Final draft rankings released

From the official NHL release:

FINAL RANKINGS RELEASED FOR 2012 NHL DRAFT Nail Yakupov Ranked No. 1 In North America; Filip Forsberg No. 1 in Europe

TORONTO (April 9, 2012) – Right wing Nail Yakupov of the Ontario Hockey League’s Sarnia Sting and center Filip Forsberg of Sweden’s Leksand have been named the top 2012 draft-eligible skaters from North America and Europe, respectively, by the National Hockey League Central Scouting Bureau.

The 2012 NHL Draft™ will be held at CONSOL Energy Center in Pittsburgh. The first round will take place Friday, June 22, starting at 7 p.m. ET and the subsequent rounds (two through seven) will begin at 10 a.m.

ET Saturday, June 23. The Scotiabank NHL Draft Lottery, a weighted system to determine the order of selection for the first 14 picks of the Draft, will take place tomorrow, April 10, at 8 p.m. ET on TSN in Canada and on NBC Sports Network in the United States.

Yakupov, a native of Nizhnekamsk, Russia, recorded 69 points

(31-38--69) in 42 games for Sarnia during an injury-shortened 2011-12 season. Last season, he finished tied for fourth in the OHL with 101 points

(49-52--101) in 65 games as a rookie. He aims to be the fifth OHL player selected No. 1 overall in the last six drafts, joining Patrick Kane (London, 2007), Steven Stamkos (Sarnia, 2008), John Tavares (London, 2009) and Taylor Hall (Windsor, 2010).

Forsberg, a 6’2” center from Ostervala, Sweden, split the 2011-12 season between Leksand and its junior team, totaling 17 points (8-9--17) in

43 games in the second division of Sweden’s senior league. He won gold for Team Sweden at the 2012 World Junior Championships and is looking to become the first Swedish-born player to be selected first overall since Mats Sundin in 1989.

The debate over who should be selected with the first overall pick figures to include defenseman Ryan Murray (Regina, Saskatchewan) of the Western Hockey League’s Everett Silvertips and center Mikhail Grigorenko (Khabarovsk, Russia) of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League’s Quebec Remparts. They are ranked second and third, respectively, among North American skaters. Following closely are No. 4-ranked defenseman Morgan Rielly (Vancouver, British Columbia) of the WHL’s Moose Jaw Warriors and No. 5-ranked Alex Galchenyuk (Milwaukee, Wisconsin) of the OHL’s Sarnia Sting.

Left wing Teuvo Teravainen (Helsinki, Finland) and right wing Sebastien Collberg (Mariestad, Sweden) are the second- and third-ranked European skaters. Teravainen compiled 18 points (11-7--18) in 40 games this season with Jokerit of the Finnish Elite League, while Collberg skated in

41 games with Frolunda of the Swedish Elite League.

Malcolm Subban, brother of Montreal Canadiens defenseman P.K. Subban, remains the top-rated North American goaltender. Subban (Toronto, Ontario) compiled 25 wins (25-14-0) with a 2.50 goals-against average and .923 save percentage in 39 appearances for the OHL’s Belleville Bulls this season.

Andrei Vasilevski (Russia) also remained the top-ranked European goalie. He posted a 2.23 goals-against average and .931 save percentage in 27 games for Ufa 2, competing in the top-tier junior league in Russia.

The final rankings feature the top 210 skaters and 35 goaltenders in North America as well as the top 120 skaters and 11 goaltenders from Europe.

In its 37th year of operation, NHL Central Scouting provides scouting and evaluation of draft-eligible players to NHL member clubs. Headed by Director of Central Scouting Dan Marr, NHL Central Scouting employs eight full-time and 16 part-time scouts throughout North America. To report on prospects playing in Europe, the NHL employs the services of Goran Stubb and his staff of five scouts at European Scouting Services based in Finland. Combined, NHL Central Scouting and the European Scouting Service will see more than 3,000 games this season.