The 2010 entry draft was a much better draft than the 2009. This was the hardest list for me to put together so far, as I feel there are many players who are not far off of being in the top 10. This was a great draft to find a first line winger, such as, Taylor Hall, Vladimir Tarasenko, Jeff Skinner, and others. I am going to begin with my honorable mentions because I would like to elaborate on why they missed the cut.
Schwartz is a great first line winger who has been attached to Tarasenko for the majority of his career. He also has been very injury prone, but when he is in the lineup, he is a consistent scoring threat.
Granlund was a bit of a late bloomer, but has evolved into a great playmaking center for the Wild.
Skinner is a great offensive player and excellent skater. He has managed to put pucks in the net in Carolina where goal scoring has been non-existent for his entire career. In fact, he has the second most goals in this draft class behind Tyler Seguin. He is a trainwreck defensively however, which just knocks him out of my top 10 for this draft.
This was the hardest guy to keep out of my top 10. He is a shot generating machine and is very solid defensively. He has the ability to get under opposing players’ skin which is an extremely underrated attribute a player can possess. I think you would see more production from Gallagher if he had a team to play with.
With that, let’s get into my top 10.
10.) John Klingberg
Klingberg is the only defenseman who made my cut. He is a very solid offensive defenseman who will struggle defensively from time to time. He is a great quarterback on the powerplay and is a good #2 defenseman on a contending team.
9.) Nino Niederreiter
Niederreiter is a very underrated player in my opinion. He is an elite defensive winger who can give you 20-25 goals. He is also a player who can get under your skin and take the opposing team off of their game. Since joining the Wild, he has 189 points in 353 games after a very rocky start to his career in New York.
8.) Tyler Toffoli
Toffoli is a great example of an all-around winger. He is very good defensively and is a shot generating machine. He is a great driving force on offense in LA where goals are hard to come by. He has also been a great possession player throughout his entire career.
7.) Mark Stone
Stone and Toffoli are fairly similar in my opinion. Stone is also great at everything much like Toffoli. Stone is just quite a few steps ahead. Stone has been a more consistent producer throughout his career and is an elite finisher, shooting at a 16% clip for his career. Stone finished sixth in Selke voting last season as a winger which is very impressive. He is also among the league leaders in takeaways each season.
6.) Frederik Andersen
Some people may think this is very high for Freddy, or that I am just a biased Leaf fan. However, Andersen has had a very consistent career so far. He is a career .918% goalie which many teams would kill to have. There were questions about whether or not he could handle the workload in Toronto, but he has answered the call. He has posted a .920% save percentage in 95 games for Toronto. He is also not the type of goalie who makes flashy, highlight reel saves, which I am a fan of. (Also I know how he was drafted twice, I went off the first draft year.)
5.) Evgeny Kuznetsov
Kuznetsov is a great playmaking center who can hold his own defensively. He looks back to being his 2015/2016 self after a drop in production last season.
4.) Ryan Johansen
Johansen and Kuznetsov are very similar. They are both great playmaking centers. Johansen is a very consistent 60-70 point guy who plays well in the middle. I would like to see him shoot more, but then again he has guys who play with him like Filip Forsberg and Viktor Arvidsson who can do that for him.
3.) Tyler Seguin
Most people have Tyler Seguin going first overall in this draft. It’s definitely not a bad pick to make. He is a number one center with a deadly shot and overall elite offensive talent. I wish Seguin was a more effective player at 5 on 5 however. Despite that, I am a huge Tyler Seguin fan, he is an extremely exciting player. Definitely wasn’t worth giving up for Phil Kessel. 😦
There has always been the Taylor vs. Tyler debate. I think Taylor is just ever so slightly better due to how great of a 5 on 5 player Hall has been throughout his career. Seguin has also always had someone by his side to be great with him, such as, Marc Savard and Jamie Benn. Hall has never really had that, he has always kind of been his own wrecking crew.
2.) Taylor Hall
I love Taylor Hall and believe he is a top 5 winger in the NHL. I am happy he has found success in New Jersey after a rough time in Edmonton. He is a great play driving winger, a fantastic passer, and an even better skater. He is one of the best transition players in the NHL as well. He also has the best Twitter account ever and was/is worth much more than Adam Larsson.
1.) Vladimir Tarasenko
This man is a monster. A guy who pushes 40 goals and 75 points each season. I love Tarasenko’s explosiveness. He is one of my favorite players to watch and a top 2 winger in the league. I love the fact that he stays out of the penalty box as well. He is great at both 5 on 5 and on the powerplay with his deadly shot. An all around dominating player who can do it all offensively.