2014 NHL Mock Draft Part 1
This is the first edition of my 2014 NHL Mock Draft. This edition does not take potential trades into consideration the second part will be out at the beginning of next week and will will include possible draft day trades. Prospect analysis comes directly from the ISS scouting reports.
1) Florida Panthers -
The Pick Is In: Aaron Ekblad
Ekblad is ranked as the number 1 defenseman and number 2 overall best player in the draft. He will fit in perfectly with Florida’s young team, and his talents could help Florida turn it around. Recent news is that Brian Campbell wants out of Florida and if he gets his wish, then Ekblad can help fill that gap. Last season, in 58 games Ekblad scored 23 goals and 30 assists with the Barrie Colts.
What the experts say: Potential to jump into any NHL lineup this season, has the hands, feet, head, and intangibles that make him a potential corner piece on the back end.
Style Compares to: Rob Blake
2) Buffalo Sabres -
The Pick Is In: Sam Reinhart
Reinhart is ranked as the best player in this draft. While the Sabres certainly could benefit from him this season, I truly feel that he will be back in the WHL next season so he can continue on with his amazing playmaking (69 Assists last season) as well as his goal scoring (39 Goals last season).
What the experts say: Great maturity and poise. Born Leader and will be a catalyst for many years to come. 2 way forward and will wear a letter for any team he plays for.
Style Compares to: Patrice Bergeron
3) Edmonton Oilers -
The Pick Is In: Leon Draisatl
Draisatl has flown under the radar for the most part, being overshadowed by Reinhart and Bennett, but he certainly is a start in the making and will do wonders with the already young and talented Oilers offense.
What the experts say: Has all the makings of a star playmaker that opposing teams need to prepare for.
Style Compares to: Anze Kopitar
4) Calgary Flames -
The Pick Is In: Sam Bennett
Bennett is undoubtedly a player that will change any organization. Calgary will benefit most from his quick hands and excellent speed.
What the experts say: Bennett has the potential to be a franchise center that can play the game any way you want
Style Compares to: Logan Couture
5) New York Islanders -
The Pick Is In: Michael Dal Colle
There are some questions regarding his speed and physicality, but he more than makes up for it in his hockey sense and puck skills.
What the experts say: Magic hands and a nose for the net.
Style Compares to: Patrick Marleau
6) Vancouver Canucks
The Pick Is In: William Nylander
Amazing hockey sense, fantastic skating, and great puck skills. Canucks fans will love this pick for years to come.
What the experts say: His entire offensive package is flawless
Style compares to: Henrik Zetterberg
7) Carolina Hurricanes
The Pick Is In: Jake Virtanen
Extremely hard shot, very competitive, fast
What the experts say: Best pure goal scorer in this draft.
Style compares to: James Neal
8) Toronto Maple Leafs
The Pick Is In: Nick Ritchie
Power forward, solid frame, some questions regarding his skating
What the experts say: His hands and offensive hockey sense have pro potential.
Style compares to: Milan Lucic
9) Winnipeg Jets
The Pick Is In: Brendan Perlini
Tall forward, needs to put on some weight. Great goal scorer.
What the experts say: Natural ability to score goals. Needs to add mass and strength
Style compares to: Jeff Carter
10) Anaheim Ducks (from Ottowa)
The Pick Is In: Haydn Fleury
Intelligent, playmaker, excellent defenseman
What the experts say: He projects to be an excellent addition to any NHL blueline
Style compares to: Ryan McDonagh
11) Nashville Predators
The Pick Is In: Dylan Larkin
Nashville has been looking for a solid, big center since the departure of Jason Arnott and Larkin could be the guy to turn it around for them.
What the experts say: Strong skating forward who plays a high level two way game
Style compares to: Ryan O’Reilly
12) Phoenix Coyotes
The Pick Is In: Robby Fabbri
Fabbri is ranked as the 8th best player in this draft, his only downfall is his size.
What the experts say: High pace forward who is dangerous attacking with the puck
Style compares to: Doug Gilmour
13) Washington Capitals
The Pick Is In: Nikolaj Ehlers
I can see Ehlers being a solid partner with Ovechkin to potentially make one of the most dangerous lines in the NHL
What the experts say: Explosive speed and superb play-making abilities.
Style compares to: Matt Duchene
14) Dallas Stars
The Pick Is In: Alex Tuch
Dallas is hurting on the wing currently and can benefit from the big bodied Tuch.
What the experts say: Power forwards with this type of skill have a high value in the NHL
Style compares to: Keith Primeau
15) Detroit Red Wings
The Pick Is In: Kasperi Kapanen
Kapanen needs some building, but in a few years will be considered a steal this late in the first round.
What the experts say: Dynamic offensive threat with explosive speed and highlight reel end-to-end ability
Style compares to: Tomas Plekanec
16) Columbus Blue Jackets
The Pick Is In: Jared McCann
Solid 2-way player that Blue Jackets fans will love in a few years. Decent size at 6 foot, but needs to but on some weight.
What the experts say: Great all-around player with tremendous hockey IQ
Style compares to: Steve Yzerman
17) Philadelphia Flyers
The Pick Is In: Ivan Barbashev
Great on the powerplay and amazing work ethic.
What the experts say: Safe pick – like his passion/grit and defensive positioning
Style compares to: Brayden Schenn
18) Minnesota Wild
The Pick Is In: Sonny Milano
Great hands and excellent speed. He won’t get into the physical battles, but he surely will skate around anybody on the ice.
What the experts say: Supremely talented player that has the drive and compete level to match.
Style compares to: TJ Oshie
19) Tampa Bay Lightning
The Pick Is In: Jakub Vrana
Struggles with consistency, but when he is on his game, look out. Tampa fans would love to see this guy next to Stamkos
What the experts say: Can create offense out of nothing.
Style compares to: Alex Steen
20) San Jose Sharks
The Pick Is In: Kevin Fiala
Explosive speed, dynamic winger, over-aggressive.
What the experts say: Elite hockey IQ on and off the puck.
Style compares to: Henrik Zetterberg
21) St. Louis Blues
The Pick Is In: Joshua Ho-Sang
Great hands with the puck, issues with puck protection.
What the experts say: Speed demon with excellent puck skills and skating ability.
Style compares to: Nazem Kadri
22) Pitsburgh Penguins
The Pick Is In: Adrian Kempe
Big center, total package, powerful.
What the experts say: Powerful forward who shows passion on both sides of the puck.
Style compares to: Gabriel Landeskog
23) Colorado Avalanche
The Pick Is In: Roland McKeown
Great leadership qualities, reliable and mature.
What the experts say: McKeown is so mature and responsible, he very rarely makes mistakes and coaches are confident to put him in any situation.
Style compares to: Brent Seabrook
24) Anaheim Ducks
The Pick Is In: Ryan Macinnis
Tall, defensive forward, with great work ethic.
What the experts say: Tall, lanky player. Good hands and hockey sense.
Style compares to: Jordan Staal
25) Boston Bruins
The Pick Is In: Connor Bleackley
Intelligent, strong 2-way forward, consistent
What the experts say: Fits in all situations, he really is the type of player you win with and want an entire roster of
Style compares to: Jonathan Toews
26) Montreal Canadiens
The Pick Is In: Nikita Scherbak
Strong, fast, talented player that can often make something out of nothing
What the experts say: Like a predator in the offensive zone
Style compares to: Martin Havlat
27) Chicago Blackhawks
The Pick Is In: Nikolay Goldobin
Second leading OHL scorer behind Dal Colle, Goldobin scored 94 points in 67 games last season.
What the experts say: Has all the skills required to play in the NHL
Style compares to: Gustav Nyquist
28) Tampa Bay Lightning
The Pick Is In: Travis Sanheim
Big defenseman with great hockey IQ and very competitive
What the experts say: He really did get better every single shift of every single game. Loads of potential
Style compares to: Tyler Myers
29) Los Angeles Kings
The Pick Is In: Anton Karlsson
Strong, aggressive forward with a nose for the net
What the experts say: Versatile winger who thrives in the physical game and winning pucks.
Style compares to: David Backes
30) New Jersey Devils
The Pick Is In: Nick Schmaltz
Player with a lot of potential, Schmaltz needs to improve his intensity level and there is no telling what he may do for whoever drafts him.
What the experts say: Has offensize skills that you cannot teach
Style compares to: Alex Semin