You have to think that Central Scouting might be re-thinking their top prospects list already, but their most recent list places the beleaguered Tyler Seguin over Taylor Hall according to NHL.com. Here’s the top 20 with the bonus of the always hilariously unfair comparisons to NHL players (He’s the next Mario Lemieux! The next Wayne Gretzky! Uh oh now he got another concussion … )
1. Tyler Seguin, C — Steve Yzerman (retired)
2. Taylor Hall, LW — Zach Parise, Devils
3. Brett Connolly, RW — Peter Forsberg (Sweden)
4. Erik Gudbranson, D — Dion Phaneuf, Maple Leafs
5. Cam Fowler, D — Mike Green, Capitals
6. Brandon Gormley, D — Chris Phillips, Senators
7. Mark Pysyk, D — Duncan Keith, Blackhawks
8. Emerson Etem, RW — Glenn Anderson (retired)
9. Derek Forbort, D — Erik Johnson, Blues
10. Ryan Johansen, C — Jason Spezza, Senators
11. Alexander Burmistrov, C — Maxim Afinogenov, Thrashers
12. Nino Niederreiter, RW — Erik Cole, Hurricanes
13. Nick Bjugstad, C — Andrew Brunette, Wild
14. Austin Watson, F — Kris Draper, Red Wings
15. John McFarland, C — Brenden Morrow, Stars
16. Tyler Toffoli, C — Tim Connolly, Sabres
17. Dylan McIlrath, D — Ed Jovanovski, Coyotes
18. Tyler Pitlick, C — Mark Parrish, Lightning
19. Quinton Howden, C– Todd Bertuzzi, Red Wings
20. Stanislav Galiev, RW — Alexander Frolov, Kings
If I’m Quinton Howden, I might just be bristling at that Bertuzzi comparison. But that’s just me. Then again, I might prefer that comparison than being called the next Steve Yzerman or Peter Forsberg (no pressure, kid). The story mentions the fact that – barring injury – Brett Connolly would probably be in the No. 1 pick conversation (a talented but oft-injured player named Connolly? You don’t say.).
Speaking of that conversation, Hall’s Windsor Spitfires have a 3-0 series lead over the Plymouth Whalers and Seguin, who is still pointless in the series. Now, hopefully one series won’t decide how scouts view the path of an entire career, but then again if the race really is close enough that the two could be “flip flopped” (like E.J. McGuire said) then perhaps the series could swing the whole thing.
Then again, a lot can happen between now and June 25.