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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.