I'm not sure I agree with sky high, but I'm take 3 solid young NHL defenceman over prospects every day of the week. How often do we hear about sure bet prospects not panning out?
Potential's very high. All three are likely extremely good top 4 Defensemen. People tend to overrate non-NHL prospects at the expense of young NHL guys already on rosters, assuming that the guys not in the NHL yet have higher ceilings because the NHL players aren't the best in the world right away. It's a longshot if guys like Rundblad and Gormley become top pairing Defensemen like Carlson/Alzner.
This one is even worse than the first one. How can you possibly compare guys like Scandella to guys like Karlsson and OEL?
I think this poll is fine, there's a clear cut off this time, it's only 2007 picks onwards. Doesn't really matter that some of these guys are more developed than others as long as you have clear rules for who is included. It's not a "best d prospects" poll, it's a "best young dmen poll, players and prospects combined," there's a big difference there. The main problem with this poll, as others have mentioned, is the lack of NYR (McDonagh, Del Zotto, McIlrath) and St. Louis (Pietrangelo, Shattenkirk, Cole), clearly two of the strongest options.
My pick would be Ottawa regardless, though. Karlsson is crazy awesome, Cowen has top pairing potential IMO, and Ceci is a good prospect. Some of the other choices are pretty close (like NYR, St. Louis and Phoenix), but ultimately I'd go with the Ottawa trio.