NHL Central Scouting is ready to rock at the Conn Smythe Board Room in Toronto this weekend to determine its final rankings of the top draft-eligible players on the board this June at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minn.
On Saturday, the pro scouts will have a go at it to determine this year's final list of the top 210 draft-eligible skaters and 30 goalies from North America for the 2011 Entry Draft.
NHL.com will also be present for the opening three days of the meetings, providing exclusive coverage. The scouts will no doubt be in heated debate, unveiling the pros and cons of every player from all the major junior leagues throughout North America.
Discussions will heat up almost immediately on Saturday morning as the scouts debate over who should receive the No. 1 overall placement among North American skaters. The top five candidates expected to vie for that position will be Kitchener's Gabriel Landeskog
, Red Deer's Ryan Nugent-Hopkins
, Saint John's Jonathan Huberdeau
and Drummondville's Sean Couturier
. All were rated among the top four on Central Scouting's mid-term list.
"This meeting will be intense as are all our meetings," Central Scouting's Chris Edwards told NHL.com. "I expect that the discussion we have for the first round will go on longer than normal. There are three or four guys who could be considered for the top spot. All of these players are excellent prospects and will get all of the attention and consideration they deserve."
Keep checking the "Prospecting with Central Scouting" blog, which will be updated every few hours, beginning Saturday and concluding Monday, for up-to-the-minute developments as they happen.