International Scouting Services (ISS) has released the March edition of their monthly top 30 rankings for the 2009 NHL Entry Draft in June.  Much of the names at the top remain unchanged, while a couple new players begin sneaking into the top 30. In Canada, Major Junior playoffs are about to begin, and it’s crunch time for draftees as they prepare to make one last impression on NHL scouts.

Name Pos Birth Date S/C Ht. Wt. Team League
1 Tavares, John C 9/20/1990 L 6.00 200 London OHL
2 Hedman, Victor LD 12/18/1990 L 6.06 220 Modo SweE
3 Svensson-Paajarvi, Magnus LW 4/12/1991 L 6.01 200 Timra SweE
4 Duchene, Matt C 1/16/1991 L 5.11 196 Brampton OHL
5 Schenn, Brayden C 8/22/1991 L 6.00 193 Brandon WHL
6 Kane, Evander C 8/2/1991 L 6.01 180 Vancouver WHL
7 Cowen, Jared LD 1/25/1991 L 6.04.7 218 Spokane WHL
8 Kadri, Nazem C 10/6/1990 L 5.11.5 180 London OHL
9 Kulikov, Dmitri LD 10/29/1990 L 6.00 190 Drummondville QMJHL
10 Josefson, Jacob C 3/2/1991 L 6.00 187 Djurgarden SweE
11 Holland, Peter C 1/14/1991 L 6.01.5 188 Guelph OHL
12 Schroeder, Jordan RW 9/29/1990 R 5.08.2 175 Minnesota WCHA
13 Ellis, Ryan RD 1/3/1991 R 5.09.2 183 Windsor OHL
14 Shore, Drew C 1/29/1991 R 6.02 190 USA Under-18 NTDP
15 Despres, Simon  LD 7/27/1991 L 6.03.5 214 Saint John QMJHL
16 Leblanc, Louis  C 1/26/1991 R 6.00 178 Omaha USHL
17 Moore, John  LD 11/19/1990 L 6.02 189 Chicago USHL
18 Ferraro, Landon  RW 8/8/1991 R 5.11 169 Red Deer WHL
19 Kassian, Zack  RW 1/24/1991 R 6.02.5 212 Peterborough OHL
20 Glennie, Scott  C 2/22/1991 R 6.01 180 Brandon WHL
21 Palmieri, Kyle  C 2/1/1991 R 5.10 191 USA Under-18 NTDP
22 Ashton, Carter  LW 4/1/1991 L 6.04 212 Lethbridge WHL
23 Ekman-Larsson, Oliver LD 7/17/1991 L 6.02 176 Leksands SweAl
24 Caron, Jordan  C 11/2/1990 L 6.02.5 200 Rimouski QMJHL
25 Leddy, Nick LD 3/20/1991 L 5.11 179 Eden Prairie MN-HS
26 Werek, Ethan  C 6/7/1991 L 6.00.5 191 Kingston OHL
27 Nattinen, Joonas  C 1/3/1991 R 6.02 183 Espoo FinJrA
28 Morin, Jeremy  C 4/16/1991 R 6.00.5 189 USA Under-18 NTDP
29 Kreider, Chris LW 4/30/1991 L 6.02 201 Andover MA-HS
30 Panik, Richard  C 2/7/1991 L 6.01 202 Trinec CzeE

Of Note:

Kyle Palmieri, a gritty two-way forward in the mold of Chris Drury has been turning heads recently with some impressive performances for Team USA and has been steadily climbing up the rankings.

Jeremy Morin, another player from the US Development Programme, has been mysteriously falling in part due to some issues with consistency. He is described as a dynamic offensive player who plays with a ton of energy and is one of the top pure goal scorers of this class.

Oliver Ekman-Larsson, a big-bodied two-way defender out of Sweden who continues to impress with his all-around game and ability to lead the rush, is soaring up the draftboards at an incredible rate. He’s been as high as top 10 by some rankings, and ISS is just now starting to get on the OEL bandwagon. He’s the Erik Karlsson of this draft, a highly skilled player who is not getting the recognition he deserves (until closer to the draft) because he plays in a lower level league.

If the draft were tomorrow Toronto’s on the clock at 9th overall, who would you select? Kulikov, the slick puck-moving defenseman to complement Schenn on the top pairing? Josefson, the gritty two-way forward out of Sweden? Maybe Schroeder, the highly talented American winger? Or do you go off the board for the size and potential of Simon Depres or the powerplay skills of Ryan Ellis?

Just a little over 3 months left.

Always a pleasure,

Alex Tran

[email protected]

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