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- Written by Dobber Sports Team
Welcome to the 2014 Dobber Sports NHL Mock Draft. Finished on the eve of the draft, this mock draft was completed by the DobberProspects scout team, DobberProspects managing editor Brendan Ross, Dobber, Steve Laidlaw, Chris Pudsey and myself. We all took prospects from the point of view of bring an NHL GM making the best pick available, then provided a paragraph of fantasy-focused advice. There are over 8000 words waiting for you, get reading!
Austin Wallace-Associate Editor, DobberProspects
1 Florida Panthers (Jake Patterson):Aaron Ekblad
Ekblad is the best pick for the Panthers at first overall, with the depth that Florida has up the middle with Barkov and Bjugstad, grabbing a potential franchise defenceman is the best option. Ekblad will fit right into the top four, with the potential to start with another top three pick Erik Gudbranson. Ekblad is a strong two way defenceman who is confident in all three zones of the ice. He can be looked to on the power play for his powerful shot and can be trusted to protect the net during a penalty kill. With the growth of Florida’s many forward prospects and Luongo in net, adding another big defenceman who can be a potential star is a no brainer.
2 Buffalo Sabres (Travis Watson):Sam Reinhart
With Ekblad off the board it comes down to Sam Bennett, Leon Draisaitl and Reinhart. Sam Reinhart seems to be the best fit based on Buffalo's need with Reinhart owning the right intangibles the Sabres are looking for from a number two pick. He possesses an above average game in multiple offensive areas including a solid dependable two-way game packed with the heart and hustle needed from a player poised to take on a future leadership role with a franchise in desperate need. Outside of Ekblad, Reinhart is the only other player that I personally envision becoming a potential captain in the NHL.
Not only that, but Sam is the best of the Reinhart trio having brothers Max taken by Calgary 64th overall and Griffin selected at number 4 by NY Islanders and he therefore should be treated as so which leads me to predict Buffalo drafting him at number two.
He fits a need for the Sabres down the middle but he's also one of the most ready prospects potentially being able to step into the NHL as early as next season. This is a plus for a team desperate to have some offense injected into their attack after finishing the 2013-14 campaign as the lowest scoring team in the entire association.
Reinhart has a high motor and has a very high ceiling, which makes him a fantastic complement to the horde of prospects already in the Sabres cupboard. Draft with confidence this kid is going to be a star!
3 Edmonton Oilers (Steve Laidlaw):Leon Draisaitl
The Deutschland Dangler has a strong case to go number one overall in this draft. Draisaitl may have the highest offensive potential of any prospect in this draft. He combines world-class vision and playmaking skills with NHL ready size and strength. There is very little not to like about his offensive game; while his skating has often been critiqued he plays a cerebral game that doesn’t require him to be a burner to be effective. After potting over 100 points with the Raiders this past season Draisaitl has a shot of stepping onto an NHL roster right away. Draisaitl seemingly checks all the boxes for the kind of player Edmonton needs and should add the size and skill needed down the middle to one day compete with the western conference elite.
4 Calgary Flames (Brad Wilson):Haydn Fleury
We tried very hard to trade down, but we could not find a trade partner (editors note: Trades were not allowed, that would have been even more difficult to track). We have a significant imbalance in the system, with not enough defense prospects. With Ekblad gone, and no trade-down available, I was forced to take the best available defensemen, Haydn Fleury. Fleury is a top-end defensive prospect and we are excited to have him on board. Fleury may not be super-elite in any one area, but he is great in almost every facet of his game. He has great size at 6’3” and 200lb, he is a very good puck mover who earned 36 points in 70 games, is a top-end skater, and is very good defensively. He is far and away better than any other defensemen in this draft, other than Ekblad, and projects as a top-pairing minute cruncher in the mold of Brent Seabrook.
5 New York Islanders (Brad Wilson):Sam Bennett
We are looking for a high-end player to help on the left wing, and Bennett fits the bill perfectly. We believe Sam Bennett is the top player in the draft, and NHL Central Scouting agrees with us. Bennett, who is young for this class, dominated the OHL with 91 points in just 57 games. He has elite hands, compete-level, vision and quickness, and plays a complete game at both ends of the ice. He is able to post gaudy point totals despite being defensively responsible, and rarely making the flashy plays at the other end of the ice; all of this was done this year without top-end line mates. While he needs to build muscle, we believe him to be ready to contribute offensively at the NHL level immediately.
6 Vancouver Canucks (Austin Wallace):Michael Dal Colle
The Canucks are ready to start their rebuild in earnest with their highest pick since they took the Sedins in 1999. We were not expecting Dal Colle to fall into our lap, but we are not going to complain. Dal Colle scored more points than any other 2014 draft pick in the OHL, with 95 points in 67 games; he even stepped it up from there with 20 points in 12 games, finishing seventh overall in the scoring race despite playing eight fewer games than the scoring leader. Dal Colle is a top-end playmaker, might possess the best shot in the draft, is 6’2” and is actually sound defensively. Without any glaring issues in his game, Dal Colle could see the NHL as early as this year, but certainly by 2015-16. He will certainly be a top-six player, and he definitely has top-line upside.
7 Carolina Hurricanes (Andrew Ward):Nikolaj Ehlers
Nikolaj Ehlers is just too good to pass up at number seven. Similar in readiness to Drouin, he may benefit from an extra season at juniors, however based on Carolina's youth and inexperience he could step in and grow with the team. Ehlers plays fast and hard and his intensity level is hard to match. When Ehlers is on the ice you watch intently knowing something amazing could happen at any moment. His reckless abandon and willingness to use his physicality is exactly what Carolina needs. Ehlers has been said to have the vision of Peter Forsberg, the speed of Pavel Bure and the skill of Markus Naslund, which shows you the type of dynamic ability this guy has. The Mooseheads were surely expected to miss Drouin and MacKinnon, however Ehlers has filled in the empty spaces quite nicely. MacKinnon and Ehlers have a very similar style of play and Ehlers could develop into a real steal at seven. He has an incredibly quick and impressive shot and his speed up the ice is really something to see. Ehlers is excellent in the corners and his fearless style of play and ability to protect the puck makes for an exciting player to watch. At 5'11", 175 pounds Ehlers has some room to grow but at only 18 he should do just that.
8 Toronto Maple Leafs (Jason Banks):Brendan Perlini
Perlini had a breakout season with Niagara (OHL) by posting 71 points (34-37-71) in 58 regular season games to go with four points (3-1-4) with Canada in the World Junior Tournament. A strong skater with above-average puck handling skills, most mock drafts had Perlini as a top 10 pick. He has good power on his slapshot but his wristshot gets the most attention. His aim is top rate and if a defender doesn’t get in the way, goalies have a tough time. With a high hockey-IQ and good decision-making, it is tough to find a chip in his game. The big one is this, until this season Perlini has never posted more than 44 points (2011-12) and the Leafs will need to bring him along at a pace that allows his game to develop the consistency he has yet to show.
9 Winnipeg Jets (Kevin Won):William Nylander
Winnipeg Jets select William Nylander - If a player with the skills that Nylander has dropped to the Jets on draft day, they would be ecstatic. The Winnipeg Jets have no problem drafting small crafty forwards, as they have shown with Nic Petan (2nd round, 43rd overall) back in 2013. The son of former NHLer Michael Nylander has wheels and oozes creativity; he will give the defense nightmares once he gets to the NHL. The Jets don't have a very deep system on the wings (Lowry, Kosmachuk, Blomqvist; Telegin has most likely left the organization), so snagging Nylander at this spot would be a dream come true.
10 Anaheim Ducks (Kevin Won):Kasperi Kapanen
Anaheim Ducks select Kasperi Kapanen - With Finnish ties in Selanne, Koivu, and Vatanen, the Ducks would be happy to get Kapanen at #10, a pick they got from Ottawa in the Bobby Ryan trade. Kapanen is a speedy forward that is the complete offensive package. He has a strong wrist shot, quick hands, and incredible on-ice vision. Kapanen is the son of former NHLer Sami Kapanen, whom he played with in KalPa this season. He has poise just like his father did and will fit well into the Ducks' system. The Ducks have an incredible wealth of forwards and they will ensure Kapanen will not be rushed ahead, setting him up for great success in the NHL.
11 Nashville Predators (Donesh Mazloum): Jake Virtanen
Jake Virtanen is an elite offensive talent and may be the most physically gifted player in this draft. Virtanen is a spectacular skater with speed to burn. He routinely beats defenders clean and he creates space with the respect opponents show for his wheels. Additionally Virtanen possesses a world-class shot capable of beating goalies from anywhere. Virtanen shows good instincts in the offensive zone and is a talented goalscorer overall. The only reason he is not ranked right at the top of this draft is due to his sometimes-questionable hockey IQ. While Virtanen's top end potential is clearly very high he may also be ready to step into an NHL lineup sooner rather than later. He already shows impressive size at 6'1" 212lbs and he doesn't shy away from physical play. Surely the Nashville Predators would count their lucky stars if Virtanen fell in their laps. He fills an organizational need for more skilled potential top line forwards and additionally brings the size and grit required to succeed in the western conference.
12 Arizona Coyotes (Keith Duggan):Nick Ritchie
It is a huge surprise that Ritchie fell to 12th overall but a pleasant and exciting one for the Coyotes. A rare combination of size and skill, the budding power forward would look great patrolling the left side for the Arizona Coyotes. He easily would be a fan favorite with his physical play; some scouts have compared him to Milan Lucic but with more skill. Skates well for a big player and bulls his way around the ice, possessing an impressive, erratic shot. Has the physical tools to play in the NHL now, but his conditioning and like most young players, play in his own end could use some work.
13 Washington Capitals (Chris Pudsey):Robby Fabbri
The Capitals have two areas of concern heading into this year’s draft: defense and center. This year’s draft isn’t as deep when it comes to defense but there are plenty of quality centers available and Fabbri is easily one of the better ones to draft. A bit under-rated, probably because of his smaller stature, Fabbri owns top-end offensive skill and hockey sense. Easily one of the fastest skaters in this year’s draft, his ability to control the puck and elude defenders at top speed is his greatest asset. A goal scorer at heart, Fabbri will win over Capitals fans with his non-stop work ethic and energy. He will need to put on some muscle before making an impact with the Caps but his desire to be a winner should pave his way to the NHL quicker than most expect.
14 Dallas Stars (Chris Bagwell):Jared McCann
Jared McCann is a terrific all-around player. While his offensive numbers aren't as great as some of the prospects expected to go in the first round, he possesses great hockey IQ, on-ice vision, and passing ability. McCann's contributions come in all three zones and he's shown a propensity to involve himself in the dirty areas of the ice. He may not project as a top-line center, but McCann has all of the skills to produce a lengthy NHL career. Dallas is happy to select him with the 14th overall pick and hope his offensive game continues to progress.
15 Detroit Red Wings (Travis Watson):Sonny Milano
At 15 I liked a couple of names and was really hoping for Jared McCann of the Soo Greyhounds to fall into my lap. When that didn't happen it came down to two players, the offensive Sonny Milano versus the well-rounded Dylan Larkin. Both players are capable of playing the wing and centre but what pushed Sonny Milano over the top for me over the local Detroit native was that his offensive game is much more dynamic and I figured with the mentors and coaches that the Wings have they can help transform that side of his game. Milano is an offensive wizard with the puck and his ability to create offense for himself and for others is first class. Zetterberg, Datsyuk and Franzen are at the twilight stages of their careers and the Red Wings need to prepare for their eventual exit. Milano is a great addition to the already impressive contingent of prospects in the system and should fit in well after a couple seasons at Boston College where he will be heading this fall. Hopefully there he can focus on strengthening his overall game as well as his body to handle the everyday rigors he is to endure in the future. If Milano can earn the trust to play in both ends of the ice he looks the bit of a future top sixer with 70+-point potential. Look for him to step in and make an impact in three to four years, which suits the trend in Detroit as they enjoy sitting and waiting for their prospects to develop.
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16 Columbus Blue Jackets (Andrew Ward):Ivan Barbashev
Ivan Barbashev is a powerful center standing at 6'0" and 185 pounds, he has some bulking to do but that will come with age. Barbashev has excellent anticipation and natural scoring ability; he loves playing in big moment situations and absolutely excels under pressure. Barbashev is a physical two way forward but his talent offensively is held in high regard. With his quickness and a great stride he reaches top speed very efficiently. Barbashev's shot is accurate and fast, complimented by his excellent playmaking ability, Barbashev can put up points in most situations. He has a similar two-way style that is reminiscent of Ryan O'Reilly, but with a better shot and physically dominating demeanor. He is comfortable in all situations, including PK and PP. Barbashev could make the jump in a year or two after some bulking up and AHL experience. Columbus would be hard pressed to skip a top Russian talent of this caliber that could be complimentary to, or complimented by a Ryan Johansen or even help Artem Anisimov ache the next level and spread the scoring more evenly for Columbus.
17 Philadelphia Flyers (Dobber): Kevin Fiala
The Flyers could use another solid goaltender in the pipeline as the cupboard is pretty bare, but taking one in the first round is not exactly their M.O. As tempting as Thatcher Demko is, the Flyers will pass on him. Instead, they will not only just go with the best player available - but they'll also fill their second biggest need. Skill and hustle on the wing, with upside. There's no denying Kevin Fiala's work ethic. The Philadelphia Flyers are happy to select, from Sweden, Kevin Fiala.
18 Minnesota Wild (Brendan Ross):Dylan Larkin
Presented with several remaining popular prospects among our scouts, our team is proud to select from the USA National Training Development Program Dylan Larkin. We are excited to add a player of Larkin's ilk and our team praises his industrious approach to the game showing great two-way acumen and a competitive drive, Larkin is a big center that will be welcomed into our organization. Larkin has shown us that he can make a difference by using his well-sized frame to work the tough areas of the ice and drive the net with a purpose. When presented with the chance to unleash a shot, Larkin shows little hesitation and hunger for scoring goals. Welcome aboard Dylan! We're thrilled to add a 200-foot player to our Minnesota Wild and see a bright future ahead of you.
19 Tampa Bay Lightning (Randy Buschmann):Travis Sanheim
With the #19 selection of the 2014 NHL Entry Draft, Tampa Bay is pleased to select from Calgary of the Western Hockey League, defenseman Travis Sanheim. Sanheim has risen fast among rankings in the scouting community over the last six months, even appearing as high as 8th overall on Craig Button's final draft rankings. Tampa Bay will love Sanheim's complete package, he has the size, skating, hockey IQ, physicality and shot to be a top pairing defenseman in the NHL someday. Bare minimum, you're likely getting a second pair defenseman with Sanheim down the road. An all situations type defenseman, he's the kind of player you want on the ice in the dying seconds of a game whether you're down a goal or to protect the lead. Compares favourably to Brent Seabrook.
20 San Jose Sharks (Tim Graveline):Brendan Lemieux
With the 20th overall selection the San Jose Sharks are proud to call on Brendan Lemieux. He has high-end skill and the tenacity that will make him a very successful NHL player. He epitomizes the new direction the Sharks would like to take, as they know that it takes skill and heart to win championships. This is the first real attempt to shore up their perceived weakness in this area with a fairly bold pick. The Sharks have not had a truly skilled agitator and having Claude Lemieux as his father, Brendan could truly fulfill that role and become the same type of playoff hero his dad was. He can play on just about any line combination and provide room for those around him. With some coaching and maturity his game will be a very great asset to the Sharks as they go through their first rebuild.
21 St. Louis Blues (Eric Daoust):Alex Tuch
With the Blues having a generally weak prospects group, they are wise to pick the best player available here. That happens to be forward Alex Tuch who possesses the size, skill and toughness that the team covets in its quest to compete with the physically imposing Western Conference teams. Tuch has second-line upside but may have to serve a few years as a bottom-six depth scorer before working his way up the depth chart. His value may be limited to multi-category leagues.
22 Pittsburgh Penguins (Seth Brisendine):Joshua Ho-Sang
The Pittsburgh Penguins are happy to select one of the most skilled players in the whole draft, Joshua Ho-Sang. Ho-Sang comes with a few big question marks, there have been rumors about a bad attitude, and people have questioned his hustle in the defensive zone. While there are big question marks, Joshua's high-end potential makes him worth the risk. He has blistering speed, and very good puck-carrying ability. His offensive game has been described as electric. He brings possibly the most natural skill of all players in this year's draft. Something like that can't be passed on by an organization that is starved of winger prospect talent.
23 Colorado Avalanche (Andrew Ward):Nikita Scherbak
A surprising early round candidate in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft Scherbak came out of nowhere. Going late (extremely late) in the CHL import draft, not much was expected of Scherbak and the Saskatoon Blades. Scherbak made it a strong point to introduce himself to the rest of the WHL in a big way with 78 points in 65 games, his rookie year. Scherbak is a large 18-year-old at 6'2" and a lean 174 pounds. He is a hungry player and what some would call a coaches player. He wants to learn, he wants to absorb as much knowledge as he can, and he is very adaptable and has some of the best scoring ability in the draft. Scherbak plays with great physical intensity, he will hit, take a hit, strong arm, position, fight, battle, anything he can to protect the puck or create an opportunity. Another aspect of Scherbak's game is his speed, he accelerates quickly, has a strong first stride and hits top speed in a short distance. His zone play is good at both ends and defensively he has played admirably on a subpar Blades team. Scherbak is truly unselfish and has excellent leadership quality, he wants to win and doesn't care if he's assisting, scoring, or defending. He has deadly accuracy and is incredibly creative, creating scoring chances in unlikely areas. Scherbak has a lot the qualities the Avalanche could use and qualities that compliment the system they are trying to establish. Scherbak's coachability works great for Patrick Roy, his physicality, strength, and quickness would compliment a second-line scoring role next to One of Colorado's talented centers. Scherbak’s versatility allows him to be an excellent option as a set up man and playmaker as well. Scherbak can use some bulking up but being a bit older and having decent size already he could probably step right into an NHL role.
24 Anaheim Ducks (Kevin Won):David Pastrnak
David Pastrnak is an elusive forward with a cerebral style of play. With a great shot and quick hands, he will be a dangerous offensive tool for any team who picks him up. He stands smaller than his style of play suggests, so hopefully he will be able to gain a few inches and really grow into his frame to play that dynamic power forward game that he could achieve. Currently playing against men in the Allsvenskan, he is more ready than a lot of other prospects in the 2014 draft class. Anaheim has drafted similar forwards in Rickard Rakell and Nick Sorensen; Pastrnak fits the same mould and Anaheim would love to take him at that spot.
25 Boston Bruins (Brendan Ross):Nikolay Goldobin
With a focus on adding another layer of offensive punch, GM Peter Chiarelli adds Nikolay Goldobin, an offensive forward capable of playing all three forward positions. Following in the lines of Bruins prospects Ryan Spooner, Goldobin comes via the Sarnia Sting, a place where he carried the offence. The slick Russian has some of the best puck skills and creativity of the entire draft class and his offensive upside may be among the best of the crop. While he's far from polished in the defensive end and at times he appears too lackadaisical in his attack, Goldobin is a cerebral attacker who is more than capable of developing a concentrated defensive commitment. He will never be a top penalty killer or physical force but his ability to operate a powerplay and read open seems is unmatched. The Bruins scouting team has been pleased with Goldobin’s development on a team that has struggled to produce goals and his knack for stepping up in key games, didn’t go unmatched. The Bruins are pleased to add a player of Nikolay Goldobin’s ilk and absolutely love his high ceiling potential.
26 Montreal Canadiens (Eric Daoust):Adrian Kempe
It goes without saying that the Canadiens are always looking for size to add to their roster. Thankfully, they do not have to reach to get such a player as Swedish forward Adrian Kempe is still on the board. His speed and ability to drive to the net will also be huge assets to the club. He will need a couple years of additional development but could be a factor in Montreal before long as the team lacks NHL-ready forwards to eventually replace some of the aging forwards on the roster.
27 Chicago Blackhawks (Matt Donohue):Julius Honka
With the #27 selection of the 2014 NHL Entry Draft, Chicago is pleased to select Julius Honka of the WHL’s Swift Current Broncos. The perfect high upside pick the Blackhawks this late in the first round. Perhaps the most offensively gifted defenceman in this class, he lands in the perfect situation with a deep Blackhawks team where he will not be rushed into NHL action right away. Honka made a seamless transition to the North American game this past season, finishing fourth in WHL rookie scoring. Of course, as with all sub-6’0 defencemen, there are questions as to whether he will be able to handle the physicality of the game at the next level, especially in a tough Western Conference. But Chicago values having a strong puck-moving defenceman, especially with all the talent they possess up front. Has drawn comparisons to fellow Fin Kimmo Timonen, and should also be able to contribute on the powerplay like Timonen has for years.
28 Tampa Bay Lightning (Randy Buschmann):Vladislav Kamenev
With the 28th overall pick in this year's draft, Tampa Bay is happy to select Russian pivot Vladislav Kamenev. He's a strong skater with high-end hockey sense and already has above average size (6-2, 203 lbs.), which he uses to play either center or wing effectively. He's a playmaker with a physical edge, able to throw some big hits and protects the puck well down low. Kamenev doesn't project to be a top line forward, though he does project favorably as a top-9 forward in the NHL with potential for more. Unlike many Russian forwards there shouldn't be a concern of whether he can handle the North American-style of hockey. Tampa Bay bolsters their already deep system of forwards with yet another Russian gem. Kamenev could make an excellent complimentary player on an all-Russian line with Vladislav Namestnikov and Nikita Kucherov someday.
29 Los Angeles Kings (Pete Richmire):Nick Schmaltz
Los Angeles' weakest link is the center position and the dramatic drop off in production between the first and second lines compared to the rest. Schmaltz got on score sheets for 63 points (18-45-63) in 55 games for Green Bay and led the US squad in scoring in most tournaments he appeared in, including an MVP award and set the scoring record in the 2013 World Junior A Challenge with 12 points. Schmaltz is a smart player with above average puck-handling skills. He is a quick skater and at 6 feet tall, he is about the average height of an NHL forward. However, at 172 pounds, he is about 30 pounds lighter and it would benefit him to increase his mass but maintain his quickness, especially to deal with much bigger defensemen.
30 New Jersey Devils (Michael Riggi): Jakub Vrana
Hailed as a potential top 10 pick coming into this year Vrana stumbled out of the gate early however his play towards the end of the season was very encouraging. In particular a dominant U18 tournament where he scored eight goals in seven games for the silver medal winning Czech Republic, reminded all that he still has the offensive skill to take over. Since Kovalchuk’s departure the Devils have lacked an explosive goalscorer and Vrana has the potential to fit the bill. He instantly becomes the Devils top offensive prospect.
31 Buffalo Sabres (Travis Watson):Anthony Deangelo
At 31 I'm going to take the best player available and there's always someone who falls on draft day and if I’m Buffalo I’d be ecstatic to have Sarnia's Anthony DeAngelo fall into my lap. To me that was a no brainer as DeAngelo would be a mid first round selection no doubt if he didn't come with baggage. He's an extremely talented offensive defenceman who has the ability to be a game changer; unfortunately he needs to be playing the game not suspended from it to be able to make that impact. There's definitely some risk with this pick because of those character concerns but I feel coach Ted Nolan can help turn things around for the fleet footed defenseman. Buffalo drafted some high-end talent for the blueline at last years draft when they selected the twin towers in Rasmus Ristolainen and Nikita Zadorov but Anthony DeAngelo brings a different element to the game and can be their future powerplay quarterback that they desperately need. He does come with some defensive deficiencies but he could one day lead the league in scoring from the backend so it's a risk that you take and hope that with the right surroundings and coaching that his weaknesses can catch up to his strengths.
Roland McKeown would be the safer play but when you are drafting you are looking at a number of factors and DeAngelo's potential is by far the highest of anyone else available at this point in the draft and that's the reason for his name being called at 31. Sabres fans would surely be thinking after these first two picks that again they have already won the draft!
32 Florida Panthers (Jake Patterson):Jack Dougherty
Selecting Dougherty early in the second round allows Florida to shore up their defensive prospect pool. Dougherty has very good positioning and uses his strength effectively to shut down the opposition. He has a pass first mentality and great decision-making skills when it comes to the offensive side of the game. Jack Dougherty has committed to University of Wisconsin for the upcoming 2014-15 season, allowing him plenty of time to develop into an NHL ready defensemen.
33 St. Louis Blues (Eric Daoust):Thatcher Demko
With the imminent promotion of Jake Allen to the NHL, the prospect pipeline loses some depth. The Blues are happy to find Thatcher Demko, the top goalie in the draft, on the board outside of the first round. He will not be rushed to the NHL in this organization, which will obviously hurt his fantasy value. If you end up drafting him he may be more useful as trade bait.
34 Calgary Flames (Brad Wilson):Roland McKeown
McKeown is a versatile player who has shown strong abilities both even-strength and on power-play opportunities. As a defenseman, he is an offensive threat to either head-man accurate passes or use his strong skating abilities to get through the neutral zone and set up plays. McKeown is a powerful shooter from the point and quick to get back on defense. He was on the Gold Medal Team Canada team in the 2013 IIHF World Championships and was named First All-Rookie team in the OHL that same year. He followed up by posting his highest point total of his career. That is the development coaches like to see.
35 New York Islanders (Brad Wilson):Mason McDonald
Mason McDonald brings a solid combination of size and athleticism in the net. Most 6’4” goaltenders are shot blockers who are effective because they are big however McDonald shows a real ability to read the play and make quality reflex saves. He is a rangy goaltender with quick limbs that allow him to cover a lot of the net. McDonald, a southpaw, has improved steadily all season and his play at the U18’s put a stamp on a successful season. With this pick the Islanders have perhaps their first blue chip goaltending prospect since they drafted DiPietro first overall in 2000.
36 Vancouver Canucks (Austin Wallace):Conner Bleackley
After taking a highly skilled centre with the sixth overall pick, the Canucks are proud to take another skilled centre that may project on the wing at the NHL level. We projected him as a late first-round pick, so we are happy to take him at 36. An offensively minded player with a plus shot and great hockey-IQ, he scored 29 goals and 39 assists this season and has the offensive ability to be a very good second-line player at the NHL level. On top of that, he has a very well developed defensive game, and impeccable character and work either, both of which raved about by all of his coaches as well as our scouts. His size is already at an NHL level, as he is 6’1” and 195lb. He will need a year or two of seasoning, and we won’t be afraid to let him develop on our third line, but we expect him to be a top-six contributor for a long time to come.
37 Carolina Hurricanes (Andrew Ward):Brayden Point
Brayden Point is a diminutive yet hard working forward. Point showcases elite level vision and is an exceptional passer. Point is the kind of player who will be perhaps even more successful in the offensive zone at the NHL level as at times he seems a step ahead of his WHL linemates mentally. Despite his offensive skillset, Point is a risky prospect due to his size. Point plays bigger than he is and never shies away from a battle however his short stature and lightweight is a noticeable hindrance at times. The Hurricanes will gamble on a player who was deemed “too small” at every level to defy the odds again at the NHL level. He has the top end potential to carve out a Ray Whitney like career and the Hurricanes would be happy with even a fraction of that production.
38 Anaheim Ducks (Kevin Won):Brycen Martin
With the likes of Lindholm and Vatanen having graduated the Anaheim Ducks’ farm team, the Ducks selected Swift Current defenseman Brycen Martin. Martin is a tall, smooth-skating defencemen that will undoubtedly bolster the Ducks' blueline. Playing with Julius Honka on the Broncos this past year, he will bring size, strength, and strong two-way acumen to a fast-tempo Ducks team. Brycen isn’t by any means a flashy defenseman, but his high hockey IQ paired with his NHL size will add another strong prospect to the Ducks’ system.
39 Buffalo Sabres (Travis Watson):Alex Nedeljkovic
Work ethic. Nedeljkovic has it and used it well to earn 2013-14 OHL Goaltender of the Year honors posting a 2.88 GAA and .925 save percentage with Plymouth. Whalers coach Don Elland said Nedeljkovic “possesses the talent, work ethic and mind-set to not only be a first- or second-round selection, but to someday become an excellent NHL goalie.” A natural athlete with good footwork, the NHL Central Scouting Bureau ranked him the fourth highest goalie.
40 Ottawa Senators (Nathan Martin):Anton Karlsson
With the 40th pick in the draft the Ottawa Senators select from Frolunda HC in Sweden, Anton Karlsson. Karlsson is a strong, physical winger who has maintained roughly a point-per-game pace throughout his young career in Sweden. He’s a fearless kid who plays the game at an incredibly high pace, while also displaying a soft touch around the net. Once Karlsson picks up speed he’s just a wrecking ball. The Lerum-native is oozing with confidence and quite frankly possesses all of the attributes you would look for in a top six winger. With the Senators potentially losing their entire top line of the 2013-2014 season (Hemsky, Spezza, Michalek), their top six is going to be really shallow. Anton Karlsson may get an opportunity to play in Ottawa sooner than you’d think. Karlsson has the skill set to play as a top six winger, but because of his versatility and physical style of game he could easily play on a real tough checking line as well.
41 New Jersey Devils (Michael Riggi):John Quenneville
With the 41st pick in the draft the New Jersey Devils select from the Brandon Wheat Kings of the WHL John Quenneville. The Alberta-native played at a point-per-game pace for Brandon this season (30 goals, 41 assists). The Devils are simply going after the best player available at this time, but Quenneville’s positional flexibility makes him a real asset in an organization that has just a handful of promising forward prospects. What also makes Quenneville valuable is that he doesn’t need to score to be effective; he plays a very sound defensive game and is responsible in all three zones. In a lot of ways Quenneville is a prototypical Devils draft pick in that he knows how to play a system and respects the defensive side of the puck. This player will benefit from a slow development process that would ideally see him spend time in the AHL.
42 Nashville Predators (Donesh Mazloum):Eric Cornel
Eric Cornel is a well-rounded two-way player who doesn't have many glaring weaknesses. He attacks defenses with speed and has understated playmaking flair. While he probably doesn't possess the dynamic offensive arsenal to put up elite level offensive stats he brings an intriguing blend of size, grit and skill. Cornel can play all three forward positions and his game lends himself able to play either a top six or bottom six roles in the NHL. With this pick Nashville would add another well balanced and multi-tooled forward to go with the more explosive Jake Virtanen selected in the first round.
43 Arizona Coyotes (Keith Duggan): Hunter Smith
Hunter Smith was passed over in the 2013 draft after only scoring one goal in his first two OHL seasons combined. At the beginning of this past season he was fighting for fourth line duty with the Oshawa Generals but steadily improved as the season progressed and was a point per game player in the playoffs. With his improved offense and size (6-6), Smith is worth the gamble of a second round pick. Needs to keep improving and prove he’s a late bloomer but has all the making of a power forward. If he keeps developing, could you imagine him and first round pick Nick Ritchie on the same line for the Coyotes in a couple years?
44 Washington Capitals (Chris Pudsey):Marcus Petterson
After drafting a highly skilled center in the first round, the Washington Capitals were looking for a highly skilled defenceman with their 2nd round pick. There for the taking was 6’4”, strong skating Swede Marcus Pettersson. Like Andrei Markov, Pettersson converted from center to defense early in his teen years. He’s raw and light so the Capitals will need to be patient with him while he develops and puts on some weight but there’s no doubting his skillset. Above average offensive instincts with a strong and accurate shot, he has shown his abilities to be a playmaker as well. He’s at least 4 years away but long term, he projects to be a top 4 defenceman in the NHL for years to come.
45 Dallas Stars (Chris Bagwell):Jack Glover
With the 45th overall selection in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft, Dallas is pleased to select another solid two-way player, this one a defenseman: Jack Glover. Glover's frame is going to be a key component to his NHL success at 6-3 and 192 pounds. He'll also have the benefit of playing for a prestigious hockey institution in Minnesota for the next few years (University of Minnesota). Glover has terrific positioning to go along with a solid stride. He plays with a slightly physical edge as well, using his body to separate opponents from the puck.
46 Nashville Predators (Donesh Mazloum):Brett Pollock
Brett Pollock's up this years rankings cannot be described as anything less than meteoric. After starting the season a relative unknown Pollock developed into one the most dangerous forwards on the Memorial Cup winning Edmonton Oil Kings. Despite the strides made this season Pollock is still a very raw prospect with plenty of room to improve. He already boasts solid size and oozes offensive potential. Pollock has the ability to make defenders look silly and is equally comfortable attacking off the rush or cycling down low. Pollock has impressive control and creativity in his puck handling and also possesses a strong shot. Consistency and confidence are the only things holding him back at this point. Pollock is a potential high reward pick and if he continues his progression he could be one of the better prospects from this draft ten years down the road. With the selections of Virtanen, Cornel, and Pollock, Nashville would go a long way to overhauling a pretty bare offensive cupboard.
47 Columbus Blue Jackets (Chris Bagwell):Jayce Hawryluk
The Columbus Blue Jackets are proud to select Jayce Hawryluk with the 47th overall selection. Hawryluk may not seem like much, at 5-10, 192 - but he plays with a very physical edge. He's not afraid to get to the greasy areas in the ice and mix it up with opposition. He has a solid shot with good offensive instincts, showcased by his sophomore campaign in the WHL (64 points in 59 games). Hawryluk is hard to knock of the puck, which is a testament to his balance and strength. His acceleration and speed is above average as well.
48 Philadelphia Flyers (Dobber):Edgars Kulda
A late ‘94 birthdate, Edgars Kulda has already been passed over in one NHL draft however his impressive season this year capped off with a Memorial Cup MVP award makes it unlikely he’ll have to wait long this year. Kulda brings an Energizer Bunny type attitude to the game. He is constantly churning his feet and there are no easy shifts against him. Kulda’s biggest improvement however has been in his offensive game. Kulda has the ability to play a north/south dump and chase game however he also has a very underrated passing ability and some pretty nifty hands. Philadelphia is looking to beef up the wings in the system and Kulda fits the bill perfectly. His relentless playing style coupled with the potential to add some solid secondary scoring could make him a fan favorite sooner rather than later. As seen in his time with the Edmonton Oil Kings he’s the kind of player who elevates his game when it matters and is the kind of player seen on the rosters of championship teams.
49 Buffalo Sabres (Travis Watson):Spencer Watson
With the 49th overall pick this year, the Sabres are happy to select Spencer Watson. At 5-10 and 170 pounds, Watson may not appear to be the ideal NHL player, but his goal-scoring ability cannot be ignored. He skates extremely well and has a terrific shot to boot. In his second year with the OHL, he was able to accumulate 69 points in 65 games. If he can bulk up and continue to progress, it's easy to see Watson with an NHL team as a potent offensive player.
50 Tampa Bay Lightning (Randy Buschmann): Dominik Masin
Tampa Bay adds the 10th ranked European skater on Central Scouting's draft rankings with their pick in the second round, 50th overall. The 6-2, 194 lb. Masin is an emerging two-way threat on the blueline who recently captained his native Czech Republic to a silver medal at the recent World Junior Championship. Masin's strength is his above average defensive positioning and ability to play in all-situations. He has some puck moving ability and a solid point shot but projects as a mobile, defensive defenseman in the NHL, which Tampa Bay could really benefit from adding to their system. Second pairing upside but projects favorably to be a bottom paring defenseman at minimum in the NHL.
51 San Jose Sharks (Tim Graveline):Sebastian Aho
He may be small, but his playmaking skills and his fearless play very well could translate to a great puck moving defenseman in today’s NHL. With not much defensive depth, the Sharks will look towards Sebastian Aho at pick 51, a pint-sized defenseman with a lot of offensive ability. Dynamic in the offensive zone, he also plays defense just as well and provides a ton of leadership to the dressing room. His willingness to play defense as well as his ability to jump in the rush could make him a highly coveted asset come draft day.
52 St. Louis Blues (Eric Daoust):Josh Jacobs
Jacobs is not going to fill up any score sheets but possesses many of the assets that teams covet. His stabilizing presence on the blueline and good skating ability make him a very attractive pick at this spot. The Blues are a good landing spot for him, as he can be a nice fit in a depth role behind their more offensive-minded defenseman. As with the other Blues' picks, do not expect to see Jacobs anytime soon and even if he does break out offensively do not expect Jacobs to ever be more than a secondary point-producer. Instead, look for him to emerge as a strong defensive defenseman over the years and help his goaltenders post better numbers.
53 San Jose Sharks (Tim Graveline):Ville Husso
Husso has had a strong campaign in the SM-Liga and with how well Finnish goalies have done in the NHL, this seems like a great pick for us to restock our cupboards with the top European goalie. Husso was passed over in last year’s draft, but absolutely dominated as an 18 year old in Finland’s top men’s league. He posted a sub-2.00 GAA and a .923 SV% in 41 games, among the league leaders in both stats, on a team that lost more games than it won. Husso has excellent technique and profiles to a number one goaltender at the NHL level. Stylistic comparisons have been made between Husso and Kari Lehtonen. He could end up being a top goaltender in the NHL, and is already a year ahead of his competition in development.
54 Calgary Flames (Brad Wilson):Ryan MacInnis
The son of hall of fame Calgary defenceman Al MacInnis, Ryan doesn’t have the quite the same booming shot as his dad, but he deserves to be judged on his own merits. At 6’4” and 185lb, Ryan has dominant long-term potential once he fills out his big frame. As it stands, he has a rounded offensive game with pretty good hands, very good passing, and high-end hockey sense. This year was his rookie OHL year, and it took him a while to get up to speed; after 7 points in 19 games, he scored 30 points in his last 47. His defensive game is very good, especially on the penalty kill, but he could stand to gain some quickness. Like most players his size, he could end up being a long-term project, but his upside as a power-forward makes him worth the wait for the flames.
55 Anaheim Ducks (Kevin Won):Chase de Leo
The Ducks would be pleased to add more skill into their already impressive cupboard of prospects and they will do that by adding Portland Winterhawks centre Chase de Leo. An exceptional skater with a very strong shot who will crash the net for dirty goals. Already a veteran of 270 WHL games, along with 64 playoff games, he is mature beyond his years. His point totals have increased every year and so has his confidence in his own skills. Ranked #36 in NHL Central Scouting the Ducks feel they have gotten prime value out of this selection.
56 Boston Bruins (Brendan Ross):Ondrej Kase
The Boston Bruins are thrilled to select Ondrej Kase from Chomutov of the Czech League. Kase has been an international standout and our scouts have taken notice identifying his playmaking skills and excellent mobility as real assets. We believe that Ondrej can develop into a top-six winger and his advanced puck skills and overall speed and acceleration will pose as constant offensive threats. Ranked much higher than 56th on our scout's lists, we are ecstatic that he'll be wearing the B on his chest.
57 New York Islanders (Brad Wilson):Oskar Lindblom
The New York Islanders gladly select Oskar Lindbolm with the 57th overall pick. He has proven to be a winger that does not shy away from the dirty areas of the ice. At 6-2 and 187 pounds, there is no doubt he has the physical capabilities to make it in the NHL. Lindbolm excelled in his international play this year, piling up 21 points in 20 games. If he continues to progress his excellent two-way game, Lindbolm should be a solid NHLer for years to come.
58 Arizona Coyotes (Keith Duggan):Ryan Donato
Ryan Donato, the son of Harvard hockey coach and former NHLer Ted, dominated against prep school laden competition this past season. The skilled pivot has a great set of hands and excellent offensive instincts. It will be a while before we see him in Arizona; Ryan will play in the USHL this coming season then for his Dad at Harvard in 2015-16 for at least a couple years. Has the potential to be a top six forward skill wise but the next couple years will get a better gauge on him playing against better competition. Rated as a high second round pick on some scouts lists, for the Coyotes to grab Donato at 58th overall is a great pickup.
59 New York Rangers (Josh Kurtosi): Dysin Mayo
When watching Mayo play it is instantly apparent that he thinks the game at a different level than most players. Mayo’s game both defensively and offensively revolves around his ability to cleverly move the puck to teammates. Mayo is additionally a very smooth skater and packs an underrated shot. Mayo is just starting to find his legs offensively and after a slow start he poured in the points in the second half of the season and logged big minutes for the Memorial Cup Champion Edmonton OilKings. While Mayo has sky high potential he still has work to do especially in his own end. The Rangers however, have the flexibility to wait for his progression and could have an absolute gem ten years down the road.
60 Columbus Blue Jackets (Chris Bagwell):Adam Ollas Mattson
The Columbus Blue Jackets are honored to finish off the second round by selecting defenseman Adam Ollas Mattson. He is a towering individual at 6-4 and 214 pounds with a knack for timely poke-checks. He uses his big frame very well, but could work on his mobility. Mattson is a defensive-minded defenseman who continually puts his body in front of shots and the opposition. This next year will be important for his development as he continues to compete against men in Sweden. Accompanied with his size is a long reach that he uses to control opposing forwards in his own end. He will make a solid shutdown defenseman in a few years time.