Defenseman Rasmus Dahlin of Frolunda in the Swedish Hockey League and right wing Andrei Svechnikov of the Ontario Hockey League's Barrie Colts rank No. 1 among International and North American Skaters, respectively, as the NHL Central Scouting Bureau today released its mid-season rankings.
Dahlin (Trollhattan, Sweden) looks to become the second Swedish-born player selected first overall in the NHL Draft (Mats Sundin: No. 1 in 1989 by QUE). Dahlin captured a silver medal and was named Best Defenseman as a member of Team Sweden at the 2018 World Junior Championship and will represent his country, at 17 years of age, at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games.
"Dahlin is the real deal and the consensus No. 1 selection for the 2018 NHL Draft. His play at the World Junior Championship solidified that fact," said Director of NHL Central Scouting Dan Marr. "He has elite level skills and hockey sense and plays with such composure and conviction that you cannot help but be impressed at what he has accomplished and what the future holds for him in the National Hockey League."
Svechnikov (Barnaul, Russia) ranks first among OHL rookies with 1.33 points per game in 2017-18 (19-13-32 in 24 GP). He was named United States Hockey League rookie of the year in 2016-17 after finishing sixth in league scoring while skating with the Muskegon Lumberjacks (29-29-58 in 48 GP). His brother,Evgeny Svechnikov, was drafted 19th overall by the Detroit Red Wings in 2015.
"Svechnikov possesses the size, speed and elite skill set that allow him to influence the game every time he steps on the ice," said Marr. "He is a skilled power forward who plays the game with speed, drive and precision, with exceptional natural offensive instincts and finishing ability."
Joining Svechnikov among the top five ranked skaters from North America are: No. 2 Filip Zadina(Pardubice, Czech Republic), a right wing for the Halifax Mooseheads (QMJHL); No. 3 Brady Tkachuk (St. Louis, Mo.), a left wing for Boston University (H-EAST); No. 4 Quintin Hughes (Orlando, Fla.), a defenseman for the University of Michigan (BIG10); and No. 5 Evan Bouchard (Oakville, Ont.), a defenseman for the London Knights (OHL).
A pair of Swedish-born players join Dahlin atop the International Skater rankings: No. 2 Adam Boqvist(Falun, Sweden), a defenseman on Brynas' junior team, and No. 3 Isac Lundestrom (Gallivare, Sweden), a center for Lulea.
The mid-season rankings feature the top 217 skaters and 31 goaltenders in North America as well as the top 125 skaters and 15 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 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, home of the Dallas Stars, marking the first time the city will host the event.