With a flip of the calendar, the 2014 NHL Draft is in the home stretch.
The draft, hosted this year by the Philadelphia Flyers, is just six months away. For many prospects, there is only three months of action remaining. Time is running out to impress. Some will rise; others will fall.
And like every month, some prospects rose and some fell in January, and to analyze in a little more detail how the first round looks this month, here’s a breakdown of the representation across several categories in the ranking.
As it has each month leading up to the draft, Canada takes charge with 14 skaters represented in Future Considerations’ first round ranking. Included in that statistic are the draft’s top two prospects in Aaron Ekblad and Sam Reinhart – both of whom are representing their country at the World Junior Championship. Canada also makes up four of the top five and 10 of the top 12 projected prospects come June.
The Americans feature six skaters including the only ranked goaltender in Thatcher Demko.
Sweden (3), Finland (2), Russia (2), Czech Republic (1), Denmark (1) and Germany (1) are also represented in the ranking.
Also as it has leading up to the draft, the Ontario Hockey League is the front runner in terms of regional representation. A total of 10 players skating in the OHL are positioned in the ranking, one more than seen in December.
The Western Hockey League also feature seven skaters. Six players currently skate in Europe while the United States Hockey League, paced by the US National Team Development Program, have four in the ranking.
The Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (2) and the NCAA (1) are also represented.
An incredible 22 forwards comprise the ranking, led by eight in the top-10. The breakdown includes 11 centers, six left wingers and five right wingers.
Though there’s only one defenseman in the top-10 in Ekblad at first overall, blueliners remain well represented in the 2014 draft class. Seven rearguards rank in the first round in 2014.
Only one goaltender, Demko, makes the ranking in January.
To view Future Considerations’ January ranking for the 2014 NHL Draft, please click HERE.