LOWDOWN: When it comes to center's in the draft, Couturier is rivaled only by Nugent-Hopkins. His size allows to him to open up ice for his wingers and park himself in position to bury it when it comes to him. He had an outstanding campaign with Voltigeurs and won the QMJHL's Michel-Brière Trophy for Most Valuable Player. His defensive game is rock solid and gives him an edge going ito the draft.
WHAT SCOUTS SAY: "Sean has excellent puckhandling and playmaking ability; he sees the ice and reads the play very well . . . He's extremely smart and gets himself into good scoring position. He plays a solid two-way game and is very responsible defensively." - NHL Central Scouting's Chris Edwards
LOWDOWN: Winger Baertschi's superb stickhandling has made him a standout in Portland. His dynamic scoring touch pushed him to second in overall team scoring and has helped keep him within the top ten ranked North American skaters all year. Baertschi is known around the league for his unwavering commitment to personal development. His coach Mike Johnson has noted the forward is known for being on the ice 45 after practice ends, working on his game.
WHAT SCOUTS SAY: "Baertschi is a finesse player. He has very quick hands and is a deft puckhandler. His radar vision probably makes him the best in the WHL at distributing the puck." - NHL Central Scouting's Blair MacDonald to NHL.com
Ryan Strome, C, Niagara (OHL)
Born: July 11, 1993
Born In: Mississauga, ON
GP: 65 G: 33 A: 73 P: 106 PIM: 82
LOWDOWN: Coming into the 2010-11 season with scouts guessing he'd be chosen in somewhere in the top 60 players, Strome lifted his game to another level and is now believed to be a top 10 draft pick. He has a knack for creative playmaking and his size allows to play in high traffic areas easily. His willingness to play in the tough areas and battle with defenders in front of the net makes him very valuable on the power play.
WHAT SCOUTS SAY: "He skates very well and has very good speed. He's a creative playmaker who sees the ice very well. He goes to the net and battles in front. He is able to get to rebounds and loose pucks in front. He has good hands and has scored some goals off tip-ins in front." - NHL Central Scouting's Chris Edwards to NHL.com
Ryan Murphy, D, Kitchener (OHL)
Born: March 31, 1993
Born In: Aurora, ON
GP: 63 G: 26 A: 53 P: 79 PIM: 36
LOWDOWN: No other blueliner in the draft has as much offensive potential as Murphy does. He has a howitzer of shot, making him the perfect candidate to quarterback a power play, and is exceptional when it comes to handling the puck. His speed is another major upside. He has explosive exceleration and can turn on a dime. His size may make some wary but once he adds some bulk to his frame, he'll be able to contain opponents in the NHL on the forecheck.
WHAT SCOUTS SAY: "Ryan's work on the power play is outstanding, He sees the ice very well and is creative, [has] excellent passing ability and a great shot that he gets through to the net. (He's) also an excellent all-round skater. He's got real good mobility. He's a bit of a gambler. He does move the puck well, but he's going to have to concentrate on making good plays." - NHL Central Scouting's Chris Edwards to NHL.com
Duncan Siemens, D, Saskatoon (WHL)
Born: September 7, 1993
Born In: Sherwood Park, AB
GP: 72 G: 5 A: 38 P: 43 PIM: 121
LOWDOWN: Siemens plays with an edge and uses his big body to physically impose his will on opponents. He's not afraid to drop the gloves and won't hestiate to plaster forecheckers against the glass. The blueliner has a heavy shot that makes him useful on the power play but is also a capable penalty killer. In his own end, he's quite good one-on-one with opponents and is poised when under pressure.
WHAT SCOUTS SAY: "He's a guy that is really tough to play against. Sometimes I think he over-does it, tries to do too much, but he's got all the potential. He can carry the puck, he's a tough kid -- he can fight. He's tough to play against. He can work both ends; he plays both the power play and penalty kill. He's just a solid, all-round defenseman." - NHL Central Scouting's Peter Sullivan to NHL.com