I donâ€™t post here much, but just so you donâ€™t think Iâ€™m just some yahoo copying one of the major scouting services, let me say who I am. I am involved in hockey and travel professionally so I get to see a lot of players and tournaments. Iâ€™ve probably seen two-thirds of the top draft picks for 2004 live, about 90% if you include videos. And, yeah, I go to Europe for those purposes. On the other hand, Iâ€™ll admit that my weak points are NCAA, USHS, and USHL. This ranking is not a mock draft but a top 60 based on my own observations, scuttlebutt from scouts and other insiders (always to be taken with a grain of salt), people connected with teams and players, and of course, the major scouting services. Two factors will affect this ranking. One is the World Under-18 championships, which always produces a few surprises. Second is the status of the opt-in players from the NCAA. Enjoy. 1. Alex Ovechkin- â€˜Nuff said. 2. Evgeny Malkin- Like that late birthdate. Great upside. 3. Rostislav Olesz- Already has a â€˜man amongst boysâ€™ aura. 4. A.J. Thelen- Rising with a bullet. Improves hand over fist every week. 5. Cam Barker- Potential home-run hitter on the D. 6. Marek Schwarz- The real thing; can perform magic with regularity. 7. Wojtek Wolski- Silky smooth- might apply himself more 8. Rob Schremp- Canâ€™t ignore all-world skill package. 9. Andrew Ladd- Every scout has seen him now; has passed the tests. 10. Drew Stafford- Another late, fast riser; appears to have no weaknesses. 11. Alex Radulov- The Schremp of Europe? 12. Wes Oâ€™Neill- Has been up and down but few will pass on potential stud DF. 13. Laurie Tukonen- Already plays a pro-style game. Just needs finish. 14. Ladislav Smid- Extremely poised for his age. Should dominate world U-18s. 15. Andrej Meszaros- Few talk about him but heâ€™s done everything Smid has. 16. Dave Bolland- Great mix of character, improving skill and desire. 17. Alvaro Montoya- Been up and down but proves himself under pressure. 18. Alex Picard- Sniper from the Q has skill and moxy. IMO there is a drop around #18-19. Anyway, letâ€™s continue: 19. Mike Green- Dan Hamhuis part two. 20. Kyle Chipchura- Character guy with big upside, pro-style player. 21. Devan Dubnyk- Has been inconsistent but size, raw skill are undeniable. 22. Enver Lisin- Speedster needs finishing skills. 23. Boris Valabik- Nasty, giant Slovak will take time but has big upside. 24. Alexei Yemelin- Best U-18 Russian DF rising with a bullet. 25. Bruce Graham- Eric Daze #2? 26. Lukas Kaspar- Complete player; lacks flash but few weaknesses. 27. Roman Voloshenko- Excellent offensive instincts 28. Corey Schneider- Big mystery could surprise. 29. Paul Stastny- Not just great bloodlines; He has risen steadily all year. 30. Blake Wheeler- Another late riser who has big-time â€˜projectâ€™ appeal. 2nd round: 31. Oscar Hedman- Best Swedish DF prospect in years. 32. David Booth- Looks like a pro; needs first step. 33. Mikhail Yunkov- Typical Russian skilled forward. 34. Kiril Lyamin- Hasnâ€™t been as steady as hoped but oozes potential. 35. Johan Fransson- Right behind Hedman (see above) 36. Adam Pineault- Has he stalled or is he being held back? Big upside! 37. Johannes Salomansson- Without injury 1st round would be likely. 38. Sami Lepisto- Came out of nowhere at WJCs. Is he for real? 39. Jesse Schultz- Great size and sense, skating needs work; worthy project. 40. Carl Soderburg- Some think he is the best of the 2004 Swedes. 41. Jakub Sindel- Great skills but soft; hasnâ€™t delivered on promise so far. 42. Juraj Gracik- Another Slovak forgotten by Joe Draftfan. 43. Ryan Garlock- Steady, complete 3rd liner in the NHL. Safe pick here. 44. David Shantz- For those who need a GK, outside shot at 1st round. 45. Petteri Nokalainen- Hard-nosed character guy. Could surprise. 46. Grant Lewis- VERY high on some lists. Also could surprise. 47. Andy Rogers- Mr. Defence. Good size, skating- due for breakout in 2005. 48. Bryan Bickell- Lost his touch but could refind it. 49. Vaclav Meidl- Similar to Bickell above. 50. Travis Zajac- Going purely on othersâ€™ rankings here. 51. Adam Berti- Seems to have overcome big injury. Good toolbox. Tools? 52. Karel Hromas- Shows flashes of brilliance but is inconsistent. 53. Roman Tesliuk- Mature player who rarely flashes but is quietly consistent. 54. Mark Fistric- Big, tough D could have breakout season next year. 55. Justin Peters- Inconistent but has shown enough for 2nd round. 56. Evan McGrath- Has he stalled? Big disappointment but skills are there. 57. Laurie Korpikoski- Must show that recent 5-nations play was no fluke. 58. Sergei Ogorodnikov- Great skill package- must fill out and round off game. 59. Julien Ellis- The best Q goalie this year. â€˜Nuff said. 60. Brett Carson- Trio of giant Calgary DF all potential home run picks. Others who should be close (and could be 2nd round picks given compensatory picks ): Lukas Vomela- 2 way player has subtle strengths. John Lammers- Poised for breakout Boris Alexandrov- Hasnâ€™t developed as expected but still high skill level. Martin Karsums- Lots of moxy and hockey sense up the wazoo. Victor Oreskovich- Dark horse with upside. Generating a lot of talk. And after that, in no particular order: Aki Seitsonen, Michael Sersen, Casey Borer, Raymond Sawada, Dan Lacosta, Dave Brown, Kyle Wharton, Mitch Maunu, Clayton Barthel, Thomas Greiss, Roman Wick, Peter Guggisberg, Peter Pohl, Alex Plyuschev, Rickard Demen-Willaume, Dmitri Vorobiev, Magnus Akerlund.