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BLUELINE BONANZA

An inside look at the top 10 North American defensemen heading into the 2012 NHL Entry Draft

Monday, 06.11.2012 / 4:27 PM / Features
By Kevin Snow  - Sabres.com (@kwsnow)
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BLUELINE BONANZA
While much has been made of the high-end offensive talent available at the top of the year\u2019s draft class, there are a slew of North American defensemen that could dominate the first round on Friday, June 22. In fact, eight of the top 12 players ranked by NHL Central Scouting are blueliners.

While much has been made of the high-end offensive talent available at the top of the year’s draft class, there are a slew of North American defensemen that could dominate the first round on Friday, June 22. In fact, eight of the top 12 players ranked by NHL Central Scouting are blueliners.

Leading the way is Ryan Murray of the WHL’s Everett Silvertips, a steady two-way defender who is considered to be the “surest thing” of all the defensemen in this year’s draft. Projected to go fourth overall by both The Hockey News and McKeen’s Hockey, the six-foot-one, 201 pound Murray has also been ranked as high as second overall by Steven Hoffner of NHL.com, who considers him to be the “best all-round defenseman in the draft.”

In terms of offensive defensemen, they don’t get much better than Matt Dumba and Cody Ceci, who put up 57 and 60 points respectively this season. Dumba also has a physical element to his game, while Ceci is a talented playmaker with a big body who rocketed up draft boards as the year went on.

After Murray, the draft projections for the other defensemen are all over the map despite their Central Scouting Rankings. The Hockey News has Dumba going fifth overall, followed by Morgan Rielly (sixth), Griffin Reinhart (eighth), Jacob Trouba (ninth) and Ceci (10th). McKeen’s has Dumba-Reinhart-Rielly going sixth through eighth, with Trouba at 10th and Ceci sliding all the way down to 12th – where the Sabres are currently scheduled to make their first pick of the draft.

Ryan Murray

North American Skater - Everett, WHL
Final Rank: 2 Midterm Rank: 3
Position: Defenseman Shoots: Left
Height: 6' 0" Weight: 201
Born: September 27, 1993 Hometown: White City, SK
Born in: Regina, SK, CAN

Morgan Rielly

North American Skater - Moose Jaw, WHL
Final Rank: 5 Midterm Rank: 5
Position: Defenseman Shoots: Left
Height: 6' 0" Weight: 190
Born: March 9, 1994
Born in: Vancouver, BC, CAN

Cody Ceci

North American Skater - Ottawa, OHL
Final Rank: 6 Midterm Rank: 16
Position: Defenseman Shoots: Right
Height: 6' 2" Weight: 207
Born: December 21, 1993 Hometown: Orleans, ON
Born in: Ottawa, ON, CAN

Olli Maatta

North American Skater - London, OHL
Final Rank: 8 Midterm Rank: 6
Position: Defenseman Shoots: Left
Height: 6' 2" Weight: 202
Born: August 22, 1994
Born in: Jyväskylä, FIN

Jacob Trouba

North American Skater - USA U-18, USHL
Final Rank: 9 Midterm Rank: 9
Position: Defenseman Shoots: Right
Height: 6' 2" Weight: 193
Born: February 26, 1994
Born in: Rochester, MI, USA

Griffin Reinhart

North American Skater - Edmonton, WHL
Final Rank: 10 Midterm Rank: 8
Position: Defenseman Shoots: Left
Height: 6' 4" Weight: 207
Born: January 24, 1994
Born in: North Vancouver, BC, CAN

Mathew Dumba

North American Skater - Red Deer, WHL
Final Rank: 11 Midterm Rank: 7
Position: Defenseman Shoots: Right
Height: 6' 0" Weight: 183
Born: July 25, 1994 Hometown: Calgary, AB
Born in: Regina, SK, CAN

Derrick Pouliot

North American Skater - Portland, WHL
Final Rank: 12 Midterm Rank: 10
Position: Defenseman Shoots: Left
Height: 5' 11" Weight: 186
Born: January 16, 1994 Hometown: Weyburn, SK
Born in: Estevan, SK, CAN

Matthew Finn

North American Skater - Guelph, OHL
Final Rank: 16 Midterm Rank: 15
Position: Defenseman Shoots: Left
Height: 6' 0" Weight: 195
Born: February 24, 1994
Born in: Toronto, ON, CAN

Brady Skjei

North American Skater - USA U-18, USHL
Final Rank: 19 Midterm Rank: 18
Position: Defenseman Shoots: Left
Height: 6' 3" Weight: 200
Born: March 26, 1994
Born in: Lakeville, MN, USA

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