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Early Peek at the 2008 NHL Entry Draft

Wednesday, 03.12.2008 / 10:40 AM CT / Features
By Jay Levin  - Nashville Predators
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Early Peek at the 2008 NHL Entry Draft
In this week's The Hockey News Future Watch edition, the publication not only ranked the organizations and the top-50 NHL prospects (click here for Predators rankings), but also ranked the projected top-10 in this summer's NHL Entry Draft.

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While the Predators are in the middle of the playoff picture in the Western Conference and looking to earn a pick well outside the top-10, thanks to last summer's trade with the Florida Panthers, the Predators are likely to have a selection inside the top-10. Heading into tonight's games, the pick from Florida would have the Preds in the seventh slot in the draft, pending draft lottery results (see here for more on the draft lottery).

The Hockey News projects five forwards and five defensemen in its top-10 with no goaltenders. Most pundits and scouts view this as a down draft for goaltending prospects, with a legitimate possibility that none could end up being selected in the first round. Eight of THN's top-10 play in the Canadian Juniors, with one in NCAA and one in Europe. Eight of its top-10 are North Americans with just two Europeans projecting in the top-10.

With all that in mind, here's THN's projected top-10 as well as the publication's comments about the future draftees.

1) Steven Stamkos – Sarnia Sting (OHL), C, 6-1, 180
The consensus No. 1 pick for well over a year … Elite skill level; inventive player … Gritty in defensive zone … OHL's reigning scholastic player of the year.

2) Drew Doughty – Guelph (OHL), D, 6-0, 213
Named top defenseman at world juniors despite injuries … A two-way workhorse. SCOUT SAYS "The hockey gods gave him a great mind for the game. He relies on that and does a phenomenal job reading and reacting.

3) Alex Pietrangelo – Niagara (OHL), D, 6-4, 210
Boasts more untapped upside than any of the top defensemen … Relative of former NHL goalie Frank … Plus-minus has been fantastic past two seasons. SCOUT SAYS "He's such a steadying influence. He's totally in control."

4) Nikita Filatov – CSKA Moscow (Rus-2), LW, 6-0, 170
Explodes every time he hits the international stage … Top-five pick on offensive ability alone, but transfer agreement issue will hurt his stock. SCOUT SAYS "Alexei Cherepanov was skilled, but everybody was worried about his work ethic. This guy's more talented and he plays real hard, too."

5) Zach Bogosian – Peterborough (OHL), D, 6-2, 202
Overlooked for US world junior team … Assistant captain leads the Petes in scoring as a blueliner … Still learning defensively. SCOUT SAYS "He's a big, strong, strapping kid who can really skate."

6) Kyle Beach – Everett (WHL), C, 6-3, 203
Among WHL leaders in goals and penalty minutes … Concerns about his attitude could be enough to keep him out of top five. SCOUT SAYS "He can score, fight and agitate – a power forward on projection."

7) Luke Schenn – Kelowna (WHL), D, 6-3, 209
Clocked a 94 mile-per-hour slapshot at CHL skills competition … A shutdown blueliner whom scouts compare to Adam Foote. SCOUT SAYS "He's a warhorse. He stands up, forces the play and blocks shots."

8) Tyler Myers – Kelowna (WHL), D, 6-7, 204
Teammate of Luke Schenn … Has quietly ascended into the top-10 range. SCOUT SAYS "Chara bumbled around in junior, but this kid's feet are fine. He can move the puck and it's hard to beat him with his massive wingspan."

9) Mikkel Boedker – Kitchener (OHL), RW, 5-11, 201
Raised his standing with strong world juniors … Only CHL player on Team Denmark … Plays point on power play for juggernaut team in Kitchener. SCOUT SAYS "He's got speed to burn and he can shoot the puck a ton."

10) Colin Wilson – Boston University (NCAA), C, 6-1, 205
Dad, Carey, and grandfather, Jerry, both played in the NHL … Led world juniors in goals with six for US team … Skating is only concern. SCOUT SAYS "He combines power and skill. He can play any type of game you want."

Another early draft preview publication, The Redline Report, as posted on USA Today's website, lists the top-10 as: No. 1 Stamkos, No. 2 Filatov, No. 3 Doughty, No. 4Bogosian, No. 5 Pieterangelo, No. 6 Schenn, No. 7 Boedker, No. 8 Beach, No. 9 Wilson, and No. 10 Cody Hodgson (Brampton, OHL, C, 5-11, 182).

According to NHL's Central Scouting Service's mid-season rankings, the North American skater's top-10 is as follows: Stamkos, Doughty, Bogosian, Beach, Pieterangelo, Myers, Schenn, Colby Robak (Brandon, WHL, D, 6-3, 202), Wilson, and Hodgson. Filatov is the No. 1 International skater, followed by Russian Evegeny Grachev (Yaroslavl, RUS-2, C, 6-3, 202) and Swede Mattias Tedenby (HV 71, SWE-Jr, W, 5-11, 176).

International Scouting Services' 2008 top-10 looks like: Stamkos, Filatov, Doughty, Hodgson, Pieterangelo, Beach, Bogosian, Schenn, Wilson, and Boedker.

With five defensemen on the NHL roster already 25-or-younger and an additional two d-man prospects ranked among The Hockey News' top-50 prospects, it's likely the Predators would prefer to add a talented forward to the organization's stable. However, David Poile and Co. have long espoused the idea of drafting the best player available. Or, depending on where the Predators end up slotted with both their own and Florida's picks, the team may opt to trade up (or even slide back to add more picks).

SMASHVILLE CENTRAL

SCHEDULE
 

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS
 

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 z - DAL 82 50 23 9 267 230 109
2 x - STL 82 49 24 9 224 201 107
3 x - CHI 82 47 26 9 235 209 103
4 y - ANA 82 46 25 11 218 192 103
5 x - LAK 82 48 28 6 225 195 102
6 x - SJS 82 46 30 6 241 210 98
7 x - NSH 82 41 27 14 228 215 96
8 x - MIN 82 38 33 11 216 206 87
9 COL 82 39 39 4 216 240 82
10 ARI 82 35 39 8 209 245 78
11 WPG 82 35 39 8 215 239 78
12 CGY 82 35 40 7 231 260 77
13 VAN 82 31 38 13 191 243 75
14 EDM 82 31 43 8 203 245 70

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
F. Forsberg 82 33 31 1 64
R. Josi 81 14 47 -3 61
J. Neal 82 31 27 27 58
S. Weber 78 20 31 -7 51
M. Ribeiro 81 7 43 11 50
C. Smith 82 21 16 4 37
M. Ekholm 82 8 27 14 35
R. Johansen 42 8 26 10 34
R. Ellis 79 10 22 13 32
C. Jarnkrok 81 16 14 1 30
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Rinne 34 21 10 .908 2.48
C. Hutton 7 5 4 .918 2.33