Previewing the Draft: Taylor Hall

BRANDON, CANADA - MAY 23: Taylor Hall #4 of the Windsor Spitfires kisses the Memorial Cup after defeating the Brandon Wheat Kings in the Final of the 2010 Mastercard Memorial Cup Tournament at the Keystone Centre on May 23, 2010 in Brandon, Manitoba, Canada. (Photo by Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images)

For the past week or so, I have been previewing all of the top prospects to be drafted into the NHL in June over on my site, so I decided to also share these prospect profiles here on the Banter as well. I feel that they will better prepare readers for the upcoming entry draft and will give them an idea of what each team is getting when they select these players come June.

To be clear, the order of the profiles will be based on player rankings which I have done background research on. They are NOT done in the order in which I think the players will be drafted; I will post a mock draft in the coming weeks for that. Certain teams need different assets, so not every pick is going to be based on the most talent available. Our first profile is of, who I think is the best player in the entire draft, forward Taylor Hall.

Name: Taylor Hall

Position: Left Wing

Height: 6-1

Weight: 185 lbs

Age: 18

Home Country: Canada

Playing In: Ontario Hockey League (Juniors)

Join me after the jump for scouting reports.

Scouting Reports

Rangers Tribune (Me): Taylor Hall is what you would call a prolific goal scorer. One of Hall's more admirable traits is his ability to break a game open. He is an instinctive sniper that is not going to pass up opportunities. For that reason, with Hall in your lineup, you always have a chance to win. I would personally compare him to the San Jose Sharks' Dany Heatley, who is a player that when given the puck, more often than not makes something happen with it. He picks his spots and is a tremendous shooter.

My NHL Draft: Taylor Hall is an extremely gifted forward who has achieved great success during three seasons as a member of the OHL ‘s Windsor Spitfires. Unlike the previous 3 first overall draft picks – Patrick Kane, Steven Stamkos, and John Tavares – Hall already has a Memorial Cup championship on his resume. He will surely be an integral part of team Canada at the World Junior Hockey Championship in Saskatoon this winter.

Hall has a wealth of offensive tools. He has an electric first stride and is a fluid skater. With the 36 points he amassed in 20 playoff games last season, he’s shown that his game doesn’t suffer even during high-pressure situations. It’s hard to pick out flaws in Hall’s well-rounded game, but if you like to knit-pick, the one knock against Hall is that he’s been fortunate enough to play with a plethora of talented players in his years with the Spitfires, and there might be question marks as to how well his numbers might look on a team with less offensive support. Read More...

Hockey's Future: In 57 games for the Spitfires, Hall scored 40 goals and added 66 assists for 106 points, a point total that put him in a tie for first overall in OHL scoring with Tyler Seguin. Hall followed up his excellent regular season showing by leading the OHL in scoring in the OHL playoffs. He netted 17 goals and added 18 assists for 35 points in 19 games, helping to lead the Spitfires to a potential second consecutive Memorial Cup. Hall played for Team Canada at the 2010 Under-20 WJC, earning a silver medal at that tournament. He scored 6 goals and added 6 assists for 12 points in that tournament, helping him land a berth on the WJC All-Star Team. Hall played for Team Cherry at the 2010 CHL Top Prospects Game, picking up an assist in his team's 4-2 victory. Hall was named Team Cherry's Player of the Game. Read More...

The Hockey News: When it comes to comparing Taylor Hall and Tyler Seguin, one thing that separates the two players in a big way is team accomplishments. Hall has a Memorial Cup - along with a Memorial Cup MVP - and a world junior silver medal to his credit, and he bettered Seguin when their teams met in the 2010 OHL Playoffs.

And even though Hall had fewer goals and more assists than Seguin this season, the perception is Hall will be an elite goal scorer in the NHL. (Read more in THN Draft Preview 2010 edition)

Projected to be Drafted: 1st or 2nd overall

As a side note, Hall and his Windsor Spitfires won the Memorial Cup last week in which he was once again named MVP of the playoffs.
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