2012 NHL Draft Top 30 Rankings [January Release]

Radek Faksa replaced Gabriel Landeskog asthe Kitchener Rangers’ import pick and he’s succeeded. (Aaron Bell/OHL Images)

The Hockey Guys are pleased to release the third edition of “THG’s NHL Draft Top 30 Rankings”, a guide aimed at providing all hockey fans with information on the upcoming 2012 draft class.  As in the first edition released in November, Prospect guru Brendan Ross and credentialed OHL writer Todd Cordell team up to provide you with their collaborative rankings for the 2012 NHL Entry Draft. 

Each and every month leading up to the June 2012 NHL Draft, Cordell and Ross will provide you with an updated Top 30 Ranking and track the progress of the NHL’s future stars. In this draft guide, hockey enthusiasts gain easy access to the rankings (plus honorable mentions), player attributes, updated statistics and player skill analysis (coming in future releases).  THG’s provides you with an easy to read PDF file that presents itself in an attractive layout to ensure easy navigation as you follow your favourite NHL draft eligible prospects.

Since our last release on December 1st, 2012 draft eligible players have had time to either improve their draft stock or recover from injuries – something that is becoming eerily too common.  In fact, many of the top rated players in the upcoming draft are currently injured or have missed time due to injury including Nail Yakupov (back), Mikael Grigorenko (lower body), Ryan Murray (ankle), Alex Galchenyuk (knee), Morgan Rielly (knee), Slater Koekkoek (shoulder), Olli Maatta (concussion), Martin Frk (concussion), Matia Marcatuoni (concussion), Pontus Åberg (unknown) plus several others.  While injuries are becoming the common theme of the 2012 draft class it does not prevent us from watching those showcase their talents when in the lineup.

The release of the January edition of THG’s NHL Draft Top 30 Rankings was delayed a few days to get a longer look at the draft eligibles competing in the Under-20 World Junior Championship. Thursday’s medal games featured several high end players looking to bring hardware back home with them.  In the bronze medal game, Everett’s Ryan Murray, who struggled with some terrible bounces in the semi-final game versus Russia, faced off against Finland’s Ville Pokka who was named Finland’s best player. In the Gold Medal game, the Russian dynamic duo of Nail Yakupov and Mikael Grigorenko displayed their talents against the Swedish pair of Filip Forsberg and Sebastian Collberg.  The WJC were an opportunity for players to compete against the world’s best players and many of them did not disappoint.  In the January edition of the Top 30 Rankings you will find the statistics for any draft eligible player who competed in the WJC tournament.  Yakupov led all draft eligible skaters with nine points but one particular goalie led the tournament in save percentage and impressed us enough to climb into the Top 30 as the first goaltender – check it out!

The January release features only two new players but has seen several players push their peers as they fight their way through their draft season.  The combination of injuries and increased opportunities with their club and/or national teams has allowed many players to close the gap on their competition.  As a result players ranked in the late teens through mid to high thirties are not separated by too much and a hot streak here or cold streak there could see some movement over the next month.

Please check out where your favourite prospect lands in our latest January release of THG’s NHL Draft Top 30 Rankings

The horn has sounded. See you all next month.

Brendan Ross

THGTop30DraftRankings JAN

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