At the top of the draft, a prospect's potential is as plain as the lines on the ice. For instance, among the elite of the 2011 entry draft, it's easy to see that Adam Larsson is hitting the tape on breakout pass after breakout pass or that the stick of Ryan Nugent-Hopkins is a blur. That stuff jumps out. For those sitting comfortably in the top five on most teams' lists, the skills and physical assets have already shown through in their underage year.
Those players are the exception to the rule, though, with "the rule" resembling left winger Matt Puempel of the Peterborough Petes.
Puempel is solid, but seemingly not exceptional in most aspects of the game. He has decent size at 6 feet and 200 pounds. You'd rate his skating in the good-to-very-good range. And then, well, nothing jumps out. Or at least he doesn't regularly show anything so flashy that it really gets your attention.
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