NHL Central Scouting has released their midterm rankings for this season, ahead of this summer's NHL Entry Draft in Pittsburgh and, as expected, Sarnia Sting forward Nail Yakupov tops the rankings midway through the season. Made up of NHL scouts and general managers, the CSS rankings are generally a good idea of just how the draft will go -- although with another ranking coming in April there's still some fine tuning to do over the next few months.
Yakupov, who was on pace for an incredible season with 53 points in 26 games, suffered a knee injury while playing for Russia in the World Juniors Championship gold medal game. Yakupov won't require surgery, so it's likely this injury does little to affect his status as the top-ranked prospect heading into the draft.
Also of note, Alexander Galchenyuk, who had 83 points last season for Sarnia, was technically not ranked after suffering a torn ACL in the offseason. It is generally thought that Galchenyuk could still be drafted in the top five this summer.
Top ten rankings in each category after the jump.
1 YAKUPOV, NAIL; SARNIA - OHL
2 GRIGORENKO, MIKHAIL; QUEBEC - QMJHL
3 MURRAY, RYAN; EVERETT - WHL
4 FAKSA, RADEK; KITCHENER - OHL
5 RIELLY, MORGAN; MOOSE JAW - WHL
6 MAATTA, OLLI; LONDON - OHL
7 DUMBA, MATHEW; RED DEER; WHL
8 REINHART, GRIFFIN; EDMONTON - WHL
9 TROUBA, JACOB; USA U-18 - USHL
10 POULIOT, DERRICK; PORTLAND - WHL
1 SUBBAN, MALCOLM; BELLEVILLE - OHL
2 MURRAY, MATTHEW; SAULT STE. MARIE - OHL
3 WHITNEY, BRANDON; VICTORIAVILLE - QMJHL
4 GILLIES, JON; INDIANA - USHL
5 PATERSON, JAKE; SAGINAW - OHL
6 TREMBLAY, FRANCOIS; VAL-D'OR - QMJHL
7 ALTSHULLER, DANIEL; OSHAWA - OHL
8 MAKAROV, ANDREY ;SASKATOON - WHL
9 OLSON, COLLIN; USA U-18 - USHL
10 BARTOSAK, PATRIK; RED DEER - WHL
1 FORSBERG, FILIP; LEKSAND SWEDEN-2
2 COLLBERG, SEBASTIAN; FROLUNDA JR. SWE-JR.
3 HERTL, TOMAS; SLAVIA CZREP
4 ABERG, PONTUS; DJURGARDEN SWEDEN
5 POKKA, VILLE; KARPAT FINLAND
6 LINDHOLM, HAMPUS; ROGLE JR. SWE-JR.
7 TERAVAINEN, TEUV; JOKERIT JR. FINLAND-JR.
8 BYSTROM, LUDVIK; MODO JR. SWE-JR. 6
9 PROKHORKIN, NIKOLAI; CSKA 2 RUSSIA-JR.
10 VAINONEN, MIKKO; HIFK JR. FINLAND-JR.