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  1. #1
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    2014 NHL Draft - June 27-28

    Top Prospects

    TSN's Top Prospects

    http://www.tsn.ca/draftcentre/feature/?id=95289


    Round 1

    1. Florida

    2. Buffalo

    3. Edmonton

    4. Calgary

    5. NY Islanders

    6. Vancouver

    7. Carolina

    8. Toronto

    9. Winnipeg

    10. Anaheim (from Ottawa)

    11. Nashville

    12. Phoenix

    13. Washington

    14. Dallas

    15. Detroit

    16. Columbus

    17. Philadelphia

    18. Minnesota

    19. Tampa Bay

    20. San Jose

    21. St. Louis (conditional to Buffalo)

    22. Pittsburgh

    23. Colorado

    24. Anaheim

    25. Boston

    26. Montreal

    27. Chicago

    28. Tampa Bay (from NY Rangers)

    29. Los Angeles

    30. New Jersey

  2. #2
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    http://www.tsn.ca/draftcentre/story/?id=455555

    EKBLAD HEADS UP TSN'S TOP 60 FINAL NHL DRAFT RANKINGS

    The 2014 NHL draft class can be forgiven for feeling as though it has a case of middle-child syndrome.

    Which is to say, the top of this year's draft class is not as dynamic or exciting as the 2013 class of Nate MacKinnon, Sasha Barkov, Jonathan Drouin and Seth Jones and it's not as strikingly promising as the highly-anticipated 2015 slate of Connor McDavid, Jack Eichel and Noah Hanifin.

    But it would be a disservice to damn Aaron Ekblad, Sam Reinhart, Sam Bennett, Leon Draisaitl and Michael Dal Colle with faint praise.

    "They are all very good prospects, they're all going to play in the NHL, they all should turn out to be very good players for a long time," one NHL scout said.

    But the draft is all about projection.

    And where MacKinnon, Barkov and Drouin were projected as first-line forwards and Jones was projected a likely No. 1 defenceman – destined for greatness -- this year's crop of forwards is projected more as second liners with defenceman Ekblad perhaps getting "top pairing" billing though not necessarily a future dynamic No. 1. Good, maybe very good, but not necessarily great.

    The draft is also about question marks and, according to the scouts, even the elite picks this year have a few. And once one gets outside the top five of this year's draft, question marks really abound.

    "There are some really talented kids in this draft, and not just at the top either," an NHL scout said, "but I don't recall a year recently when there were as many question marks. Skilled kids who lack size; players who might have issues with attitude or commitment. It seems to be a really volatile draft. Good luck trying to figure out this one."

    That said, in the eyes of the scouts, at the top, it's rock solid, and, really, it has been all season long.

    Barrie Colt defenceman Aaron Ekblad is No. 1 on TSN's Top 60 Final Rankings for the 2014 draft, a position he's owned or had a share of since last September. Seven of the 10 scouts surveyed by TSN to compile the rankings had Ekblad at No. 1. No scout surveyed had him outside of the top three.

    Only two other prospects got first-place votes. No. 2-ranked Sam Reinhart, a centre with the Kootenay Ice, had one and No. 3-ranked Sam Bennett, a centre with the Kingston Frontenacs, had two.

    "The difference between the top guys this year is not significant," a scout said. "That's why you're hearing more talk of teams drafting with position in mind."

    To say nothing of those question marks.

    For example, as good as the 6-foot-4, 216-pound Ekblad is, some scouts wonder if he an upside greater than being a steady, reliable two-way defender. Is there a dynamic quality there that is usually associated with a potential first overall pick?

    Barrie head coach Dale Hawerchuk, a former NHL star, doesn't know about dynamic, but he does know impactful, because that's what Ekblad has been from the moment he showed up to Barrie as a 15-year-old who was granted exceptional status by Hockey Canada to enter the OHL a year early.

    "He's been a top pair, shutdown defenceman who played against the best players in our league from the day he got here," Hawerchuk said, "and there's no doubt in my mind, none whatsoever, that he's going to be a really good top pair, shutdown defenceman who plays against the best players in the NHL. He's been impactful since Day 1. He does it all and he does it all consistently and he's going to be a 15 to 20 year top-pair NHL defenceman."

    This year's top prospects earn rave reviews for some specific trait or quality, but the praise is accompanied by a question.

    Reinhart's hockey sense, for example, is widely hailed, elite level, as good as it gets. But will his average speed and size put a second-line ceiling on him or reduce his effectiveness against men?

    Bennett's complete game – equal parts skill, smarts, spirit, edge and work ethic – is lauded but can an average size centre translate that style to the NHL against men?

    No. 4-ranked Leon Draisaitl, the Prince Albert Raiders' German-born and –trained centre, has a big NHL frame and can make plays but will the lack of a dynamic step keep him from being a first-liner?

    No. 5-ranked Michael Dal Colle, the Oshawa Generals' rangy winger who is equally adept at shooting or making plays, but will his play without the puck be an issue?

    And yet, for all the questions being asked, scouts concede these five are all good NHL prospects with a strong likelihood of having long NHL careers.

    But there is a high degree – higher than usual – of subjectivity this year. Nowhere is that more evident than in the players, ranked Nos. 6 through 10 on TSN's list.

    No. 6-ranked Nick Ritchie, the Peterborough Pete winger, has all the physical tools to be the consummate scoring power forward but there's been a lot of immaturity, inconsistency as well as some injuries in his game.

    No. 7-ranked Jake Virtanen, the Calgary Hitmen winger, is another who has all the tools to be a scoring power forward but some scouts are a little wary because he tends to get tunnel vision when he has the puck.

    No. 8-ranked Haydn Fleury, the Red Deer Rebel defenceman, has the size and speed scouts love but he has not established himself as either an offensive defenceman or a punishing defenceman.

    No. 9-ranked William Nylander, the Canadian-born, Swedish-trained winger, may be the most skilled player in the entire draft class, but scouts worry about a stubborn streak that has often seen him play a more individual than team game.

    No. 10-ranked Nikolaj Ehlers, the Halifax Mooseheads' Danish winger, was as prolific as any prospect this year, scoring 49 goals and 104 points in 67 games, and there's no doubting his skill level, but he's listed at 160 pounds, or as one scout put it, "he has to put on 20 pounds to be considered small."

    "It's a funny draft," a scout said. "A kid like Ritchie, with his size and skill, or Nylander, with his skill level, could one day be the best of this class but there's some real risk associated with these guys. What if Ritchie doesn't get fully committed to being as good as he can be? What if Nylander just decides he's going to play like he's the only guy on the ice?"

    That's always a theme in any draft, but this year it seems to be even more prevalent earlier than ever involving more prospects than usual.

    Size is certainly on the mind of a lot of teams, especially after the very large Los Angeles Kings won the Stanley Cup. Whether anyone likes it or not, that's the standard by which players are now judged.

    "I look at these kids and I try to project them playing against the Los Angeles Kings one day," a scout said. "Can they play that game at that level?"

    Even that exercise can be fraught with peril because two of those outstanding Kings – Tanner Pearson, who went 30th overall in the 2012 draft, and Tyler Toffoli, who went 47th overall in 2010 – were passed over by many teams in their respective draft year because they were perceived as too slow or too weak or too incomplete or too flawed. Go figure.

    Guelph centre Robby Fabbri (No. 14 on TSN's list) scored 45 goals for the Storm in the regular season, was the OHL's playoff MVP and plays a hard-nosed game for a 5-foot-10 pivot, but will he stand up to the L.A. King litmus test? Ditto for smallish Swiss forward Kevin Fiala, No. 15 on the TSN list, though Fiala had the benefit of playing against men in both the Swedish League and for Switzerland at the World Championships.

    But no two players represent the uncertain quality of this year's draft like the 30th and 31st-ranked Josh Ho Sang of the Windsor Spitfires and Anthony DeAngelo of the Sarnia Sting.

    Ho Sang is an electrifying, highly-skilled albeit undersized skilled forward who has some very firm ideas on how the game of hockey should be played and how he should play it. First-round talent? Absolutely. Will a team step up and take him in the first round? That's the fascinating aspect of this draft. So much natural talent; so many question marks.

    "The question with Ho Sang is whether he wants to be a hockey player or he wants to be an artist or an entertainer," one scout said. "When he plays the give and go game, he's effective and dangerous but a lot of the time he only wants to go, there's no give (the puck to anyone else). Is he going to figure it out? Because if he does, the skills he has…"

    DeAngelo's situation, though, takes it to another level of uncertainty.

    The American blueliner is undersized at 5-foot-10 and 170 pounds, but he put up 15 goals and 71 points in 51 games for Sarnia. Imagine how many more points he would have registered if he hadn't been suspended on three separate occasions this season for either violating the OHL's diversity policy or verbally abusing an on-ice official or, as fate would have it, both.

    In December of 2013, DeAngelo was suspended five games for violating the league's diversity policy in a verbal spat with an on-ice official. In January of 2014, he received an eight-game suspension for violating the league's diversity policy in a verbal exchange with a teammate. Five games after returning from that eight-game suspension, he was suspended two games for (verbal) abuse of an official.

    Many scouts don't know what to make of DeAngelo. The vast majority of them say the north New Jersey kid, who'll effectively be at "home" for this week's NHL draft in Philadelphia, is (in spite of size concerns) a first-round talent, a smart, mobile and offensively gifted blueliner.

    "Look at the talented small defencemen and where they've been taken in the draft, guys like Ryan Ellis, Ryan Murphy, Derrick Pouliot, even Erik Karlsson," a scout said. "DeAngelo should, on talent, be taken in that 10 to 20 range but I'm not sure he will be because of the other stuff."

    Some of the scouts surveyed by TSN said they wouldn't take DeAngelo at all. Others said he would be a consideration in the second round – talent like that is hard to pass – but a couple did say they wouldn't rule out considering him in the first round.

    "If you read stuff that people write, I think they go overboard with it because they don't know the details," DeAngelo told the Camden Courier Post. "They think I have character issues. I don't think I have character issues."

    Interestingly, USA Hockey chose to not invite DeAngelo to its summer evaluation camp for the 2015 U.S. national junior team.

    Of all the stories in what is expected to be an unpredictable draft, DeAngelo's is bound to be one of the most compelling. He's expected to have upwards of 100 friends and family in attendance Friday night and whether he's chosen or not in the first round will be an intriguing storyline.

    Getting consensus for the TSN rankings was never more difficult than this year. Outside of perhaps the top 35 to 40, there was no real consensus. Even within the top 30 in the first round, there was a far greater variance from player to player than ever before.

    TSN's rankings do not take into account the teams' order of selection; there's no allowance made for a team's personal or positional preference. These rankings are not so much an evaluation of which players will one day turn into the best NHLers as it is a forecast of what order in the draft this Friday and Saturday these players will reasonably be chosen. The list is determined on a mostly objective formula based on numerical rankings assigned by the scouts interviewed by TSN.

  3. #3
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    My first 5 w/ No trades -

    1. Aaron Ekbald
    2. Sam Reinhart
    3. Leon Drasisaitl
    4. Michael Dal Colle
    5. Sam Bennett

    I think if a trade happens it will really shake things up. We'll see what happens though :P

  4. #4
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    Watched the mock special yesterday.

    1. Ekblad
    2. Bennett
    3. Drasisaitl
    4. Reinhart
    5. Dal Colle

    Found it interesting. What's his faces (TSN dude) and McKenzie's were so different. I enjoyed it. I noticed the one yesterday had DeAngelo to Philly at 17, where I also had that bold prediction.

  5. #5
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    It's a total crapshoot draft, more so than other years. No clear cut number one, the talent level drops after pick 3 and after that pick the scouts really don't know where anyone will go. It's gonna be interesting, I can see plenty of movement. Downside is it's not a great draft IMO.

  6. #6
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    My take on some specs:
    Bennett is my #1 pick overall. If he drops below #4 i would be very suprised

    Ekblad. I think people are way too into him. He's going to be a great NHL but not elite or a franchise changer. Perfect #2 defenseman. Because i see #2 defenseman as his ceiling plus the time it will take to develop a defenseman he's my #3 pick (i think Bennett and Perlini are 1st line talents at their peak).

    Perlini is a future 40-goal scorer in the NHL. Very confident in that. Him and Nylander are the only guys i'd pick over the big 3.

    McCann is the best defensive player in this draft as a forward. Smart and talented. Might be an O'Reilly type.

    William Nylander is the most dynamic offensive talent in the draft imo.

    Ritchie is still up in the air for me. There is a lot to like but then you see a lot you don't like.

    Virtanen. I don't see it with him. idk why he's more highly rated than Perlini. Perlini=Patches and Virtanen=Jvr as ceilings if lucky imo.

    Kempe. I am high on him. Top-15 pick imo. Carbon copy of Patrik Berglund who i think could be a great player. Maybe a little more offense and less defense but he is pretty solid at both ends.

    Fiala, was a 4th round pick a few weeks ago. Shot up the ranks with offensive talent that rivals Nylander. Very hard to check but when you do he's easy to knock off his game but then he goes into hard-working pest mode and starts hitting/fighting. He's not really effective at it but if it gets him away from the puck then you win.

  7. #7
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    I still think Bennett is gonna fall

  8. #8
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    I wouldn't be surprised to see Ottawa get that #10 back for Spezza.

  9. #9
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    You're confident he's going to be a 40 goal scorer yet you think his ceiling is going to be a player who has only hit 39 and only has two 30+ goal seasons?
    Quote Originally Posted by Trueblue2 View Post
    And there's no shame in banging fat chicks. They're normally down to do anything and theyll build your confidence. Even Mike trout had to tear up the minors before he got called up to the show.

    EDIT: do not use tinder to tear up minors, you will go to jail.

  10. #10
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    ^Patches is 25 and i also consider him a future 40 goal guy

  11. #11
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    I see the mistake. I shouldn't have said ceilings, i think i should have said style of play. Still confident Perlini can score 40 someday.

  12. #12
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    See I don't see it for Perlini... he's a fun player to watch, Patches is a decent comparison, but I don't see him scoring as much. Also on Virtanen I think you're wrong again.. he's more physical than JVR. He's equally as gifted of not even more so offensively than Perlini, and has a better all around game.


    lol, small kid got tripped by a tuba player

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by homie564 View Post
    See I don't see it for Perlini... he's a fun player to watch, Patches is a decent comparison, but I don't see him scoring as much. Also on Virtanen I think you're wrong again.. he's more physical than JVR. He's equally as gifted of not even more so offensively than Perlini, and has a better all around game.
    Nick Ritchie is going to be a good player... His game reminds me of Lucic, but Ritchie is a much more fluid skater. This draft is loaded with PWF imo.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by KingsnQueens7:28682354
    Quote Originally Posted by homie564 View Post
    See I don't see it for Perlini... he's a fun player to watch, Patches is a decent comparison, but I don't see him scoring as much. Also on Virtanen I think you're wrong again.. he's more physical than JVR. He's equally as gifted of not even more so offensively than Perlini, and has a better all around game.
    Nick Ritchie is going to be a good player... His game reminds me of Lucic, but Ritchie is a much more fluid skater. This draft is loaded with PWF imo.
    I like Ritchie. but I also see a lot of Zack Kassian in him who was sort of a bust.


    lol, small kid got tripped by a tuba player

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by KingsnQueens7 View Post
    Nick Ritchie is going to be a good player... His game reminds me of Lucic, but Ritchie is a much more fluid skater. This draft is loaded with PWF imo.
    What's your definition of power forward? Because the only good one who fits my idea of a power forward is Ritchie

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