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2018 Draft Preview: Top European Skaters

Get to know the top 10 European skaters ahead of the 2018 NHL Draft on June 22-23

by Cory Wright WrightsWay / New York Islanders

The 2018 NHL Draft takes place on Friday June 22 and Saturday June 23 at American Airlines Center in Dallas, TX. The Islanders hold the 11th and 12th overall picks in this year's draft and is getting you set with a look at the top prospects entering the draft. 

This week, we'll be previewing the top North American skaters, the top European skaters and top goalies.

*All rankings according to NHL Central Scouting. 

10 - Filip Johansson

Position: D - Team: Leksand (SuperElit) - Height: 6'0 - Weight: 174 lbs. - Age: 18
2017-18 Stats: 23GP 1G 0A 1P

Filip Johansson split the 2017-18 season between SuperElit and Allsvenskan, skating for Leksands. The defenseman found an offensive touch in the playoffs, with five points (2G, 3A) in 11 games. 

Internationally, Johansson won a pair of bronze medals at the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament and the U18 WJC. Johansson also won a gold medal at the U17 World Hockey Challenge. 

9 - Jacob Olofsson

Position: C - Team: Timra (Allsvenskan) - Height: 6'2 - Weight: 192 lbs. - Age: 18
2017-18 Stats: 43GP 10G 11A 21P

Jacob Olofsson capped a breakout 2017-18 with a promotion from Allsvenskan to the SHL for next season. 

Olofsson recorded 21 points (10G, 11A) in 43 games, the most goals and points for a junior player in Sweden's second-highest professional league. Olofsson was named the top junior in Allsvenskan. 

Internationally, Olofsson won a bronze medal at the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament, racking up four points (2G, 2A) as an alternate captain. Olofsson also won a bronze medal at the U18 WJC. 

8 - Isac Lundestrom

Position: C - Team: Lulea (SHL) - Height: 6'0 - Weight: 185 lbs. - Age: 18
2017-18 Stats: 42GP 6G 9A 15P

Isac Lundestrom completed his second full season in the SHL this past year, recording 15 points (6G, 9A) in 42 games for Lulea HF. The 18-year-old forward has played two seasons against men, scoring the most points for a U18 player in the 2016-17 season. 

Internationally, Lundestrom took home a silver medal in the World Juniors and had previously earned silver at the 2015-16 U18 WJC. 

7 - Grigori Denisenko

Position: LW - Team: Loko Yaroslavl (MHL) - Height: 5'11 - Weight: 176 lbs. - Age: 17
2017-18 Stats: 31GP 9G 13A 22P

Grigori Denisenko recorded 22 points (9G, 13A) in 31 games with Loko Yaroslavl, the junior team for the KHL's Lokomotiv Yaroslavl. 

Denisenko won an MHL title - the KHL's junior league - with Loko and earned a recall to Lokomotiv for the KHL playoffs. Denisenko also recorded 11 points (6G, 5A) in 14 games with Russia's U18 team in international competition. 

6 - Jesperi Kotkaniemi

Position: C - Team: Assat (Liiga) - Height: 6'2 - Weight: 188 lbs. - Age: 17
2017-18 Stats: 57GP 10G 19A 29P

Jesperi Kotkaniemi broke into Finland's top league, Liiga, this season, recording 29 points (10G, 19A) in 57 games with Ässät, finishing third in team scoring. 

Internationally, Kotkaniemi won a gold medal with Finland at the U18 WJC, where he was named a top-three player on his team. Kotkaniemi finished the tournament with nine points (3G, 6A) in seven games. 

5 - Adam Ginning

Position: D - Team: Linkoping (SHL) - Height: 6'3 - Weight: 196 lbs. - Age: 18
2017-18 Stats: 28GP 1G 1A 2P

The third Swedish defenseman ranked in the top-five European skaters, Adam Ginning has spent the past two seasons playing for Linkoping HC in the SHL and SuperElit leagues. 

Ginning has some size (6'3, 196lbs.) with room to grow into his body, but has already been playing against men for parts of the past two years. 

Internationally, Ginning won bronze medals at this year's Ivan Hlinka tournament and at the U-18 WJC. Ginning was named a top-three player on Sweden at this year's U18 WJC and captained the squad. 

4 - Martin Kaut

Position: RW - Team: HC Dynamo Pardubice (Extraliga) - Height: 6'2 - Weight: 176 lbs. - Age: 18
2017-18 Stats: 38GP 9G 7A 16P

Martin Kaut played his first full season in the Czech league this past year, recording 16 points (9G, 7A) in 38 games for HC Dynamo Pardubice. 

On the international stage, Kaut recorded seven points (2G, 5A) in seven games at the World Juniors, as the Czechs finished fourth. Kaut also picked up a gold medal at the 2016-17 Ivan Hlinka tournament. 

3 - Vitali Kravtsov

Position: RW - Team: Traktor Chelyabinsk (KHL) - Height: 6'2 - Weight: 170 lbs. - Age: 18
2017-18 Stats: 35GP 4G 3A 7P

Vitali Kravtsov's regular season numbers don't jump off the page, but the KHL's reigning rookie of the year has been on an upward trajectory since March. 

Kravtsov won back-to-back rookie of the month honors in March and April to end the KHL season and took home rookie of the week honors in the first three rounds of the KHL playoffs, posting 11 points (6G, 5A) in 16 games for Traktor Chelyabinsk. 

At 6'2, 183 lbs., Kravtsov has the frame with room to grow. 

2 - Adam Boqvist

Position: D - Team: Brynas Jr. (SuperElit) - Height: 5'11 - Weight: 168 lbs. - Age: 17
2017-18 Stats: 25GP 14G 10A 24P

Another Swedish defenseman is at the top of the European rankings as Adam Boqvist holds down the number two spot. 

Boqvist is small (5'11, 165lbs.) but skilled, recording 24 points (14G, 10A) in 25 games with Brynas IF J20 in Sweden's SuperElit league before getting called up to the SHL. 

Boqvist got lots of reps on the international stage and shone in when wearing the Tre Kroner. Boqvist was named the top defenseman at the U18 WJC, leading blueliners in goals and points. The 17 year old won a bronze medal at the U18WJC and the Ivan Hlinka tournament. 

1 - Rasmus Dahlin 

Position: D - Team: Frolunda HC (SHL) - Height: 6'2 - Weight: 181 lbs. - Age: 18
2017-18 Stats: 41GP 7G 13A 20P

As the consensus number one pick, Rasmus Dahlin is almost assured to become a Buffalo Sabre on June 22. 

Touted as a franchise defenseman with great skill and mobility, the 18 year old has spent the past two seasons playing against grown men in the Swedish Hockey League for Frolunda HC. This season he posted career-highs in goals (7), assists (13) and points (20) in 41 games - the most points for a U-18 junior in the SHL. 

At 18, Dahlin has already played in two World Juniors, as well as an Olympic Games for Sweden. He was named the top defenseman at this year's World Juniors, as well as an all-star and a top-three player on his team, as Sweden took home a silver medal. 

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