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It's never too early to start thinking 2012

by Mike G. Morreale
The boys are back at it here in the Conn Smythe Board Room in Toronto -- only this time the building is a tad busier being a work day.

No matter, the draft lists must be completed.

Prior to calling it a day on Sunday -- and pondering the incredible life of Yale University senior Mandi Schwartz who succumbed to cancer in the afternoon -- I was able to catch up with most of the scouts for a quick breakdown of what appears to be another star-studded cast for the 2012 Entry Draft. A site has yet to be determined.

The player in everyone's cross-hairs right now is Everett Silvertips defenseman Ryan Murray of the Western Hockey League. In fact, Central Scouting's B.J. MacDonald told me Murray probably could have been drafted this year -- he's that mature and that good right now.

"He's more a lead by example but, obviously, he must have a little influence because he got the 'C' in Everett so that speaks about his character and the confidence his coach, Craig Hartsburg, has in him," MacDonald told "Craig's been through the NHL wars and junior wars, so he must recognize the fact he has a leader there and he had no hesitation giving him the 'C'."

Peter Sullivan also informed me of a defenseman from the Moose Jaw Warriors who "skates as well as anyone who has ever played in the WHL."

I'll have a story on those players to look for out for within the WHL, OHL, QMJHL, Hockey East and West in 2012 prior to departing Toronto later today…
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