MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Ryan Nugent-Hopkins is widely considered the best available player in this weekend's NHL draft.
The Edmonton Oilers have the first pick for the second summer in a row, and they could use a young center to pair with last year's top selection, left wing Taylor Hall. Nugent-Hopkins says he's tried to ignore the scouting reports that have the 18-year-old center from British Columbia pegged as the best of the bunch.
The first round of the draft is Friday night at Minnesota's Xcel Energy Center, home of the Wild.
Nugent-Hopkins led the Western Hockey League with 75 assists last season for the Red Deer Rebels. The 6-foot, 164-pound Nugent-Hopkins would be the first WHL player drafted first since 1996.