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Auston Matthews is the consensus No. 1 choice in this year’s NHL entry draft.FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP / Getty Images

American centre Auston Matthews and Finnish winger Patrik Laine are expected to headline the proceedings during the first round of Friday's NHL draft. Here is a look at five top prospects:

Auston Matthews

Position: Centre

Country: United States

Matthews is the consensus No. 1 choice, but an unlikely talent to emerge from Scottsdale, Ariz. He learned the game in Arizona's minor hockey system before emerging with USA Hockey's national development team. Matthews opted to play in the Swiss Hockey League during his draft year, producing more than a point a game for Zurich. Matthews is viewed as the full package at centre – size, speed, skill and smarts – a talent in the mould of Kings captain Anze Kopitar or Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews.

Patrik Laine

Position: Right Wing

Country: Finland

Laine is an exciting, high-scoring winger who had a ridiculously effective draft year. Laine not only thrived as a 17-year-old in Finland's top pro league, but was a dominant presence in helping Finland win gold at the world junior championships and silver at the worlds. Confident and outspoken with a wicked shot, the 6-foot-4 Laine models his game after Washington superstar Alex Ovechkin.

Jesse Puljujarvi

Position: Right Wing

Country: Finland

Like Laine, he's a teenage winger who somehow thrived against older, more experienced competition in the Finnish Elite League. The 6-foot-3 Puljujarvi led all players in scoring at the world juniors, winning MVP and best-forward honours. NHL Central Scouting director Dan Marr describes him as the "ultimate power forward package," a "well-rounded winger" who can score and create opportunities for teammates.

Pierre-Luc Dubois

Position: Left Wing

Country: Canada

Dubois compares his game to Dallas Stars winger Jamie Benn, a big power forward who can score, play with an edge and line up at all three forward spots. Dubois finished third in QMJHL scoring this season, posting 99 points in 62 games for the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles. His dad, Eric, was picked 76th over all by the Quebec Nordiques in the 1989 NHL draft.

Matthew Tkachuk

Position: Left Wing

Country: United States

A key member of the Memorial Cup-winning London Knights, he finished fifth in OHL scoring (107 points in 57 games), lining up mostly alongside Christian Dvorak, a Coyotes prospect, and Mitch Marner, a Maple Leafs prospect. Marr calls him a high-end scorer who's "willing to go to the hard areas to score goals." Tkachuk likens his style on the ice to James van Riemsdyk, another imposing American winger.

This content appears as provided to The Globe by the originating wire service. It has not been edited by Globe staff.

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