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2011 NHL Draft Lottery - It's Never Too Early To Start Scouting

<strong>Anyone need an ornery Swede?  </strong>.Photo by Tabercil via <a href="" target="new">Wikimedia Commons</a>, Creative Commons License
Anyone need an ornery Swede? .Photo by Tabercil via Wikimedia Commons, Creative Commons License

Our blogger roundtable participants were unanimous in believing that it will take a miracle for the Oilers to finish outside of the NHL Draft Lottery.  Many Oiler fans are already in the mindset of a full rebuild, believing it best to finish at the bottom of the league one more time in order to get another top pick and use "The Pittsburgh Model" to redirect the fortunes of the franchise.

If everyone is in agreement, it's never too early to start checking on the possibilities.  The early 2011 draft lists are out, the first mock draft is also out (Oilers finish 27th!) and after the jump I've compiled the combined top 15 from three different sources, Bob McKenzie's top 15, International Scouting Services' top 30 and The Scouring Report's preliminary top 15.

Combining the lists of the three sites gives us twenty-one names, and but for a few exceptions, the three sources are in general agreement as to the rankings.

*This table is sortable, simply click on the column header to sort.

Player  ISS TSN TSR Position  Team  League
Sean Couturier 1 1 3 Centre  Drummondville Voltigeurs  QMJHL
Adam Larsson  2 1 1 Defence  Skellefteå AIK  Elitserien
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins 6 3 2 Centre  Red Deer Rebels  WHL
Victor Rask  3 6 10 Centre  Leksands IF  J20 SuperElit
Brandon Saad 7 4 5 Left Wing  Saginaw Spirit  OHL
Gabriel Landeskog 11 4 6 Left Wing  Kitchener Rangers  OHL
David Musil  4
4 Defence  Vancouver Giants  WHL
Seth Ambroz 5 10 9 Right Wing  Omaha Lancers  USHL
Matt Puempel 12 7 7 Left Wing  Peterborough Petes OHL
Ryan Murphy 8 15 8 Defence  Kitchener Rangers  OHL
Vladislav Namestnikov 9 11 12 Centre  Khimik Voskresensk  KHL
Duncan Siemens 10 12 11 Defence  Saskatoon Blades  WHL
Boone Jenner 16 15 15 Centre  Oshawa Generals OHL
Adam Clendening 21 9
Defence  US National USHL
Shane McColgan 15
14 Right Wing  Kelowna Rockets WHL
Dougie Hamilton
Defence  Niagara Ice Dogs OHL
Brett Ritchie
Right Wing  Sarnia Sting OHL
Lucas Lessio

13 Left Wing  Oshawa Generals OHL
Nick Shore 13

Right Wing  US National USHL
Tomas Jurco 14

Right Wing  Saint John Sea Dogs QMJHL
Scott Harrington
Defence  London Knights OHL


The top talent is heavily weighted from the OHL, with nine of the twenty-one players coming from "The O".  More bad news for the QMJHL, as the USHL now has more top-ranked talent with three players on the combined list, compared to just two from "The Q".


Sweden 2


Some quick thoughts on the initial list:

  • Couturier and Larsson are the consensus top two and it's likely to stay that way unless an out-of-nowhere talent like Tyler Seguin charges up behind them.
  • That out-of-nowhere talent just might be Brandon Saad.  Saad's rise from AAA to the NAHL to the OHL has been dramatic, and should he put up an enormous year for Saginaw, he must be this year's Seguin.
  • McKenzie overlooks Musil completely while the other two sites have him pegged as a lottery pick. 
  • On the other hand, McKenzie is the only one with Dougie Hamilton on his list, and he's number eight.
  • Copper & Blue favorite Gabriel Landeskog is a top pick on two lists, but ISS has him outside of the top ten.  It may be because he was held off of Sweden's WJC team last year, ISS has no explanation of their rankings. 
  • One really interesting name on the list is Ryan Murphy.  Early reports compare him to another small defenseman full of offensive wizardry, Windsor's Ryan Ellis.

With so few defensemen at the top of the list, a team looking for a top-pairing defenseman (hint hint) in this draft is going to have to finish at the very bottom of the league to guarantee themselves a chance.  By all accounts, the Oilers might just do that.