As a lead-in to the 2008 NHL Entry Draft June 20-21 in Ottawa, Ontario, NashvillePredators.com will be taking a look at the top prospects available in this year's draft class. Today we will be starting with the top North American forwards.
1) Steven Stamkos (Sarina, OHL) - 61 games, 58g-47a-105pts, 88 penalty minutesCSS-NA #1, HN-#1, ISS-#1
The consensus No. 1 overall pick, Stamkos is billed as a complete player with the ability to compete at the NHL level this coming season.
2) Kyle Beach (Everett, WHL) - 60 games, 27g-33a-60pts, 222 penalty minutesCSS-NA #7, HN-#10, ISS-#13
Most scouting services bill Beach as the best power-forward available in this year's draft, with the on-ice skill to be difference maker at the NHL level. On talent alone, he'd likely draw consideration for a top-5 pick, however most scouting services make note of potential character issues on and off the ice, making Beach one of the biggest wild cards in this year's draft.
3) Zach Boychuk (Lethbridge, WHL) - 61 games, 33g-39a-72pts, 80 penalty minutesCSS-NA #8, NH-#12, ISS-#12
Boychuck is billed by most scouting services as an undersized playmaking forward. No one seems to question his productivity at the Junior level and the scouting services make sure to note his ability to play bigger than his 5'9 frame.
4) Cody Hodgson (Brampton, OHL) - 68 games, 40g-45a-85pts, 36 penalty minutesCSS-NA #9, HN-#8, ISS-#9
The scouting services list Hodgson as an excellent playmaking forward with a well developed offensive game. His dad has high political aspirations in Canada, adding another level of intrgue to various teams' interest in Cody.
5) Colin Wilson (Boston U., NCAA) - 34 games, 12g-22a-34pts, 20 penalty minutesCSS-NA #10, HN-#7, ISS-#8
Wilson is a viewed by scouting services big forward with well developed offensive skills and will likely be the first US forward selected in this year's draft. The son of former NHLer Carey Wilson, Colin was a standout for Team USA at the World Junior Championships after moving through the US National Team Development Program. Other names of note:
Joshua Bailey (Windson, OHL) - 67 games, 29g-67a-96pts, 32 penalty minutesCSS-NA #14, HN-#14, ISS-#11
Zac Dalpe (Penticton, BCHL) - 46 games, 27g-36a-63pts, 14 penalty minutesCSS-NA #16, HN-#29, ISS-#20
Jamie Arniel (Sarnia, OHL) - 60 games, 27g-20a-47pts, 38 penalty minutesCSS-NA #20, HN-#46
Nicolas Deschamps (Chicotimi, QMJHL) - 70 games, 24g-43a-67pts, 63 penalty minutesCSS-NA #21, HN-#35, ISS-#25
Greg Nemisz (Windsor, OHL) - 68 games, 34g-33a-67pts, 52 penalty minutesCSS-NA #22, HN-#21, ISS-#26
Matthew Calvert (Brandon, WHL) - 72 games, 24g-40a-64pts, 53 penalty minutesCSS-NA #24
Maxime Sauve (Val d'Or, QMJHL) - 70 games, 26g-39a-65pts, 30 penalty minutesCSS-NA #26, HN-#45
Joe Colborne (Camrose, AJHL) - 55 games, 33g-57a-90pts, 48 penalty minutesCSS-NA #28, HN-#25, ISS-#23
Kruise Reddick (Tri-City, WHL) - 72 games, 23g-51a-74pts, 60 penalty minutesCSS-NA #30, HN-#56
Tyler Ennis (Medicine Hat, WHL) - 70 games, 43g-48a-91pts, 42 penalty minutesCSS-NA #31, HN-#41
Key: CSS-NA (Central Scouting-North American Rankings), HN (The Hockey News), ISS (International Scouting Services)