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NHL.com draft experts predict 2014 first round

Thursday, 06.26.2014 / 4:44 PM ET / Draft
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NHL.com draft experts predict 2014 first round

The scouting meetings have been finished and the draft lists have been finalized. All that's left is for 30 teams to arrive in Philadelphia for the 2014 NHL Draft and begin picking players.

That starts June 27 when the first round is held at Wells Fargo Center (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TSN). Rounds 2-7 will be conducted June 28 (10 a.m. ET, NHLN-US, NHLN-CA).

NHL.com's draft experts have taken one last shot at predicting which teams will select which prospect. Check out mock drafts by Adam Kimelman, Mike G. Morreale, and Steven Hoffner to see how they compare to your predictions for the first round.

The list includes three centers ranked in the top four of North American skaters by NHL Central Scouting: Samuel Bennett of the Kingston Frontenacs, Sam Reinhart of the Kootenay Ice, and Leon Draisaitl of the Prince Albert Raiders. Then there's Aaron Ekblad of the Barrie Colts, who could be the first defenseman chosen with the No. 1 pick since the St. Louis Blues selected Erik Johnson with the first choice of the 2007 draft.

NHL.com's three experts agree on the first five picks: Bennett, Ekblad, Reinhart, Draisaitl and Oshawa Generals left wing Michael Dal Colle. The order in which they will be selected varies.

If teams are looking for a skilled forward, there's Jake Virtanen of the Calgary Hitmen, Nicholas Ritchie of the Peterborough Petes, Brendan Perlini of the Niagara IceDogs, Kasperi Kapanen of KalPa in Finland, and William Nylander of Sodertalje in Sweden's second division.

If defense is what your team needs, there's Haydn Fleury of the Red Deer Rebels, Anthony DeAngelo of the Sarnia Sting, Julius Honka of the Swift Current Broncos, and Jack Dougherty of the United States National Team Development Program under-18 team.

The Florida Panthers have the first pick, followed by the Buffalo Sabres, Edmonton Oilers, Calgary Flames and New York Islanders.

The Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings will pick 29th. The New Jersey Devils were assigned the 30th pick as part of an NHL decision to reduce the organization's punishment for circumventing the salary cap to sign Ilya Kovalchuk in 2010.

The Anaheim Ducks and Tampa Bay Lightning are the only teams with multiple first-round picks. The Ducks have the No. 10 pick acquired from the Ottawa Senators as part of last summer's trade for Bobby Ryan, and the 24th pick. The Tampa Bay Lightning have the 19th pick and the 28th selection, acquired from the New York Rangers as part of the trade for Martin St. Louis.

The Sabres could add a second first-round selection as a condition of their trade of goaltender Ryan Miller to the St. Louis Blues. If the Blues trade Miller, an impending unrestricted free agent, prior to using their first-round pick, No. 21, that pick would be transferred to the Sabres.

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
K. Palmieri 82 30 27 3 57
A. Henrique 80 30 20 10 50
T. Zajac 74 14 28 3 42
M. Cammalleri 42 14 24 15 38
D. Severson 72 1 20 -8 21
R. Boucher 39 8 11 -13 19
D. Schlemko 67 6 13 -22 19
J. Moore 73 4 15 -12 19
A. Larsson 82 3 15 15 18
J. Blandisi 41 5 12 -14 17
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Schneider 27 25 6 .924 2.15
K. Kinkaid 9 9 1 .904 2.81
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