The NHL Draft begins Friday night in Los Angeles. Obviously, I will be covering the event as thoroughly as I can for FanHouse, but I will also try to throw a few posts up here.
To start off the week, I turn to TSN guru Bob McKenzie, who locked himself in his house until he came up with his list of the top 75 prospects in the draft.
You can find that here. For fans of local players, Duluth native Derek Forbort, a defenseman from the U.S. Under 18 National Team, is No. 11. Forbort should become the first player from Duluth to ever go in the first round, and he might add to that by becoming a top ten pick (pretty good chance this happens). Forbort heads to North Dakota this fall.
UMD recruit Justin Faulk, also a defenseman from Under 18 Team, is No. 30. While Faulk doesn't have Forbort's size, he is an impressive prospect because of his passing skill and compete level. Both are highly-regarded.
Fellow incoming Bulldog freshman Joe Basaraba didn't make McKenzie's top 75, but is listed as honorable mention. He's a big forward with a lot of skill, and he will add muscle to his impressive frame while attending UMD.
My top 35 -- published for FanHouse -- is here. I have Forbort at No. 8. You can find FanHouse's NHL Draft coverage here. Colleague Chris Botta -- as good a guy as he is a writer, and that's saying a lot -- roped an NHL scout into divulging his top ten. It's very interesting to get an insider's take on the top prospects.
This is going to be a fun draft to follow, if only because there is such a divergence of opinions about even the highest-rated prospects. That Botta's scout puts goalie Jack Campbell at No. 2 tells you a lot, because virtually everyone has been assuming that Taylor Hall and Tyler Seguin were the top two prospects.
It should be a good first round for college prospects, as we could see ten of them picked. We could go over a dozen American players if things break the right way.
Beyond that, there will be a goodly number of trades this week, as teams look to reshape their rosters while facing up to a free agent class that isn't terribly deep or impressive.
Oh, and the 2010-11 NHL schedule is out Tuesday. Hockey Hall of Fame inductees will be named, too.
Should be a fun week.