TORONTO - Defenseman Rasmus Dahlin of Frolunda in the Swedish Hockey League and right wing Andrei Svechnikov of the Ontario Hockey League's Barrie Colts maintained their No. 1 ranking among International and North American Skaters, respectively, as the NHL Central Scouting Bureau today released its final rankings for the 2018 NHL Draft.
Dahlin (Trollhattan, Sweden) looks to become the second Swedish-born player selected first overall in the NHLDraft (Mats Sundin: No. 1 in 1989 by QUE). He starred for Frolunda in 2017-18, recording 7-13-20 in 41 games. Dahlin also captured a silver medal and was named Best Defenseman as a member of Team Sweden at the 2018 World Junior Championship and represented his country at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games.
"Dahlin is the real deal and the clear-cut No. 1, pro-ready prospect for the 2018 NHL Draft," said Director of NHL Central Scouting Dan Marr. "He has the skating, skills and elite hockey sense that can dictate the style of play and pace of a game with or without the puck. The icing on the cake with Dahlin is that he's an ultra-competitive player and a high-character person who leads by example."
Svechnikov (Barnaul, Russia) ranked first among OHL rookies with 40-32-72 in 2017-18 (44 GP). He averaged 1.64 points per game, placing first among rookies and fifth overall. His brother, Evgeny Svechnikov, was drafted 19th overall by the Detroit Red Wings in 2015.
"Svechnikov has a consistent and competitive power game that gets the puck through checks and to the net with speed and skill," said Marr. "As a first-year player, he quickly established himself in the OHL as an offensive impact player capable of influencing the game every time he's on the ice."
Joining Svechnikov among the top five ranked skaters from North America are: No. 2 Brady Tkachuk (St. Louis, Mo.), a left wing for Boston University (H-EAST) as well as the son of former NHLer Keith Tkachuk and brother of Calgary Flames left wing Matthew Tkachuk; No. 3 Filip Zadina (Pardubice, Czech Republic), a right wing for the Halifax Mooseheads (QMJHL); No. 4 Evan Bouchard (Oakville, Ont.), a defenseman for the London Knights (OHL); and No. 5 Noah Dobson (Summerside, P.E.I.), a defenseman for the Acadie-Bathurst Titan (QMJHL).
Joining Dahlin atop the International Skater rankings: No. 2 Adam Boqvist (Falun, Sweden), a defenseman on Brynas' junior team, and No. 3 Vitali Kravtsov (Vladivostok, Russia), a right wing for Chelyabinsk.
The final rankings feature the top 217 skaters and 31 goaltenders in North America as well as the top 130 skaters and 14 goaltenders internationally.
In its 43rd year of operation, NHL Central Scouting provides evaluation and scouting of draft-eligible players to NHL member clubs. Headed by Director of Central Scouting Dan Marr, NHL Central Scouting employs eight full-time and 12 part-time scouts throughout North America. To report on prospects playing internationally, the NHL employs the services of Goran Stubb and his staff at European Scouting Services based in Finland.
Combined, NHL Central Scouting and European Scouting Services will see in excess of 3,000 games this season.
The 2018 NHL Draft will be held June 22-23 at American Airlines Center in Dallas, marking the first time the city will host the event.