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2010 Draft Prep: Top North American Prospects

by Jay Levin / Nashville Predators
With the 2010 NHL Entry Draft approaching this weekend, takes a look at some of the top prospects in this year's draft. Last week we profiled 10 of the projected top prospects; the coverage continues looking further at the top North American prospects. Check back in the coming days for more draft prep coverage including top European prospects in the draft and an introduction to some of the prospects making a late charge up mock draft projections.

(prospects listed in alphabetical order).

Key - CSS=NHL Central Scouting; HN=Hockey News; ISS=International Scouting Services

Beau Bennett (Pentiction, BCHL)
Forward – 6’0”, 173 pounds
56 games, 41g-79a-120pts, 20 penalty minutes
CSS-NA # 32, HN # 35
“120 points in 56 games. Good size winger destined to follow maybe in the footsteps of one-time BCHL scoring leader Kyle Turris during his junior year.” –E.J. McGuire, Director of NHL Central Scouting

Nick Bjugstad (Blaine, High-MN)
Forward – 6’4”, 188 pounds
25 games, 29g-31a-60pts, 24 penalty minutes
CSS-NA # 13, HN # 9, ISS # 21
“He's further along and more polished than (Boston's Blake) Wheeler. He's also a better skater than David Backes was at the same age (17). The only difference is Backes was thicker, but the ingredients are there. He wants the puck and wants to make plays. He's a blue-collar type kid who works his tail off.” – Jack Barzee, NHL Central Scouting

Jack Campbell (USNTDP)
Goaltender – 6’3”, 175 pounds
11 games, 2.21 GAA, .917 SV%
CSS-NA # 2 (goaltenders), HN # 13
"He's got good size, doesn't beat himself and his positioning is very good. He has good quickness in recovery, but he's not all over the place. He'll make the saves." – Al Jensen, NHL Central Scouting

Charlie Coyle, (South Shore, EJHL)
Forward – 6’2”, 202 pounds
42 games, 21g-42a-63pts, 50 penalty minutes
CSS-NA # 24, HN # 33, ISS # 28
“Charlie is a skilled forward, who can play a power game as well as a finesse game. He has very good size and athleticism. He has very soft hands and is a confident puck handler. His passes are accurate and proper for the situation. He has a long and strong stride and beats defenders with his acceleration and puck skills. He has a very good wrist shot to support his passing skills in his role as a major contributor to his team's offense. He should, however, shoot the puck more than he does to take advantage of his excellent shot.” – Gary Eggleston, NHL Central Scouting

Emerson Etem (Medicine Hat, WHL)
Forward - 6'0", 190 pounds
72 games, 37g-28a-65-pts, 26 penalty minutes
CSS-NA #8, HN # 17, ISS # 18
“A 37-goal scorer with a good Medicine Hat team. He handles the puck so well at full speed. His crouch style belies his 6-foot stature. He looks smaller out there on the ice, but he's not small in productiveness. How about this -- he moved from Long Beach to Minnesota's Shattuck-St. Mary's to Medicine Hat, Alberta, all in the space of three developmental junior years.” – E.J. McGuire, NHL Director of Central Scouting

Kevin Hayes (Nobles, High-MA)
Forward - 6'2", 201 pounds
28 games, 25g-42a-67pts, 8 penalty minutes
CSS-NA #26, HN # 44
"Kevin is a skilled power forward who plays with enthusiasm and drive. He has very good hands and is an excellent play maker. He is a strong skater with a long stride, and uses his long reach and puck protection to beat defenders. He has an excellent wrist shot with a sneaky quick release, and will shoot from any angle. He controls the puck very well in traffic, sees the ice very well, and finds the open man. He has a very good knack of playing the puck in his skates for a big player, often moving the puck from skates to stick without losing speed.” – Gary Eggleston, NHL Central Scouting

Quinton Howden (Moose Jaw, WHL)
Forward - 6'2", 182 pounds
62 games, 28g-37a-65pts, 44 penalty minutes
CSS-NA #19, HN # 23, ISS # 15
“His skating is so good for his size. His threat is his speed, not only to score goals, but to cause turnovers. He's excellent on the penalty kill, always a threat out there. If he gets a step on anybody he's gone.” - Peter Sullivan, NHL Central Scouting

Brock Nelson (Warroad, High-MN)
Forward - 6'2", 205 pounds
25 games, 39g-34a-73pts, 38 penalty minutes
CSS-NA #25, HN # 29, ISS # 26
“Big, strapping center in the Minnesota High School league. Going to North Dakota next year and destined to be an NHLer with 6-2 frame, 205 pound build. Guaranteed, hard-skating power forward.” – E.J. McGuire, Director of NHL Central Scouting

John McFarland (Sudbury, OHL)
Forward - 6'0", 192 pounds
64 games, 20g-30a-50pts, 70 penalty minutes
CSS-NA #15, HN # 20
“Excellent skater with high-end speed and agility and maybe overall, a high skill player. A great wrist shot, he plays with an edge. He'll fight, not often, but when he does it shows his meanness. Who can we compare him to? A Brenden Morrow perhaps, who was drafted by Dallas and is still a contributing captain-member.” –E.J. McGuire, Director of NHL Central Scouting

Dylan McIlrath (Moose Jaw, WHL)
Defenseman - 6'4", 212 pounds
65 games, 7g-17a-24pts, 169 penalty minutes
CSS-NA #17, HN # 26
“Big and mean, old-time typical NHL defenseman. He scares people not only with some frequent fights he might get in, but with 6-4, 212 lbs. straight ahead speed and offensive ability to match. Often, and in a very complimentary sense, makes puck carriers cut to the other side of the ice with his intimidating size.” – E.J. McGuire, Director of NHL Central Scouting

Jon Merrill (USNTDP)
Defenseman - 6'3", 198 pounds
22 games, 1g-8a-9pts, 12 penalty minutes
CSS-NA #21, HN # 31, ISS # 11
"He plays the game a lot like Jordan Leopold. He plays weaving and diving, sneaking and thinking, gaining the zone and moving the puck ahead right on the tape to a guy. He's skilled and he's really come a long way in his development.” – Jack Barzee, NHL Central Scouting

Alex Petrovic (Red Deer, WHL)
Defenseman - 6'4", 193 pounds
57 games, 8g-19a-27pts, 87 penalty minutes
CSS-NA #29, HN # 24
“I like him; he's going to be good. I like his on-ice attitude; he's got a bit of an edge to him. He uses his size. He also looks to be a take-charge guy. Every time I saw Red Deer, I'm looking at the 1991s (birth year), but he jumped out every game.” – B.J. MacDonald, NHL Central Scouting

Calvin Pickard (Seattle, WHL)
Goaltender - 6'1", 195 pounds
62 games, 3.09 GAA, .914 SV%
CSS-NA #1 (goaltenders), HN # 27
"He's a solid goalie, he’s not really a huge goalie (6-foot, 200 pounds), but he plays big. His positional play is excellent; he reads the play very well. He's a very confident goalie that plays calm and relaxed. He always seems to give himself a chance to stop the puck and always seems to know where to be.” Al Jensen, NHL Central Scouting

Tyler Pitlick (Minnesota State, WCHA)
Forward - 6'1", 194 pounds
35 games, 10g-8a-18pts, 27 penalty minutes
CSS-NA #18, HN # 21, ISS # 20
“Dominates faceoffs and in freshman year, is an excellent young prospect, a really good young skater and his ability to dominate a game at his level is truly impressive.” – E.J. McGuire, Director of NHL Central Scouting

Mark Pysyk (Edmonton, WHL)
Defenseman - 6'1", 174 pounds
48 games, 7g-17a-24pts, 47 penalty minutes
CSS-NA #7, HN # 16, ISS # 16
“He finished the season with a broken foot and a lot of scouts weren't able to get a good grip on how good this player's going to be in the NHL. Smooth-skating, he has a neat knack for following up the play at the right time, leading the rush at the right time and throwing a crisp pass to one of his forwards to break out of his zone.” – E.J. McGuire, Director of Central Scouting

Jaden Schwartz (Tri-City, USHL)
Forward - 5'10", 180 pounds
60 games, 33g-50a-83pts, 18 penalty minutes
CSS-NA #28, HN # 30, ISS # 23
"I don't think Jaden has changed his style of play since he was 14 or 15 years old. He's very deceptive and shifty through the neutral zone and strong on the puck. It's very hard to get the puck off his stick." – Jack Barzee, NHL Central Scouting

Riley Sheahan (University of Notre Dame, CCHA)
Forward - 6'1", 202 pounds
37 games, 6g-11a-17pts, 22 penalty minutes
CSS-NA #22, HN # 19, ISS # 22
“He's so mature for a kid his age -- I'm overwhelmed with that. He's equally good in all three zones and goes to the front of the net. He's very conscious in the defensive zone and down behind the net in the defensive corner -- he makes certain his team isn't outnumbered. In the neutral zone, he makes all kinds of things happen but will get back and turn a transition if needed." – Jack Barzee, NHL Central Scouting

Jeff Skinner (Kitchner, OHL)
Forward - 5'10", 187 pounds
64 games, 50g-40a-90pts, 70 penalty minutes
CSS-NA #34, HN # 25, ISS # 9
“Not overly big in size, he makes up for that with his sniping ability. Pure puck handler with great moves and a great shot, he contributed a 50 goal season for Kitchener and despite the 5’10” knock some scouts might have, destined to be an NHLer.” – E.J. McGuire, Director of NHL Central Scouting

Tyler Toffoli (Ottawa, OHL)
Forward - 6'0", 178 pounds
65 games, 37g-42a-79pts, 54 penalty minutes
CSS-NA #16, HN # 40
“Is not very big in stature for his Ottawa team, but he makes up for that in skill and effort. He's got 79 points in his 65 games played. He's got an NHL release and incredible accuracy with his shot. An equal threat whether he's dishing the puck or shooting the puck himself.” – E.J. McGuire, Director of NHL Central Scouting

Austin Watson (Peterborough, OHL)
Forward - 6'3", 185 pounds
52 games, 20g-34a-54pts, 22 penalty minutes
CSS-NA #14, HN # 15, ISS # 12
“Austin is a very good penalty killer. He plays a high-energy two-way game. He's aggressive on the forecheck and he will finish his checks. He has good hands and can shoot the puck hard. He is an excellent competitor and is a good shot blocker. I like his energy and willingness to play a role and be good at that role.” Chris Edwards, NHL Central Scouting

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