Nugent-Hopkins, Larsson top final Central Scouting rankings

By League Press Release

TORONTO (April 11, 2011) – Center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins of the Western Hockey League and defenseman Adam Larsson of the Swedish Elite League today were named the top NHL 2011 draft-eligible skaters from North America and Europe as the NHL Central Scouting Bureau released its final rankings.
The 2011 NHL Entry Draft will take place at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minnesota. The first round will take place on Friday, June 24 commencing at 7 p.m. ET and the subsequent rounds (two through seven) will begin at 11 a.m. ET Saturday, June 25. The NHL Draft Drawing, a weighted system to determine the order of selection for the first 14 picks of the Entry Draft, will take place tomorrow, April 12, at 8 p.m. ET, live on TSN in Canada and simulcast on VERSUS in the US.
Nugent-Hopkins, a native of Burnaby, British Columbia, tallied 75 assists in 69 games for the Red Deer Rebels to lead the Western Hockey League and aims to be the first WHL player selected first overall in the NHL Entry Draft since 1996 when Ottawa selected Chris Phillips from the Prince Albert Raiders.
At 6’3”, 200 lbs, Larsson (Skelleftea, Sweden) became only the third defenseman to make his Swedish Elite League debut at 16 and has represented Team Sweden at each of the past two World Junior Championships — he is trying to become the first Swedish player since Mats Sundin (Quebec 1989) to be claimed first overall.
Joining the debate over which player will be selected first overall are two high flying, skilled forwards: #2-ranked left wing Gabriel Landeskog (Stockholm, Sweden) of the Ontario Hockey League’s Kitchener Rangers and #3-ranked center Jonathan Huberdeau (Laval, Quebec) of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League’s Saint John Sea Dogs.
Following closely behind the top three ranked North American skaters are two stand-out, mobile defensemen: #4-ranked Dougie Hamilton (St. Catharines, Ontario) of the OHL’s Niagara IceDogs and #5-ranked Nathan Beaulieu (Strathroy, Ontario) a teammate of Huberdeau’s on the Saint John Sea Dogs. John Gibson (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania), from the U.S. Under-18 National Team Development Program, remains the top-rated North American goaltender.
The final ranking features the top 210 skaters and 30 goaltenders in North America as well as the top 140 skaters and 10 goaltenders from Europe.
In its 36th year of operation, the NHL Central Scouting Service provides scouting and evaluation of draft-eligible players to NHL member clubs. NHL Central Scouting employs eight full-time and 15 part-time scouts throughout North America. To report on prospects playing in Europe, the NHL employs the services of Goran Stubb and his staff of six scouts at European Scouting Services based in Finland. Combined, the NHL Central Scouting and European Scouting Service will see in excess of 3,000 games this season.
For full Entry Draft coverage, extensive player profiles and full rankings in all categories visit The rankings are also available on and from the NHL Public Relations Department in Toronto (416-359-7900) and New York (212-789-2000).
Please find attached brief profiles on eight of the top ranked players.