10 - Generational talent -- a player for the ages, one who can do things with a puck that no other player would even contemplate doing. Very, very few players will be deserving of this rating, probably one per decade. Think Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux, Bobby Orr, maybe Sidney Crosby, but we'll see.
9 - Elite forward / defenseman / goaltender -- possesses the potential for greatness, a perennial All-Star throughout his career. Think Joe Sakic, Jeremy Roenick, Niklas Lidstrom, Rob Blake, Dominik Hasek, Martin Brodeur.
8 - First line forward / No. 2 defenseman / No. 1 goaltender -- players with definite skill that might be just a cut below elite status, but still possessing All-Star potential. Think Patrik Elias, Keith Tkachuk, Mattias Ohlund, Adam Foote, Sean Burke, Olaf Kolzig.
7 - Second line forward / No. 3-4 defenseman / journeyman No. 1 goaltender -- players not quite good enough to play on the top line or pairing on a regular basis, but still possessing enough talent to contribute offensively, defend with some authority, or competently play the goaltender's position for long stretches. Think Andrew Cassels, Jason Arnott, Darryl Sydor, Keith Carney, Dwayne Roloson, Jeff Hackett.
6 - Third line forward / No. 5-6 defenseman / Backup Goaltender -- generally speaking, players whose game is defensively-oriented, or whose abilities aren't quite good enough to land full-time duty on the 2nd line, top two defensive pairings, or the No. 1 goaltending position. Think Kris Draper, Stephanne Yelle, Igor Ulanov, Brad Lukowich, Jussi Markkanen, Manny Legace.
5 - Fourth line forward / No. 7 defenseman / depth goaltender -- players that populate the 4th line, will fill in for injured defensemen, or have some ability to play goal in the NHL but are mostly very good minor league goaltenders. Think of any enforcer you care to name, or any energy player you care to name, or any unlucky defensemen or goaltenders that don't quite have enough talent to crack an NHL lineup full time.
4 - Top minor league forward / defenseman / goaltender -- players unlikely to have long careers in the NHL, but will be recalled when injuries or other circumstances arise.
3 - Average minor league forward / defenseman / goaltender -- players who will in all likelihood will spend their entire careers in the minor leagues.
2 - Minor league role-player -- players who populate minor league rosters that have virtually no shot of making it to the NHL.
1 - Borderline minor league player -- players one step away from the beer leagues.
Realistic Probability Rating (A-F)
(the player's realistic chances of achieving their potential):
A - All but guaranteed to reach potential - 100 percent metaphysical certitude that the player will play up to his abilities as noted by his potential rating. In this case, the potential rating is multiplied by 100 percent for depth chart purposes, signaling that the player is a lock to reach his given potential.
B - Should reach potential, could drop 1 rating - likely to reach potential, but may have a hole or two in his game that will keep him from reaching his full potential. The potential rating is multiplied by 90 percent for depth chart purposes, which indicates slightly less certainty about a player’s future performance.
C - May reach potential, could drop 2 ratings - has shown some flashes, but may ultimately not have what it takes to reach his potential. The potential rating is multiplied by 80 percent for depth chart purposes to show the uncertainty of a player reaching his potential.
D - Unlikely to reach potential, could drop 3 ratings - a player who has a chance to reach his potential but is unlikely to do so. The potential rating is multiplied by 70 percent for depth chart purposes, indicating that the player's potential is extremely fluid.
F - A player possessing little potential who has a mountain to climb just to reach the outermost boundary of that potential. The potential rating is multiplied by 50 percent depth chart purposes.
THN had 25 of the actual first-round draft choices ranked in their top 30, in a different order of course. The five remaining first-round picks were ranked - 33, 35, 39, 44 and one off the chart. Also, their top 15 prospects were all chosen by the 19th pick.