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NHL announces final Central Scouting draft rankings: Yakupov tops list

By Adam Gretz | Hockey writer
If you're a fan of a team that fell short of the NHL playoffs, rejoice, because this is your future.

On Monday, the NHL announced its final prospect rankings for the June draft, which will be held at the Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh, and to the surprise of no one Nail Yakupov was at the top of the list, coming in ahead of Filip Forsberg, Ryan Murray and Mikhail Grigorenko, among others.

Yakupov spent the 2011-12 season playing for the Sarnia Sting of the Ontario Hockey League, scoring 31 goals to go with 38 assists in 42 games. He is expected to be the top pick in the draft, which has a 25 percent change of belonging to the Columbus Blue Jackets.

The NHL draft lottery will take place on Tuesday night, and the teams with a chance to win the No. 1 overall pick are the Blue Jackets, Edmonton Oilers, Montreal Canadiens, New York Islanders and Toronto Maple Leafs.

All of that said, here are the rest of the top-10 rankings for North American and European skaters:

North American Skaters

1. Nail Yakupov, Sarnia Sting, F (OHL)
2. Ryan Murray, Everet Silveritps, D (WHL)
3. Mikhail Grigorenko, Quebec Remparts, F (QMJHL)
4. Alex Galchenyuk, Sarnia Sting, F (OHL)
5. Morgan Rielly, Moose Jaw Warriors, D (WHL)
6. Cody Ceci, Ottawa 67's, D (OHL)
7. Radek Faksa, Kitchener Rangers, F (OHL)
8. Olli Maata, London Knights, D (OHL)
9. Jacob Trouba, US Under 18 team, D
10. Griffin Reinhart, Edmonton Oil Kings, D (WHL)

European Skaters

1. Filip Forsberg, Leksand (Sweden), F
2. Teuvo Teravainen, Jokerin (Finland), F
3. Sebastian Collberg, Frolunda (Sweden), F
4. Hampus Lindholm, Rogle Jr. (Sweden), D
5. Tomas Hertl, Slavia (Czech Republic), F
6. Pontus Aberg, Djurgarden (Sweden), F
7. Ville Pokka, Karpat (Finland), D
8. Ludwig Bystrom, Modo Jr. (Sweden), D
9. Nikolay Prokhorkin, CSKA 2 (Russia), F
10. Anton Slepyshev, Novokuznetsk (Russia), F

The top goalie prospects from North America are Malcom Subban from Belleville of the Ontario Hockey League and Brandon Whitney from Victoriaville of the QMJHL.

The top European goalies are Russia's Andrei Vasilevski and Sweden's Oscar Dansk.

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter and like us on Facebook.

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