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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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EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 WSH 52 39 9 4 171 117 82
2 FLA 54 32 16 6 150 122 70
3 NYR 54 31 18 5 153 135 67
4 DET 54 28 18 8 136 132 64
5 NYI 52 28 18 6 145 129 62
6 TBL 53 29 20 4 140 127 62
7 BOS 53 28 19 6 153 146 62
8 PIT 53 27 19 7 138 135 61
9 NJD 55 27 21 7 122 123 61
10 MTL 55 27 24 4 147 145 58
11 CAR 54 24 21 9 130 142 57
12 OTT 55 25 24 6 154 169 56
13 PHI 52 23 20 9 122 137 55
14 BUF 54 21 27 6 124 146 48
15 CBJ 55 21 28 6 137 170 48
16 TOR 52 19 24 9 120 144 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
L. Stempniak 55 15 25 6 40
M. Cammalleri 42 14 24 15 38
A. Henrique 53 18 18 14 36
K. Palmieri 55 20 15 3 35
T. Zajac 47 8 18 7 26
D. Schlemko 47 6 9 -8 15
A. Larsson 55 2 11 12 13
D. Severson 51 1 12 -1 13
A. Greene 55 4 6 2 10
J. Josefson 44 3 7 -14 10
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Schneider 24 16 6 .930 2.01
K. Kinkaid 3 5 1 .909 2.52
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