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Button: Schultz is the No. 1 affiliated prospect in hockey

Dec 15, 2012, 2:30 PM EDT

Justin Schultz Getty Images

We’re almost into the season where we start scouting out the 2013 draft class, but what about the players who have been drafted already and are waiting for their shot to make the NHL? TSN’s top scout and former Flames GM Craig Button has a Top-30 list just for them.

At the top of Button’s list is Oilers defenseman Justin Schultz. The former Ducks draft pick and current Oklahoma City Barons star was signed over the summer and currently leads the AHL in points. Button, of course, speaks very highly of the former University of Wisconsin product.

“Justin possesses all of the necessary elements to be a catalyst for what looks to be exciting times ahead for the Edmonton faithful. His combination of excellent skating, passing, thinking, anticipation and the desire to make a difference when it matters most, gives the Oilers a look of a player they have not had since the days of Paul Coffey.”

Schultz has a future Oilers teammate with him in the top five of Button’s rankings in Nail Yakupov. Meanwhile, the top five is rounded out with Caps prospect Evgeny Kuznetsov at No. 2, Blues prospect Vladimir Tarasenko at No. 3, and Leafs 2012 first-rounder Morgan Rielly fourth.

You can check out the full Top 30 here.

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