The process of projecting and predicting drafts, at any level of competition, is relatively inconsequential. As soon as ink touches paper, the predictions are destined for failure with so many unpredictable factors contributing to the ultimate outcome of the draft. At the major junior level, it’s well documented that top end talents attempt to use methods to assure they arrive in their cities of choice. It is common procedure for players, parents and/or agents to play the NCAA card hoping to fall to their desired city and these games effect the final outcome of the draft substantially often forcing teams to pass on players they would normally draft based on pure talent. OHL teams have their lists sorted by talent, potential and organizational needs but when it’s time to step up and make their selection there are outside factors that, for better or worse, will dictate the player they choose and ultimately, the future of the franchise.
As a whole, the mock drafting practice is merely for entertainment purposes for hockey’s most loyal fans looking to gain perspective. Simple logical reasoning states that this entire activity should be taken with a grain of salt. The fact is, in one week from now when the OHL Cup Championships has passed us by as the season’s final scouting opportunity on the draft’s top prospects, this mock draft could look entirely different based on the tournament showings.
The Mid-Season 2014 NHL Mock Draft was included in @RossyYoungblood’s Youngblood Midterm 2014 NHL Draft Edition
*Order based on standings at Olympic Break
1st Buffalo Sabres – Sam Reinhart, RC (Kootenay, WHL)
Reinhart addresses a team need down the middle and the two-way pivot would make an eventual great captain for the Sabres. He scores, he defends and he hates to lose –
something that has become too common in Buffalo.
2nd Edmonton Oilers – Aaron Ekblad, RD (Barrie, OHL)
Striking oil again, Edmonton crashes to the bottom of the standings just in time to snatch exceptional defenseman Aaron Ekblad, filling a huge void on the blue line. Eventually Edmonton will prove that losing does pay off.
3rd Florida Panthers - Sam Bennett, LC (Kingston, OHL)
The Panthers can’t pass up the talented Sam Bennett adding yet another skilled highly competitive forward to their all-world prospect pool. With depth in their lineup, Florida can take their time with Bennett, although they might not need to.
Exclusive from the submissions of Youngblood [Special Edition]: 2014 NHL Draft Midterm Guide
Tuesday, Febraury 18, 2014
No prospect is a sure thing but some come with more alarming risks
The 2014 NHL Draft class is an intriguing one in the sense that there are several players with elite skill sets that aren’t necessarily complete, owning one or two concerning flaws. Whether it is a lack of size, deficiencies in the defensive zone or questionable character, NHL teams are always occupied at determining how much emphasis to place on players’ shortcomings and deciding at what point in the draft makes drafting a risky prospect worth it.
With the 2014 NHL Entry Draft scheduled to take place in just over four months, @RossyYoungblood has put together a special edition of Youngblood for hockey prospect fans.
Inside the latest Youngblood [2014 NHL Draft Midterm Edition] release, read up on the Top 30 prospect profiles (as ranked by @RossyYoungblood), browse through the Top 75 potential prospects for the upcoming draft and check off some notable OHL players to watch. Furthermore, enjoy a Mock Draft and feature story on Evaluating the Boom/Bust Prospect compiled exclusively for this special Youngblood edition.
As usual, all components of the Youngblood release are complimentary so sit back and enjoy.
FREE Download: 2014 NHL Draft Midterm Youngblood Edition
Hockey Canada brass gathered at the MasterCard Centre in Etobicoke Tuesday morning to unveil the 25 fortunate players who would represent Canada at the upcoming 2014 Sochi Olympic Games. Unlike most articles published following “The Announcement” that dissect and criticize each and every player selected, let us take a different approach and inspect the path that these players took as young players en route to the 2014 Team Canada Olympic roster. Not surprisingly, Team Canada’s roots are firmly planted with homegrown talent stemming from seven of Canada’s ten provinces with Ontario sending 11 players to Sochi. Four British Columbia youngsters, three players that called Saskatchewan home as kids, a trio of Quebec players, two Manitobians will be sent to Sochi, while Bouwmeester and Crosby will be the lone representatives of Alberta and Nova Scotia, respectively.
While the majority (an understatement) of Team Canada players competed in one of the three leagues under the Canadian Hockey League (CHL), Chris Kunitz and Chicago Blackhawks teammates Patrick Sharp and Jonathan Toews played their amateur hockey in the NCAA. Fellow ‘Hawk Duncan Keith also played a few years under the NCAA banner before joining the Kelowna Rockets (WHL) the year after Chicago drafted him 54th overall (2002). Considering 92% of the 2014 Team Canada roster suited up for one of the sixty CHL franchises, it’s safe to say that major junior hockey had a strong influence on the development of these Canadian stars. The Ontario Hockey League will send 10 grads to Sochi including three London Knights alum (Rick Nash, Corey Perry and John Tavares). Eight Western Leaguers will lace them up for Canada with the Kelowna Rockets having three graduates (Duncan Keith, Shea Weber and Jamie Benn). Sidney Crosby, Patrice Bergeron, Marc-Edouard Vlasic and Roberto Luongo embody the small group who played their major junior hockey in the QMJHL.
— Brendan Ross (@RossyYoungblood) January 7, 2014
Come January 16th, Colorado Avalanche forward Matt Duchene will celebrate his 23rd birthday, making him the youngest player on Team Canada joining John Tavares and Steven Stamkos, who just celebrated their 23rd. Goaltender Roberto Luongo is the elder statesman of the Canucks squad at 35-years-young but Chris Kunitz and Patrick Marleau share the same birth year as well and should provide some veteran leadership.
The nation’s hope for Olympic Gold rest in the hands of these 25 Canadian heroes and while every last one of them started their hockey journeys on Canadian soil, only five players have competed for a Canadian NHL team (Subban, Price, Luongo, Hamhuis, and Bouwmeester). Four of those Canadian hockey players remain with Canadian NHL clubs (PK Subban and Carey Price, Montreal Canadians; Dan Hamhuis and Roberto Luongo, Vancouver Canucks). Regardless of where each Canadian Olympic hockey player is earning their coin in the National Hockey League, you can bet that every last one of them is eager for the puck to drop in Sochi for their opportunity to bring gold back to Canada.
G Mike Smith – Sudbury Wolves/Kingston Frontenacs (OHL)
G Carey Price – Tri-City Americans (WHL)
G Roberto Luongo – Val d’Or Foreurs/Acadie-Bathhurst Titan (QMJHL)
F Matt Duchene – Brampton Battalion (OHL)
F Jeff Carter – Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (OHL)
F Sidney Crosby – Rimouski Oceanic (QMJHL)
F Ryan Getzlaf – Calgary Hitmen (WHL)
F Chris Kunitz – Ferris State (NCAA)
F Patrick Marleau – Seattle Thunderbirds (WHL)
F Rick Nash – London Knights (OHL)
F Corey Perry – London Knights (OHL)
F Patrick Sharp – University of Vermont (NCAA)
F Steven Stamkos – Sarnia Sting (OHL)
F John Tavares – Oshawa Generals/London Knights (OHL)
F Patrice Bergeron – Acadie-Bathhurst Titan (QMJHL)
F Jamie Benn – Kelowna Rockets (WHL)
F Jonathan Toews – University of North Dakota (NCAA)
D Marc-Edouard Vlasic – Quebec Remparts (QMJHL)
D Pernell Karl Subban – Belleville Bulls (OHL)
D Jay Bouwmeester – Medicine Hat Tigers (WHL)
D Drew Doughty – Guelph Storm (OHL)
D Dan Hamhuis – Prince George Cougars (WHL)
D Duncan Keith – Kelowna Rockets (WHL)/Michigan State (NCAA)
D Alex Pietrangelo – Mississauga/Niagara Ice Dogs (OHL)
D Shea Weber – Kelowna Rockets (WHL)
Breakdown by League:
OHL – 10
WHL – 8
QMJHL – 4
NCAA – 3 (4 with Keith)
Breakdown by Canadian Provinces:
BC – 4 (Price, Hamhuis, Weber, Benn)
AB – 1 (Bouwmeester)
SK – 3 (Getzlaf, Marleau, Kunitz)
MB – 2 (Toews, Keith)
ON – 11 (Smith, Doughty, Pietrangelo, Subban, Carter, Duchene, Nash, Perry, Sharp, Stamkos, Tavares)
PQ – 3 (Luongo, Vlasic, Bergeron)
NS – 1 (Crosby)
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The most wonderful time of the year is mere hours from commencing as the world’s best junior-aged hockey prospects prepare for the 2014 IIHF Under-20 World Junior Hockey Championship,
The Holiday Season is filled with an enchanting atmosphere as children, both young and old, eagerly await the arrival of Christmas. Truth be told, Old Saint Nick may be the root cause of that enchanting feeling experienced by our children but it would be wrong not to credit some of that feel-good anticipation (for us adult hockey fans anyways) to the World Junior Championships. For real, we wait for months to show our national pride and it’s the WJC stage that lifts our emotions to heights that few things can. Sure, it helps that the world tournament takes place during the holiday season where family and friends can convene and cheer on their nations but, just like Old Saint Nick, the World Junior tournament creates a surreal atmosphere filled with hope that is placed in the hands of 22 young kids as they attempt to satisfy a country’s belief of achieving the impossible. For the purposes of the WJC, that impossible belief is winning gold – a task that has proven to be very difficult…even for a hockey driven country like Canada.
Without further ado, Youngblood Hockey courtesy of Brendan Ross (@RossyYoungblood) presents it’s WJC fans with a complete guide to familiarize yourself with the players and nations competing at the 2014 U20 World Junior Hockey Championship.
Free Download: Youngblood 2014 WJC Special Edition
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Christmas comes early as we are pleased to release our December Edition of Youngblood, the free prospect magazine covering all of your Ontario Hockey League and prospect news.
In our December edition, @RossyYoungblood releases his Top 30 2014 NHL Draft Rankings for OHL eligibles, a Top 20 Ranking of OHL Draft eligible players and a recap of the Whitby Silver Stick Tournament. In addition, we’ve got World Junior news, CHL/NHL Top Prospect news and, of course, the usual stick tap section crediting players who stepped up their game this past month!
Download it now and thank us later!
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