2011 NHL Draft: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins Player Profile

Leading up to the 2010 NHL Draft, there was a two horse race to see who would be picked first overall by the Edmonton OilersTaylor Hall or Tyler Seguin.

In 2011, it's a similar situation the Oilers find themselves in, again holding the first overall pick in the draft, and it looks as though it's a decision on how much they like the look of Central Scouting's No. 1 ranked prospect, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. After a midterm ranking at No. 3, Nugent-Hopkins finished in the final ranking ahead of midterm No. 1, Gabriel Landeskog. 

A year after taking the winger Hall over the center Seguin, the Oilers now have the chance to get a top center to play with Hall and his counterpart, Jordan Eberle. Nugent-Hopkins has been touted as one of the prospects that is the most likely to be ready to start in the NHL right away.

He has had great success in the WHL as he was named Rookie of the Year in 2009-10, and he even has a little international experience as he won gold in the 2010 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament for Team Canada. 

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins

Position: Center
2010-11 Team: Red Deer Rebels, WHL
Height: 6-0
Weight: 164
Born: April 12, 1993
Hometown: Burnaby, B.C.
Shoots: L
CSS Midterm Ranking: 3
CSS Final Ranking: 1

2010-11 Regular Season
G A P +/- PIM
Red Deer Rebels, WHL 31 75 106 29 51

What People Are Saying

NHL Central Scouting's B.J. MacDonald:

"(Nugent-Hopkins) has very good puck-handling capabilities. His on-ice awareness is very good. He's one of those guys that knows where everyone is and where they should be and where the puck should go . . . He can dish both right or left, either on his backhand or forehand with that kind of vision. But not just the vision, but the fact he can lay that puck between the skate boot and the skate blade -- that's hard to find."

Red Deer Rebels Coach Jesse Wallin:

"He's got a hard shot and an incredible release. He gets it away in a hurry and he has a very accurate shot. If anything, I think he could use it a bit more at times.

"But he's got such great vision on the ice."

International Scouting Services:

"He is the kind of player everybody wants on their team. Set up men with this vision and focus are extremely rare. He works hard, has an explosive skating stride and is extremely poised, patient and deceptive with the puck."

SB Nation's Blue Jackets blog, The Cannon:

"For most of the past season, Nugent-Hopkins has been at or near the top of most pre-draft ranking boards. He is a playmaking center, with the ability to consistently find linemates with tape-to-tape passes, even in traffic. His biggest asset is his vision on the ice. He will need to bulk up, and is a bit on the short side, but his ability to pass the puck and create offense trumps the size issue."

The Edmonton Oilers could have a tough decision to make with the player that they want to take at No. 1, but Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Taylor Hall might just create the perfect tag-team of No. 1 overall picks for years to come.

For full coverage of the 2011 NHL Draft, stick with SB Nation's network of 34 hockey blogs, covering the draft from every angle. Also, stick with SB Nation's NHL Draft hub, where you can find all the latest player profiles and news surrounding the event, which takes place in St. Paul, Minn. on June 24-25. 

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