NHL draft: Final top 50 rankings
After dust settles, Nail Yakupov is still No. 1
The NHL entry draft is June 22-23 in Pittsburgh and most -- if not all -- teams are still trying to figure out their final lists of prospects. With the U-18 world championships behind us (see our updates here and here) teams' big boards are getting close to finalized, but it's rather unlikely that any two look identical. As past drafts have shown, different teams value players differently. And we'll see those different values play out on draft day.
Many scouts will remember a few years back when the Los Angeles Kings surprised most with the selection of Thomas Hickey at No. 4 overall. I still remember the buzz on the floor and the shuffling at the tables when that selection was made. That selection was against the grain, to say the least.
There usually is more consensus around the top players, but opinions will vary in player evaluations. It's worth keeping that in mind as you consider our finalized Top 50 list below. The list is not a mock draft and does not represent how I believe the draft will play out. Rather it is my ranking of how the talent in the 2012 NHL draft pool stacks up.
After scouting the 2012 draft class for two full seasons (one with the Atlanta Thrashers and this past season with ESPN Insider), here is my final ranking of the top 50 prospects.
To see all of the top 50 prospects for the 2012 NHL draft and get all of Insider's draft coverage, including regular updates in the NHL Draft Blog, sign up today.
MORE NHL HEADLINES
- Pens erupt for 4 in 3rd period, take 3-1 lead
- Richards healthy scratch for Rangers' Game 4
- Canucks fire coach Vigneault after 7 seasons
- Defenseman Sutton retires after 15 seasons
MOST SENT STORIES ON ESPN.COM
2013 STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS
2013 NHL DRAFT
Mock Draft: Projecting the lottery picks
Sonier: Top 50 prospects for 2013
Matiash: Expert prospect rankings index
Auditing CSS: Who's over-, undervalued Sonier: Top five goalie prospects
Sonier: Key questions for NHL Combine
Sonier: Memorial Cup brims with prospects
PLAYER POWER RANKINGS
Hockey Prospectus: Toews, Bob for MVP
NHL Rumor Central
Get news and rumblings before anyone
Craig Custance Blog
Daily ice shavings of insight
NHL Draft Blog
A look towards June 28, 2013