11 June 2010
With the 2010 NHL Entry Draft two weeks away, it’s time to take a glance at who’s on the radar for the top 5 picks.
1. Edmonton Oilers - Tyler Seguin (C) (OHL)
The Oilers averaged a near-worst 2.51 goals per game. Tyler Seguin finished the OHL regular season tied for the league lead with 106 points (48-58--106), becoming the first player in Plymouth franchise history to lead the OHL in scoring. His 48 goals in 63 games ranked third in the OHL in 2009-10.
2. Boston Bruins - Taylor Hall (LW) (OHL)
The Bruins are also another team in need of a scoring forward. The Hockey News describes Taylor as "a unique, but explosive skater and very creative offensively”. In the 2010 OHL Playoffs, Taylor led all players in scoring with 35 points (17-18--35) in 19 games, helping the Spitfires win their second consecutive Robertson Cup as OHL Champions.
3. Florida Panthers - Cam Fowler (D) (OHL)
The Panthers’ top ranked Defenseman is Bryan McCabe... enough said. They need Cam Fowler. As a member of Team USA he won a gold medal at the 2010 World Junior Championship and at the 2009 Under-18 World Championship where he was named the tournament's Top Defenseman.
4. Columbus Blue Jackets - Brett Connolly (RW) (WHL)
The Blue Jackets need scoring, and Brett Connolly’s got it. In 2008-09, he became the first 16-year-old Western Hockey League rookie to score 30 goals in a season since Patrick Marleau in 1995-96. He finished with a team-high 60 points and beat out Evgeny Grachev and Dmitry Kulikov -- both high NHL draft picks -- to be named Canadian Hockey League and WHL Rookie of the Year. He also notes that he models his game after Columbus forward Rick Nash – “he’s a big, strong skilled forward who I want to model my game around. We have similar traits”.
5. New York Islanders - Erik Gudbranson - (D) (OHL)
The Isles need defensemen, and when they traded the team’s best D-man, Andy Sutton to the Senators late last season, it was a sure signal that the team was in draft-mode. Being that the Panthers draft the no. 1 ranked defenseman in the draft, Cam Fowler, the next highest ranked one is Erik Gudbranson. Due to injury he played just 41 games in 2009-10, recording 23 points (2-21--23), a plus-11 rating and 68 penalty minutes. Erik played for Canada’s Under-18 team in Belarus at the 2010 IIHF World Championship. It was his third consecutive tournament with the team having won gold at the 2009 Ivan Hlinka Memorial and recording a fourth place finish at the 2008 Under-18 World Championships.
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