2014 NHL Mock Draft: Playoffs Edition

2014 NHL Draft Logo

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.

This is one of the most wide open drafts in years, leaving a lot of unpredictability in terms of hammering down where teams have prospects ranked. The City of Brotherly Love instalment of the NHL Entry Draft should be an intriguing one indeed.

 

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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

      • Based on the order after the draft lottery; much to be determined in terms of seeding as the playoffs unfold.

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 Playoffs Edition: The Picks

1. Florida Panthers

Aaron Ekblad

Ht/Wt: 6′ 3″/216 lbs
Position:D
Team: Barrie (OHL)

Aaron Ekblad

Aaron Ekblad: Will he be the first defenseman in 8 years to go 1st overall in NHL draft? He’s the first off the board in the latest THW NHL Mock Draft. (Photo: Brad Watson)

The Exceptional Ekblad becomes first defenseman drafted first overall since Erik Johnson by the Blues in 2006, and just the third in 18 years.Panthers get immediate help on the blueline.

2. Buffalo Sabres

Sam Reinhart

Ht/Wt: 6′ 1″/185 lbs
Position: C
Team: Kootenay (WHL)

Reinhart is in a different stratosphere when it comes to hockey IQ and hockey sense. He’ll make all Sabres he plays with better.

 

3. Edmonton Oilers

Leon Draisaitl

Ht/Wt: 6′ 1″/208 lbs
Position:C/LW
Team: Prince Albert (WHL)

Oilers heavily shop this pick as they see Ekblad go off the board. Draisaitl, the Deutschland Dangler, becomes highest German born player ever selected in NHL draft.

4. Calgary Flames

Sam Bennett

Ht/Wt: 6′ 0″/178 lbs
Position: C/LW
Team: Kingston (OHL)

Flames dream scenario – Jonathan Toews-like prosect fall to them in the 4th overall similar. One can’t help but conjure up images of Dougie “Killer” Gilmour when you see this kid play.

5. New York Islanders

Nikolaj Ehlers

Ht/Wt: 5’11″/165 lbs
Position:LW
Team: Halifax (QMJHL)

I don’t think any player impressed me more than Ehlers by midseason, and then he just seemed to get even better. 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.

Islanders consider Michael Nylander, but have visions have Robert Nilsson and can’t pull the trigger.

6. Vancouver Canucks

Michael Dal Colle

Ht/Wt: 6′ 2″/179 lbs
Position: C/LW
Team: Oshawa (OHL)

Canucks go back to the OHL for their first round pick again this year and come away with an elite finisher in Dal Colle – he’s big and skilled and uses his power to create scoring chances for himself.

7. Carolina Hurricanes

William Nylander

Ht/Wt: 5′ 11″/175 lbs
Position:C/LW
Team: Sodertalje (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. His 16 point performance at the World Junior U18s doesn’t hurt his cause.

8. Toronto Maple Leafs

Jake Virtanen

Ht/Wt: 6′ 1″/190 lbs
Position: C/LW
Team: Calgary (WHL)

Calgary Hitmen phenom Jake Virtanen is one of the most physically gifted prospects in this draft class and perhaps the best skater. He also knows how to find the back of the net.

9. Winnipeg Jets

Brendan Perlini

Ht/Wt: 6′ 3″/205 lbs
Position: LW
Team: Niagara (OHL)

Perlini is another player that has that desirable of size and skill and possesses an absolutely lethal shot.

10.* Anaheim Ducks

Nick Ritchie

Ht/Wt: 6′ 2″/230 lbs
Position: RW
Team: Peterborough (OHL)

In the City of Brotherly Love Draft, Dallas Stars’ Brett Ritchie’s little brother snagged by the Ducks in the top 10.

11. Nashville Predators

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. Phoenix Coyotes

Adrian Kempe

Ht/Wt: 6′ 2″/187 lbs
Position: C
Team: MoDo U-20 (SWE)

The tenacious has been described as playing the game like a bull in a China shop; he also possesses an all-around skill-set.

13. Washington Capitals

Haydn Fleury

Ht/Wt: 6′ 2″/204 lbs
Position: D
Team: Red Deer (WHL)

Top 3 defenseman written all over this blueline. May not be a high end offensive d-man, but fantastic skater, smart defender and high hockey IQ.

14. Dallas Stars

Kasperi Kapanen

Ht/Wt: 6′ 0″/180 lbs
Position:LW
Team: KalPa (FIN)

While Nylander thrived, Kapanen had a quiet World Junior U18s tourney.

15. Detroit Red Wings

Jakub Vrana

Ht/Wt: 6′ 0″/176 lbs
Position: LW/RW
Team: Linköping (SWE)

Other than Nylander, perhaps no player elevated their stock more than Vrana in the World Junior U18s – tremendous games against Russia and then against Canada to help knock them off in the semifinal.

16. Columbus Blue Jackets

Alex Tuch

Ht/Wt: 6′ 3″/213 lbs
Position: C/RW
Team: USA (NTDP-18)

17. Philadelphia Flyers

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. Flyers hope they land heir apparent to Kimmo Timonen.

18. New York Rangers

Robby Fabbri

Ht/Wt: 5’10″/166 lbs
Position: C/LW
Team: Guelph (OHL)

Eldon MacDonald, THW: A few words on Robby Fabbri (War Room Profile):

  • Mr. Forecheck – You just have to watch this guy for his forecheck skills alone; he is that little dog that always gets the bone.
  • Motor – His motor is like one those under-sized motor bikes that is grinding away at full throttle all the time, no matter what the gear or the situation.
  • Skills – Acceleration – excellent; top gear – outstanding; agility – elite as he is so elusive; hands – soft around the net and an excellent passer; shot – quick with an excellent release. Top the physical skills with outstanding vision, desire and you have yourselves an outstanding hockey player.

19. Minnesota Wild

Sonny Milano

Ht/Wt: 5′ 11″/183 lbs
Position: LW
Team: USA (NTDP-17)

THW’s hockey bird dog Eldon MacDonald dubs Milano: “#MrMagicHands“.

20. Los Angeles Kings

Ivan Barbashev

Ht/Wt: 6′ 0″/181 lbs
Position: LW
Team: Moncton (QMJHL)

TSN’s Craig Button has likened Barbashev to Canucks’ prospect Bo Horvat.

21. Montreal Canadiens

Nikita Scherbak

Ht/Wt: 6′ 2″/174 lbs
Position: LW
Team: Saskatoon (WHL)

In addition to his skill set, [NHL Central Scouting's Peter] Sullivan said Scherbak has an edge to his game, and that only will bolster his draft stock. [Saskatoon Blades' Coach Dave] Struch said Scherbak can play center or right wing and work the point or play center on the power play.” (Flames.NHL.com)

22. Tampa Bay Lightning

Roland McKeown

Ht/Wt: 6′ 1″/185 lbs
Position: D
Team: Kingston (OHL)

With a plethora of talent up front, Lightning opt for two-way blueliner McKeon. He’s a bit all over the board on various ranking services with ISS thinking of him as a potential steal.

23. Chicago Blackhawks

Conner Bleackley

Ht/Wt: 6′ 0″/200 lbs
Position: C
Team: Red Deer (WHL)

The rich get richer. Bleackley set to mentor behind Toews and eventually fill the void left by Dave Bolland. 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!”

24. Pittsburgh Penguins

Dylan Larkin

Ht/Wt: 6′ 0″/190 lbs
Position: LW
Team: USA (NTDP-17)

Eldon MacDonald, THW: A few words on Dylan Larkin (War Room Profile):

  • Mr. Pro – Dylan Larkin just looks like a pro. He has that north/south style which would scream “power forward” if only he were just a little bit bigger. Add to that a pro defensive game and a high level of determination and intensity and you know you are making a safe draft choice with this guy.
  • Skills – Skating, passing, combined with those intangibles called drive, grit and vision and you have yourselves a hockey player.

25. San Jose Sharks

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.

26. St. Louis Blues

Nick Schmaltz

Ht/Wt: 5′ 11″/172 lbs
Position: C/RW
Team: Green Bay (USHL)

Another brother flies off the board in the City of Brotherly Love Draft, appropriately to the St. Louis Blues who also selected older Jordan in the first round in 2012.

27. Colorado Avalanche

Anthony DeAngelo

Ht/Wt: 5′ 11″/175 lbs
Position: D
Team: Sarnia (OHL)

Controversial character; undeniable offensive weapon. Patrick Roy confident he can reel him in and exploit his offensive arsenal and augment the powerful Avs attack up front.

28. Anaheim Ducks

Kevin Fiala

Ht/Wt: 5’10″/194 lbs
Position: RW
Team: HV71 J20 (SWE)

“For me, he has those special qualities of a player determined to be a difference maker that make him first round material.” – Eldon MacDonald (THW)

29. 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.”

30.* New Jersey Devils

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.”

***

[For Round 2 Results click here]

***

2014 NHL Draft Notes (via MyNHLDraft)

1st Round Traded Draft Picks

# 10 - Anaheim receives Ottawa 2014 1st round pick, Jakob Silfverberg and Stefan Noesen for Bobby Ryan.

# 30 - The NHL alters their punishment on the Devils for the Ilya Kovalchuk cap circumvention. They are given the 30th overall pick in the 2014, which they are not allowed to trade or transfer to another team. The NHL is also forgiving $1.5 million of the fine. **Original penalty ** New Jersey must forfeit their 2014 1st round pick as a penalty from the NHL for circumventing the cap when signing Ilya Kovalchuk. They also forfeited their 2011 3rd round pick and $3 million.

- Buffalo receives NY Islanders 2014 1st round pick (Islanders can defer to 2015 if pick is in the top 10), Matt Moulson and a 2015 2nd round pick for Thomas Vanek.

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
Christopher Ralph
"@TBNSports: The Move: McDavid's 'filthiest nongoal you'll see.' BN Hockey" http://t.co/KkwL3XhprY Via @MattMEdwards https://t.co/YrIFOC7KwC - 7 hours ago
Christopher Ralph

11 Comments

  1. Pingback: 2014 NHL Draft Guide: The Next Ones

  2. I agree with my fellow Islander fans. If Dal Color is available the Islanders must select him. I can’t remember the last time we had a real power forward. Probably when we gave away Bertuzzi. We thought we had one with Nino, but he was too much of a diva. Scary to think of this young bull playing next to Tavares. With all our young D’s starting to reach the pro level, and now that we FINALLY have a real NHL goalie, Isles can be a legit contender. More importantly, Islander fans can dream big knowing we may actually get a new owner who will build a great team and not just get to the salary cap floor. If Wang sells, the Islanders have a very, very bright future ahead.

    • Thanks for the detailed comments Greg – hard to argue with much of that. Dal Colle would be a good selection as well. Don’t underestimate Ehlers though – a special talent.
      I have to agree that the Isles finally look to have a bright future.

  3. You really think the Oilers are going to pick Draisaitl over Bennett? Time too watch some more rookie highlights!

  4. I say good call for the Leafs pick. If the top 7 goes like that then Virtanen is easily my pick at that spot. No complaints about going for a good combination of size, speed, and a willingness to shoot.

    Good draft as a whole from what I can tell.

  5. Have to disagree with your selection for the Islanders. If available Dal Colle would be the perfect complement to either Tavares or Strome. Besides his puck & finishing skills, he would add needed size to the Islanders top 6.

    • Dal Colle would also be an excellent selection for the Isles, no doubt. Ehlers is an amazing talent though in his own-right, and would be electric with Tavares. He has a Danish mentor as well embedded with Frans Nielsen.

  6. Have to disagree with you on the Islanders selection. If available Dal Colle would be the perfect complement to either Tavares or Strome. Besides his puck & finishing skills, he would provide some needed size to the Islanders top 6.

  7. Mathieu Gagnon says:

    As a Tampa Bay Lightning fan, I’m glad you did your research, because WE NEED A RH DMEN big time! haha, Glad to see Roland McKeown. Love the mock draft. I’m also hoping NYR make it to the Eastern Conference Finals, so we can upgrade the 2nd rounder (Marty St Louis deal) into a late 1st round pick. Having Mike Kostka play 18 mins a night from the deadline to the playoffs was tough to watch and tough to swallow considering Steve Yzerman didn’t do anything to help us at the deadline.

    I also understands he doesn’t want to give up picks and prospects for rentals. I like the direction this organization is heading. We have a great owner to thank for that!

  8. Pingback: 2014 NHL Mock Draft: Second Round

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