TSN's Bob McKenzie polled a group of NHL scouts to come up with his Mid-Season Top 30 for this summer's NHL Draft. Lots of interesting information there.
1. Taylor Hall is still above Tyler Seguin, though someone said it could come down to the needs of the team picking first. Of course, I think Carolina and Edmonton both probably need a scoring wing more than a center right now.
2. At least a couple of scouts had either Erik Gudbranson or Brandon Gormley ahead of Cam Fowler. I'm not as familiar with Gormley, but there's no way I'd take Gudbranson over Fowler. Gudbranson is really good too, but I can't see passing up on Fowler to take him.
3. Brett Connolly is really good, but I think a lot of him holding onto that top 5 spot will hinge on the Combine and how convinced teams are that his injury problems won't carry over into the NHL.
4. There's 3 Russians in the top 11 of the list, but I can't see three Russians going that high in the draft. Some teams may take the gamble based on pure talent, but I think we'll be hearing about "the Russian Factor" every 30 seconds during the draft this year.
5. Mikael Granlund slipped a little based on his very poor WJCs--though I guess he was injured in the tournament. I'd still stay away from him. Nino Neiderreiter made a huge jump up because of how he played at the WJCs.
6. Riley Sheahan is at 13, which seems a little more realistic than where Central Scouting had him.
7. If somebody can get Derek Forbort at 18th in the Draft, that seems like ridiculous value for that pick.
8. Tyler Pitlick at number 20 even one-ups where NHL Central Scouting had him. I can't see him going much higher because I don't know that he quite has the hands to be a big-time scorer, but outside of the top couple of guys, he's probably one of the safest picks in the draft. He's got a lot of potential and brings a good effort every night.
9. Watching the U17s last year, I would not have guessed Emerson Etem and Jarred Tinordi would be the top two rated prospects of that group, but both where raw, high potential guys, that appear to have really panned out.
10. I still don't think I'd draft Brock Nelson as high as he's rated, but I can certainly see why people would have him that high.
11. Jon Merrill doesn't even make the top 30, which is a pretty big surprise to me. If somebody walks out of LA with either Taylor Hall or Tyler Seguin and Jon Merrill, they've got a pretty good base to start rebuilding with.
Meanwhile, the guys at The Pipeline Show started talking about the 2011 NHL Draft. The book on next year still seems to be a few very, very good players, but not much depth, both for Americans and the draft in general.