2014 NHL Mock Draft 1.0

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.

 

  • prendrefeu

    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?!

  • Rockmorton65

    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.

    • Jeff Lebowski

      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.

      • Rockmorton65

        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.

      • McRib

        Hmmm interesting.

        I’m not sold on anyone outside of Bennett, Reinhart or Ekblad but Dal Colle seemed like the smart choice considering his elevated play in the playoffs..

        I think if we come out with any one of the top 3 we, I guess most of us anyway, won’t have anything to complain about..

  • piscera.infada

    @Jeff Lebowski @Rockmorton65

    “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.”

    Sven’s biggest problem was maturity in my mind. This is not entirely uncommon among humans at the age of 21 – especially those who are living on their own for the first time, let alone experiencing monetary success.

    Recently, Sven was interviewed by the Steinberg on the Fan. I thought Baertschi showed some maturity in that interview – he seemed to actually understand and he was accepting of the opportunity he’s getting with the Heat. He acknowledged that he wants to be in the NHL, but it “all comes down to work and responsibility”. In two words (and a letter): Troy G. Ward. That guy is a keeper for development, and hopefully one day, a keeper in the bigs.

  • Jeff Lebowski

    Given Burke’s statements about getting bigger and better, how likely is it that Byron is a guy to move forward with?

    I like him but this team is small. All over. Does Burke keep smallish bottom 6 guys?

    Granlund, Sven, Johnny all play here? Hudler, Russell too?

    I mean he offered Cammy contract and extended Russell. How does he attain his goals of getting the team bigger? Resign Byron?

    How is Burke/Burke jr. going to change the team? I understand he needs/wants to get bigger and I don’t have a problem with it. Just how does he do it?

    If you’re going to trade smaller skilled guys, just get size and skill back (meaning get a truculent guy back PLUS a pick or get a skilled truculent guy back).

    I have no appetite for skill for grit trades or changes straight up.

    Will Burke/Burke jr. want such drastic changes to the make up of the roster that Hartley’s system (puck possession, make plays) becomes ineffectual (as Brent would look at his talent and say – we need to play a certain way – ie meat and potatoes)? Hello new coach?

    • Totally agree on the Byron part… I tweeted something similar to Kent Wilson I while back when his name came up. If Burke wants to get bigger then guys like Byron are the first to go. Subtract Cammy and trade Hudler and you’ve opened up some forward spots for heavier players. I’m not saying this is the RIGHT thing to do but if Burke wants to get bigger, somethings got to give.

  • I think Calgary scouts have an idea of who they want, based on watching these kids play LIVE, frequently and meticulously.

    I’m all about speculating and having an opinion about who I’d like to see drafted, but at the end of the day, the majority of us have only a bunch of highlight reel packages put together to showcase a player.

  • McRib

    Agree with others and think as long as Florida takes Aaron Ekblad at First Overall then the rest of the Top. 5 falls in order. 1) Eklbad 2) Reinhart 3) Draisitl 4) Bennett 5) Dal Colle.

    Like I said yesterday Florida’s GM Tallon has been burned by Top. 3 defenders before in Cam Barker and Florida has as well recently in Gudbranson, but they need a defender after taking Huberdeau and Barkov (they also have Bjugstad). So maybe there is a chance he falls and if he does Buffalo has made it clear they aren’t taking him and I think Edmonton still prefers Draisaitl. Even though the NHL club has a current need for defenders I think longer term Edmonton is in better shape at the defense position with Nurse, Klefbom, Marincin, Gernat and need forwards with size desperately.

    So I would put the odds of us drafting Bennett at 70%, Ekblad at 20%, Draisitl at 8%, Dal Colle 2%. Buffalo sounds like Sam Reinhart is 100% their guy and they need a forward after taking Ristolainen & Zadorov last year. Personally I hope we end up with Bennett. I would say there is a 30% chance Florida drafts him, afterall people are comparing Bennett to Toews (even if I think thats a bit of a reach) and Dale Tallon knows all about what drafting Toews did for Chicago.

    • I really don’t see Ekblad going in the top 3 based on need of the teams and the difficulty in developing D. I wouldn’t pass him up at 4 but would prefer Bennett or Reinhart. Look at last year with Jones. From what I understand, Jones is better than Ekblad.

      I put the chances of us getting Ekblad at 60%, Bennett at 30.

      • McRib

        “I really don’t see Ekblad going in the top 3 based on need of the teams and the difficulty in developing D”

        Florida absolutely 100% needs defense they are set for young forwards comparatively (Huberdeau, Barkov, Bjugstad, Trocheck, Pirri, Shore). Matheson and McCoshen are a ways away from being sure things. Michael Matheson’s point totals in second NCAA season have dropped off.

        I understand the current feelings that it is harder to develop defenders because of some recent flops. Its actually interesting though if you look at names that people bring up recently the first to mind is always Erik Johnson… Who actually had a very solid season finishing ahead of Mike Green, Drew Doughty, Jay Bouwmeester, etc in scoring.

        In the 1990s thanks to Chris Pronger every NHL Team thought the complete opposite and primarily took defenders in the Top. 3. Its just more of a current trend if anything for me and all it will take is for two guys like Jones & Ekblad to become top pairing guys to rethink that understanding.

        Even if Seth Jones has more upside in my opinion Aaron Ekblad is more of a surething to get to his projection at NHL level making him harder to pass up. Worst case he is a 2-3 big two-way defender, 6’4″-220+ defenders that are highly mobile without a weakness in their game don’t grown on trees. By this time next year when Noah Hanifin rolls around (a complete stud), I doubt you will hear many people taking about how defenders take longer to develop thanks to Jones/Ekblad. Don’t get me wrong there is a chance Florida passes on Ekblad, but there is a reason everyone in the scouting community has him going to Florida. If Florida passes then I do think we end up with him as Reinhart at 2 and Draisaitl at 3 seem like almost sure things.

    • McRib

      If we do trade him I don’t think we get someone his age already regularly producing more at the NHL level. It would be for a pick or as part of a package. Let’s face it if Sven Baertschi shows up next summer and still hasn’t added size and displays a negative attitude failing to make the Flames his value will be much lower.

      I doubt we trade him though Calgary just wants him to grow up, which I think he will do this summer. Everything I have heard of him is he is a smart kid just too immature (to be flying around on private jets living the glamorous lifestyle of playing in the NHL when his game still has areas for improvement). I think he realizes this is the summer to shine judging by recent play. Brain Burke did the same thing with Nazem Kadri in Toronto.

      • piscera.infada

        Totally. You look at his ppg numbers in the WHL, and there’s definitely something there. You don’t give up on that. For all the bluster about Burke and “size”, he still understands the need for players that can excel with skill. Baertschi has that, he just needs to figure out some of the other things that make a ‘hockey player’ a ‘professional’.

      • Assuming we are looking to get bigger, and have need for RW’s, he’s a guy that fits the mould.

        I don’t think and won’t speculate that Sven for Chiasson could happen. But I think he’s a guy that could be targeted this summer as we look to fill an organizational need.

        Definitely see the similarities between this situation & Kadri’s as well.

  • piscera.infada

    Re Sven

    We all know Sven has a lot of potential. His ppg this year was good but he was not thinking or playing a 200 foot game.

    However like Kadri (or Evander Kane) or worse (Seguin, Patrick Kane), young 21-22 year olds tend to mature, become self-aware, and goal-focused around this age.

    Baertschi is about to come into his own. Since the first month down in Abby, Ward has gotten him refocused and on track, as evidenced by his Heat performance and his apparent maturity off the ice.

    One of my greatest fears is we (both the Flames plus fans) give up on Sven.

    At a minimum Sven needs to double/triple his trade value with his on-ice play so we can get similar returns as to what the very players mentioned above are thought to be worth.

    Build up and sell high…

  • piscera.infada

    Trade the 4th overall for Evander Kane. Baertschi – Monahan – Kane could be amazing for years to come. This moves expedites the rebuild slightly and we get more truculent.