Nichushkin a wild card at top of draft

Updated: June 1, 2013, 8:00 PM ET
By Craig Custance

TORONTO -- For months, Seth Jones, Nathan MacKinnon and Jonathan Drouin have widely been considered the consensus top three picks in the upcoming NHL draft. But two Europeans drew plenty of buzz among those attending the combine in Toronto -- Valeri Nichushkin and Aleksander Barkov. Nichushkin in particular is threatening to crash the North American top three.

One longtime NHL amateur scout, whose team isn't picking in the top five, called both players "top end" and said Nichushkin has the talent to contend for the first overall pick.

"Just take a look at his attributes for the game," he said. "He could easily go No. 1. A very gifted player."