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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.