The NHL’s Central Scouting Service is all about the “Fail for Nail” campaign.
CSS has Nail Yakupov, the talented scorer from the CHL, listed as their top overall prospect for the 2012 NHL Entry Draft once again. Yakupov topped their preseason rankings as well making him the favorite to be taken first overall at the NHL Draft in Pittsburgh this summer.
Trailing Yakupov is fellow Russian forward Mikhail Grigorenko with defenseman Ryan Murray, Czech forward Radek Faksa, and defenseman Morgan Reilly rounding out the top five. Seven of the top ten prospects on the CSS list are defensemen making this a great time to be in need of a future cornerstone blue liner.
The top-rated American skater is defenseman Jacob Trouba. Trouba was the youngest player for Team USA’s World Junior team this year. If goalies are your thing, the top rated netminder is none other than P.K. Subban’s little brother Malcolm.
There will be one more list from CSS before the draft in late June, but unless Yakupov’s injury he suffered during World Juniors turns out to be a bigger problem for him, it’s hard to see him being unseated as the top prospect before then.