HALIFAX, Nova Scotia -- Dan Marr, the director of NHL Central Scouting, believes the top spot in 2013 NHL Draft is a four-player race.
While that may be the case, there are also two clear frontrunners -- defenseman Seth Jones of the Portland Winterhawks and center Nathan MacKinnon of the Halifax Mooseheads.
In the release of its midterm rankings Tuesday, Central Scouting pegged Jones the top-rated skater in North America, followed by MacKinnon.
"Jonathan Drouin and Aleksander Barkov are going to make a case for themselves," Marr told NHL.com. "Ultimately, the teams selecting will pick their players, but I can tell you that No. 1 and No. 2 are fluid. It wasn't an easy decision, and there's nothing negative to say about either [Jones or MacKinnon].
"They are both very good in their own right, and they play different positions. That will influence some people since they are the best players at their position. To say one is the best overall was tough."
So why did Jones finally earn the nod?