FanPost

Mikael Granlund Tops International Draft Prospects List

In the recent Central Scouting Mid-Season Rankings, topping the European Skaters list was dynamic Finnish Winger Mikael Granlund. He is smallish at 5'11" 180lbs but he uses his small frame extremely well in controlling the puck and pretty much single-handedly made a fool out of the Russians at the WJC (Whom are his closest competition in the International skaters rankings). He currently plays for HIFK in the Finnish elite league (Men's, not juniors) and is a top scorer on his team with 5 goals and 14 assists in 20 games...  As a 17 year old playing against 20-40 year olds. He is also from Oulu Finland and plays on the same team Pitkanen and Jokinen played their juniors together in a great developement program.

He was extremely impressive in the games I watched him at the WJC, showing a solid mix of great playmaking skills and goal scoring abilities. On www.NHL.com, the main page last tab currently, they have a great summary video in which he man-handles some Russians. It may be a reach but the last top ranked international skater that was an underdog to Canadian top-prospects was Nicklas Backstrom, who is also a smallish playmaking forward, and we all know how that turned out.

I'm not implying in any way we should pick him over Hall, Seguin, or Folwer given the chance... but I think it is still comfoting knowing that the consolation prize still could be an underrated gem.

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