Seguin tops Hall in final Central Scouting rankings

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Newfoundland's Brandon Hynes makes significant jump, moving up 78 places

The winner of the NHL's draft lottery will certainly hit the jackpot with the first overall pick during the league's annual talent sweepstakes.

And according to NHL's Central Scouting's final rankings released on Wednesday, the plum pick is Plymouth Whalers' Tyler Seguin. The talented centreman, who has been compared to former National Hockey League great Steve Yzerman, earned the nod as the top North American draft-eligible player, edging out Windsor Spitfires forward Taylor Hall.

Brandon Hynes

The winner of the NHL's draft lottery will certainly hit the jackpot with the first overall pick during the league's annual talent sweepstakes.

And according to NHL's Central Scouting's final rankings released on Wednesday, the plum pick is Plymouth Whalers' Tyler Seguin. The talented centreman, who has been compared to former National Hockey League great Steve Yzerman, earned the nod as the top North American draft-eligible player, edging out Windsor Spitfires forward Taylor Hall.

"The confidence I have in this is that, I think they're so close, they could be flip-flopped," E.J. McGuire, director of Central Scouting, told NHL.com. "I don't think that's at all being wishy-washy about it, but there may be something that a team sees that may sway them this much in order to pick one over the other."

Seguin and Hall have been compared since the start of the season, so it was only appropriate that they finished the Ontario Hockey League season tied in points, with Seguin scoring 48 goals and 58 assists in 63 games, while Hall fired 40 goals and 66 assists in just 57 games. Seguin became the first player in Plymouth history to win the scoring title.

"It was a hand vote of nine guys and it was 5-4," McGuire told NHL.com. "And the next morning, if I had taken the vote again, it would have been 5-4 the other way."

Right-winger Brett Connolly of the Western Hockey League's Prince George Cougars is ranked No. 3, while Kingston defenceman Erik Gudbranson is fourth and Windsor defenceman Cam Fowler is No. 5 heading into the draft, which is scheduled for June 25-26 in Los Angeles.

Brandon Hynes of Norris Point, a forward with the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League's Victoriaville Tigres, is ranked 122nd overall among North American skaters. That represents a big jump from the Central Scouting's mid-season rankings, when Hynes was listed 200th overall, and from the pre-season list, when Central Scouting seeded the top prospects by league, with the top 25 in each circuit making the cut. Hynes wasn't even on the QMJHL list at the time. On the final list, he is the13th highest-ranked skater from the Quebec league.

Hynes, who won't turn 18 until September, had a team-leading 41 goals along with 34 assists in 68 games this season for the Tigres, who made him a third overall pick in the 2008 QMJHL draft, and who have advanced to the QMJHL semifinals this spring. However, while his scoring prowess has never been in doubt, many scouts have questioned whether the five-foot-eight, 175-pound Hynes can overcome the absence of the sort of size most NHL teams desire.

Size is not a concern for the 6-foot-one, 185-pound Seguin or the six -foot, 180-pound Hall, who was ranked first during the midterm rankings released in January, while Seguin was second.

"Tyler Seguin makes things happen every time he is on the ice and he makes his teammates better," said Central Scouting's Chris Edwards. "He's a skilled forward. He's a guy that's obviously a top-line forward with all kinds of puck skills and playmaking abilities. ... He's an elusive guy in traffic, avoiding checks with the puck. Not too much bad I can say about him."

As for Hall, he's the complete package.

"This guy is a high-end prospect, there are no two ways about it," said Edwards. "Puck skills, skating - there's really nothing you don't like about the guy."

Among goaltenders, Seattle Thunderbirds stopper Calvin Pickard remained atop the rankings where he was during the January release, with U.S. development team goalie Jack Campbell ranked second.

On the international rankings, Finnish forward Mikael Granlund remains on top, with Russian right-winger Vladimir Tarasenko ranked second, and Russian centre Evgeny Kuznetsov at No. 3.

Organizations: National Hockey League, North American, Quebec Major Junior Hockey League Ontario Hockey League

Geographic location: Plymouth, Newfoundland, Prince George Los Angeles Quebec U.S.

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