Everett Silvertips' Ryan Murray is the highest ranked defenseman for the 2012 NHL Draft. (Photo: Frank Deines III)
The last time as many as five defensemen were among the top 10 players selected in the opening round of the draft was 1996, when six were chosen. There's a good chance that could be equaled in Round 1 this June 22 at Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh.
At least that's what NHL Central Scouting believes based on its midterm release Wednesday, as seven of the top 10 North American players listed happen to star along the blue line.
Central Scouting will offer one final release in April prior to the draft.