Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (www.whl.ca)
Date of Birth: April 12, 1993
Place of Birth: Burnaby, BC
Ht: 6-0 Wt: 164
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.
20010/2011 Regular Season Stats:
Scouting Report (NHL.com):
"A couple of people high up -- and not naming names -- said Hopkins has the best vision since No. 99 (Wayne Gretzky). That's the highest compliment you can get. But the other thing is the way he competes. He never takes a night off and he works as hard in his own end as he does in the offensive zone and that takes a special player with a special set of skills to do that."
Why he'd be a good fit in Columbus:
While it's unlikely that he would be taken outside of the top two or three picks (Columbus picks 8th) he would instantly join Ryan Johansen as the future scoring line pivots. Johansen is pegged as Nash's future center, but Nugent-Hopkins could fit in as 2C feeding pucks to players like R.J. Umberger or Tomas Kubalik down the line.
Nugent-Hopkins in Action: