The Five Top-Ranked Players Left At The 2012 NHL Draft

Jonathan Willis
June 23 2012 07:51AM

The first round of this year’s draft saw some surprising selections. At the very top, Nail Yakupov went first overall as the Oilers opted for the consensus best player, but there were reaches and slides sprinkled throughout. Filip Forsberg, ranked 2nd on the consensus list, fell to 11; Teuvo Teravainen was pegged as a top-10 talent and he slid to 18th.

Based on the consensus list, who are the five best players available in Round 2?

The consensus list at NHLNumbers is based on eight different lists compiled from various sources, with those lists weighted to reflect the accuracy of those sources in previous years. According to the consensus list, five players are left who could have been first-round selections.

13. F – Sebastian Collberg

Pros: Was a dominant presence for Sweden internationally at both the U-18 and World Juniors. Has exceptional offensive abilities – he’s a high-end passer and puck-handler, and a good shooter too. Plays an aggressive game.

Cons: Has decent height (variously listed at 5’11” or 6’) but is slight of build. Skating draws middling reviews – some see it as a positive, while others as only a neutral (for instance, Corey Pronman says Collberg is “great from a standstill” and has “first step quickness” while Red Line Report says that he “lacks first step explosion”). Mostly, the big question mark is a 41-game stint in the Swedish Elite League that produced zero points and a minus-8 rating.

Projection: Scoring winger.

18. F – Pontus Aberg

Pros: Put up solid numbers in the Swedish Elite League this year – 15 points in 47 games, totals that compare well to recent top-10 picks like Mika Zibanejad and Magnus Paajarvi. Excellent skater and shooter with a solid build who doesn’t mind contact and will drive the net. Strong work ethic.

Cons: Injuries cost him an opportunity to play in the World Juniors, and he just barely meets the age cut-off for this year’s draft. He’s still raw and his passing game and hockey sense get differing reviews; some scouts like them, others think that he’s only average in those areas.

Projection: Scoring winger.

18. D – Matt Finn

Pros: Hockey sense gets strong reviews across the board – Finn makes the right plays with the puck under pressure, and he doesn’t waste a lot of time doing it. He’s also a solid positional defender. He’s regarded as a character player and a leader. Above-average skater. Conditioning was a problem last year, but Finn worked hard to address the problem and was much improved this year.

Cons: Finn will play a physical game and is solidly built but at 6’ tall lacks ideal NHL size for the defensive position. Lacks high-end offense. He’s a good but not great skater.

Projection: Two-way defenseman.

26. D – Ludvig Bystrom

Pros: A solid puck-mover with good vision and passing skills. Solid in his own end. A good skater both on the attack and on defense. Typically very reliable under pressure, both with and without the puck.

Cons: Put up big numbers in junior but not in the Swedish Elite League; some wonder how high his ceiling is offensively. He has okay size but lacks strength and the instinct to play a punishing physical game.

Projection: Two-way defenseman.

18. F – Nicolas Kerdiles

Pros: Boasts a great combination of size and speed, as well as the aggressive play of a power forward. He wins puck battles. Capable of taking over a game offensively.

Cons: If there’s a scouting report that doesn’t mention some variant of “inconsistent” I haven’t seen it; multiple scouts say that it’s hard to tell which player will show up on a nightly basis. Perceived as less than the sum of his parts.

Projection: Top-nine forward with size.

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Jonathan Willis is a freelance writer. He currently works for Oilers Nation, the Edmonton Journal and Bleacher Report. He's co-written three books and worked for myriad websites, including Grantland, ESPN, The Score, and Hockey Prospectus. He was previously the founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue.
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#1 Skidplate
June 23 2012, 08:26AM
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Well Calgary got a Jak and an Off

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#2 Metal&Oil
June 23 2012, 07:55AM
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Dalton Thrower FTW @ 32nd overall.

Thrower played midget with Nuge, is a WHL guy and fills a number of our needs (2 way D with Grit). I think their is a good chance that we will take him.

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#3 MrBig
June 23 2012, 07:58AM
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I hope the Oilers take a bit of a risk with their first pick today and go hunting for a Lucic type of player. We need some truculence up front to go with that skill.

With so much D developing, a trade for immediate help on the blue seems more likely. That or signing Schultz. No need to draft D early on.

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#4 Andrew Mack
June 23 2012, 08:01AM
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Pontus Aberg would be amazing. Collberg as a close second. Matt Finn if those guys are gone. Lots of upside still available.

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#5 Skidplate
June 23 2012, 08:07AM
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I think you have to take Finn if he is there at 32.

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#8 Skidplate
June 23 2012, 08:11AM
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But do you ever have too many d-men?

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#9 Skidplate
June 23 2012, 08:12AM
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Is there any other format than refreshing TSN to get updates?

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#10 gcw_rocks
June 23 2012, 08:13AM
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What about Phillip Di Giuseppe? “Phillip is a good sized winger who plays a hard driving game and makes it difficult for defenders. He is a very good skater with quickness, that may be better than his speed, and allows him to create opportunities for himself and his team. His agility and balance is strong and he’s very difficult to push away from where he desires to go. He has an assertiveness in his play and doesn’t allow himself to be denied. He will drive the net and will pay the price to score.”

Highest ranked player left from Bobbie Mac's list. Description of his game fits what Tambo said he was looking for on day 2.

If not him, then Aberg probably is the best fit.

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#11 Romulus' Apotheosis
June 23 2012, 08:13AM
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take aberg. he's got a funny deal on top of the a.

I can get behind that.

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#12 Skidplate
June 23 2012, 08:14AM
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5 minutes in and nothing. Come on CBL you are on the clock.

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#13 knee deep in it
June 23 2012, 08:14AM
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I am pretty sure it will be Finn. The Oilers have said they will address organizational needs with the later picks and he looks like the best available dman.

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#14 Robin Brownlee
June 23 2012, 08:16AM
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So the concensus was Forsberg at 2? Might get tricky. Moroz it is. Oilers take Moroz early. Goes to show how dicey pre-draft lists can be.

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#15 Romulus' Apotheosis
June 23 2012, 08:16AM
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columbus shows up to the dansk.

oilers take mitchell moroz

kid's got some pop: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gS-S5LqjUNY

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MxDfiAHrntc

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n_pu57wDPFg

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#16 Skidplate
June 23 2012, 08:17AM
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We took Moroz. Too early

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#17 Kent Wilson
June 23 2012, 08:18AM
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Collberg goes right away. Any idea why the Oilers would take Moroz so early?

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#18 Kent Wilson
June 23 2012, 08:19AM
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And Pontus Aberg goes.

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#19 Romulus' Apotheosis
June 23 2012, 08:19AM
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so not taking Finn... or another D... does that mean ST is either happy with Oskar and the boys in waiting... or that he's going to light it up in free agency/trades?

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#20 Spydyr
June 23 2012, 08:21AM
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@ Kent....Stu must have liked him.

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#21 Romulus' Apotheosis
June 23 2012, 08:25AM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

Collberg goes right away. Any idea why the Oilers would take Moroz so early?

I can only guess they got a lot of him watching Oilking hockey through the year... and were looking for "truculence" or "jam" or whatever... to protect the once and future kids.

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#22 Skidplate
June 23 2012, 08:43AM
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Khaira: LW Prince Geroge BCHL 6-2 185 lbs. 54 games, 29 goals, 50 assists, 69 PIMS. Aggressive physical player, thrives down low, and protects puck well. Committed to Michigan Tech next year.

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