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2014 NHL Draft Quick Preview

by Bill Placzek on Jun. 22, 2014
Each NHL Entry draft has a different numbers of players in each successive Draft Tier. Some years there are one or two special franchise players and a half-dozen or so can’t-miss cornerstone prospects. Some years there is an abundance of players deemed as the future elite and the draft is blessed with solid riches into the twenties. Others years, like 2015, there are a big three of future elite plus a good half dozen of cornerstone prospects.
 
The 2014 Draft is unique, but in a different way. There seems to be no true elite franchise prospects at this time. Each player who will be selected in the top six has qualities and ingredients that set them apart from the rest of the class, but they also lack parts that are usually in place for the top echelon draftees.
  • Aaron Ekblad is missing an initial burst and good transition foot speed (think, not Brent Seabrook yet).
  • Sam Bennett has it all, but will his average size and gritty take-charge style transition to the pro game as an elite player?
  • Sam Reinhart is simply not a top-end skater who explodes through (think, not Brandon Saad yet).
  • Leon Draisaitl is big, average skater, but doesn’t play big yet.
  • Michael Dal Colle needs quickness in his first two steps.
And as the list continues through the top 21 you see there are things to like but also reservations.
 
After the top 21 players, the NHL team evaluators must jump down a deep chasm and shift through the rest of the class to see which kids look like the eventually will have the right stuff.
 
As unexpected as draft day can be, you probably can expect:
  • Ottawa to add additional picks with a Jason Spezza trade since they only have four.
  • Edmonton to move out of the third slot if they can trade it for an NHL defenseman.
 
This draft includes the offspring of many former NHL players including:
  • William Nylander   (Michael)
  • Brandon Lemieux  (Claude)
  • Ryan MacInnis       (Al)
  • Ryan Donato          (Ted)
  • Dominic Turgeon    (Pierre)
  • Josh Wesley           (Glen)
  • Robert "Bobo" Carpentier  (Bobby)
  • ​Daniel Audette       (Donald)
  • Ryan Mantha         (Moe, uncle)
  • Tyler Nanne           (Lou, Grandfather)
Watch for teams to run down their lists and take developmental defensemen, bigger men who need a bit of time to develop, and team favorites who are probably a bit more polished second and third year eligibles who have radically improved.