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2012 NHL Draft Early Watch List

Now that the 2011 NHL Draft is over, the 2012 NHL Draft can officially begin. Frankly, 2012 should be a much more fun year to cover than this past year for American/NCAA fans.

I decided to take a rough crack at a list of players that could be in consideration for being drafted next year. Of course, if this past draft has taught us anything, it's that lists this early shouldn't be taken too seriously, since what a player does in his draft year is extremely, extremely important, but it's still fun to try and take a look ahead.

I don't exactly have the budget to make a complete comprehensive list of players from around the world, so I just stuck with players that I've seen, with a couple high-end guys thrown in that I've heard are pretty likely to be top round picks. I split things up like the NHL Central Scouting early watch lists with 'A' 'B' and 'C' prospects. 'A' would be a top three round prospect. 'B' is pretty likely to be drafted somewhere, and 'C' is maybe a late round pick.

A Players

Alex Galchenyuk-Sarnia(OHL)

Nick Ebert-Windsor(OHL)

Jacob Trouba-NTDP

Nic Kerdiles-NTDP

Zemgus Girgensons-Dubuque(USHL)

Michael Matheson-Dubuque(USHL)

Jordan Schmaltz-Sioux City(USHL)

Brady Skjei-NTDP

Riley Barber-Dubuque(USHL)

Cliff Watson-Team Wisconsin/Appleton United

Zach Stepan-Shattuck

B Players

Brian Cooper-Fargo(USHL)

Miles Koules-NTDP

Justin Selman-Sioux Falls(USHL)

Pat Sieloff-NTDP

Connor Carrick-NTDP

AJ Michaelson-Apple Valley(MN HS)

Max Iafrate-Plymouth(OHL)

Stefan Matteu-NTDP

Jake McCabe-NTDP

Cameron Darcy-NTDP

Lou Nanne-Edina (MN HS)

Dylan Steman-Maple Grove (MN HS)

Will Merchant-Eagan (MN HS)

Mark Yanis-Muskegon(USHL)

Adam Johnson-Hibbing (MN HS)

Ted Doherty-Shattuck

Justin Wade-Fargo(USHL)

C Players

Jake Randolph-Duluth East (MN HS)

Justin Kloos-Lakeville South(MN HS)

Zach Frye-Lincoln(USHL)

Teddy Blueger-Shattuck

Ian Spencer-Indiana(USHL)

Sam Piazza-Chicago Mission

Robbie Gawron-Chicago Fury

Matt Nelson-Edina

TJ Roo-Totino Grace

Aaron Dolby-Osseo

Ian Brady-Cedar Rapids

Ryan Schwalbe-Shattuck

Ian Janco-Bloomington Jefferson