Top drafted prospects in Europe

Updated: March 8, 2012, 12:17 PM ET
By Corey Pronman

Fans in North America typically don't get many eyes on prospects playing overseas outside of events like the World Juniors, so to give you a feel for the best prospects not in the Western Hemisphere, we checked in with front-office talent evaluators and scouts to help rank the top 10 drafted prospects not currently playing in North America.

The notes used to form this list are based on my own observations of these players combined with the many conversations I've had with scouts and front-office executives in the industry, although the rankings are purely my own.

1. Mikael Granlund, C, Minnesota Wild (HIFK-SM-Liiga)

Granlund would be tied or leading the SM-Liiga in scoring had he not gone overseas for the World Juniors. Such a feat would have been unprecedented for a Junior-aged player in that league. I'll admit having Granlund over Evgeny Kuznetsov is not an industry consensus, but I tend to favor players with great possession skill, and Granlund has that. He's an elite-level puck handler and thinker who is extremely imaginative and intuitive on the ice, has the ability to control games and can make special level plays regularly. He's more than ready to cross the pond for next season and take on a scoring role in the NHL.