The NHL's Central Scouting Bureau has released its overall rankings of junior prospects for this year's draft, putting forward Nathan MacKinnon in the number two spot, just ahead of teammate Jonathan Drouin.
Seth Jones from the Portland Winterhawks is ranked as the top pick.
Mooseheads goaltender Zach Fucale is the number one goaltending prospect.
“It wasn’t an unanimous vote when it came down to our staff,” said Dan Marr, director at the scouting bureau. “They have the potential to be players you can build your team around.”
MacKinnon, who is often compared to NHL superstar Sidney Crosby, went to Shattuck-St. Mary's in Minnesota, the same prep school the Pittsburgh Penguins captain attended.
“We don’t like anything about Nathan MacKinnon. We love everything about Nathan MacKinnon. He’s got the explosiveness to pull away from the play. The power he has might be the best in this year’s draft,” said Marr. “He’s got that twinkle in his eye.”
MacKinnon and Drouin play on the same line in Halifax.
“Jonathan Drouin, he fits into a special category. His hockey sense, the quick read and react he has to his game and his ability to rise to the occasion they stand out in his favour. You dangle the carrot in front of him and he goes for it," said Marr.
These rankings carry enormous weight but the final picks are up to each team.
All three players will find out which NHL teams they'll be joining when the draft is held in late June in New Jersey.