Prince Albert's Leon Draisaitl is the envy of all clubs looking for a big, skilled centerman/winger.
Photo: Steven Alkok / Icon SMI
An early look at the 2014 NHL Entry Draft. Who will go first? Ekblad, Reinhart, Bennett, Ritchie? Today, we focus on the non-playoff, lottery picks except for the New Jersey Devils (they pick 30th overall due to sanctions against them from the Ilya Kovalchuk
signing in 2010). Here's an early look…
1. FLORIDA PANTHERS
, D, Barrie Colts (OHL)
Florida's young center depth should make the selection of Ekblad over Sam Reinhart a no-brainer.
2. BUFFALO SABRES
, C/RW, Kootenay Ice (WHL)
The Sabres need everything, so Reinhart should immediately help the cause. He would play right away.
3. EDMONTON OILERS
, LW, Peterborough Petes (WHL)
The Oilers could deal this pick for immediate help, or trade down. Ritchie would add much-needed snarl.
4. CALGARY FLAMES
, C/LW, Prince Albert Raiders (WHL)
The Flames could use another big forward with scoring upside, so Draisaitl makes a lot of sense here.
5. BUFFALO SABRES (from New York Islanders)
Michael Dal Colle
, LW, Oshawa Generals (OHL)
The Islanders have the choice of surrendering either this pick or their 2015 first to Buffalo. Tough call.
6. VANCOUVER CANUCKS
, D, Red Deer Rebels (WHL)
The Canucks haven't picked this early since landing Daniel Sedin
(2nd) and Henrik Sedin
(3rd) in 1999.
7. CAROLINA HURRICANES
, C, Kingston Frontenacs (OHL)
With rumors Carolina may deal Eric Staal
this summer, two-way pivot Bennett would be an ideal pick.
8. TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS
, LW, Niagara IceDogs (OHL)
Toronto could use a defenseman, but it would be a reach at No. 8 if Haydn Fleury isn't on the board.
9. WINNIPEG JETS
, LW, Halifax Mooseheads (QMJHL)
The Jets need more skilled playmakers, so the dynamic Dane would add a very nice piece to the puzzle.
10. ANAHEIM DUCKS (from Ottawa Senators)
, RW, KalPa (Liiga)
With the pick acquired in the Bobby Ryan
trade, the Ducks hope Kapanen can eventually score like him.
11. NASHVILLE PREDATORS
, C, Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (OHL)
The two-way center plays the style Nashville prefers, so he could be a nice fit if still available at No. 11.
12. ARIZONA COYOTES
, LW/RW, Calgary Hitmen (WHL)
Virtanen could be the heir apparent to Shane Doan
in the Desert: a big, versatile scoring winger.
13. WASHINGTON CAPITALS
, C/LW, Moncton Wildcats (QMJHL)
Washington is never shy about adding Russian talent. Barbashev has the two-way game they need.