Forsberg leads 10 standouts at Hlinka

Updated: August 22, 2011, 4:11 PM ET
By Grant Sonier

Hosted between Piestiny, Slovakia and Breclav, Czech Republic, the Ivan Hlinka tournament has been played each August for the past several years. The tournament represents a chance to get a head start on identifying who is going to be selected in the next June draft and serves as a kind of kick-off for the annual draft cycle.

Many people have mixed feelings about the event, calling it summer hockey, where the prospects are not up to full speed. Yet more than a hundred scouts representing all 30 teams are always in attendance. In my work as an NHL scout, I believe there is true value to the event. Identifying prospects is the key for an early tournament like this. You look for NHL qualities -- the more, the better -- and the players that have multiple pro elements to their game will rise to the top.

Already we've seen a number of prospects stand out at this season's Hlinka tournament, including one that should challenge Nail Yakupov for the top spot in the 2012 draft. Here are 10 talents who made a big impression.

1) Filip Forsberg, LW, Sweden