Originally posted on The Rangers Tribune  |  Last updated 6/22/12

The NHL will be holding the first round of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft tonight in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where the New York Rangers will have the 28th overall pick. 

Below are some of the names, along with their scouting reports, that have popped up in mock drafts around the Internet in connection to the Blueshirts. The Rangers never fail to surprise us in these things, so I wouldn't be shocked to see them pick off the board as usual. But here's a stab at who they may draft anyway. 

Henrik Samuelsson, C, Edmonton Oil Kings (WHL)

Scouting Report: Henrik Samuelsson is a raw talent, but the young Swedish forward also has the offensive skills to be an outstanding player someday. He also has good strength and uses it to his advantage when on the ice. His dad is former NHLer Ulf Samuelsson.

Philip di Giuseppe, LW, University of Michigan

Scouting Report: The University of Michigan’s top frosh possesses solid skating, scoring and puck-possession play – but does this very coachable young man have what it takes to be the first NCAA forward taken in the top-20 since 2008?

Stefan Matteau, C, USNTDP (USHL) (Yes, Matteau! Matteau! Matteau!'s son)

Scouting Report: Owns the size and instincts of a future NHL’er. Big, powerful and versatile. A gritty power forward that finishes his checks and is willing to drop the gloves. Can dictate the play and revive momentum with his smarts and potent physical play. Is exceptionally balanced and mobile for his size. A strong north / south skater with a hearty stride and the ability to churn out decent speed. His first few steps are a work in progress and his defensive footwork needs continued development.

Andrei Vasilevski, G, KHL

Scouting Report: There’s always several players who drastically improve their stock at the World Juniors and Vasilevski is testament to that theory this year. While the big goaltender has been one of the top goaltenders in the MHL this season, he really put his name on the map with a tremendous goaltending performance at the World Juniors where he split time with Andrey Makarov. Vasilevski has great size and has a strong net presence. He has good angles and squares up well to shooters and does a good job of challenging them by coming out of the net. The Russian factor is always a concern for NHL teams but on talent alone, Vasilevski is certainly deserving of a Top 30 pick.

Hampus Lindholm, D, SEL

Scouting Report: Lindholm is a solid two-way defenseman who still has room to improve moving forward. The 6-foot-2 Swede displays above average offensive instincts and does a good job of anticipating when to jump into the offensive side of the game. He is a very strong skater and displays good lateral movement and an ability to skate transitionally which will be major assets moving forward. Defensively, Lindholm is solid albeit unspectacular. He can be prone to mental lapses and needs to do a better job of letting the play come to him rather than force it. Lindholm has come on of late and did have a solid showing at the U18’s which has been the major catalyst behind his ascension in our final rankings. 

Tanner Pearson, LW, Barrie (OHL)

Scouting Report: While his pace has slowed slightly, Tanner Pearson continues to be an offensive threat every night. A classic late bloomer, Pearson found chemistry early in the season with the rest of his team and has not looked back since. Pearson thinks the game on an extremely high level; he consistently makes great decisions with the puck and is able to thread passes through traffic with ease. He also does a great job in putting himself in great position, he is a player who the puck just seems to find time and time again. While Pearson will be eligible for his 3rd time this season, he has emerged as a legitimate NHL prospect and with no glaring weaknesses in his game, he’s earned his spot in our rankings.

Mike Winther, C, Prince Albert (WHL)

Scouting Report: He's sneaky-good; he's very deceptive with his skating. Not breakaway speed, but enough speed to get in and out of trouble in close quarters. … Mike has great on-ice awareness. He knows where guys are before they even get there. He does the little things that aren't in the book and you can't explain; you just have to see it for yourself.

Cristoval Nieves, C, Kent School (High-CT)

Scouting Report: Despite his commitment to High School hockey, Cristoval “Boo” Nieves is still being talked about as one of the top prospects in this year’s NHL draft class.  We here tons about USHL talent, CHL talent, and NCAA talent, but High School talent always seems to take a backseat to the other three leagues.  Don’t let the talent level fool you, though.  Cristoval, or “Boo” as he has been referred to, has some serious top level skill that was only built during his days at Kent School in Connecticut. Boo is, by far, one of the fastest players on the ice at any given time.  His poise when the puck is on his stick is one of his main attributes that sets him apart from other forwards.  Because of the confidence and puck control, it is rare to see Nieves make a poor pass or poor decision.  He’s got the height of a hockey player without the physical size, but that has yet to stop him this season.  If there is an opportunity to lay a check, Boo isn’t one to shy away from the play.

NOTE: The scouting reports above are not our own. They have been taken from reliable sources throughout the web. 

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