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NHL Central Scouting Final Rankings: European Skaters - 1-10

by Staff Writer / Calgary Flames
1 Filip Forsberg, RW, Leksand (SWE)

Born: August 13, 1994

Born In: Ostervala, SWE

Shoots: Right

GP: 43   G: 8  A: 9   P: 17   PIM: 33
LOWDOWN: Physically, Forsberg is quite mature and isn't shy about using his 6-foot-2 to muscle opponents off the puck. He also has a great first step, allowing him to accelerate quickly and gain great speed. Forsberg has been praised for his creativity with the puck, something that was on display in the Ivan Hlinka tournament when he potted four goals in five games. His two-way play is top notch and he is extremely reliable in his own zone.

WHAT SCOUTS SAY: “A leader who shows by example -- I would compare him to Anaheim's Corey Perry a little bit. Has a nose for the net, and often scores the big goals. He's a creative playmaker, good skater with fine straight-ahead speed. He's a right-handed forward with an excellent shot and an effective two-way player with a great winning attitude. Filip's a solid puck carrier with very good puck-handling skills; mature, good size and physically strong. On top of that, he'll sacrifice himself to make the play.” - NHL Director of European Scouting Goran Stubb to

2 Teuvo Teravainen, LW, Jokerit (FIN)

Born: September 11, 1994

Born In: Helsinki, FIN

Shoots: Left

GP: 40   G: 11  A: 7   P: 18   PIM: 6
LOWDOWN: Skill is Teravainen's calling card and many project he will be a top-six forward for the team that drafts him thanks to his talent and creativity. He absolutely dominated in junior (20 points in 11 games this year) and was promoted to SM-Liiga this season to play against men. Despite the big jump, Teravaninen still managed to produce offence and turn heads throughout the season. His ability to control the puck at high speeds and through tight spaces has him projected to be a top-six offensive winger in the NHL in the future. He has great hands and is a finisher. He showed off his scoring touch on the international stage at the Five Nations tournament when he notched a hat trick against the Czechs.

3 Sebastian Collberg, RW, Frolunda (SWE)

Born: February 23, 1994

Born In: Mariestad, SWE

Shoots: Right

GP: 41   G: 0   A: 0   P: 0   PIM: 2
LOWDOWN: Collberg spent the majority of the 2011-12 season with Frolunda, playing against men in Sweden's top league, but his minutes with the team were limited. To truly evaluate his talent against that of the 2012 draft class, one has to look at what Collberg accomplished in junior and during international tournaments. In 56 junior games over the past two seasons, he amassed 61 points (30 goals, 31 assists). At the World Juniors, he recorded seven points (four goals, three assists) in six games with Sweden. His greatest strength is his shot. He has an incredibly quick release and his speed allows him to slip into shooting lanes before defenders can get into position.

4 Hampus Lindholm, D, Rogle (SWE)

Born: January 20, 1994

Born In: Helsingborg, SWE

Shoots: Left

GP: 28   G: 5   A: 12   P: 17   PIM: 16
LOWDOWN: Lindholm's transition game is one of his greatest strengths and his ability to move the puck up the ice is rock solid. He has good vision and instincts, looking quite comfortable joining the rush. Lindholm has a ton of offensive upside thanks to his ability to read plays and his creativity but he is also very responsible in his own end. His development over the past year has created buzz and he has progressed in almost every area of his game and was a key component in Rogle being able to move up to the Elite League next season.

5 Tomas Hertl, C, Slavia (CZE)

Born: November 12, 1993

Born In: Prague, CZE

Shoots: Left

GP: 38   G: 12   A: 13   P: 25   PIM: 22
LOWDOWN: The world got a glimpse of Hertl's skills at the World Juniors when he helped the Czech Republic exceed all expectations with their strong showing. In six games at the tournament, he potted three goals and posted five points. Given it was his first experience with such a bright spotlight placed upon him, Hertl's composure also deserves praise. His net-front presence is strong and he doesn't hesitate to battle at the top of the blue paint. While he has solid playmaking skills, he is more of a finisher. He has a heavy, accurate shot and doesn't hesitate to put the puck on net whenever he has the opportunity.

6 Pontus Aberg, LW, Djurgarden (SWE)

Born: September 23, 1993

Born In: Stockholm, SWE

Shoots: Right

GP: 47   G: 8   A: 7   P: 15   PIM: 6
LOWDOWN: Aberg is a great skater and has slick hands. He's known for being able to open up space for himself, a major asset since his shot is excellent. It's accurate and Aberg has a quick release. His vision and hockey sense have been lauded as he seems to know exactly where he needs to be in the offensive zone. While Aberg's team didn't fare well this season, he was able to make the transition to playing with men easily and rarely looked out of place. His work ethic is strong, giving it his all game in and game out.

7 Ville Pokka, D, Karpat (FIN)

Born: June 3, 1994

Born In: Tornio, FIN

Shoots: Right

GP: 35   G: 0   A: 3   P: 3   PIM: 12
LOWDOWN: Pokka has taken great strides over the past couple of seasons as he played above his age group and been able to gain valuable experience. His composure has been raved about. In any situation, he remains calm and able to refrain from making panicked plays. During the World Juniors, Pokka was able to fill the void left when Olli Maatta suffered a concussion and helped the Finns make it to the semi-final. He makes a good first pass and his offensive instincts are above average for his age. He handles the puck well, has a hard shot and his one-timer is quite accurate.

8 Ludvig Bystrom, D, Modo (SWE)

Born: July 20, 1994

Born In: Ornskoldsvik, SWE

Shoots: Left

GP: 20   G: 0   A: 1   P: 1   PIM: 8
LOWDOWN: Strong play in junior early in the year earned Bystrom 20 games with Modo in the Swedish Elite League this year where he was able to get hands-on experience playing with men. He has poise, strong skating ability and size (6-foot-1, 208 lbs) along with heaps of patience. Bystrom moves the puck well, either making tape-to-tape passes or opting to carry it up the ice himself. His stick work has also been noted as one of his strengths. He put up great offensive numbers in junior (29 points in 34 games this year) but is projected to be more of a two-way defenceman rather than an offensive blueliner.

9 Nikolai Prokhorkin, LW, CSKA (RUS-JR)

Born: September 17, 1993

Born In: Chelyabinsk, RUS

Shoots: Left

GP: 15   G: 9   A: 17   P: 26   PIM: 47
LOWDOWN: Most people aren't familiar with Prokhorkin due to the fact he has not been involved in any major international events but the forward - who can play center as well as on the wing - will provide an NHL team with a gifted, creative playmaker in future years. He also isn't prone to over-passing the puck and has solid finishing skills. Standing at 6-foot-2, he uses his 191 lbs frame well and doesn't shy away from physical play. His strong play this season earned him a KHL call-up where he performed admirably.

10 Anton Slepyshev, LW, Novokuznetsk (KHL)

Born: May 13, 1994

Born In: Penza, RUS

Shoots: Right

GP: 39   G: 4   A: 3   P: 7   PIM: 2
LOWDOWN: Slepyshev stepped into the KHL this season as a 17 year-old and has impressed scouts with his ability to play amongst men in one of the best leagues in the world. His offensive numbers are far from staggering but considering his age and the fact he likely had limited minutes, his performance this season has been a success. He has high-end puck skills and he is extremely quick, reaching his top speed within a few strides. He has a shoot-first mentality but is also an adept playmaker who sees the ice well. Slepyshev's shot often surprises netminders as he's able to get it off extremely quickly in tight spaces.

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