FanPost

NHL 2012 Draft Watch: First and Second Round Centers

There is obviously a lot of interest in possible center prospects that are available in the 2012 draft. The following are a selection of possible NHL draftees who are likely to be selected within the first or second rounds. I hope this gives you all a better insight into the possible center prospects who might be emerging within the next draft.

Note: The number of each prospect is not according to any rank I have assigned to them, but simply the order I wrote the report,

Another Note: Each of the players name should link to their Elite Prospects Page.

NHL Draft Watch 2012: The Centers

1.

Alex Galchenyuk (Drafted 1st Overall in the 2010 OHL Priority draft)

Age: 17

Height: 6"1

Weight: 181lbs

Nationality: Joint American Russian

Shoots: Left

Current Team: Sarnia Sting

Current League: OHL

Current Stats: None - Injured during the preseason

Alex Galchenyuk is a talented forward who has this season suffered from bad luck and an injury which will sideline him for most of the season if not all of it. This injury has the potential to drop his position in the draft into a place where the Stars might be able to draft him in the first round. However I would like to stress that, unless several other players do incredibly well, it is very unlikely for him falling out of the top 10 picks in the first round. He is a very good offensive player (2010-2011 season: 68 games, 31 goals, 52 assists, 83 points) with good hockey sense. The best possible comparison would probably be along the lines of Evgeni Malkin.

2.

Brendan Gaunce (Second overall pick in the 2010 OHL Priority Draft)

Age: 17

Height: 6"2

Weight 202lbs

Nationality: Canadian

Shoots: Left

Current Team: Belleville Bulls

Current League: OHL

Current Stats: 31 Games, 18 Goals 17 Assists, 35 Points

Brendan Gaunce is a good two way forward, he might not have elite offensive skill but he has the potential to be a very good two way forward with good offensive upside. At the moment its unsure where he will be drafted but its almost certainly will be within the top 15-20 picks in the first round. At the moment its felt his ceiling would be a very good second line centre. He has good character and consistently plays hard and battles around the boards.

3.

Radek Faksa (drafted 22nd in CHL 2011 Import Draft)

Age: 17

Height: 6"3

Weight: 203lbs

Nationality: Czech

Shoots: Left

Current Team: Kitchener Rangers

Current League: OHL

Current Stats: 29 Games, 14 Goals, 15 Assists, 29 Points

Radek Faksa is in his first season in North America and is ranked by the Central Scouting Services as the 4th best draft eligible player in the OHL. Not bad for being selected 22nd in the CHL import draft. He has got good playmaking and puck handling skills. On top of this it appears he isn't afraid of using his size by taking or giving out hits.

4.

Tomas Hertl

Age: 18

Height: 6"2

Weight: 196lbs

Nationality: Czech

Shoots: Left

Current Team: HC Slavia Praha

Current League: Czech

Current Stats: 23 games, 9 Goals, 6 Assists, 15 Points

Tomas Hertl is a big playmaking centre with soft hands. He hasn't ever played in North America which might affect his draft status however there is no doubt that he is a very talented forward. He is also a very smooth skater. However has a past history of injuries which has caused him to be overlooked in most of the early rankings. He could be a first rounder or potentially an early second.

5.

Jarrod Maidens (Drafted 4th in 2010 OHL priority draft)

Age: 17

Height: 6"2

Weight: 174lbs

Nationality: Canadian

Shoots: Right

Current Team: Owen Sound Attack

Current League: OHL

Current Stats: 29 Games, 12 Goals, 11 Assists, 23 Points

Jarrod Maidens has high end offensive skills, a great shot and great skating. However he is very much a purely offensive machine. He is unafraid to go into the dirty areas of the ice earning him the nickname Jarrod ‘Iron' Maidens. He is a power forward in the making, however he is still very raw but very hard to play against. Seen by some scouts as having the potential to become a top level NHL play making center. Been compared to Jarome Iginla.

6.

Gemel Smith (Drafted 120th in 2010 OHL Piority draft)

Age: 17

Height: 5"9

Weight: 150lbs

Nationality: Canadian

Shoots: Right

Current Team: Owen Sound Attack

Current League: OHL

Current Stats: 22 Goals, 15 Goals, 18 Assists, 33 Points

Gemel Smith is, in my opinion, too small to fit the kind of team that Dallas has been drafting in previous years. Its clear that he has offensive talent though its doubtful that he would be a hard hitting forward that Dallas likes. However he is still projected to possibly enter the first round.

7.

Nicolas Kerdiles

Age: 17

Height: 6"1

Weight: 196lbs

Nationality: American

Shoots: Left

Current Team: USNTDP Team

Current League: USHL

Current Stats: 8 Games, 1 Goal, 1 Assist, 2 Points

Nicolas Kerdiles is a good two way forward better known for his defensive ability that his offensive ability. His plays tend to be more simple but often effective and he is unafraid to crash the net. He also has a talent for sniping. He has very composed play and can be relied upon to be in the areas where he is needed.

8.

Zemgus Girgensons

Age: 18

Height: 6"1

Weight: 185lbs

Nationality: Latvian

Shoots: Left

Current Team: Dubuque Fighting Saints

Current League: USHL

Current Stats: 20 Games, 9 Goals, 12 Assists, 21 Points

Zemgus Girgensons is a talented offensive forward with good leadership qualities (He is captain of the Dubuque Fighting Saints). He has the potentital to be a first line forward in the NHL, though he is not yet NHL ready yet. He has a hard accurate shot but has a tendancy not to shoot enough. Good skating ability and good hockey IQ. A for sure first round pick in the draft, likely within the top 15 at the very least.

9.

Colton Sissons

Age: 18

Height: 6"0

Weight: 172lbs

Nationality: Canadian

Shoots: Right

Current Team: Kelowna Rockets

Current League: WHL

Current Stats: 31 Games, 16 Goals, 6 Assists, 22 Points

Colton Sissons has very good vision and good skating ability. He appears to be often switched between the Right Wing and the centre. He also attempts to emulate the play of Anaheim Ducks forward Ryan Getzlaf. He also has a solid two game. As a random point in past seasons he played for the Vancouver Giants alongside players such as Ryan Nugent Hopkins.

10.

Matia Marcantuoni (drafted 18th in 2010 OHL Priority Draft)

Age: 17

Height: 6"0

Weight: 170lbs

Nationality: Canadian

Shoots: Right

Current Team: Kitchener Rangers

Current League: OHL

Current Stats: 19 Games, 7 Goals, 3 Assists, 10 Points

Matia Marcantuoni is someone who is considered to have first round potential however he has joined an increasing number of prospects who have been injured and will be out for a significant period of time. Considered one of the best if not best skater in the draft he also has a good quality shot. However he needs to capitalise more on on his chances. Its also possible that his injury will push him down into the second round.

11.

Robert Baillargeon

Age: 18

Height: 5"11

Weight: 161lbs

Nationality: American

Shoots: Right

Current Team: Indiana Ice

Current League: USHL

Current Stats: 20 Games, 8 Goals, 11 Assists, 19 Points

Robert Baillargeon has good skating and puck moving ability along with a good hockey IQ. However he does have a problem with playing with consistency on every shift something that he would need to solve in order to become a professional ice hockey player. He has received an A rating from the NHL Central Scouting - Meaning they expect him to be drafted with the first or high second rounds.

12.

Ludvig Nilsson

Age: 17

Height: 6"0

Weight: 176lbs

Nationality: Swedish

Shoots: Left

Current Team: Timrå J20

Current League: SuperElit

Current Stats: 21 Games, 7 Goals, 4 Assists

Ludvig Nilsson has been steadily rising up the early draft rankings and is predicted to go within the first half of the second round. Again another player who can play on either the wings or the center. He looks like an interesting prospect however there is very little that I can find about his style of play however.

This is a user-created FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of SB Nation or Defending Big D. FanPost opinions are valued expressions of opinion by passionate and knowledgeable hockey and Dallas Stars fans.

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