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Early 2018 NHL Draft rankings favor Dahlin (and uh oh, another Tkachuk)

Sweden v Russia - Bronze Medal Game - 2017 IIHF World Junior Championship

MONTREAL, QC - JANUARY 05: Rasmus Dahlin #8 of Team Sweden skates the puck during the 2017 IIHF World Junior Championship bronze medal game against Team Russia at the Bell Centre on January 5, 2017 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Team Russia defeated Team Sweden 2-1 in overtime and win the bronze medal. (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)

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NHL training camps mark a time of renewed - sometimes unrealistic - optimism, with players who might end up getting injured crowing about being in the best shape of their lives.

Even so, there are some fans who can see the writing on the wall: their favorite team is going to be really bad. There’s at least a handful of fans who, even in September, are already dreaming of getting that top spot in the draft lottery for the 2018 NHL Draft.

So, who should they hope their team gets?

Well, some prospect rankings are already trickling through, from TSN’s Bob McKenzie and Craig Button to the Hockey News’ Ryan Kennedy and so on, with a near-unanimous consensus that the favorite to be the top pick is Swedish defenseman Rasmus Dahlin (pictured).

McKenzie reports that many believe that Dahlin could be a difference-maker as a top defenseman, not just a top-pairing blueliner.

He already has some sweet highlights, to boot:

When it comes to the second pick, Russian winger Andrei Svechnikov is a frequent choice. McKenzie and others indicate that, if anyone’s going to push Dahlin as the top pick, it would most likely be Svechnikov.

There are other intriguing considerations, with McKenzie noting that Adam Boqvist, another Swedish defenseman, is more divisive among scouts because he lacks ideal size.

The only other prospect to get a vote at No. 2 is Dahlin’s countryman Adam Boqvist, a 5-foot-11, 168-pound blueliner who is said to have electrifying offensive ability. But there’s a wider divergence of opinion on Boqvist, probably rooted in his sub-six-foot size. Three scouts surveyed by TSN did not include Boqvist among their top 10. Boqvist is the younger brother of New Jersey forward prospect Jesper, who was taken by the Devils in the second round of the 2017 draft.


And then we transition from interesting to potentially infuriating - at least for opponents - as there appears to be another Tkachuk who could make a difference.

Back in July, PHT’s Cam Tucker took a look at Tkachuk, with Brady inspiring a pretty telling quote.

“Makes something happen on almost every shift with an excellent compete level,” David Gregory of NHL Central Scouting told He has very good hockey sense and thinks steps ahead of the play, especially on the offensive attack. He is tough to play against and is willing to go to the tough areas to make a play.”

Sounds like he’ll fit in at Tkachuk Thanksgiving, eh?

Anyway, it should be fun to see how these prospects rise and drop in the rankings, as 2018 has generally been tabbed as a promising year for NHL prospects.