TORONTO -- One out of three ain't bad. And when that one is among the top three prospects for the 2011 NHL draft, in fact, it's pretty interesting stuff.
The NHL brought in an assortment of 2011 prospects for its rules-changes R&D camp this week. While it wasn't the top 40 prospects or anything like that, it was a representative sample of the talent that will be out there next June. That is to say, the NHL looked to assemble rosters with players from the CHL's three leagues, the U.S. National Team Development Program, the NCAA and U.S. high schools.
No Euros (except for Kitchener's Swedish forward Gabriel Landeskog), so that meant no Adam Larsson, the D-man who's on the top of many scouts' lists for next year's draft. And mono meant that Drummondville forward Sean Couturier, another possible top pick, had to scratch last week.
That still left Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Red Deer's slippery center, who just tore up the competition for two day-long sessions at the Maple Leafs' practice site in suburban Toronto. The NHL kept changing the rules in two-a-days, but no matter how the league officials sliced it, Nugent-Hopkins laid waste to opponents. The Burnaby, B.C., native was strictly in a class of one.
To see exactly why scouts and execs are raving about Nugent-Hopkins and to see who else impressed in Toronto, you must be an ESPN Insider.