Just three weeks after the passing of the 2012 NHL Draft, Future Considerations has released its first ranking for 2013.
And to no surprise, Halifax Mooseheads forward Nathan MacKinnon is leading the charge.
After busting out for 31 goals and 78 points in his rookie season in the QMJHL, MacKinnon has shown early he deserves to be at the head of the pack.
“MacKinnon is a skilled forward who can really do it all, skate with speed and power, score goals, set-up plays, do the dirty board work and protect the puck as well as be that strong team leader,” said Dan Stewart, director of scouting for Future Considerations. “He has almost unnatural strength for his average size. He will be a very good NHL player in a few years and will vie for the top spot in 2013.”
Much like John Tavares had his hands full with Victor Hedman in 2009 and Adam Larsson and Ryan Murray giving Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Nail Yakupov a run more recently, MacKinnon can also expect a challenge in the form of Seth Jones of the Portland Winterhawks.
The large, smooth-skating blueliner has been praised for the way he approaches the game with a calm, calculated manner that has many praising his upside at both ends of the ice.
“He will challenge MacKinnon and others for top pick all season,” Stewart said. “While he does not have a ton of flash to his game he is above average in every aspect of the defensive position and has many believing he is the next great defenseman to come along.”
Both Jones and MacKinnon aren’t the only players to watch at the top of the draft charts.
Sean Monahan, Aleksander Barkov and Hunter Shinkaruk can more then hold their own when it comes to potential top picks in 2013. Shinkaruk found the back of the net 49 times in 66 games last season with the Medicine Hat Tigers, while Monahan had 78 points in 62 games for the Ottawa 67’s.
A product of Finland, Barkov became the youngest player ever to score a goal at the World Junior Championship when he found the back of the net against Slovakia on January 2nd, 2012. The previous record holder was Sidney Crosby, who made his mark in 2004.
“The 2013 edition of the annual selection process looks to be very well stocked in top end talent,” Stewart said.
Which could make things very interesting in 11 months in New Jersey.
Rank / Pos. / Name / Team / League / Ht / Wt
1). C/RW Nathan MacKinnon, Halifax, QMJHL, 6-0, 180
2). D Seth Jones, Portland, WHL, 6-4, 205
3). C Sean Monahan, Ottawa, OHL, 6-2, 190
4). C Aleksander Barkov, Tappara, SM-liiga, 6-2, 195
5). LW Hunter Shinkaruk, Medicine Hat, WHL, 5-10, 165
6). D Ryan Pulock, Brandon, WHL, 6-1, 200
7). D Rasmus Ristolainen, TPS, SM-Liiga, 6-3, 200
8). C Elias Lindholm, Brynas U20, Sweden, 6-0, 185
9). C Max Domi, London, OHL, 5-10, 185
10). LW André Burakovsky, Malmo U20, Sweden, 6-1, 165
11). C J.T. Compher, U-18 USDP, USHL, 6-0, 165
12). C Curtis Lazar, Edmonton, WHL, 6-0, 185
13). RW Hudson Fasching, U-18 USDP, USHL, 6-3, 190
14). C Valeri Nichushkin, Chelyabinsk, MHL, 6-3, 175
15). C William Carrier, Cape Breton, QMJHL, 6-0, 200
16). RW Adam Erne, Quebec, QMJHL, 6-0, 205
17). LW Tyler Motte, U-18 USDP, USHL, 5-10, 165
18). LW Kerby Rychel, Windsor, OHL, 6-1, 200
19). D Ian McCoshen, Waterloo, USHL, 6-3, 205
20). D Madison Bowey, Kelowna, WHL, 6-1, 195
21). C Connor Hurley, Muskegon, USHL, 5-11, 165
22). D Eric Roy, Brandon, WHL, 6-3, 190
23). D Jan Kostalek, HC Sparta Praha, Czech, 6-0, 175
24). D Robert Hägg, MODO U20, Sweden., 6-2, 200
25). LW Anthony Duclair, Quebec, QMJHL, 5-11, 165
26). D Josh Morrissey, Prince Albert, WHL, 6-0, 185
27). C Matt Needham, Kamloops, WHL, 5-10, 185
28). C Ryan Kujawinski, Kingston, OHL, 6-0, 175
29). D Will Butcher, U-18 USDP, USHL, 5-11, 175
30). C Lucas Wallmark, Skelleftea U20, Sweden, 5-10, 175