensive zone. He’s a physical presence despite his size and has become more adequate in the defensive zone, if for no other reason than the additional agitation that he provides. I feel it’s necessary to denote that despite his physical presence and extra-curricular activity away from the play, he is not categorized as a dirty player and I have not seen that out of him at any point. His shot is reaching the above-average point and he’s adequate in almost all areas of offense. Again, size needs to be mentioned here, but despite that he’s a difficult player to play against and one of those players you love to watch when he’s on your team.

2012/13 Statistics: 56GP – 23G – 37A – 60PTS – 120PIM – +29

27. Kerby Rychel – LW – Windsor (OHL) – 6’1 – 200lbs. – Shoots L – October 7, 1994

Kerby Rychel is a strong player with a consistently physical approach to the game. His offensive abilities are a distinct advantage for him and he scores goals in a wide variety of fashions. He’s a handful in front of the net and along the boards and he has an elite level shot with a lightning fast release and extreme accuracy for a guy with his attitude and build. He’s a player that gives it all on every shift and brings the same approach to the rink on a nightly basis. He’s a physical presence at all ends the ice. His skating is without a doubt his biggest deficiency and it gets him into trouble in the defensive zone. Rychel’s hands are an underrated aspect of his game and he doesn’t look out of place with the puck on his stick. While the path to the NHL might be a bit longer, his combination of size, smarts, and offensive skills are difficult to pass up.

2012/13 Statistics: 68GP – 40G – 47A – 87PTS – 94PIM – -21

28. Robert Hagg – D – Modo (SWE2) – 6’2 – 193lbs. – Shoots L – February 8, 1995

Robert Hagg is a great combination of size and skating for an offensive defenseman. His mobility and strength allow him to pull off quite a bit on the ice. He’s an adequate puck handler and has an above-average shot. His skating is fluid and effortless for a big man and it allows him to run amok in the defensive zone and make it extremely difficult on opposing forwards. He has a tendency to get wound up and lose himself on the ice occasionally, especially with his decision making. His vision in the offensive zone is above-average and that allows him to get open for shooting chances put the shot on net. He’s a very smart player that handles opposing rushes one-on-one in an elite fashion. He’s a big minutes defenseman that can thrive in virtually any situation.

2012/13 Statistics: 55GP – 11G – 14A – 25PTS – 24PIM – +6

29. Madison Bowey – D – Kelowna (WHL) – 6’2 – 178lbs. – Shoots R – August 3, 1995

Madison Bowey’s skating is underrated. He’s a big guy that might not have a ton of muscle but gets the job done in a physical capacity. His skating and physical game have grown by leaps and bounds this year. One of the reasons I rank him so high is because I believe his ceiling is extremely large with his total overall skill set. He plays within himself and is a presence in the defensive zone. His skating allows him to take n defenders in a multitude of ways. His physicality continued to grow throughout the year and should become a staple of his game as he continues to gain size. His skating is fluid and effortless. His offensive zone skills are average. Overall, Bowey’s combination of smarts, determination, and willingness to win are going to be key elements of his professional game. As he continues to grow in size, he’ll also hope to grow in raw offensive talent. He projects as a jack of all trades defenseman who is an asset because of his mobility alone.

2012/13 Statistics: 69GP – 12G – 18A – 30PTS – 75PIM – +41

30. Nicolas Petan – C – Portland (WHL) – 5’8 – 165lbs. – Shoots L – March 22, 1995

Nicolas Petan is a true offensive technician. His vision and understanding of the game are above-average. His hands are solid and he’s very relentless in his pursuit of the puck. Petan seems to read and anticipate the play extremely well. He’s got an adequate shot but his passing and dish ability are what make him such a deadly threat offensively. He’s an excellent skater, his mobility, acceleration, and top end gear are elite level. His physical presence in the game needs to be higher and his size is of concern. That being said, you simply cannot teach what this young man is capable of doing with the puck on his stick. He’s an effective player at protecting the puck and elongating his body while driving to open areas of the ice. His defensive game needs more work but is becoming adequate. He’s hampered in a lot of areas by his size but it didn’t prevent him from breaking the 100 point mark this season. He’s a vocal player with a high level of understanding on offensive. Petan is the type of player that gets more out of his linemates than anyone else would, but has to bulk up to make it to the next level.

2012/13 Statistics: 71GP – 46G – 74A – 120PTS – 43PIM – +68