2014 NHL Mock Draft: Olympic Hockey Edition

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Whether it be the Phoenix Coyotes going off the board to take a Blake Wheeler or the Los Angeles Kings selecting Thomas Hickey seemingly out of nowhere, one’s mock draft can be wrecked quicker than Jake Virtanen can do a lap around the rink.

Still, inevitably it is difficult to hold back and not go through the futile process of creating a NHL mock draft. My 2013 NHL Mock Draft Final Edition turned out to be one of my most accurate efforts to date, but even then NHL GMs thwarted hockey draft prognostications planet wide with events like:

  • Seth Jones falling to 4th overall to the Nashville Predators
  • Hunter Shinkaruk free falling to 24th overall to the Vancouver Canucks
  • Samual Morin going off the board earlier than forecasted to the Philadelphia Flyers at 11th overall

Note:

  • This is not an attempt to rank prospects. This is mere a guesstimate at what teams might choose if they were to draft today based on weighing out best player available with team need and past experiences at the draft table, with an obvious dose of influence from my personal thoughts.

[For the March edition, ranking the Top 120 prospects check out:

2014 NHL Draft Rankings: The Next Ones]

NHL Draft Order

2014 NHL Draft War Room: Prospect Profile Index

  • Constantly updated as profiles are completed, check in with the above link often to get more detailed information on this year’s prospect class.

2014 NHL Mock Draft – The Next Ones Olympic Hockey Edition: The Picks

1. Buffalo Sabres

Sam Reinhart

Sam Reinhart: 1st overall pick in 2014 NHL Mock Draft - Olympic Edition

In the “Battle of Sam”, Sam Reinhart goes 1st overall in the 2014 NHL Mock Draft – Olympic Edition (Photo by Brad Watson)

Ht/Wt: 6′ 1″/185 lbs

Position: C

Team: Kootenay (WHL)

The third Reinhart brother and son of former NHLer Paul, may very well be the best of the bunch. He has the highest hockey IQ in this draft – processes the game amazingly well, seemingly slowing the game down at will, dictating the pace of the game.

2. Edmonton Oilers

Aaron Ekblad

Ht/Wt: 6′ 3″/216 lbs

Position:D

Team: Barrie (OHL)

Exceptional talent may not provide immediate help on the Oilers blueline but is not that far away.

3. Florida Panthers

Sam Bennett

Ht/Wt: 6′ 0″/178 lbs

Position: C

Team: Kingston (OHL)

Sam Bennett seems to be a clone of his GM, former NHLer Doug Gilmour. For those not familiar with “Killer”, see the following video:

4. Calgary Flames

Jake Virtanen

Ht/Wt: 6′ 1″/190 lbs

Position:C/LW

Team: Calgary (WHL)

The Flames hoped Bennett would slip to them, but do not have to stray far from home in selecting Calgary Hitmen phenom Jake Virtanen, who is one of the most physically gifted in this draft class and perhaps the best skater. This is a little off the board, but the Burke Factor comes into play.

5. New York Islanders

Michael Dal Colle

Ht/Wt: 6′ 2″/179 lbs

Position: C/LW

Team: Oshawa (OHL)

The Islanders continue to load up the arsenal up front to go with John Tavares.

6. Nashville Predators

Leon Draisaitl

Ht/Wt: 6′ 1.5″/208 lbs

Position: C/LW

Team: Prince Albert (WHL)

The German Gretzky takes his talents to Nashville – those talents being poise, playmaking, shot and hockey IQ to go along with a great physical frame.

*7. New Jersey Devils

* Forfeit Pick

8. Carolina Hurricanes

Haydn Fleury

Ht/Wt: 6′ 2″/204 lbs

Position: D

Team: Red Deer (WHL)

Not much not to like about powerful skating two-way blueliner with excellent size and defensive awareness with definite offensive upside.

9. Winnipeg Jets

Nick Ritchie

Ht/Wt: 6′ 2″/230 lbs

Position: RW

Team: Peterborough (OHL)

Power forward Nick Ritchie is a tantalizing combination of size and skill.

10. Vancouver Canucks

Brendan Perlini

Ht/Wt: 6′ 3″/205 lbs

Position:LW

Team: Niagara (OHL)

11. Washington Capitals

Jared McCann

Ht/Wt: 6′ 0″/180 lbs

Position:C

Team: Sault Ste. Marie (OHL)

McCann is a true 200 foot player and on ice warrior – teammates want to go to battle with this gamer.

*12. Anaheim Ducks

William Nylander

Ht/Wt: 5′ 11″/175 lbs

Position: C

Team: Rogle (SWE)

Son of Michael, who was once known as the Swedish Gretzky, William has been touted by some as the most purely skilled player in this draft.

13. Columbus Blue Jackets

Kasperi Kapanen

Ht/Wt: 6′ 0″/180 lbs

Position: LW

Team: KalPa (FIN)

Bloodlines abound in this draft class; son of Sami is a potential gamebreaker combining explosive speed and impressive offensive ability.

14. Detroit Red Wings

Nikolaj Ehlers

Ht/Wt: 5’11″/165 lbs

Position:LW

Team: Halifax (QMJHL)

I don’t think any player impressed me more than Ehlers at the CHL Top Prospects Game. His stickhandling ability is off the charts. For some unknown reason, maybe inspired by Patrick Kane incredible stickhandling videos, I envisaged Nikolaj putting on a puckhandling clinic, stickhandling through downtown Shanghai in rush hour – if you can imagine that, this young gun could pull it off.

15. Phoenix Coyotes

Ivan Barbashev

Ht/Wt: 6′ 0″/181 lbs

Position: LW

Team: Moncton (QMJHL)

Barbashev possesses the expected Russian skillset, but is a good all-around player as well – he also stood up solid physically from my viewing at the CHL Top Prospect Game.

16. Dallas Stars

Conner Bleackley

Ht/Wt: 6′ 0″/200 lbs

Position: C

Team: Red Deer (WHL)

FC Hockey’s Head Western Scout Zenon Heramsymiuk really likes what Bleackley brings to a team:

From TSN’s Craig Button, who sums up Bleackley’s game quite eloquently:

“Conner is a determined, competitive player who doesn’t take any shortcuts. He’s smart, gets to the right areas and is a catalyst for positive plays all over the ice. He doesn’t allow himself to be denied!”

17. Philadelphia Flyers

Alex Tuch

Ht/Wt: 6′ 3″/213 lbs

Position: C/RW

Team: USA (NTDP-18)

18. New York Rangers

Sonny Milano

Ht/Wt: 5′ 11″/183 lbs

Position: LW

Team: USA (NTDP-17)

19. Los Angeles Kings

David Pastrnak

Ht/Wt: 6′ 0″/168 lbs

Position: LW/RW

Team: Sodertalje SK (SWE)

NHL Director of European Scouting Goran Stubb

“He’s a flashy, entertaining offensive talent. He uses his quickness, overall speed, puck-handling skills and vision to create scoring chances for himself and teammates. He’s creative and dangerous in 1-on-1 situations.”

20. Minnesota Wild

Dylan Larkin

Ht/Wt: 6′ 0″/190 lbs

Position: LW

Team: USA (NTDP-17)

21. Toronto Maple Leafs

Roland McKeown

Ht/Wt: 6′ 1″/185 lbs

Position: D

Team: Kingston (OHL)

22. Montreal Canadiens

Nikita Scherbak

Ht/Wt: 6′ 2″/174 lbs

Position: LW

Team: Saskatoon (WHL)

Scherbak is a supremely gifted offensive forward – his skill was on fine display at the 2014 CHL Top Prospects Game in Calgary.

23. Tampa Bay Lightning

Adrian Kempe

Ht/Wt: 6′ 2″/187 lbs

Position:C

Team: MoDo U-20 (SWE)

From The Scouting Report:

“Kempe’s game drew rave reviews in the SuperElit where he served as an alternate captain of MoDo’s J20 team, so much so that he’s now seen action with the organization’s SHL entry. Kempe is an intriguing forward who has good size and an all-around skill-set that projects well moving forward. The Kramfors native plays with intensity and rarely takes shifts off which will go a long way for teams looking for a player that they can afford to be patient with in the second part of the first round.”

24. Boston Bruins

Nikolay Goldobin

Ht/Wt: 5′ 11″/178 lbs

Position: RW

Team: Sarnia (OHL)

From Brock Otten – OHL Prospects Blog:

“Goldobin can be an incredibly impressive player to watch. With the puck on his stick, he’s about as electric as they come. He’s a top notch one on one player who can also create opportunities for his linemates by biding time with his puck skill. But I haven’t liked his disappearing act at times this year. The last few times I saw Sarnia, he was completely disengaged without the puck. He’s also been more of a perimeter player than what I saw last year from him. The skill is obviously there but if he can’t develop a more well rounded game, he’s not likely to be a favourite of NHL coaching staffs.”

25. Colorado Avalanche

Julius Honka

Ht/Wt: 5’10″/178 lbs

Position:D

Team: Swift Current (WHL)

Honka is perhaps the most dynamic puck-moving defensemen in this draft class. Patrick Roy is almost salivating envisioning Honka distributing the puck and creating chances for the Avs dynamic forwards.

26. San Jose Sharks

Nick Schmaltz

Ht/Wt: 5′ 11″/172 lbs

Position: C/RW

Team: Green Bay (USHL)

27. Pittsburgh Penguins

Eric Cornel

Ht/Wt: 6′ 1″/186 lbs

Position: C

Team: Peterborough (OHL)

The talent is unquestioned and Cornel is steadily gaining confidence and ever improving. He has been absolutely on fire in 2014, notching 25 points in 16 games thus far.

28. Chicago Blackhawks

Josh Ho Sang

Ht/Wt: 5′ 11″/160 lbs

Position: C

Team: Windsor (OHL)

There is no doubting Ho Sang is one of the most skilled guys in this draft. He really impressed at the Top Prospects Game and has carried that momentum over to his play in the OHL.

29. St. Louis Blues

Brycen Martin

Ht/Wt: 6′ 2″/180 lbs

Position: D

Team: Swift Current (WHL)

30. Anaheim Ducks

Anton Karlsson

Ht/Wt: 6′ 1″/189 lbs

Position: RW

Team: Frolunda HC (SWE)

“He’s a physical player and effective on the forecheck,” NHL director of European Scouting Goran Stubb said. “He works real hard and finishes his checks well.”

Honourable Mentions

The following lads strongly received 1st round consideration, but just missed and look to be second round gems:

  • Jakub Vrana – F
  • Kevin Fiala – F
  • Jack Dougherty – D
  • Anthony DeAngelo – D
  • Robert Fabbri – F
  • Alexis Vanier – D
  • Thatcher Demko – G

2014 NHL Draft 1st Round Notes

#7 - New Jersey Devils must forfeit their 2014 1st round pick as a penalty from the NHL for cap circumvention because of the signing of Ilya Kovalchuk; they also previously forfeited their 2011 3rd round pick along with $3 million.

#12 – Anaheim Ducks obtained Ottawa Senators 2014 1st round pick, Jakob Silfverberg and Stefan Noesen in return for Bobby Ryan.

*Buffalo obtained New York Islanders 2014 1st round pick (Islanders can defer to 2015 if the pick is in the top 10), Matt Moulson and a 2015 2nd round pick in return for Thomas Vanek.

Dare to Compare

_________________________________________

Email: CRalph@TheHockeyWriters.com

Twitter: @ChrisRalphTHW

Christopher Ralph

Christopher Ralph

Managing Editor/Lead Prospect &Draft Analyst at THW
Chris is THW's senior draft/prospect analyst and a Managing Editor. Watch for Chris' regular column "The Next Ones" Prospect Profile series as well as the annual THW NHL Entry Draft Guide. Follow @ChrisRalphTHW on Twitter as he infiltrates, dissects and analyzes all happenings of hockey prospects and the NHL entry draft. Email: cralph[at]thehockeywriters[dot]com
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