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DRAFT

NHL.com draft experts predict 2014 first round

Thursday, 06.26.2014 / 4:44 PM / Draft
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NHL.com draft experts predict 2014 first round
NHL.com experts have predicted which teams will select which prospect in their mock draft.

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 MTL 61 40 16 5 167 135 85
2 NYR 60 38 16 6 190 148 82
3 NYI 62 40 20 2 200 173 82
4 TBL 62 37 19 6 203 167 80
5 DET 60 34 15 11 176 156 79
6 PIT 61 35 17 9 176 152 79
7 WSH 62 33 19 10 184 156 76
8 BOS 60 29 22 9 158 158 67
9 FLA 61 26 22 13 145 172 65
10 PHI 62 26 25 11 164 181 63
11 OTT 59 26 23 10 167 161 62
12 NJD 61 25 27 9 137 161 59
13 CBJ 60 26 30 4 157 189 56
14 TOR 61 25 31 5 170 185 55
15 CAR 59 22 30 7 134 159 51
16 BUF 62 19 38 5 120 207 43

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
M. Cammalleri 49 23 8 2 31
A. Henrique 54 12 19 -1 31
J. Jagr 57 11 18 -10 29
P. Elias 51 10 15 -14 25
S. Gomez 37 5 18 -7 23
M. Zidlicky 61 4 19 -8 23
S. Bernier 46 10 8 1 18
T. Zajac 53 8 10 -5 18
M. Ryder 43 6 12 -2 18
A. Larsson 43 2 15 4 17
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Schneider 22 23 5 .926 2.22
K. Kinkaid 3 4 3 .915 2.59