Mike G. Morreale's 2014 mock draft part II
NHL.com's Mike G. Morreale gives his initial projections for the 2014 NHL Draft in Philadelphia.
1. Buffalo - Sam Reinhart, C, Kootenay (WHL)
The Sabres need a center with great hockey sense, vision and ability to maneuver through traffic with the puck; the 6-foot-0.75, 185-pound right-shot had 36 goals, 105 points and 11 penalty minutes in 60 games.
2. Edmonton - Aaron Ekblad, D, Barrie (OHL)
An intelligent two-way defenseman and excellent all-around skater for his size (6-3.5, 216). Plays a heads-up game skating and moving the puck and passes with authority; very reliable.
3. Florida - Samuel Bennett, LW, Kingston (OHL)
An exciting player to watch because of his combination of skill, speed and tenacity, compared by some to Los Angeles Kings forward Mike Richards. Fantastic shot helped produce 36 goals and 91 points in 57 games.
4. Calgary - Leon Draisaitl, LW, Prince Albert (WHL)
Compared by some to Jaromir Jagr; difficult to knock off the puck with his size (6-1.75, 208) and strength. German native plays a two-way game; had 38 goals and 105 points in 64 games.
5. New York Islanders - Michael Dal Colle, LW, Oshawa (OHL)
Fantastic two-way game breaker; is skilled and physical. The first player in on the forecheck and is a good playmaker with a high-end skill set; 39 goals, 95 points in 67 games.
6. Nashville Predators - Nicholas Ritchie, LW, Peterborough (OHL)
A 6-2.25, 231-pound power forward capable of winning 1-on-1 battles along the boards. He can fight through checks and is difficult to knock off the puck in stride; 39 goals, 74 points, 136 penalty minutes in 61 games.
7. Carolina Hurricanes - Brendan Perlini, LW, Niagara (OHL)
This 6-2.5, 205-pound left-shooting forward has good acceleration, speed and quickness. Voted the most improved player in the OHL Eastern Conference; has high-end puck skills and NHL-caliber shot.
8. Winnipeg Jets - Jake Virtanen, LW, Calgary (WHL)
A 6-0.75, 208-pound power forward with good balance; can reach a high gear with his outside speed. Enjoys a physical game and is willing to pay the price in the slot; possesses a strong game down low.
9. Anaheim Ducks (via Ottawa Senators) - William Nylander, RW, Modo (SWE)
Good, mobile skater with outstanding hands, vision, puck-handling and shot. Considered a sniper capable of setting up scoring chances from the outside or in traffic, and is very effective on the power play.
10. Vancouver Canucks - Haydn Fleury, D, Red Deer (WHL)
Plays a solid two-way game and can use his speed at both ends. Good presence defending with his size (6-2.5, 198); can play physical and earns big minutes.
11. Washington Capitals - Julius Honka, D, Swift Current (WHL)
Played a key role for Finland at the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship and has excelled in his first North American season. Has good vision, awareness and excels on the power play.
12. Toronto Maple Leafs - Kasperi Kapanen, RW, Kalpa (FIN)
Son of former NHL player Sami Kapanen can play center or wing; smooth player, fast skater with tricky puck skills and quick release. Good hand-eye coordination; steady competitor who won't shy away from the tough areas.
13. Columbus Blue Jackets - Kevin Fiala, LW, HV 71 (SWE)
An explosive 5-10, 180-pound left-shot forward with great puck-handling skills and speed. Had 10 goals and 25 points in 27 games with HV 71 junior team, and 11 points in 17 games in the SHL.
14. Detroit Red Wings - Jared McCann, C, Sault Ste. Marie (OHL)
Playmaking center possesses a deceptive shot and good scoring touch; excellent on faceoffs. He's capable of making plays at top speed and has a reliable two-way game; 27 goals, 62 points in 64 games.
15. Phoenix Coyotes - Alex Tuch, C/RW, USA U-18 (USHL)
At 6-3.5 and 213 pounds, it's hard to miss the Boston College-bound power forward with good hands, vision and hockey IQ. Has improved tremendously since September; can play physical and has a heavy shot.
16. Dallas Stars - Nikolaj Ehlers, LW, Halifax (QMJHL)
Danish prospect had 49 goals and 104 points in his first North American season and was the most improved player from the start of the season to the end. An excellent skater with NHL speed, good hands and a great shot.
17. Philadelphia Flyers - Sonny Milano, LW, USA U-18 (USHL)
Boston College recruit possesses "magic hands," is good with the puck in traffic and in open ice. Enjoys the role of agitator; 24 goals, 73 points, eight power-play goals in 50 games.
18. Minnesota Wild - Thatcher Demko, G, Boston College (H-EAST)
The 6-3.75, 192-pounder led the Eagles to the Beanpot Tournament title and the Frozen Four; finished with the seventh-best winning percentage (.738) and 14th-best goals-against average (2.13) in the nation as the youngest player in NCAA Division I.
19. New York Rangers - Dylan Larkin, C, USA U-18 (USHL)
Strong skater with great closing speed; University of Michigan commit uses body well along the boards. Isn't afraid to play physical to generate turnovers; 29 goals, 49 points, 52 penalty minutes in 53 games.
20. Montreal Canadiens - Jakub Vrana, LW/RW, Linkoping (SWE)
Great puck distributor with good vision; Vrana knows where to be and when he needs to get there. He isn't flashy, but is reliable; a hard-working team player and a creative playmaker.
21. Tampa Bay Lightning - Nikita Scherbak, LW, Saskatoon (WHL)
Good at driving to the net and creating scoring chances. He has a quick release and can finish; very unselfish and uses linemates well. Led the Blades as a rookie with 78 points (28 goals, 50 assists).
22. Los Angeles Kings - Joshua Ho-Sang, C/RW, Windsor (OHL)
A high-energy forward with great speed and quickness on the transition. Has the ability to make plays at top speed; very good puck control and playmaking ability in traffic; 32 goals, 85 points in 67 games.
23. Chicago Blackhawks - Robert Fabbri, C, Guelph (OHL)
A consistently effective left-shot center is an excellent playmaker and puckhandler. Contributes on the power play, is elusive and quick; fits the Blackhawks mold. Had 45 goals, 87 points in 58 games.
24. Pittsburgh Penguins - Ivan Barbashev, LW, Moncton (QMJHL)
Capable of reaching top speed very quickly, the Russian is a good playmaker with quick hands and an excellent shot. He has an effective physical game, is used in all situations and can be a game-breaker.
25. Colorado Avalanche - Brendan Lemieux, LW, Barrie (OHL)
How could Avalanche coach Patrick Roy pass on having the son of former teammate, Claude Lemieux? The scrappy 6-foot, 206-pound left-shot had 27 goals, 53 points, 145 penalty minutes in 65 games.
26. San Jose Sharks - Anthony DeAngelo, D, Sarnia (OHL)
A native of the Philadelphia suburb of Sewell, N.J., DeAngelo is a dynamic skating, puck-moving defender; led all OHL defensemen with 56 assists and 71 points in 51 games. He's a game-changer.
27. Anaheim Ducks - Nikolay Goldobin, RW, Sarnia (OHL)
Russian has a strong, effortless stride and is a good puckhandler and playmaker. The 5-11.5, 178-pound left-shot has good hockey sense, is a natural passer and a good finisher.
28. St. Louis Blues - Ryan MacInnis, C, Kitchener (OHL)
An intelligent skater capable of playing in all situations; had 16 goals, 37 points as a rookie in the OHL. Is the son of Hall of Fame defenseman and Blues senior advisor to the general manager Al MacInnis.
29. Boston Bruins - John Quenneville, C, Brandon (WHL)
He's the second cousin of Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville and nephew (through marriage) of Bruins defenseman Johnny Boychuk. He has a pro makeup and good work ethic; 25 goals, 58 points in 61 games.
30. New Jersey Devils - Nick Schmaltz, C, Green Bay (USHL)
University of North Dakota recruit can skate with the puck at full speed and make big plays. Has good hockey sense and a sound defensive game; 17 goals, 61 points, 10 power-play goals, four game-winners in 53 games.
Mike G. Morreale