There’s no way to start talking about Ryan Nugent-Hopkins without first mentioning his ice vision and hockey IQ. He’s a great skater who has drawn comparisons to players like Joe Sakic and Pavel Datsyuk. When he was with the rest of the best in the CHL Prospects Game, he stood head and shoulders as the best player on the ice.
Over the last season with the Red Deer Rebels, he’s impressed scouts with his willingness to improve his two-way game. While no one is going to nominate him for the Selke in the near future, he’s work ethic proves that he won’t be a defensive liability when he makes it to the NHL.
He isn’t the most NHL ready prospect in the draft, but he certainly has the most high-end career potential. If he’s drafted 1st overall as expected, he’ll be setting up Taylor Hall for the next decade.
Weight: 164 lbs
Team: Red Deer (WHL)
- 2008-09: 2 goals and 4 assists (6 points) in 5 games
- 2009-10: 24 goals and 41 assists (65 points) in 67 games
- 2010-11: 31 goals and 75 assists (106 points) in 69 games
|NHL CENTRAL SCOUTING||#1 SKATER (NA)|
|INTERNATIONAL SCOUTING SERVICES||1ST OVERALL|
|THE HOCKEY NEWS||1ST OVERALL|
From NHL Central Scouting’s Peter Sullivan:
“A couple of people high up — and not naming names — said Hopkins has the best vision since No. 99 (Wayne Gretzky). That’s the highest compliment you can get. But the other thing is the way he competes. He never takes a night off and he works as hard in his own end as he does in the offensive zone and that takes a special player with a special set of skills to do that.”
“He is the kind of player everybody wants on their team. Set up men with this vision and focus are extremely rare. He works hard, has an explosive skating stride and is extremely poised, patient and deceptive with the puck. Most of the plays he starts end up as goals.”