Bob McKenize of TSN has released the Top Ten Draft eligible prospects for the 2009 NHL Draft. You can read the story or if you like to see the players, there's also a video.
The Top Ten looks like this:
1. Victor Hedman, Defence
2. John Tavares, Forward
3. Jared Cowen, Defence
4. Matt Duchene, Forward
5. Brayden Schenn, Forward
6. Magnus Svensson-Paajarvi, Forward
7. Nazem Kadri, Forward
8. Jordan Schroeder, Forward
9. Evander Kane, Forward
10. Louis Leblanc, Forward
You can interchange Victor Hedman and John Tavares all day. Depending on what team is drafting 1st overall, will determine who will go 1st overall. Unless John Tavares really lights it up, it will be a horse race like McKenize said in his piece. This should be an interesting year and should make draft day very exciting.
If it wasn't for Hedman, Cowan, would be getting more hype. As a 16-year-old, he looked like a veteran last year. He also had a very good Ivan Hlinka Tournament that raised his stock. He was a top ten talent before the tournament but his play at the tournament put him in the top five.
Matt Duchene comes in at number four. He's a sniper with 30 goals as a rookie last season. He only had 50 points but that total will go up in his sophomore campaign. By year's end he could be the guy going number three.
Brayden Schenn was amazing last year as he led the Brandon Wheat Kings with 71 points. Like I said in my post yesterday, the Wheat Kings have a great 1-2 punch with Schenn and Scott Glennie.
Magnus Svensson-Paajarvi could be rated higher if this was a different year. Hedman and Paajarvi are the only players in the top ten that will be playing against men this year. His performance at the World Junior Championships could raise his stock to the point where he's challenging Hedman and Tavares.
Nazem Kadri is a very good player but seven is a tad to high. He looked very good at the Memorial Cup. This season he will be with the London Knights who acquired him as apart of the Steve Mason deal. He should be one of the go to guys this season. With the Kitchener Rangers last season, he was a secondary option.
The only player that will be playing college hockey this season is Jordan Schroeder. He will be a Golden Gopher. The NHL scouts saw what he can do at last year's World Junior Championships where he had a goal and seven assists.
The third WHL player in the top ten is Evander Kane of the Vancouver Giants. There's no relation to Patrick Kane. With the Giants, he had 24 goals and 17 assists. In my personal rankings, he's at number 17. Just like some of the players in this poll, he was a secondary option on offense last season.
The most surprising player in this list is Louis LeBlanc. The Quebec native played in Midget AAA last season but he showed his talent at the Ivan Hlinka Tournament. He will be playing in the USHL this season with the Omaha Lancers. He's Harvard bound in the Fall of 2009.
I am surprised that Olivier Roy wasn't ranked in the top ten. Maybe TSN used different scouts then the CHL that ranked the top teams in the Canadian Hockey Leaague. He's very talented and expect him to be ranked in the top ten early on in the season. Other players that I have in my top ten that weren't ranked are Toni Rajala and Richard Panik.
You can view my Top 30 here.
That's My Take
(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at email@example.com)