9th overall – Philadelphia – 2010 Rank: 11th – Movement: (+2)
Top 5 prospects: Cory Schneider (G), Johnathan Blum (D), Erik Gudbranson (D), Brad Marchand (F), Tyler Toffoli (F)
Team Analysis: Philadelphia is doing a phenomenal job developing defenseman, a la Nashville style. With a plethora of talent from the bluelien, Paul can now start to develop a team from the blueline out and not have to worry about drafting defensemen too much longer. Adding to the Grudbranson and Blum top 5 combo, Stefan Elliott could be a real stud who could thrive with all the playing time he could receive as well as a player like Colby Cohen. Up front there might lack a top end talent in the Schneider/Gudbranson mold but players like Khokhlachev and Jensen could end up being just that if they continue to develop on course.
8th overall – Montreal – 2010 Rank: 14th – Movement: (+6)
Top 5 Prospects: Jaden Schwartz (F), Zach Boychuk (F), Jamie Oleksiak (D), Emerson Etem (F), Carter Ashton (F)
Team analysis: High-end potential is definitely something Joe loves to read, it seems. With players like Boychuk, Schwartz, Ashton and Oleksiak, their scouting reports high risk/very high reward. Who can blame him? Oleksiak looked good in camp and could end up making Dallas’ brutal defense in only a few years from now, allowing him to continue to grow. Myers 2.0? Boychuk is struggling in Carolina’s system and its only a matter of time before he’s let go and another organization takes him in and lets him shine. The only weakness is maybe a lack of a goaltending depth outside of Pickard, but that can solve itself within time. Strong defensive prospects also make this pool dangerous to watch.
7th overall – Calgary - 2010 Rank: 12th – Movement (+5)
Top 5 prospects: David Rundblad (D), Ryan Strome (F), Joey Hison (F), Rocco Grimaldi (F), Martin Jones (G)
Team Analysis: The top end talent with the front two players is impressive. Ryan Strome, recently signed, is making the Isles and providing Calgary with very good depth at the rookie position. Adding Rundblad to the defense, vastly improves the defense. For the record, that is all just for this season thus far. Hishon is a very skilled, but “injury prone” forward who needs to show his health is not a cause of concern. If not, he could very well be just another top 6 player to add into the mix in the near future. When you got former Andy Miele as your 13th player, you know you got very good depth.
6th overall – Florida – 2010 Rank: 3rd – Movement: (-3)
Top 5 prospects: Brayden Schenn (F), Alexander Burmistov (F), Calvin de Haan (D), Michael Backlund (F), Jon Merrill (D)
Team Analysis: When you movefrom third to sixrh, that really doesn’t speak of any kind of regress by an organization, but more about stability. Top end talent in Backlund, Schenn, de Haan, and Burmistov speaks volumes of the high quality of players brewing in Florida. Adding in studs defensively in de Haan, Merrill and Petry, who made Edmonton to start the season, is impressive. One player to watch is Dylan Olsen, a former first rounder who could find himself moving up the rankings quickly with a strong season.