Thursday, February 6, 2014

2014 NHL Mock Draft

1. Buffalo Sabres - Aaron Ekblad (D/Barrie OHL)

Buffalo is going to have to rebuild their franchise in 2014.  Thomas Vanek has already been traded and Ryan Miller will likely sign with a contender in the offseason.  Additionally, Matt Moulson, who was acquired in the Vanek trade with the Islanders, will likely sign elsewhere as well.

Ekblad turns 18 in February and is considered a better overall player than Seth Jones, the top defenseman of last year's draft.

2. Edmonton Oilers - Sam Reinhart (C/RW/Kootenay WHL)

Edmonton has a young roster and may have found their goaltender of the future if they can re-sign Ben Scrivens, but the players have no fully developed as expected.  Regardless, they will still go for the best player available and in this case it is Reinhart, who can score in bunches.  He had 57 points in 36 games this season.

3. Florida Panthers - Michael Dal Colle (C/LW/Oshawa OHL)

Florida has serious issues putting the puck into the net, so they will need to bring someone in who can set up scoring chances.  Dal Colle can score, but he isn't afraid to set up a scoring play either.

4. Calgary Flames - Leon Draisaitl (C/LW/Prince Albert WHL)

The Flames are also offensively challenged, averaging just 2.4 goals per game.  The only reliable scorer this season has been Jiri Hudler, who has 14 more points than anyone else on the roster.  Draisaitl has the tools to be a top-line player in the NHL.

5. New York Islanders - Haydn Fleury (D/Red Deer WHL)

Buffalo owns the rights to a conditional first round pick from the Islanders stemming from the Vanek deal, but the Islander can defer the pick to 2015 if they have a top 10 draft pick.  Defense has been a big issue with the Islanders, especially on the penalty kill where they are the currently the league's worst.  Fleury can help alleviate these problems in Long Island.

6. Washington Capitals - Roland McKeown (D/Kingston OHL)

Washington has struggled to maintain leads this season due to poor defensive play.  McKeown is an offensive-defenseman, but with improvement with his positioning, he could become a blue-liner in the NHL.

7. Ottawa Senators - William Nylander (C/RW/Rogle SWE)

A scoring threat from anywhere on the ice, Nylander is versatile enough to play all three positions on the front line, but is at his best at center or right wing.  Nylander does not turn 18 until May.

8. Dallas Stars - Sam Bennett (C/Kingston OHL)

Bennett is slightly undersized, but he has added 10 pounds to his frame over the past year and can still pack on another 10 as he develops.  He has greatly improved over the past year, scoring 72 points in 44 games this season.

9. Winnipeg Jets - Nick Ritchie (RW/Peterborough OHL)

Ritchie is a prototypical power forward, though still a raw talent.  Ritchie is still developing an already hard slap shot.

10. New Jersey Devils - Forfeited Pick

The Devils forfeit this pick due to the Ilya Kovalchuk deal, further crippling the organization.

11. Nashville Predators - Brendan Perlini (LW/Niagara OHL)

One of the bigger prospects, Perlini have increased his ability to score over the past year.

12. Carolina Hurricanes - Jake Virtanen (C/LW/Calgary WHL)

Arguably the best pure scorer in this draft, Virtanen has a high ceiling.  Virtanen has a rough start to his WHL career in 2012-13, but has emerged as a point-per-game player this season.

13. Detroit Red Wings - Kasperi Kapanen (LW/KalPa FIN)

Kapanen has good stickwork, but is a bit on the smaller side and lacks velocity in his slap shot because of it.  A skilled passer, Kapanen isn't afraid of pushing the puck into the dirty areas.

14. Phoenix Coyotes - Jakub Vrana (LW/RW/Linkoping SWE)

Considered one of the best Czech prospects in quite some time, Vrana is a speedy gifted offensive player who is deadly in one-on-one situations.  Vrana needs to improve on defense.

15. Philadelphia Flyers - Jared McCann (C/Sault Ste. OHL)

McCann has a knack for scoring and setting up goals, but doesn't do so on a consistent basis.  If he improves this trait, he could become a very good center in the NHL.  Hometown prospect Anthony DeAngelo could be an option here as well.

16. Columbus Blue Jackets - Anthony DeAngelo (D/Sarnia OHL)

A pure offensive-defenseman, DeAngelo has exceptional speed, but need to improve on playing in the defensive zone.  DeAngelo currently has a -29 rating and is undersized.

17. Vancouver Canucks - Ivan Barbashev (LW/Moncton QMJHL)

Barbashev is undersized, but an extremely physical power forward.  He will likely be placed on a checking line in the NHL.

18. New York Rangers - Josh Ho-Sang (C/RW/Windsor OHL)

Ho-Sang already has an elite one-on-one game, but he needs to improve on helping develop plays, much like former Devil Ilya Kovalchuk.

19. Toronto Maple Leafs - Brycen Martin (D/Swift Current WHL)

Martin is a physical defenseman who plays well in the defensive zone and can anchor a blue line.  He would pair best with an offensive defenseman.

20. Los Angeles Kings - Nick Schmaltz (C/RW/Green Bay USHL)

Schmaltz's ceiling depends all on how much he bulks up.  He likely won't reach the NHL until 2017 at the earliest due to his size, but he has the talent, particularly with his speed and wrist shot, to be in the NHL.

21. Montreal Canadiens - Nikolaj Ehlers (Halifax QMJHL)

Another speedy, but undersized player, Ehlers has plenty of room on his 6' frame to bulk up.

22. Minnesota Wild - Anton Karlsson (RW/Frolunda SWE)

Karlsson may be NHL ready sooner than a lot of the prospects in this year's draft.  He has the size and skill needed to compete in the NHL, but his ceiling is not as high as other members of this draft class.

23. Tampa Bay Lightning - Sonny Milano (LW/USNTDP Juniors USA)

Milano has great footwork and talent to be a solid player in the NHL, but he needs to learn how to help generate plays in the offensive zone, where he has a tendency to try to make plays by himself.

24. Boston Bruins - Nikolay Goldobin (RW/Sarnia OHL)

Goldobin broke out this season, scoring 74 points in 49 games.  He needs to work on defense as well as playing against larger opponents.

25. Colorado Avalanche - Mason McDonald (G/Acadie Bathurst QMJHL)

The top goaltender available, where McDonald will be drafted has become a little harder to project.  Colorado could look to finda future backup goaltender with Jean-Sebastian Giguere aging.

26. San Jose Sharks - Alex Tuch (C/RW/USNTDP Juniors USA)

Tuch has a large frame for a winger and will likely play on a checking line.  His plus-minus greatly increased over the past year as well.

27. St. Louis Blues - Dylan Larkin (LW/USNTDP Juniors USA)

Already a strong player, Larkin could become an even more powerful offensive weapon once he adds some bulk to his frame.

28. Pittsburgh Penguins - David Pastrnak (LW/RW/Sodertalje SWE)

Pastrnak has fast hands and a heavy shot, but his goal totals have declined over the past two years, so he may still me a few years away from seeing action in the NHL.

29. Chicago Blackhawks - Conner Bleakley (C/Red Deer WHL)

Bleakley has a nice blend of size and speed and has bounced back from a down year in the WHL.  Bleakley could be playing in the NHL at some point during next season.

30. Anaheim Ducks - Nikita Scherbak (LW/Saskatoon WHL)

The offensive game is there for Scherbak, but he needs to improve on giving a full effort on all portions of the ice.  He still has room to bulk up as well.

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