CALGARY, Alberta -- If you've followed our draft coverage to this point, you'll know that many pundits consider Russian F Nail Yakupov the consensus No. 1 overall pick. But another European is lurking right behind him, and it just so happened that the gold-medal game at the World Junior Championships pitted Yakupov's Russian team against the Swedes and impressive draft-eligible forward Filip Forsberg.
After a battle that extended into overtime, Team Sweden took the gold. And to add injury to insult, Yakupov limped away from the game on crutches.
What impact will the tournament, and the injury, have on the top of the draft? Let's take a look as we rate all of the top draft-eligible prospects based on their performances in the world juniors.
1) F Nail Yakupov, 5 feet 10.5 inches, 189 pounds
Yakupov was not the big fish on this team and had a slow start. Keep in mind he was injured and had missed games in the OHL, which could have contributed to his start. Now a knee injury in the gold-medal game figures to sideline him for a while, with preliminary reports indicating he'll miss the next month for Sarnia with a torn meniscus.
That injury shouldn't harm his draft stock too much, but it does provide an opportunity for other top prospects to turn heads while he's on the sidelines. And although he is supremely talented, Yakupov isn't a flawless prospect.
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