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2008 Draft: Top North American Forwards

Monday, 06.09.2008 / 1:06 PM / Features
By Jay Levin  - Nashville Predators
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2008 Draft: Top North American Forwards
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 minutes
CSS-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 minutes
CSS-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 minutes
CSS-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 minutes
CSS-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 minutes
CSS-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 minutes
CSS-NA #14, HN-#14, ISS-#11
Zac Dalpe (Penticton, BCHL) - 46 games, 27g-36a-63pts, 14 penalty minutes
CSS-NA #16, HN-#29, ISS-#20
Jamie Arniel (Sarnia, OHL) - 60 games, 27g-20a-47pts, 38 penalty minutes
CSS-NA #20, HN-#46
Nicolas Deschamps (Chicotimi, QMJHL) - 70 games, 24g-43a-67pts, 63 penalty minutes
CSS-NA #21, HN-#35, ISS-#25
Greg Nemisz (Windsor, OHL) - 68 games, 34g-33a-67pts, 52 penalty minutes
CSS-NA #22, HN-#21, ISS-#26
Matthew Calvert (Brandon, WHL) - 72 games, 24g-40a-64pts, 53 penalty minutes
CSS-NA #24
Maxime Sauve (Val d'Or, QMJHL) - 70 games, 26g-39a-65pts, 30 penalty minutes
CSS-NA #26, HN-#45
Joe Colborne (Camrose, AJHL) - 55 games, 33g-57a-90pts, 48 penalty minutes
CSS-NA #28, HN-#25, ISS-#23
Kruise Reddick (Tri-City, WHL) - 72 games, 23g-51a-74pts, 60 penalty minutes
CSS-NA #30, HN-#56
Tyler Ennis (Medicine Hat, WHL) - 70 games, 43g-48a-91pts, 42 penalty minutes
CSS-NA #31, HN-#41

Key: CSS-NA (Central Scouting-North American Rankings), HN (The Hockey News), ISS (International Scouting Services)
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