2014 NHL Mock Draft 1.0

Christian Roatis
April 15 2014 06:28PM

aaron
So, with the official lottery order set for the top 14 picks and using reverse standing order for the rest of the teams, here is the first version of our 2014 NHL Mock Draft:

1. Florida Panthers: D Aaron Ekblad - 6'4, 215lbs, 58GP 23G 53P

Winning the Draft Lottery, the Panthers moved up to the 1st overall pick. They drafted forwards with their past two high picks in Jonathan Huberdeau and Aleksander Barkov, so the Panthers switch it up and shore up their blueline with far and away the best blueliner available.

Scouting Report via Future Considerations: An exceptional talent, Ekblad has an impressive blend of size and strength for his age. He's mature, confident and poised in all three zones, skates well and is strong in transition.

2. Buffalo Sabres: F Sam Reinhart - 6'1, 183lbs, 60GP 36G 105P

The Sabres have loaded up on the blueline in the past few drafts and boast an impressive arsenal of young defenseman so it's they probably feel fortunate to have a player of Reinhart's calibre fall to them. Probably would've been their pick at 1, as well.

Scouting Report via Future Considerations: Reinhart is a nice blend of poise, maturity and a high hockey IQ. He's got creative hands, excellent vision and superb instinct in the offensive end. He's able to slow things down and dissect the play. He battles hard and is a true team leader.

3. Edmonton Oilers: F Leon Draisaitl - 6'2, 210lbs, 64GP 38G 105P

The Oilers have been rumoured to be interested in the big German import - even over Sam Reinhart - so they'd be quite content with landing him at the 3 spot. I wouldn't, however, be surprised if the Oilers traded down for defenseman Haydn Fluery, the next best rearguard available, or deal the pick all together for reinforcements in the present.

Scouting Report via Future Considerations: Draisaitl is a playmaking center who isn't overly physical but uses his size effectively to shield himself and the puck. He has excellent vision and knows where his options are. He has soft hands and a steady stride, but his smarts are his most important asset.

4. Calgary Flames: F Sam Bennett - 6'0, 180lbs, 57GP 36G 91P

The Flames compliment their selection of centerman Sean Monahan in 2013 with another centerman, in Sam Bennett. The slick forward has proven he can score with the best of them in the OHL and brings a similar element to the game as another Flames prospect Emile Poirier, in that he's quick and physical, racking up 118 PIM this year.

Scouting Report via Future Considerations: Bennett is an energetic, skilled winger who is quick on his feet and has deceptive speed. He generates chances with his quickness, awareness and constant effort. He's not flashy, but energetic and does possess an excellent release.

5. New York Islanders: F Michael Dal Colle - 6'2, 180lbs, 67GP 39G 95P

Thomas Vanek fit with John Tavares and Kyle Okposo like a glove, so drafting a similar player in that similar pure goal scorer mold makes sense. Dal Colle needs to bulk up but has a heck of a shot and could finally provide Tavares with an elite triggerman to rely on.

 Scouting Report via Future Considerations: Dal Colle is a bull who uses his natural talents well. He's got an imposing frame and already shows great balance and strength on his skates. He plays a two-way game, battles hard and displays quick hands for his size.

6. Vancouver Canucks – F William Nylander – 5’11, 170lbs, 35GP 15G 27P

An electric, young Swede to play with your two older, electric Swedes? Seems like a match made in heaven for the Canucks. Nylander, son of Michael, is one of the slickest, most offensively talented forwards available in the class. He’s proven he can score among men at a fair pace in both the SHL and Allsvenskan this season. Decent consolation prize for imploding like the Canucks did.

Scouting Report via Future Considerations: Nylander is an extremely skilled, dynamic player who has quick hands and feet that make him dangerous offensively. He has great top-end speed, a strong burst and elite vision. He can distribute the puck like few other his age. An intelligent player, he out-thinks opponents regularly.

7. Carolina Hurricanes – F Nick Ritchie – 6’2, 230lbs, 61GP 39G 74P

Opting to go with size and skill, the Hurricanes pick up one of three skilled tanks available in this area of the draft. Carolina was already one of the biggest teams, statistically, this season and will get even scarier with the future addition of Ritchie.

Scouting Report via Future Considerations: Ritchie is a prototypical power forward with an impressive blend of size, skill and strength. He skates well for a big player and has agile feet. He bulls his way around the ice and has an impressive, erratic shot.

8. Toronto Maple Leafs – D Haydn Fluery – 6’3, 200lbs, 70GP 8G 46P

Defense was a serious problem this year in Toronto, and the team already has a couple young, dynamic offensive type defensemen with Morgan Reilly and Jake Gardiner on the big team, so they add to their young D core with safe, responsible blueliner Haydn Fluery. He won’t “wow” you, but Fluery gets the job done in all three zones.

Scouting Report via Future Considerations: Fleury is a big, physical blueliner who shows good offensive ability. He's strong and balanced on his skates, keeps his head up and understands developing plays. He rulbs opposing forwards out and isn't shy to make a solid hit.

9. Winnipeg Jets – F Jake Virtanen – 6’1, 210lbs, 71GP 45G 71P

Talking to people, I got the sense the Jets may not like Virtanen all that much, but at 9th overall, I think they warm up to the Hitmen spark plug a little. When he’s “on”, Virtanen can dominate any opposition and has the potential to be one of the best players to come out of the 2014 class, only problem is he’s far from consistent with that sort of play. He’s a very similar specimen to current Jets forward Evander Kane, who is rumored to be on his way out. 

Scouting Report via Future Considerations: Virtanen is a heads-up player who thinks the game well and is willing to get his nose dirty. He has slick hands, a dynamic shot and a strong stride that makes him dangerous. He can be outright dominant at times offensively with his blend of size, skill and speed.

10. Anaheim Ducks (via Ottawa) – F Brendan Perlini – 6’2, 205lbs, 58GP 34G 71P

The already incredibly stacked Ducks prospect pool gets another big boost, with the addition of the hard working goal scorer. The Ducks’ quality NHL roster will ensure Perlini has ample time to properly develop before making the jump to the NHL.

Scouting Report via Future Considerations: Perlini is a lethal combination of speed, puck skills, and hockey sense which allow him to make dynamic plays in all three zones. He plays a high puck possession game and thrives when the puck in on his stick.

11. Nashville Predators– F Nikolaj  Ehlers – 5’11, 165lbs, 63GP 49G 104P

The Preds jump for joy landing an elite offensive talent - the type the franchise has been starved for since they entered the league. David Legwand was great and all but…

Scouting Report via Future Considerations: Ehlers is an explosive player who can beat even the quickest defensemen wide with his speed. He plays on his off wing and creates chances with sharp cuts to the middle comple- mented by an explosive wrister. He's equally good with the puck and can handle it both at top speed and in traffic.

12. Phoenix Coyotes – F Kasperi Kapanen – 6’0, 181lbs, 47GP 7G 14P

Speaking of elite offensive talent which a team needs, the Coyotes goal scoring improved this year but still wasn’t in top echelon of teams. I was going to compare Kapanen to Tuevo Teravainen until he grew like a weed. Came into the year at 5’11, 170, and now sits at 6’0 and 181.

Scouting Report via Future Considerations: Kapanen is a small and slippery with very creative hands and impressive 1-on-1 arsenal. He has a decent shot with good release but needs added velocity. He has quick feet and impressive lateral agility and is a dangerous goal scorer who can make skilled passes and offensive zone reads.

13. Washington Capitals – F Jared McCann – 6’0, 180lbs, 64GP 27G 62P

Caps go with the best player available which just so happens to be two-way forward Jared McCann, a player built in the mould of a Brandon Saad. NHL teams aren’t letting that type of player slip to the second round again.

Scouting Report via Future Considerations: McCann is a hard-working, two-way forward who displays strong agility and mobility. He's effective at both ends of the ice and has the ability to produce strong numbers due to his hands, patience, shot and sense.

14. Dallas Stars – F Alex Tuch – 6’3, 215lbs, 51GP 28G 57P

Scouting Report via Future Considerations: Tuch is a big power winger who skates well with strong balance. He typically is called upon to be the meat and potatoes guy on a skilled line and does so very effectively. Impressive fore-checker. Uses his frame to protect the puck and physically supporting his linemates.

16. Columbus Blue Jackets – F Robby Fabbri – 5’10, 165lbs, 58GP 45G 87P

Scouting Report via Future Considerations: Fabbri is a below average sized buzz saw who works hard and has some of the best feet in the entire draft. He uses his speed and mobility to be shifty and elusive but is also willing to play physical. His hands are skilled; he shows some creativity on the ice and has a quick shot release.

17. Philadelphia Flyers – D Julius Honka – 5’11, 174lbs, 62GP 38G 56P

Scouting Report via Future Considerations: Honka is a small offensive-minded blueliner who skates very well with strong lateral movements and agility. He's extremely elusive and hard to contain or catch. He possesses good recovery speed and quick on the transition from defense to offense.

18. New York Rangers – F Ivan Barbashev – 6’0, 181lbs, 62GP 11G 43P

Scouting Report via Future Considerations: Barbashev is a skilled playmaking winger with impressive vision and passing ability. He thrives in a high-paced offense. Has a good, hard shot and isn't transparent about making a pass or firing it on net. Has dynamic talent but inconsistent in his efforts.

19. Minnesota Wild – F Kevin Fiala– 5’11, 194lbs, 17GP 3G 11P

 Scouting Report via EliteProspects: Kevin Fiala is an offensive forward with game-breaking potential. Fiala is not very big or strong yet, but his quickness and agility lets him avoid getting hit or held back along the boards. Has a wealthy arsenal of shooting tools which, combined with his creativity and finishing abilities, makes him the player you turn to if you need a goal.

20. LA Kings – D Jack Dougherty – 6’2, 185lbs, 47GP 5G 17P

Scouting Report via Future Considerations: Dougherty is an intelligent defenseman who tries to blend strong positioning while trying to inflict a physical dimension on his opponent. He isn't the fleetest of foot, but does get where he needs to go. He also makes a strong first pass and has solid offensive instincts.

21. Montreal Canadiens – F Dylan Larkin – 6’1, 190lbs, 51GP 28G 48P

Scouting Report via Future Considerations: Larkin has shown he can be an elite-level power forward in addition to showing a high level of offensive ability. His ability to take the puck hard to the net allows for unique scoring chances most players would not be able get because of a lack of size and strength.

22. Tampa Bay Lightning– F Nikolay Goldobin – 6’0, 185lbs, 67GP 38G 94P

Scouting Report via Future Considerations: Goldobin is a dangerous shooter with a wicked release on his wrist shot. He is quick and creative and can make defenders look foolish. He's weak against bigger opponents and can look lost in his own zone but is extremely dangerous and can quietly slide into prime scoring areas.

23. Chicago Blackhawks– D Roland McKeown – 6’1, 200lbs, 62GP 11G 43P

Scouting Report via Future Considerations: McKeown is a strong, do-it-all defensemen whose biggest asset is his ability to think the game and know his position. He makes strong, simple plays, has a good shot and distributes the puck effectively.

24. Pittsburgh Penguins– F Brendan Lemieux – 6’1, 209lbs, 65GP 27G 53P

Scouting Report via EliteProspects: Perfectly fits the cliche has a player you hate to play against but love to have on your team. Like his father Claude, Brendan will drive the opposing team crazy as he is the perfect agitator. Lemieux also has the ability to burn you offensively as he is a top 5 scorer on Barrie. He showed the ability to both agitate and score in the CHL top prospects game.

25. San Jose Sharks– F Nick Schmaltz – 6’0, 172lbs, 55GP 18G 63P

Scouting Report via Future Considerations: Schmaltz possesses good vision, shows good quickness and a strong ability to read the play in the offensive end. While he can also play in his own zone, Schmaltz's quick hands and ability to move in tight make him an attractive package.

26. St. Louis Blues– F Connor Bleackley – 6’1, 195lbs, 71GP 29G 68P

Scouting Report via Future Considerations: Bleackley is a nice blend of size, skill and speed. He's strong and balanced on his skates, uses his size to his advantage and has a very good shot with his quick release. He finds lanes and soft zones well and has quick hands in tight spaces.

27. Colorado Avalanche– F Josh Ho-Sang – 5’11, 165lbs, 67GP 32G 85P

Scouting Report via Future Considerations: Ho-Sang is a small but skilled forward with some incredible hands. He's shown impressive skating ability and agility with the puck on his stick. He's a crafty player that has the excitement factor in his favor. He can rely too heavily on himself at times, but has great offensive instincts and pounces on chances.

28. Anaheim Ducks– F Sonny Milano – 5’11, 185lbs, 48GP 21G 67P

Scouting Report via Future Considerations: Milano is a skilled winger with good hands who likes to carry the puck and have it on his stick. He has a quick first step as well as good straight line speed and able to use his edges well to elude and evade. He uses finesse puck skills and change of direction to beat defenders.

29. Boston Bruins – F Eric Cornel – 6’2, 185lbs, 68GP 25G 62P

Scouting Report via Future Considerations: Cornel is a big rangy centre who skates well with strong balance, a powerful stride and good overall mobility. He is not afraid to use his size to push his way into scoring areas as well as protect the puck. The two-way playmaking centre has strong hands and a rocket shot.

30. New Jersey Devils – F Nikita Scherbak – 6’2, 174lbs, 54GP 26G 69P

Scouting Report via Future Considerations: Scherbak is a skilled but gritty forward who has a strong shot and offensive senses plus the ability to evade would be checkers by using his quick agility and slick hands. He puts pressure on opposing defenses every game. Has some work to do with regards to rounding out his defensive game and effort levels.

 

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Christian Roatis is a European by birth, Calgarian by heart. Other than writing at FlamesNation, he writes about and scouts NHL Draft Prospects at Future Considerations. Follow him on Twitter @CRoatis!
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#1 BurningSensation
April 15 2014, 06:41PM
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Time to start up the YouTube highlight reeling of Sam Bennett....

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#2 BurningSensation
April 15 2014, 06:45PM
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http://youtu.be/svCdZiNfbvg

OHL Highlights

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#3 Baalzamon
April 15 2014, 06:47PM
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I think that's about as likely a top 5 as you'll see anywhere. If Florida takes Ekblad, that's probably how it shakes out.

But. Does Florida take Ekblad?

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#4 BurningSensation
April 15 2014, 06:53PM
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TSN Feature

http://youtu.be/FpofTzgdlRQ

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#5 mk
April 15 2014, 06:56PM
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I'm fine with any of the top 5 picks, as long as the guy we take turns out to be the best available. :) In other words, we should gaze into the future and pick the best player. We can do that, right?

I'm actually hoping Reinhart falls to us SOMEHOW. Edmonton makes a strange pick (Fleury)?

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#6 redricardo
April 15 2014, 06:58PM
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I've got my fingers crossed for Bennett or Dal Colle. One or the other should be available at 4.

If not... That means Reinhart or Ekblad fell. So you know... Win - Win

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#7 CTibs
April 15 2014, 07:05PM
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@Baalzamon

100% yes. Their best defenders are 34 and 37. They can definitely start building a decent, young defensive corps with Kulikov and Gudbranson.

Curious choice of Sam Bennett. He's ranked #1 on central scouting, and he was likely the Sabres' choice since they were not so high on Ekblad. He could definitely fall to the Flames, but he is probably high up on other people's draft boards.

I'm also not quite convinced the Flames would draft another centre, or at least draft Bennett to play at centre (central scouting lists him at left wing). They already have three top nine centers, two of them quite young and the other locked up for another four years. Will be interesting to see what the Flames do.

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#9 Primo
April 15 2014, 07:24PM
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I good with your selections. I think the Flames will get either Bennett or Dal Colle and can't go wrong with either guy. I also see NYI giving the Sabres there 5th overall this year rather than next.

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#10 Sincity1976
April 15 2014, 07:32PM
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Florida and Buffalo are pretty stacked in young D and defensive prospects. Florida even passed on Jones last season. I could see Ekblad dropping to 3. Than the question is how much does Edmonton love Draisaitl. I think the top 4 is wide open. I could see Ekblad fall to Calgary.

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#11 coachedpotatoe
April 15 2014, 07:39PM
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I wonder now that the Sabres are drafting two if they would be interested in a trade if Florida does not take Ekbald. Also I'm intrigued by Ritchi and Tuch,both big power forwards who could really compliment guys like Johnny or Sven. but over the next few months there will be plenty of action,

Someone said that Poirier and Kanzig have been sent to the Heat, I can't seem to find confirmation but if it so that will be good for their development.

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#12 JessieM
April 15 2014, 07:47PM
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I've been keen on watching all the top 10 guy's YouTube highlights for the last few months, and I also had prime seats next to the Flames Scouts at the Top Prospects game, (which unfortunately Sam Bennett wasn't playing in) but I can say without a doubt, Michael Dal Colle was the most electrifying player on the ice in that game, mentioned it in passing to Fred Braithwaite and he agreed. He presents a really unique combination of size, speed, strength, hands, and shot. A little bigger frame than Sam Bennett, and comparing their YouTube archives I see more potential in Michael Dal Colle to be a great skilled sniper for us... I am assuming Ekblad Reinhart and Draisaitl are gone top 3.. but honestly we are going to get a great player any way we choose.. hoping we don't go " off the board"

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#13 Cambers
April 15 2014, 07:58PM
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BurningSensation wrote:

http://youtu.be/svCdZiNfbvg

OHL Highlights

I like Bennett's sweet hands and appears to have NHL speed. He is only 17 yrs old so he will easily put on more size so that is not an issue. My gut feel is that Dal Colle is more of a Burke type player with more grit but not the speed of a Bennett. Either will do!

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#14 theartfuldodger
April 15 2014, 08:03PM
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If Ekblad fell to 3 and Oilers did not take him they would all lose thier minds up there! Everyone knows defense is their struggle. Dal Colle I say!

also I predict Vertannan gets way better in the big leagues with a coach that cracks a whip under his ass.

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#16 Colin
April 15 2014, 08:30PM
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I'm really hoping Reinhart falls, though I doubt he gets past Edmonton even though they are apparently all over Draisaitl. I think Buffalo may take Bennett though, they probably see a LOT more of him being in an Eastern league and if there isn't a lot separating Bennett and Reinhart I think they take the guy they may know more than the western kid. The other issue is that Reinharts brother is in the Oilers system, so they may not want to pass up the oppurtunity to pick him up and reunite the family, probably try to grab up our Reinhart eventually.

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#17 piscera.infada
April 15 2014, 08:42PM
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@Colin

Griffin Reinhart plays for the Edmonton Oil Kings, but he's a New York Islanders draft pick. I would prefer any of the three forwards, as I'm less sold on Ekblad - if he falls to four, by all means, take him. I'm really hoping it's Bennett at four though.

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#18 MonsterPod
April 15 2014, 08:43PM
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Colin wrote:

I'm really hoping Reinhart falls, though I doubt he gets past Edmonton even though they are apparently all over Draisaitl. I think Buffalo may take Bennett though, they probably see a LOT more of him being in an Eastern league and if there isn't a lot separating Bennett and Reinhart I think they take the guy they may know more than the western kid. The other issue is that Reinharts brother is in the Oilers system, so they may not want to pass up the oppurtunity to pick him up and reunite the family, probably try to grab up our Reinhart eventually.

Griffin Reinhart played for the Oil Kings but he's a NYI prospect.

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#19 JumpJet
April 15 2014, 08:46PM
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@Colin

Griffin Reinhart plays for the Oil Kings, but he's a NYI draft pick. Oilers have no claim to him. I do like the idea of getting all three Reinhart boys. Draft Sam, trade for Griffin, win Stanley.

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#20 Colin
April 15 2014, 08:49PM
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Really thought that they picked him up, well there goes that angle, more reason for Reinhart to fall......

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#21 Pele
April 15 2014, 08:57PM
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Burke has a history of drafting Swedes (Sedins) and questionable effort/work ethic guys(Bobby Ryan). I'm not saying, I'm just saying. Haven't seen Nylander to the Flames anywhere, so I'll throw it out there. U18 will be huge for his stock. Would be really tough to pass on Bennett/Dal Colle though...

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#22 Bean-counting cowboy
April 15 2014, 09:04PM
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If Ekblad is there at 4, you take him. If Reinhart is there, you take him. If Bennett is there, you take him - only one of those three will be there at 4, certainly not two.

People worried about us having too many centers should not be worried - It's easier to move from center to wing. It will be a year or two before either of those two usurp Stajan in the lineup, at which point Stajan can play on the 4th line (he's been a good soldier and done it before), or we can move Reinhart/Bennett to the wing. Take Reinhart or Bennett over Dal Colle all day long.

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#23 Tommynotsohuge
April 15 2014, 09:34PM
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@Colin

Not only is Griffin not in the Oilers system, their brother Max is in the Flames system. So to have two brothers in ours and their Dad as an alumn. That would be one he'll of a story. Now, how do we trade for Griffin?

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#24 Burnward
April 15 2014, 10:42PM
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Good news we didn't drop. Also, Edmonton now has the pressure of picking ahead of us, while we just take the BPA.

Glorious.

The Draft can't come soon enough!

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#25 beloch
April 15 2014, 10:51PM
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First of all, I'm relieved that Vancouver didn't win the lottery and leap-frog to #1. That would have been... unpalatable.

Ekblad will not be available at #4. The Oilers are too accustomed to using their 1st round picks to address weaknesses of their NHL club directly. Although they do have a decent stable of blueliners in their farm system, their NHL club's blueline would be a hot mess even in the AHL. If Ekblad falls to #3 he will be an oiler. The Flames will need to trade up to #1 or #2 if they want Ekblad, although that might not be outrageously expensive.

What do the Flames really need though? They have a legit top blueline pair now, but Giordano is 30 and the Flames farm system lacks bluechip defenders. Grabbing Ekblad, who will likely be ready for top-pairing duty in 3-4 years, would be very forward looking. This would, in all probability, be too forward looking for Burke, who would likely prefer a player who will add to the team ASAP rather than replacing what the team already has in a few years.

The Flames are in the bottom third of the league in both goals for and goals against, so the need for two-way forwards is clear and immediate. The Flames might be able to draft such a forward without the expense of trading up. Forwards often mature more quickly than defenders, which would suit Burke just fine. There is also hope that, if the Flames focus on the blueline in the second round (2 picks) and later, a quality prospect might exceed his draft position like Brodie and be ready for top-pairing minutes when Giordano either declines or is traded.

In short, I don't think the Flames will be drafting Ekblad. This kid is not going to fall past the Oilers and the Flames are unlikely to trade up for him when they have more immediate needs on the redline.

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#26 Baalzamon
April 15 2014, 10:55PM
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@piscera.infada

The nice thing about drafting 4th is there's a 100% chance someone better than Dal Colle will be available.

That's why I was so crabby about being in the 5th slot--not a fan.

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#27 Baalzamon
April 15 2014, 11:01PM
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@beloch

Rex did make a good point the other day about the Oilers and Ekblad. Edmonton needs someone who can fix their blueline now (like, for example, Oliver Ekman-Larsson), not someone who can fix it in three years (Ekblad).

A forward (say Draisaitl) is more likely to be able to plug the 2nd line hole now (or rather soon). From that standpoint, I can certainly see Edmonton looking hard at the big German.

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#28 Baalzamon
April 15 2014, 11:07PM
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We draft the best athletes available, at least in the first three rounds. If your smallest need is a centre and there's a centre sitting there, you take him. If your lowest priority is a defenceman and there's a defenceman sitting there, you take him

I think the general manager adjusts the depth chart through trades, not at the draft. There won't be any positional drafting.

Burke on the draft

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#30 prendrefeu
April 15 2014, 11:27PM
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As much as he looks like a retired Sonic the Hedgehog, Burke's approach is admirable. Not that I necessarily agree with 100% of what he does (and he wouldn't have it any other way anyway), after hearing him respond at pressers and comment on topics of relevance, I get a strong sense of confidence in his abilities to produce results.

Obviously we, the fans, will point to Toronto, Vancouver and other Burke castles to see how they are holding up over time... and with that we will have a bit of baited breathe and lip-biting in hopes that his oversight of the "Great Calgary Rebuild of the Decade" will be a sustainable success in an evolving NHL that, at times, seems to be headed in a different direction in team composition developments. At times.

But he's a hell of a hedgehog, no?
http://www.coolgizmotoys.com/images/2012/06/silver-the-hedgehog.jpeg

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#31 Veggie Dog
April 15 2014, 11:31PM
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beloch wrote:

First of all, I'm relieved that Vancouver didn't win the lottery and leap-frog to #1. That would have been... unpalatable.

Ekblad will not be available at #4. The Oilers are too accustomed to using their 1st round picks to address weaknesses of their NHL club directly. Although they do have a decent stable of blueliners in their farm system, their NHL club's blueline would be a hot mess even in the AHL. If Ekblad falls to #3 he will be an oiler. The Flames will need to trade up to #1 or #2 if they want Ekblad, although that might not be outrageously expensive.

What do the Flames really need though? They have a legit top blueline pair now, but Giordano is 30 and the Flames farm system lacks bluechip defenders. Grabbing Ekblad, who will likely be ready for top-pairing duty in 3-4 years, would be very forward looking. This would, in all probability, be too forward looking for Burke, who would likely prefer a player who will add to the team ASAP rather than replacing what the team already has in a few years.

The Flames are in the bottom third of the league in both goals for and goals against, so the need for two-way forwards is clear and immediate. The Flames might be able to draft such a forward without the expense of trading up. Forwards often mature more quickly than defenders, which would suit Burke just fine. There is also hope that, if the Flames focus on the blueline in the second round (2 picks) and later, a quality prospect might exceed his draft position like Brodie and be ready for top-pairing minutes when Giordano either declines or is traded.

In short, I don't think the Flames will be drafting Ekblad. This kid is not going to fall past the Oilers and the Flames are unlikely to trade up for him when they have more immediate needs on the redline.

Vancouver winning the lottery would have been a travesty. Rewarding them for an epic crapping of the bed would make me ill.

The other bottom teams worked hard to be terrible, some one them for YEARS (Edmonton), and it wouldn't have been just.

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#32 gotommygo
April 15 2014, 11:38PM
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coachedpotatoe wrote:

I wonder now that the Sabres are drafting two if they would be interested in a trade if Florida does not take Ekbald. Also I'm intrigued by Ritchi and Tuch,both big power forwards who could really compliment guys like Johnny or Sven. but over the next few months there will be plenty of action,

Someone said that Poirier and Kanzig have been sent to the Heat, I can't seem to find confirmation but if it so that will be good for their development.

The info about Poirier and Kanzig came from theahl.com.

http://theahl.com/stats/transactions.php

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#33 lionlager
April 16 2014, 12:15AM
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Honestly Draisaitl or Bennett would be amazing. It'll be hard to screw up a 4th round pick this year. Looking forward to it.

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#34 TheCalgaryJames
April 16 2014, 12:21AM
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Baalzamon wrote:

I think that's about as likely a top 5 as you'll see anywhere. If Florida takes Ekblad, that's probably how it shakes out.

But. Does Florida take Ekblad?

Ekblad really is what will decide the top four. If FLA takes him then the top 4 should fill out exactly like this. If they take Reinhart with the number 1 pick then I don't see a scenario where Ekblad doesn't slide to 4.

1) Reinhart 2) Bennett 3) Draisaitl 4) Ekblad

Either way the Flames wind up with Ekblad or Bennett. Win Win if I ever saw one!

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#35 beloch
April 16 2014, 01:10AM
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Baalzamon wrote:

Rex did make a good point the other day about the Oilers and Ekblad. Edmonton needs someone who can fix their blueline now (like, for example, Oliver Ekman-Larsson), not someone who can fix it in three years (Ekblad).

A forward (say Draisaitl) is more likely to be able to plug the 2nd line hole now (or rather soon). From that standpoint, I can certainly see Edmonton looking hard at the big German.

I agree with Rex... Mostly.

The Oilers main problem is that their only real assets are soft-minutes scoring forwards who are defensive liabilities when playing top competition. They desperately need an entire veteran shut-down line and some competent bums for their bottom six. They also need a top pair for their blue line, and possibly a competent second pair too.

One choice they have is to wait for prospects to develop, which will mean continuing to be an awful team for at least 2-3 more years. After such an extended period of sucking the oilers' morale is so low it's probably inhibiting the development of their players. Fan support is also clearly flagging. A quicker fix is clearly desired. That means trading players, prospects, and picks to bring in players like Larsson. As I said, they do have an abundance of soft-minutes scoring forwards. Too many for one team to adequately shelter really. A couple are likely to go.

What does this mean for the draft though? MacTavish will likely draft for trade value and the scarcity of defenders in the top ten does make Ekblad high value. It's also quite possible that they'll trade their pick before the draft. To Flames' fans, trading first round picks is now sacrilege, as is trading the future for the present. However, the Oilers are an organization that appears poised to get reckless if it will get them out of the pit even for just a couple of seasons. Put simply, I think they've run out of patience.

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#36 jeremywilhelm
April 16 2014, 02:57AM
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@Baalzamon

Dal Colle really doesn't do it for me either.

Bennett and Reinhart are both the guys I am very very excited for.

Sam Reinhart has captain written all over him.

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#37 Where.is.ville?
April 16 2014, 07:31AM
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What was Burke ranting about at his last news conference? The Flames need to get bigger and more skilled no doubt, but the idea that Albertans prefer "black and blue" hockey is absurd! Just look at the great Flames and Oilers teams of the past. Big grinders will not get you the Cup!

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#38 suba steve
April 16 2014, 08:01AM
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@Where.is.ville?

Albertans have always embraced hard nosed players, Burke is correct. That doesn't rule out smaller or skilled players though. Fleury, Gilmour, Risebrough, Roberts, MacDonald, etc. all played the game HARD and that is why they are so fondly remembered.

Can we all get over the fear that Burke is salivating over drafting a bunch of 6'4", no skill, fighters...please.

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#39 BurningSensation
April 16 2014, 08:03AM
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I'm not as down on Dal Colle as many here are. The Flames do have a surge of C's coming (Granlund, Knight, Jankowski, etc.), and could use a big bodied RW who can score.

From my limited viewings he reminds me a little of Andrew Ladd, and a little of Nichushkin with his 'fear my wingspan' moves.

If it's Dal Colle I won't be sad.

(because it will be Bennett).

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#40 Stubblejumper
April 16 2014, 08:37AM
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We can't miss with any one of the top 4 players IMO. Thank you Islanders for your comeback win in the last game of the year!! A much different story if the Flames had the 5th pick.

The two second and two third round picks are where most of the focus should be. The success of the short Feaster/Weisbrod era was the ability to uncover gold in later rounds..let's hope we can get some great players to develop to fill the holes we have, particularly on RW and D.

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#41 Jeff Lebowski
April 16 2014, 08:50AM
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Baalzamon wrote:

I think that's about as likely a top 5 as you'll see anywhere. If Florida takes Ekblad, that's probably how it shakes out.

But. Does Florida take Ekblad?

Yes.

Imagine being on another team and seeing Barkov - Ekblad down the middle if the ice.

Burke envisions Monahan - Ekblad.

Pillars. For years.

I like any of the top 5. To me, we have elite talent with Gaudreau next year. Yup, he's on the team and going to produce.

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#42 Baalzamon
April 16 2014, 09:12AM
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Button's first round mock. Same top 5 in the same order.

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#43 prendrefeu
April 16 2014, 09:13AM
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So are the playoffs over yet?

Let's get this draft going, I want training camps to begin. Pronto. STAT. Jetzt. Maintenant. Nå. Nyt. Cейчас. Nyní.

Is it October yet?!

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#44 Azim
April 16 2014, 09:25AM
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The more I'm thinking about it, reading reviews, and watching videos, the more I want the Flames to take Bennett. He’s tenacious, plays a two-way game, is competitive as hell (always important), and has the skills to boot. The Dougie Gilmour 2.0 comparisons are also intriguing, because I see Monahan having a little Joe Niewendyk in him (more of a goal-scorer than a playmaker so far, good size, good leadership qualities at a young age); giving us a reincarnation of Niewy and Dougie running down the middle. Then perhaps Backlund can stomach being an uber third-line centre (or Knight or Max Reinhart or Arnold become one), filling in the Joel Otto role.

Maybe I’m reaching and my nostalgia to our glory days is taking over, but damnit, I’m excited about our future!

Back to Bennett: he might have a little Mike Richards in him as well.

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#45 shutout
April 16 2014, 09:43AM
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Christian Roatis wrote:

I think the Flames need to draft Best Player Available. Anything else at this point is just damn foolish, in my opinion.

Just define what is the Best Player Available?

That is such a worthless statement because you can put ten scouts together and have them watch five prospects and they might all have different rankings of what is the BPA.

Everybody values different things in a player and because of that everybody is going to look at evaluate players differently. Some will look at defensemen as being more valuable. Some will say that centers are more valuable than wingers, and that big centermen are even more valuable. Some value speed, some scoring, some physical play, and some hockey IQ.

Even the top five public scouting services have differences in their top 10, so you can even say that the BPA is the player that is next on the scouting lists.

I am sick and tired of hearing take the best player available. Name one team that has their list of players and then does not take the player at the top of their list? Well I have this guy ranked as the third best player and he is available, but hell, I am going to draft the guy I have ranked tenth, because I don't want to take the BPA.

All 30 teams are going to have different lists of the top 30 players. Maybe you are suggesting that the team not take their BPA from their scouting lists, but take the BPA from the team on the table next to them? Or maybe the BPA is what Bob MacKenzie or Craig Button says it is.

I think that the Flames need help in the middle still. I think that they need speed, offensive skills, and somebody that can drive the offense. I rank the players as Reinhart, Bennett, Dal Colle, and then Draisaitl for when the Flames pick. That or maybe they should just take the Best Player Available.

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#47 Azim
April 16 2014, 09:51AM
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@shutout

I believe BPA means the best player available according to the consensus list made by that team. Of course every scout is going to have their own opinion and no two scouts will have the exact same top-100 list. But it's up to the Director of Scouting and/or GM to parse through that list, and determine a consensus ranking.

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#48 Jeff Lebowski
April 16 2014, 09:52AM
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Azim wrote:

The more I'm thinking about it, reading reviews, and watching videos, the more I want the Flames to take Bennett. He’s tenacious, plays a two-way game, is competitive as hell (always important), and has the skills to boot. The Dougie Gilmour 2.0 comparisons are also intriguing, because I see Monahan having a little Joe Niewendyk in him (more of a goal-scorer than a playmaker so far, good size, good leadership qualities at a young age); giving us a reincarnation of Niewy and Dougie running down the middle. Then perhaps Backlund can stomach being an uber third-line centre (or Knight or Max Reinhart or Arnold become one), filling in the Joel Otto role.

Maybe I’m reaching and my nostalgia to our glory days is taking over, but damnit, I’m excited about our future!

Back to Bennett: he might have a little Mike Richards in him as well.

This is NOT good. The coiler fans started annointing RNH, Hall etc as second comings of glory year players.

Calgary should not follow suit. Fan talk yeah but then kids have to start living up to narratives and I honestly think they read their press clippings.

I want the kid who first and foremost is highly skilled and can produce but 1A is he fits in with the hard work ethos established here.

No prima donnas.

On that note - I think Sven is on his way out if there is a player Burke wants. Sven = trade bait.

I love Sven but he needs to show a serious improvement in his attitude.

I wonder if he gets sent to prospect camp again and how he prepares this off season.

A huge playoffs could change everything and he could finally emerge as a true pro but I haven't seen any indications in his words.

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#49 redricardo
April 16 2014, 09:56AM
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@shutout

"Best Player Available" can change depending on your perspective. There is no crystal ball.

The organization will come to a consensus on how they have the kids ranked. For the sake of argument, let's say they rank them exactly as above.

So, when the Flames are up at 4, let's say they identify defensive depth as their big organizational weakness (again, hypothetically). They can address a positional weakness, and draft whoever they think is the best defenseman that's left- That would be Fleury who the organization has ranked #8 in our hypothetical chart- or they can take the best player available. Most likely Bennett at #4.

Best player available refers to a drafting philosophy where you say "screw the depth chart of the big club, because by the time these kids are ready to contribute, even if you have a glut of centres right now, you might not then.

Every team ranks their players as best they can, and works off that list. Yeah, teams have different lists. But it's still better than trying to plug organizational holes with 17 year olds.

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#50 Rockmorton65
April 16 2014, 10:26AM
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Jeff Lebowski wrote:

This is NOT good. The coiler fans started annointing RNH, Hall etc as second comings of glory year players.

Calgary should not follow suit. Fan talk yeah but then kids have to start living up to narratives and I honestly think they read their press clippings.

I want the kid who first and foremost is highly skilled and can produce but 1A is he fits in with the hard work ethos established here.

No prima donnas.

On that note - I think Sven is on his way out if there is a player Burke wants. Sven = trade bait.

I love Sven but he needs to show a serious improvement in his attitude.

I wonder if he gets sent to prospect camp again and how he prepares this off season.

A huge playoffs could change everything and he could finally emerge as a true pro but I haven't seen any indications in his words.

I recently heard an interview with Conroy on the radio, where he says that this is a very important summer for Sven, and he knows it. They have told him he needs to get bigger, stronger, and faster. I guess we'll see how he responds.

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