NHL Central Scouting released its final prospect rankings on Monday, and it’s no surprise who’s at the top.
Swedish defenceman Rasmus Dahlin, long considered the consensus No. 1 overall pick at the upcoming draft, sits atop the European Skaters rankings where he’s been all season long. The elite rearguard out of Frolunda of the Swedish Hockey League has scouts drooling over his top-pairing potential and already comparing his potential NHL impact to that of players like Erik Karlsson and Victor Hedman.
Topping the list of North American skaters is winger Andrei Svechnikov, who many predict will be selected in the top three at this June’s draft. The Russian forward made the jump over to the USHL in 2016-17 and has spent the past season with the OHL’s Barrie Colts.
Boston University winger Brady Tkachuk, son of Hall of Famer Keith Tkachuk and younger brother of Flames forward Matthew Tkachuk, moved up one spot from his third-place midterm ranking. Halifax Mooseheads forward Filip Zadina and defencemen Evan Bouchard (London Knights) and Noah Dobson (Acadie–Bathurst Titan) round out the top five North American skaters.
This year’s draft class is shaping up to be a strong one for Swedish blue liners, with Adam Boqvist and Adam Ginning joining Dahlin in the top five European skaters.
Official draft order of the top 15 picks will be determined during the upcoming Draft Lottery on April 28, with Buffalo (18.5 per cent), Ottawa (13.5 per cent) and Arizona (11.5 per cent) owning the best odds of landing the top pick.
The 2018 NHL Draft will take place on June 22-23 in Dallas.