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FROM THE LEFT SIDE
published 06/19/13 9:40am
From left: Windsor's Kerby Rychel and Malmo's Andre Burakovsky.
Photo: Keith Hamilton / Icon SMI
Arguably, left wing has more often than been the position where the talent crop has been the thinnest. We look at five draft-eligible players aiming to debunk the theory.

1. Jonathan Drouin, Halifax (QMJHL)

Has outstanding vision, creativity and playmaking acumen. His puck skills are off-the-charts good, and he can rack up impressive point totals… Is somewhat undersized for the NHL game, so he must gain more strength and prove he can handle the physical rigors of the highest level… Talented playmaker with great upside.

2. Max Domi, London (OHL)

Can generate plenty of offense thanks to his creativity and fearless aggression. Is capable of playing both wing and center, and is equally effective scoring goals and setting up linemates… Doesn't have ideal size for the National Hockey League game, so the jury is still out on whether he'll be able to produce great totals at the highest level. Also needs more work without the puck… Talented offensive forward with good upside.

3. Hunter Shinkaruk, Medicine Hat (WHL)

Is an excellent offensive talent with great scoring instincts and hockey sense. An excellent playmaker, he can play both wing and center. Is also an accomplished goal-scorer… Doesn't have ideal National Hockey League size, so he must continue to bulk up and get physically stronger for the highest level. Also lacks a physical element to his game… Talented, versatile scoring forward with good upside.

4. Kerby Rychel, Windsor (OHL)

A big power forward with both scoring ability and toughness, he is a factor in front of the opposing goal and in the corners. Is also a willing pugilist, which adds value to his overall package… Needs to play a simple game at all times, as he gets into trouble when he tries to finesse his way around the ice too much. Doesn't have elite skill, so he needs to earn his points through hard work… Power forward with some upside.

5. Andre Burakovsky, Malmo (Allsvenskan)

Blessed with great speed, he also displays great hands and goal-scoring instincts. Also has an NHL-sized frame with with plenty of projection. Is definitely a game-breaking talent… Must prove capable of scoring at a quality pace at higher levels of competition. Also needs to add significant bulk in order to prove he can withstand the rigors of the North American pro game… Talented scoring winger with upside.

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