2011 NHL Entry Draft
2011 NHL Entry Draft Hats
Posted On Saturday, 04.02.2011 / 11:08 AM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Prospecting with Central Scouting

US-East players under the microscope

Those top prospects along the East are now up for debate.

That means scout Gary Eggleston is up. It seems towering 6-foot-7, 244-pound defenseman Jamieson Oleksiak was a favorite of all the evaluators present at the meeting. Oleksiak was rated No. 27 on Central Scouting's mid-term report. He played in every game at defense for Northeastern this season and finished with a team-best plus-13 rating. He was also the second-highest scoring defenseman with 4 goals and 9 assists.

There was also discussion of Philippe Hudon of Choate-Rosemary Hall in Connecticut. Hudon was rated No. 31 on the mid-term report. One player discussed in detail from the high school ranks was Exeter's Eric Neiley, a 5-10, 190-pound center. Neiley, committed to the University of Dartmouth next fall, was drafted by the Ontario Hockey League's Kingston Frontenacs in 2009 in the sixth round.

The focus has now shifted to the Quebec Major Hockey League -- a league that is chock-full of talent, including Drummondville's Sean Couturier and Saint John's Johathan Huberdeau, Nathan Beaulieu, Zack Phillips and Tomas Jurco and Victoriaville's Phillip Danault.

Posted On Saturday, 04.02.2011 / 9:52 AM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Prospecting with Central Scouting

US-West players now being discussed

Central Scouting's Jack Barzee, who works the Midwest covering many of the US high schools in Minnesota and the United States Hockey League, is now stating his case for many of the players within that area.

Among the players under discussion are Mario Lucia of Wayzata High School and Seth Ambroz of the USHL's Omaha Lancers. The scouts are actually debating over which player should be ranked ahead of the other but, keep in mind, they both think highly of each player.

U.S. National Team Development Program standouts Tyler Biggs, Jonathan Miller, Rocco Grimaldi and Conner Murphy were discussed in detail. Biggs was rated No. 5 on Central Scouting's mid-term report.

It's great when scouts cross over into other regions other than their own because it makes for even better discussion and debate. That's what I'm noticing with those players in the U.S.-West region. Most of the scouts have seen those players from the USNTDP and have had discussions with coach Ron Rolston.

Lucia was rated No. 30 on Central Scouting's mid-term report and Ambroz was No. 28, so the players are certainly comparable when projecting pro prospects 3-4 years down the road. Youngstown Phantoms' defenseman Scott Mayfield, who, like Ambroz, has maintained a blog all season for NHL.com, was also evaluated.

Read Mayfield's blog here.

Read Ambroz blog here.

Many of the scouts had high praise for University of Denver forward Nicholas Shore, who was rated No. 38 on Central Scouting's mid-term report. In 33 games this year, Shore had 7 goals, 18 points and 91 shots on net. He also fired home 2 game-winners.
Posted On Saturday, 04.02.2011 / 9:20 AM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Prospecting with Central Scouting

Western Hockey League opens CSS meeting

So, the meeting has begun here at the Conn Smythe Board Room at NHL Offices and the major topic right now are those Western Hockey League players just below the top-tiers performers within the league. Scouts B.J. MacDonald and Peter Sullivan, who each specialize in the 'Dub', are providing much of the commentary on the players.

The big names, of course, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins of Red Deer, Ty Rattie, Joe Morrow and Sven Baertschi of Portland, Duncan Siemens of Saskatoon, Mark McNeill of Prince Albert and David Musil of Vancouver. All the aformentioned were projected as possible first-round prospects at Central Scouting's mid-term release.

There is some heated discussion right now on players Joel Edmundson of Moose Jaw, Adam Lowry of Swift Current, Shane McColgan of Kelowna, Keegan Lowe of Edmonton, Sam Grist of Tri-City and Dylan Wruck of Edmonton.
Posted On Friday, 04.01.2011 / 9:00 AM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Prospecting with Central Scouting

Gurus of NHL Central Scouting meet again

NHL Central Scouting is ready to rock at the Conn Smythe Board Room in Toronto this weekend to determine its final rankings of the top draft-eligible players on the board this June at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minn.

On Saturday, the pro scouts will have a go at it to determine this year's final list of the top 210 draft-eligible skaters and 30 goalies from North America for the 2011 Entry Draft.

NHL.com will also be present for the opening three days of the meetings, providing exclusive coverage. The scouts will no doubt be in heated debate, unveiling the pros and cons of every player from all the major junior leagues throughout North America.

Discussions will heat up almost immediately on Saturday morning as the scouts debate over who should receive the No. 1 overall placement among North American skaters. The top five candidates expected to vie for that position will be Kitchener's Gabriel Landeskog, Red Deer's Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Saint John's Jonathan Huberdeau and Drummondville's Sean Couturier. All were rated among the top four on Central Scouting's mid-term list.

"This meeting will be intense as are all our meetings," Central Scouting's Chris Edwards told NHL.com. "I expect that the discussion we have for the first round will go on longer than normal. There are three or four guys who could be considered for the top spot. All of these players are excellent prospects and will get all of the attention and consideration they deserve."

Keep checking the "Prospecting with Central Scouting" blog, which will be updated every few hours, beginning Saturday and concluding Monday, for up-to-the-minute developments as they happen.
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