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2013 Draft Eligibles: Sweden well represented once again; Lindholm, Wennberg, Burakovsky, de la Rose, Haag

Since the year 2000, there have been 29 Swedish born-and-bred players selected in the first round of the NHL draft — the highest number of those coming in 2009 with seven players selected overall. (Victor Hedman, TB, #2 overall, Oliver Ekman-Larsson, PHX, #6, Magnus Paajarvi, EDM, #10, David Rundblad, STL, #17, Jacob Josefson, NJ, #20, Tim Erxion, CGY, #23 and Marcus Johansson, WSH, #24). Last year, only two players were selected in the first round. If you recall, the Anaheim Ducks plucked defenseman Hampus Lindholm fourth overall from Rögle Bandyklubb and the Washington Capitals selected Filip Forsberg 13th overall from …

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2013 Draft Eligibles: Is Aleksander Barkov the Finnish Eric Lindros?

If the 2013 draft did not headline a trio of top-tier prospects, Aleksander Barkov would be getting a lot more attention. Unfortunately, with the consensus number one overall pick in Portland Winterhawk Seth Jones, and the next two picks coming from the Halifax Mooseheads (Jonathan Drouin and Nathan MacKinnon) little attention is being focused on European talent. My good friend Tom Zulewski earlier profiled Finnish defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen, who is the top-rated defenseman among European skaters. Ristolainen’s countryman Aleksander Barkov is the number one draft-eligible European skater on NHL Central Scouting’s final ranking that was released Wednesday. Despite conflicting rankings …

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2013 Draft Eligibles: Sean Monahan is the year’s Sean Couturier

For Ottawa 67’s center Sean Monahan, playing alongside Tyler Toffoli (47th overall, LA, ’10) Shane Prince (61st overall, OTT, ’11), and Cody Ceci (15th overall, OTT, ’12) for his first two seasons in the OHL proved to be valuable for the top OHL forward prospect in this year’s NHL draft. In 127 games playing with the trio of Ceci, Prince, and Toffoli, Monahan registered 53 goals and 125 points. These are impressive numbers for the 6’2 193 pound center from Brampton, Ontario but questions lingered about Monahan prior to the start of the 2012-13 OHL season. Can he do produce …

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2013 Draft Eligibles: Valentin Zykov, a Russian-born player for the Flyers in Round One?

Whenever a 17-year old makes the coveted Team Russia roster for the Subway Super Series, eyebrows raise and brows furrow. “Who is this kid? I thought he had 11 points in 52 games last season and now he is skating on a line with Anton Zlobin (PIT 173rd overall ’12) and Mikhail Grigorenko (BUF 12th overall ’12).” Instead of stumbling playing on a line with such highly touted NHL prospects 2013 draft-eligible forward Valentin Zykov dazzled onlookers, forcing their attention back to the program momentarily to identify the big Russian. In the first game of the series Zykov scored a …

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Draft Eligibles 2013: Rasmus Ristolainen, the European Seth Jones?

Big, mean and Physical. Normally these are words one uses when describing a player from either Canada or the United States. However, for Finnish defensive prospect Rasmus Ristolainen these are the qualities that make him one of the best defensive prospect in the upcoming draft. In fact, many are comparing the game of Ristolainen to the consensus number one overall Seth Jones. I don’t think that’s a fair comparison at all, but I do see similarities in playmaking and skating ability. Seth Jones is a much better two-way player than Ristolainen in my opinion. At 6’3 210 pounds, scouts are …

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