FC’s 2014 NHL Mock Draft

draft

It’s time to dust off the old crystal ball; put analysis of team needs and trends with everything we have seen and heard in the rinks to good use and project where we see the prospects of the 2014 NHL Draft landing.

In an era where the salary cap handcuffs teams in how they build or supplement a winning team, the draft has become so important and making the right selection for one’s team and the style they play so crucial that every draft selection counts.

With that in mind, the staff at Future Considerations has put together a mock draft. So without further ado:

“The Florida Panthers have the first selection in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft…”

To go even deeper into the draft class, pick up Future Considerations’ 2014 NHL Draft Guide, containing our ranking of the top-210 prospects, full profiles on 210 draft eligibles, a two-round mock draft, a glimpse at the 2015 NHL Draft and much, much more! Click HERE to find out more!

#
Player
NHL Team
Scout Making Pick
1Aaron Ekblad, D, Barrie (OHL)Florida PanthersDan Stewart
2Sam Reinhart, C, Kootenay (WHL)Buffalo SabresRandy Stoochnoff
3Sam Bennett, C, Kingston (OHL)Edmonton OilersDonesh Mazloum
4Michael Dal Colle, LW, Oshawa (OHL)Calgary FlamesÉtienne Pouliot
5Nick Ritchie, LW, Peterborough (OHL)New York IslandersJohn Healy
6Leon Draisaitl, C, Prince Albert (WHL)Vancouver CanucksRandy Stoochnoff
7Nikolaj Ehlers, LW, Halifax (QMJHL)Carolina HurricanesScott Palmer
8Brendan Perlini, LW, Niagara (OHL)Toronto Maple LeafsDaniel Deschenes
9William Nylander, C, MODO (SHL)Winnipeg JetsRyan English
10Jake Virtanen, RW, Calgary (WHL)Anaheim Ducks (OTT)Ryan Booth
11Eric Cornel, C, Peterborough (OHL)Nashville PredatorsBrendon Watts
12Dylan Larkin, C, NTDP U18 (USHL)Arizona CoyotesGuillaume Gervais
13Haydn Fleury, D, Red Deer (WHL)Washington CapitalsRadoslav Vavřina
14Ivan Barbashev, C, Moncton (QMJHL)Dallas StarsConor Mulligan
15Kevin Fiala, C, HV 71 (SWE)Detroit Red WingsDan Stewart
16Sonny Milano, LW, NTDP U18 (USHL)Columbus Blue JacketsÉtienne Pouliot
17Roland McKeown, D, Kingston (OHL)Philadelphia FlyersBrendon Watts
18Jared McCann, C, Sault Ste. Marie (OHL)Minnesota WildDaniel Deschenes
19Anthony DeAngelo, D, Sarnia StingTampa Bay LightningScott Palmer
20Alex Tuch, RW, NTDP U18 (USHL)San Jose SharksDonesh Mazloum
21Nikolay Goldobin, RW, Sarnia (OHL)St. Louis BluesConor Mulligan
22Robby Fabbri, C, Guelph (OHL)Pittsburgh PenguinsRyan English
23Jack Dougherty, D, USNDP (USHL)Colorado AvalancheNick Perri
24Josh Ho-Sang, RW, Windsor (OHL)Anaheim DucksRyan Booth
25Connor Bleakley C, Red Deer (WHL)Boston BruinsJohn Healy
26Adrian Kempe, LW, MODO (SHL)Montreal CanadiensGuillaume Gervais
27Thatcher Demko, G, Boston College (NCAA)Chicago BlackhawksRadoslav Vavřina
28David Pastrnak, RW, Sodertalje (Swe)Tampa Bay Lightning (NYR)Scott Palmer
29Jakub Vrana, C/RW, Linkoping (SHL)Los Angeles KingsRyan Booth
30Ryan Collins, D, NTDP U18 (USHL)New Jersey DevilsNick Perri

#1 OVERALL
WITH THE 1ST PICK IN 2014, THE FLORIDA PANTHERS SELECT – Aaron Ekblad, D, Barrie (OHL)
– With youngsters Aleksander Barkov, Brandon Pirri, Nick Bjugstad, Jonathan Huberdeau, Dmitry Kulikov and Erik Gudbranson already making contributions on the NHL roster and a few more solid prospects on the way, the Panthers look to have a solid group to grow together and no doubt will be making noise in the Atlantic Division within the next couple of seasons.

GM Dale Tallon will try to use this draft pick to push the Panthers down the road to becoming perennial playoff contenders just as the former NHL defenseman and broadcaster did as GM for Chicago a decade ago when he selected NHL stars Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane.

After floating it out there as trade bait in an effort to move down and pick up other assets, the returns came back less than desirable, and the decision was made to take the prospect that can best help the franchise now. With Director of Amateur Scouting, Scott Luce, also helping to call the shots at the draft table the Panthers management is excited to add a cornerstone piece with the top pick.


#2 OVERALL
WITH THE 2ND PICK IN 2014, THE BUFFALO SABRES SELECT - Sam Reinhart, C, Kootenay (WHL)
– After missing out on winning the lottery, Buffalo GM Tim Murray picks the next best player available in Sam Reinhart. With a young D of Tyler Myers, Mark Pysyk, Rasmus Ristolainen, Nikita Zadorov and Jake McCabe, Murray feels you can never have enough depth down the middle.

Even though the Sabres have center depth in Mikhail Grigorenko, Zemgus Girgensons, JT Compher, Johan Larsson, Cody Hodgson and Tyler Ennis, Murray takes Reinhart who plays a two-way game, used in all situations, is cerebral, a smart player and makes others around him better.

Buffalo adds yet another piece to their growing prospects pool. Even though Buffalo does have some holes to fill, with the picks that they have, many of those holes will be addressed as the draft moves along.


#3 OVERALL
WITH THE 3RD PICK IN 2014, THE EDMONTON OILERS SELECT – Sam Bennett, C, Kingston (OHL) –
Edmonton’s need for a quality minute-eating defenseman is glaring. While they have some solid defensive prospects in last years first round pick Darnell Nurse as with Martin Marincin and Oscar Klefbom ready to contribute, the Oilers lack a true blue chip defensive prospect.

Unfortunately for the Oilers, outside of Aaron Ekblad this years draft is woefully short on sure-fire top-two defenseman. Trading this pick is a distinct possibility as GM Craig MacTavish will try to find that cornerstone defenseman either by trading up or trading the pick outright for an established NHLer. If the Oilers elect to keep this pick, they will likely add another forward to their already impressive group. With Jordan Eberle, Taylor Hall, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, and Nail Yakupov, the Oilers have an abundance of skill up front. What they lack however is an element of grit, two-way play and size amongst their top-six.

In this draft, both Leon Draisaitl of the Prince Albert Raiders and Sam Bennett of the Kingston Frontenacs fit the bill to varying degrees. While Draisaitl has been rumoured to be a favourite of the Oilers all season, Bennett’s combination of speed, two-way play, and compete level fills both organizational need and gives the Oilers the top player left on the board.


#4 OVERALL
WITH THE 4TH PICK IN 2014, THE CALGARY FLAMES SELECT – Michael Dal Colle, LW, Oshawa (OHL) -
 Calgary has needs at pretty much every position in their prospect pool. Since 2009, all of their first picks have been used on forwards. One could be led to believe they’d turn for a defenseman this time around but it would be a reach to draft a defender at this rank this year with Ekblad gone.

Looking at their prospect pool, it’s pretty clear that the strongest position up front is at center, where key prospects like Sean Monahan, Mark Jankowski, Bill Arnold and Markus Granlund stand tall. Dal Colle’s game will be better suited as a winger in the professional ranks and thus could complete a line with Monahan admirably.

Dal Colle has everything that scouts look for in hockey players nowadays: skating, size, smarts and skill. On top of that, he has been on rise all season long, nearly breaking the century mark before settling at 96 points. Dal Colle is already one of the best players of this crop, but he also has the potential to be the best five years down the road.


#5 OVERALL
WITH THE 5TH PICK IN 2014, THE NEW YORK ISLANDERS SELECT - Nick Ritchie, LW, Peterborough (OHL) -
With the pick GM Garth Snow kept from the Buffalo Sabres after an early season trade, the Islanders feel they need a top end left winger and, with Dal Colle off the board, they select the top power forward available.

New York feels this pick will have the potential to play alongside Ryan Strome and Brock Nelson or along John Tavares in the not to distant future. With the prospects they have in their sights set on, the Islanders feel they have a plethora of interesting pieces either to trade or to build around to create a serious contender in the East.


#6 OVERALL
WITH THE 6TH PICK IN 2014, THE VANCOUVER CANUCKS SELECT - Leon Draisaitl, C, Prince Albert (WHL)
 - With a new President and GM in place, Vancouver has two-choices to make — either re-tool or re-build. With Rumors of Ryan Kelser on the trading block, he will have to be eventually replaced. With center depth in Bo Horvat, Brendan Gaunce, Cole Cassels and Dane Fox, the Canucks do look for a winger, but with Draisaitl still on the board, it’s a no brainer.

In the Pacific Division and playing big-bodied teams such as LA, SJ, Anaheim, drafting Draisaitl makes sense. There’s also no doubt Vancouver WHL scouts know the kind of game Draisaitl can play, and feel that he’s a big body forward that they need to compete with big-bodied Pacific Division teams.


#7 OVERALL
WITH THE 7TH PICK IN THE 2014, THE CAROLINA HURRICANES SELECT – Nikolaj Ehlers, LW, Halifax (QMJHL) –
The Hurricanes are in the starting process of rebuilding. Carolina, under new GM Ron Francis, could potentially start the season without cornerstone players Eric Staal and Cam Ward — both who have been rumored to be on the trade block for a few months.

The Hurricanes need to address their lack of organizational depth on the wings. They currently sit with Brock McGinn, Sergey Tolchinsky and Phil DiGiuseppe as their wingers of the future and although good players, they lack the star power. Carolina will be in need of wingers that will be able to keep up with their very deep corps of young centers in Jeff Skinner, Jordan Staal, Jiri Tlusty and Elias Lindholm.


#8 OVERALL
WITH THE 8TH PICK IN 2014, THE TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS SELECT – Brendan Perlini, LW, Niagara (OHL) –
Changes are coming in Toronto. The question, though, is what and when? With Brendan Shanahan taking over as President, he and GM Dave Nonis have made it know that they will need to make some changes in order to change their playoff fortunes and build a successful, winning team in Toronto.

The Maple Leafs have also gone on record to say that this will be done through the draft and free agency. Aside from the selection of Morgan Reilly, Toronto has failed to hit it out of the park in the draft in recent years. 2013 first round pick Frederick Gauthier is a projected third-line center, while Carter Verhaeghe will need to develop into a depth scorer. With players like Matthew Finn and Petter Granberg on defense and Gauthier, Connor Brown, and Josh Leivo up front, the Leafs need to select a high-reward threat in this year’s draft.

There’s no more time to play it safe at the draft table and the Maple Leafs feel the internal pressure to win at all costs. They need a mix of size and skill on the wings and on defense. Toronto looks no further than the linemate of prospect Carter Verhaeghe in Niagara.


#9 OVERALL
WITH THE 9TH PICK IN 2014, THE WINNIPEG JETS SELECT – William Nylander, C, MODO (SHL) 
- The Jets are in a position depth-wise where they can afford to pick the best player available. However, with the highest-ceiling forward in their prospect pool being the diminutive Nic Petan and a clear-cut need for playmaking forwards, the Jets will look long and hard at a skilled player.

With quality NHL depth, it is also clear that the Jets can afford to bank an asset and watch it grow. Who fits this mold well? William Nylander. Nylander’s stock has been turbulent all year but come draft day, his elite playmaking ability is too good for the Jets to pass on.


#10 OVERALL
WITH THE 10TH PICK IN 2014, THE ANAHEIM DUCKS SELECT – Jake Virtanen, RW, Calgary (WHL) –
The Ducks have a plethora of talented prospects, most of whom have or will be graduating. With several skilled defensemen in the pipelines, Anaheim will look to add to their forward group.

A noticeable weakness on the left wing, the Ducks will be attracted to the idea of Jake Virtanen — a big power-forward with explosive speed and acceleration. He plays the Ducks style of game, and already has a pro-game. His style of play would compliment the Ducks already talented forwards.

The fact that he has the speed and strength is going to be a huge asset for Anaheim, who do not really have the speediest forward core outside of a few. Scouts say he has the potential to be a dynamic scoring winger, which is exactly what the Anaheim Ducks require.


#11 OVERALL
WITH THE 11TH PICK IN 2014, THE NASHVILLE PREDATORS SELECT –
Eric Cornel, C, Peterborough (OHL) – With the end of the Barry Trotz era of defensive hockey in Nashville, David Poile will look to revamp his front end and add some offensive dynamic players. The Predators already boast a plethora of physical forwards and have balanced defensive depth, but the team lacks depth down the middle and again, top-end talent is at a premium in an organization that doesn’t have much in the way of it.

With that in mind, Nashville feels there’s more than meets the eye in Eric Cornel, a shifty and smart playmaking center. Ritchie’s counterpart in Peterborough is somewhat undervalued by most, but he is a great support player that should mesh with Filip Forsberg.


#12 OVERALL
WITH THE 12TH PICK IN 2014, THE ARIZONA COYOTES SELECT –
Dylan Larkin, C , NTDP U18 (USHL) – With good defensemen in their line up and with Brandon Gormley and Connor Murphy in their depth chart, the Coyotes can pass on Haydn Fleury here. They need help up front and especially at the center position with Antoine Vermette as their top center to start the season.

They have some centers that can switch to wings like Max Domi and Henrik Samuelsson or even Laurent Dauphin in their prospect pool. To play in the West, you need grit and skills. Dylan Larkin has that and also has speed and two-way game. He would be a great piece to build around when the Doan era will be done in the Arizona desert.


#13 OVERALL
WITH THE 13TH PICK IN 2014, WASHINGTON CAPITALS SELECT – Haydn Fleury, D, Red Deer (WHL) –
Remember when Barry Trotz coached the Predators and, among them, one of the best two-way defensemen in the league, Shea Weber? You do, he does and it worked out pretty well, didn’t it?

By no means is Haydn Fleury a Weber clone, but the big defenseman can play both defense and offense and it looks like he’d be amazing on the top pair with Mike Green in a couple of years. Karl Alzner, John Carlson and Connor Carrick are all reliable defensemen and getting another one just like them can only help a team.

Additionally, Fleury has even more upside than any of the three aforementioned Capitals property and he could really end up doing great things in D.C.


#14 OVERALL
WITH THE 14TH PICK IN 2014, THE DALLAS STARS SELECT – Ivan Barbashev, C/LW, Moncton (QMJHL) –
The Stars are happy to select Barbashev, a dynamic two-way center who they hope will provide some much needed secondary scoring behind Tyler Seguin in the future.

The Stars have done a great job developing prospects over the last couple years and have some of the best prospect depth in the league. Barbashev will be joining a group of center prospects that include Radek Faska, Emil Molin, and Devin Shore.

While the Russian born player is not overly flashy, he continually shows a lot of character, determination, and leadership. The thought of having a dynamic Russian duo of Valeri Nichushkin and Barbashev is exciting for Stars fans.


#15 OVERALL
WITH THE 15TH PICK IN 2014, THE DETROIT RED WINGS SELECT –
Kevin Fiala, LW, HV 71 (SHL)Detroit has had a changing of the guard of sorts with both Jim Nill and Joe McDonnell, who used to run the draft table, moving on to Dallas and new Director of Scouting Tyler Wright working with Ken Holland and Co. trying to uncover the next gem.

Although the system is full of impressive talent that is close to making an impact in Motown, they need to find the next Wings offensive star similar to Pavel Datsyuk, Henrik Zetterberg and the newly crowned Gustav Nyquist to lead them for the next decade plus.

The Red Wings go back to Europe and trusty super scout Hakan Andersson for this pick. The Wings will give him time to develop but feel Kevin Fiala is just scratching the surface of his potential and is likely one of the top offensive talents from this crop.


#16 OVERALL
WITH THE 16TH PICK IN 2014, THE COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS SELECT – Sonny Milano. LW, NTDP U18 (USHL) – Jarmo Kekalainen is known to go for the best players available and that’s exactly what happens in selecting Sonny Milano. Columbus has a plethora of good prospects and young NHLers at most positions. They went forward heavy in 2013 by acquiring Kerby Rychel, Marko Dano and Alexander Wennberg in the first round.

They also used a few other important picks in the recent drafts to acquire forwards like Ryan Johansen (2010) and Boone Jenner (2011). While Jenner was not a first rounder, he was Columbus’ first pick of the draft. They also didn’t neglect on goaltenders drafting two solid prospects in Joonas Korpisalo and Oscar Dansk in 2012. The D pipeline is not empty either with young NHLers such as Ryan Murray and David Savard, coupled with 2013 draftee Dillon Heatherington.

Milano brings talent, speed and creativity to the Jackets’ prospect pool. He has an interesting upside and shows up every night to play. While his lack of size might scare some, I feel Milano is one of the smartest player of this crop.


#17 OVERALL
WITH THE 17TH PICK IN 2014, THE PHILADELPHIA FLYERS SELECT – Roland McKeown, D, Kington (OHL) –
With the end of the Chris Pronger days and the realization that they’re back end needs retooling, the Flyers will likely go with another defenseman and the need for skilled defensemen is evident.

Roland Mckeown is a multi-tool defenseman that can do it all, though he has yet to carve out kind of player he will be. He will be a guy that logs big minutes and will be able to bring some offense, the question is how much. He currently projects to be a 2nd pairing blueliner but the sky’s the limit in terms of potential because of his size, smarts and skill. Further, he’s another good blueline prospect along with Sam Morin.


#18 OVERALL
WITH THE 18TH PICK IN 2014, THE MINNESOTA WILD SELECT – Jared McCann, C, Sault Ste. Marie (OHL) –
The Wild showed the league that they can be force to be reckoned with when they get going by taking Colorado out in seven games before being eliminated by the Blackhawks in six games in this year’s Stanley Cup Playoffs.

The Wild have a great mix of youth and quality veterans that will go a long way in being a perennial contender. They showed that they have solid goaltending depth but need skilled defenders and an offensive threat with pure skill to play top-6 minutes. Defenseman Mathew Dumba made the team last season before being returned to junior and should be given another shot to stay with the big club and Gustav Olfsson is waiting in the wings and would be a nice complement to Jonas Brodin and Ryan Suter on the backend.

Minnesota has relied on young players like Brodin, Mikael Granlund, Charlie Coyle and Jason Zucker, meaning that they ready to take their time with their prospects and give them time to develop. Patience will be given to their newest selection and the pressure will be off to deliver right away.


#19 OVERALL
WITH THE 19TH PICK IN 2014, THE TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING SELECT – Anthony DeAngelo, D, Sarnia Sting (OHL) –
The Lightning have finally acquired prospect depth after several seasons of bare cupboards. With the likes of Nikita Kucherov, Adam Erne, Jonathan Drouin and Vladislav Namestnikov, the Lightning are deep with forward depth for years to come.

The back end is where the Lightning lack. With oft-injured Slater Koekkoek being their top prospect, the Lightning opt with a defenseman with their first of two picks in the first round.

DeAngelo will be able to provide the Lightning with an offensive, blue line quarterback, who’s isn’t as one-dimensional as some may think. He can play very sound defensive hockey, but excels with the puck on his stick.


#20 OVERALL
WITH THE 20TH PICK IN 2014, THE SAN JOSE SHARKS SELECT – Alex Tuch, RW, USNDT U18 (USHL) - 
San Jose has a thin prospect pool and needs at every position. While Mirco Mueller, Chris Tierney and Freddie Hamilton look to be potential NHLers, the Sharks lack much behind them.

GM Doug Wilson will have his share of talented players to pick from in this spot, however Alex Tuch seems like the best fit for the Sharks. Playing in the ruthless Pacific Division, size amongst the forward core is seemingly a necessity. Tuch is already an imposing 6-foot-3, 216-pounds and he provides a strong mixture of size and skill.

While his development on the offensive end, like many power forwards, may require more time than other players, Tuch has great potential. With the old guard in San Jose seemingly going by the wayside Tuch would provide a nice compliment to Tomas Hertl and Couture as the forwards of the future.


#21 OVERALL
WITH THE 21ST PICK IN 2014, THE ST. LOUIS BLUES SELECT –
Nikolay Goldobin, RW, Sarnia (OHL) -After an early exit from the 2014 Stanley Cup playoffs, the Blues address their offensive woes by selecting the skillful Nikolay Goldobin. The right-winger has the potential to be a special player at the NHL level and has spent the last two seasons dominating the OHL.

While the Blues have a lot of high-end prospects on the wings, adding a player of Goldobin’s caliber seems like a no-brainer. His defensive game may be a concern, but entering an organization who really values the development of prospects will really help him.


#22 OVERALL
WITH THE 22ND PICK IN 2014, THE PITTSBURGH PENGUINS SELECT – Robby Fabbri, C, Guelph (OHL)
– With an impressive array of prospects securing their back end for years to come and a thin set of forwards, newly minted GM Jim Rutherford has a good idea of where he needs to go with the 22nd pick. As a franchise, the Penguins know that developing cheap top-6 forwards could pay huge dividends as a cap team and are looking for players to play with Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin.

Rutherford has also shown a definite preference towards forwards at the top of the draft through his time in Carolina. The Penguins have a list of forwards to choose from, but as an organization they see the BPA and the best organizational fit meet when Robby Fabbri of Guelph is still available.

Fabbri has had scouts raving all year about his offensive abilities, and with his slender frame the Penguins see him as an ideal player to mould into top-6 winger.


#23 OVERALL
WITH THE 23rd PICK IN 2014, THE COLORADO AVALANCHE SELECT – Jack Dougherty, D, USNDP (USHL) - 
The argument can be made either way for this pick by Colorado, who need to add some players on the wing but can also use a boost on defense with aging vets Jan Hejda (36), Cory Sarich (35), Nate Guenin (31) and Andre Benoit (30) making up half of the team’s d-corps.

Although the Avalanche beefed up on defense during last years draft, adding a solid player like Dougherty — who should jump to the pro level after a couple of seasons at the University of Wisconsin — only adds to its strength on the backend.

The 2014 draft won’t be known for a high-end group of defenseman, but Dougherty is among the upper class of blueliners that will be taken in the top-30 picks.


#24 OVERALL
WITH THE 24TH PICK, THE ANAHEIM DUCKS SELECT – Josh Ho-Sang, RW, Windsor (OHL) –
Continuing with the theme of the draft for Anaheim, they opt to go with a highly skilled forward who is one, if not the best skater in the draft.

Josh Ho-Sang has explosive speed, and great agility. I don`t think he gets enough praise for his skill-set either. His puckhandling is incredible and can deke a defender 1-on-1. The only concerns are his size, and the fact that he is quite risky with some plays — something the Ducks will gladly take for his potential upside.


#25 OVERALL
WITH THE 25TH PICK, THE BOSTON BRUINS SELECT – Connor Bleakley, C, Red Deer (WHL) –
The Bruins take Connor Bleakley with the 25th pick to continue to add depth at the center position. Bleackley is another two-way center who they hope will turn into the next Patrice Bergeron, or at least a decent replica.

The defense-first mentality, with enough offensive upside allows Julien to maneuver him up and down the lineup. The 18-year-old will have time to develop in a very good program in Red Deer to develop before making the jump to the American Hockey League.


#26 OVERALL
WITH THE 26th PICK IN 2014, THE MONTREAL CANADIENS SELECT – Adrian Kempe, C, MODO (SHL) 
- With Alex Galchenyuk being the future #1 center of the franchise it leaves only Max Pacioretty as a left wing on the top-6. In their prospect pool they need size at the LW with Charles Hudon, Tim Bozon and Artturi Lehkonen as their top prospects at this position.

Adrian Kempe brings a similar skill set as Pacioretty with his size and speed. Kempe already plays pro in Sweden against men and he could maybe crack Montreal’s line-up in 2 years, if everything goes well in his development.


#27 OVERALL
WITH THE 27TH PICK IN 2014, CHICAGO BLACK HAWKS SELECT – Thatcher Demko, G, Boston College (NCAA) –
With franchise players like Brent Seabrook, Duncan Keith, Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane, the Blackhawks are set for years to come when it comes to both defense and offense, provided prospect and younger players like Adam Clendenning, Nick Leddy, Brandon Saad and Adam Shaw do what they’re supposed to do and provide secondary scoring or depth.

Thatcher Demko is now going to play in college and that could take up to four years during which he could hone his skills at the same time Corey Crawford has his finest hour in Chicago. The current starter for the Hawks is 29 and while he could last 10 more years, Demko is a quality plan to let percolate in the background.


#28 OVERALL
WITH THE 28TH PICK IN 2014, THE TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING SELECT – David Pastrnak, RW, Sodertalje J20 –
David Pastrnak will hopefully help fill a void left by Martin St Louis in the coming years as a gifted/dynamic forward who can score.

Playing on a line with Jonathan Drouin for the next several seasons would be a treat to watch. The Lightning are weakest on defense, but due to a number of solid blueliners already being drafted, the Lightning will take the best player available to them in Pastrnak.


#29 OVERALL
WITH THE 29TH PICK IN 2014, THE LA KINGS SELECT – Jakub Vrana, C/RW, Linkoping (SWE) –
There are no reservations for the Kings in taking highly skilled Jakub Vrana with the 29th pick. He drops this low due to inconsistencies in his game, but is still a top tier talent. He’s a very creative passer, with high-end puck skills — not to mention his shot is dangerous.

The Kings have some skilled forwards, but more grinder-types. With Vrana, Los Angeles gets a skilled player who is still a few seasons away. The Kings have one of the best development systems in the NHL, and will knock the inconsistencies right out of his game.


#30 OVERALL
WITH THE 30th PICK IN 2014, THE NEW JERSEY DEVILS SELECT – Ryan Collins, D, USNDP (USHL) –
Seeing how the Devils have made it a tradition of selecting US players in the first round, jumping on a defenseman with high-upside like Ryan Collins wouldn’t be surprising.

The Devils have selected Steve Santini, Stefan Matteau, Reid Boucher, Blake Pietilla, and Jon Merrill out of the US National Development program in the last four drafts — Santini, Matteau and Merrill all being New Jersey’s first picks in their respective draft years.

Collins will need a few years of college at the University of Minnesota before going pro, but when he does he would play an important role in the Devils rebuilding their defensive corps.


To go even deeper into the draft class, pick up Future Considerations’ 2014 NHL Draft Guide, containing our ranking of the top-210 prospects, full profiles on 210 draft eligibles, a two-round mock draft, a glimpse at the 2015 NHL Draft and much, much more! Click HERE to find out more!

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