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September 15, 2011
Hockey Prospectus 2011-12
Top 100 NHL Prospects

by Corey Pronman


Welcome to a preview of the Top 100 NHL Prospects, which is set to appear in Hockey Prospectus 2011-12, any day now! Our upcoming annual includes analysis of each of these top 100 prospects…plus seven honorable mentions…plus the Top 5 NHL Goaltending Prospects (who are, mind you, not among the top 100 overall prospects).

The information that was used to form these rankings is scouting-based material from my own observations of these players, on top of the many conversations I've had with scouts and front-office executives within the industry. However, the rankings are purely my own.

The rankings have an emphasis on the possession skill, due to the convincing studies in the hockey analytics world that shows that Corsi is representative of the possession skill and that Corsi is overwhelmingly the most important quality to consistently win hockey games that is under the team's control. I also take into account the market value of upside and position based on studies done.

The lack of goaltending prospects is not an error or an attempt to make a skaters-only rankings. I do not believe from a pure value standpoint, that any current goalie prospect belongs on this list. Research has shown goaltending has very low value in the current NHL marketplace due to very volatile performances on a year-to-year basis and the fact good goaltending is easily obtainable in the open market.

Statistical performance is used as a complementary aid and adjusted for age, league quality, and other performance-altering factors. However, due to the lack of context in non-NHL statistics such as zone starts, quality of competition, and not having on-ice shot metrics, statistics are not given a heavy emphasis.

My criteria for a prospect is based on a subjective evaluation if Prospect X has become an established NHL regular. While this leaves room for error, I feel I make fewer errors in terms of prospect definition then when I set arbitrary age or games played limits. So that's why you won't see a name like Marc-Andre Gragnani on this list.

If you have a question about why a certain prospect is ranked where, please review my scouting report of the respective player from their respective team's column from the Top 10 Prospects series as it should answer a fair number of questions I anticipate regarding the rankings of Kirill Kabanov, David Savard, Gustav Nyquist, and Mattias Ekholm, amongst others. If that does not answer your question, use the contact tab below to inquire about a certain ranking, or ask me via my twitter account @coreypronman. So without further adieu….

Top 100 NHL Prospects

1. Mikael Granlund, Center, Minnesota Wild
2. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Center, Edmonton Oilers
3. Ryan Johansen, Center, Columbus Blue Jackets
4. Brayden Schenn, Center, Philadelphia Flyers
5. Sean Couturier, Center, Philadelphia Flyers
6. Ryan Strome, Center, New York Islanders
7. Jonathan Huberdeau, Center, Florida Panthers
8. Vladimir Tarasenko, Right Wing, St. Louis Blues
9. Adam Larsson, Defense, New Jersey Devils
10. Andrei Loktionov, Center, Los Angeles Kings
11. Tim Erixon, Defense, New York Rangers
12. Brandon Gormley, Defense, Phoenix Coyotes
13. Brett Connolly, Left Wing, Tampa Bay Lightning
14. Kirill Kabanov, Left Wing, New York Islanders
15. David Savard, Defense, Columbus Blue Jackets
16. Gustav Nyquist, Right Wing, Detroit Red Wings
17. David Rundblad, Defense, Ottawa Senators
18. Tomas Tatar, Left Wing, Detroit Red Wings
19. Evgeny Kuznetsov, Center, Washington Capitals
20. Ryan Murphy, Defense, Carolina Hurricanes
21. Mika Zibanejad, Left Wing, Ottawa Senators
22. Joe Colborne, Center, Toronto Maple Leafs
23. Calle Jarnkrok, Center, Detroit Red Wings
24. Mattias Ekholm, Defense, Nashville Predators
25. Brendan Smith, Defense, Detroit Red Wings
26. Justin Schultz, Defense, Anaheim Ducks
27. Marcus Kruger, Center, Chicago Blackhawks
28. Jon Merrill, Defense, New Jersey Devils
29. Jaden Schwartz, Center, St. Louis Blues
30. Nino Niederreiter, Right Wing, New York Islanders
31. Jeremy Morin, Left Wing, Chicago Blackhawks
32. Mikkel Boedker, Left Wing, Phoenix Coyotes
33. Nathan Beaulieu, Defense, Montreal Canadiens
34. Mark McNeill, Center, Chicago Blackhawks
35. Stanislav Galiev, Left Wing, Washington Capitals
36. Rocco Grimaldi, Center, Florida Panthers
37. Alexander Khokhlachev, Center, Boston Bruins
38. Dougie Hamilton, Defense, Boston Bruins
39. Gabriel Landeskog, Right Wing, Colorado Avalanche
40. Nikita Filatov, Right Wing, Ottawa Senators
41. Alexei Yemelin, Defense, Montreal Canadiens
42. Marco Scandella, Defense, Minnesota Wild
43. Viatcheslav Voynov, Defense, Los Angeles Kings
44. Zac Dalpe, Center, Carolina Hurricanes
45. Luke Adam, Center, Buffalo Sabres
46. Stephane Da Costa, Center, Ottawa Senators
47. Calvin De Haan, Defense, New York Islanders
48. Cody Eakin, Center, Washington Capitals
49. Ryan Ellis, Defense, Nashville Predators
50. Kyle Palmieri, Right Wing, Anaheim Ducks
51. Craig Smith, Center, Nashville Predators
52. Cody Hodgson, Center, Vancouver Canucks
53. Brandon Pirri, Center, Chicago Blackhawks
54. Roman Josi, Defense, Nashville Predators
55. Joe Morrow, Defense, Pittsburgh Penguins
56. John Moore, Defense, Columbus Blue Jackets
57. Joel Armia, Right Wing, Buffalo Sabres
58. Zach Boychuk, Right Wing, Carolina Hurricanes
59. Scott Mayfield, Defense, New York Islanders
60. Jonas Brodin, Defense, Minnesota Wild
61. Sven Bartschi, Left Wing, Calgary Flames
62. Adam Almqvist, Defense, Detroit Red Wings
63. Nikita Kucherov, Left Wing, Tampa Bay Lightning
64. Erik Gudbranson, Defense, Florida Panthers
65. Derek Forbort, Defense, Los Angeles Kings
66. Ryan Spooner, Center, Boston Bruins
67. Erik Gustafsson, Defense, Philadelphia Flyers
68. Simon Despres, Defense, Pittsburgh Penguins
69. Charlie Coyle, Center, Minnesota Wild
70. Chris Kreider, Left Wing, New York Rangers
71. Dmitri Orlov, Defense, Washington Capitals
72. Justin Faulk, Defense, Carolina Hurricanes
73. Alexander Urbom, Defense, New Jersey Devils
74. Teemu Pulkkinen, Right Wing, Detroit Red Wings
75. Emerson Etem, Right Wing, Anaheim Ducks
76. Jared Cowen, Defense, Ottawa Senators
77. Cam Atkinson, Right Wing, Columbus Blue Jackets
78. T.J. Brodie, Defense, Calgary Flames
79. Jake Muzzin, Defense, Los Angeles Kings
80. Drew Shore, Center, Florida Panthers
81. Reilly Smith, Right Wing, Dallas Stars
82. Nick Bjugstad, Center, Florida Panthers
83. Tyson Barrie, Defense, Colorado Avalanche
84. Kirill Petrov, Right Wing, New York Islanders
85. Jakob Silfverberg, Right Wing, Ottawa Senators
86. Paul Postma, Defense, Winnipeg Jets
87. Jake Gardiner, Defense, Toronto Maple Leafs
88. Richard Panik, Right Wing, Tampa Bay Lightning
89. Matt Donovan, Defense, New York Islanders
90. Patrick Wiercioch, Defense, Ottawa Senators
91. Anton Lander, Center, Edmonton Oilers
92. Stefan Elliot, Defense, Colorado Avalanche
93. Jason Zucker, Right Wing, Minnesota Wild
94. Kyle Beach, Left Wing, Chicago Blackhawks
95. Andy Miele, Center, Phoenix Coyotes
96. Aaron Palushaj, Right Wing, Montreal Canadiens
97. Brian Dumoulin, Defense, Carolina Hurricanes
98. Anders Lee, Left Wing, New York Islanders
99. Patrick Cehlin, Left Wing, Nashville Predators
100. Tyler Toffoli, Right Wing, Los Angeles Kings

These next seven prospects were names that were right in the mix for consideration in the top 100, that were the final cuts during the rankings process; I felt they deserved to be honorable mentions. These prospects will not have write-ups in the book essay.

101. Jared Knight, Right Wing, Boston Bruins
102. Taylor Beck, Left Wing, Nashville Predators
103. Riley Sheahan, Center, Detroit Red Wings
104. Jesse Blacker, Defense, Toronto Maple Leafs
105. Zack Kassian, Right Wing, Buffalo Sabres
106. Tom Kuhnhackl, Right Wing, Pittsburgh Penguins
107. Anton Rodin, Left Wing, Vancouver Canucks

And while the first goalie prospect would have appeared way off the top 100, we did include five goalie profiles in the essay for the book, "for entertainment purposes only". The top five goalie prospects are:

1. Jacob Markstrom, Florida Panthers
2. Braden Holtby, Washington Capitals
3. Jack Campbell, Dallas Stars
4. Robin Lehner, Ottawa Senators
5. Eddie Lack, Vancouver Canucks

Thank you to everyone for the tweets, e-mails, and discussions generated throughout the last few months. Covering the draft in detail and analyzing each system certainly took quite a few hours, but I've enjoyed the talks that it has generated, and I hope you that it's made for enjoyable reading. This ends my prospect coverage for the 2010-11 season…as it's now time to get ready for 2011-12!

Corey Pronman is an author of Hockey Prospectus. You can contact Corey by clicking here or click here to see Corey's other articles.

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