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YOUNGBLOOD: 2014 NHL Entry Draft

2014 NHL Entry Draft

G’day NHL Draft  junkies,

 

After some final tinkering to my previous “Final FINAL 2014 NHL Draft Rankings”, I am content (for now) on my FINAL (for real this time) draft rankings for the 2014 NHL Draft. As I did all season, I put together one final “Youngblood” release and kept if fairly easy-to-read with straightforward rankings, skill-related ranking lists and a mock draft. In addition, I posted my 2015 NHL Draft Rankings to kick things off for next season.

 

Of course, it’s all free too. Moving forward, almost all of my content that was previously featured in the Youngblood releases will be offered over at McKeen’s Hockey, where I have an ongoing featured section. Be sure to check it out.

 

For the updated rankings, lists, mock draft and other information…download: Youngblood 2014 NHL Draft FINAL

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@RossyYoungblood’s 2014 NHL Mock Draft

 

2014 NHL Entry Draft

 

  • Not-so-Bold Predictions:
    • Florida trades the 1st overall selection swapping spots with one of the Canadian teams in Edmonton Oilers, Calgary Flames, Vancouver Canucks or Toronto Maple Leafs
    • In general, trading should be on the rise in 2014 with many teams looking to get “their” targeted player in a crop that’s fairly tightly packed together (and consequently, difficult to project who goes where). Trading up will ensure teams get their guy.

 

  • 3 Potential Draft Fallers:
    • Sam Bennett – NHL CSS’ top ranking of Bennett could be a curse. He’s certainly got the skill to go 1st overall but both Aaron Ekblad and Sam Reinhart have promising potentials as well. In addition, their playing styles are easy to project into the NHL and that might give them an edge in a group that’s tightly packed. Mix in big skilled forwards Leon Draisaitl, Michael Dal Colle and Nick Ritchie (who is considered #1 by some NHL scouts) and Bennett may slide further than people expect.
    • Brendan Perlini – A hot start to his draft season was promising but fizzling down the stretch sticks in scouts’ minds didn’t help IceDogs’ winger Brendan Perlini. He remained a Top 10 prospect throughout the season but the concerns about his competitiveness are legitimate and he could slide into double digits.
    • Tony DeAngelo – Publicly discussed and debated, Tony DeAngelo’s troubles on the ice and off the ice have been a hot topic throughout the season and that has left a sour taste in scouts’ mouths. Despite rumoured strong interviews at the NHL Draft Combine, there are just some scouts who just won’t risk a 1st round pick on a defenseman who is one dimensional and has some red flags. DeAngelo is the most interesting storyline, in my opinion, at the 2014 NHL Draft. Personally, I want to see him selected well and prove that these were all overstated “troubles”. In the end, the gifted offensive defenseman could end up being selected anywhere from 10th to 75th overall.

 

  • 3 Potential Draft Risers:
    • Dominik Masin – Not an overly familiar name in North America, Czech defenseman Dominik Masin receives rave reviews from those who have followed him this season. He captained his nation to a silver medal at the Under-18 World Championships and showed that he can log huge minutes in both offensive and defensive situations. Don’t be shocked to see him scooped up inside the opening round.
    • Sonny Milano – Largely considered a mid-to-late 1st round selection, American Sonny Milano could be considered a “riser” if he creeps inside the Top 15. He is a wizard with the puck and in a draft class that’s fairly wide open after the opening 8-9 picks, Milano could get snatched up quickly by a team who values his game-breaking abilities.
    • Travis Sanheim – Calgary Hitmen defenseman Travis Sanheim elevated his game down the stretch and his performance at the Under-18 World Championships was nothing short of outstanding, lifting him into first round consideration. Sanheim could hear his name called any time after the Top 10, especially in a relatively weak defensive crop at the top of the draft

 

  • Sleepers to Watch: Jaden Lindo, Dylan Sadowy, Jake Walman, Louis Belpedio, Josh Wesley, Ryan Foss

 

  • Valuable Long-term Investments (Project Picks): Ryan MacInnis, Eric Cornel, Brett Pollock, Nicolas Aube-Kubel, Brycen Martin, Jacob Middleton

 

  • Rossy’s Favourite Draft Prospects Team: 
  • Just  some of my favourite prospects heading into the 2014 NHL Draft that I have enjoyed following or watching. Most of these players I have been high on dating back to last year (especially the forward trio)

Nick Ritchie (LW) – Robby Fabbri (C) – Nikolay Goldobin (RW)

Travis Sanheim (LD) – Julius Honka (RD)

Brandon Halverson (G)

 

  • The Coaches Choice Team:
    • Players who provide an element found on championship teams

John Quenneville (LW) – Conner Bleackley (C) – Brendan Lemieux (LW/RW)

Dominik Masin (LD) – Josh Jacobs (RD)

Alex Nedeljkovic (G)

  • Draft Eligible Wildcard Team (Boom/Bust):

                            Vladimir Tkachyov (LW) – Nikolay Goldobin (C) – Josh Ho-Sang (RW)

Joe Hicketts (LD) – Tony DeAngelo (RD)

Julio Billia (G)

Notes About the Analysis:

Alternative Option – This subsection provides one or two logical player options for the team under analysis to consider (within a reasonable projectable draft slot)

Rossy’s Ideal Target – I give the one prospect (within a reasonable projectable range) that each franchise should be targeting. Trading up or down is not an option with this scenario and occasionally, the player picked in the mock draft is the same ideal target.

 

1st Round

 

Aaron Ekblad (OHL Images)

Aaron Ekblad (OHL Images)

1st Florida Panthers – Aaron Ekblad (RD)

If the Panthers keep the 1st overall pick, the mature Aaron Ekblad would be a defenseman that would strengthen Florida’s blueline and be ready to step into the lineup immediately. Expect GM Dale Tallon to field plenty of trade offers but Ekblad is a great consolation pick if the proposals fail to impress.

Alternative Option: Trade down to land top wingers Michael Dal Colle, William Nylander or Nikolaj Ehlers.

Rossy’s Ideal Panthers’ Target: Aaron Ekblad

 

 

2nd Buffalo Sabres – Sam Reinhart (RC)

While Aaron Ekblad is the stud defenseman of the draft, Kootenay’s Sam Reinhart will be heavily targeted. Even though Sam Bennett got the nod on NHL CSS’ final ranking, it’s Reinhart that could be the target of many teams looking to trade up.

Alternative Option: If Sam Reinhart is unavailable, the rebuilding Sabres must select defenseman Aaron Ekblad. Case closed.

Rossy’s Ideal Sabres’ Target: Sam Bennett

 

3rd Edmonton Oilers – Sam Bennett (LC)

Building down the middle is the standard course of action in the NHL and Edmonton will snatch up one of Bennett, Reinhart or Draisaitl when GM Craig MacTavish takes the stage. Loaded with character, compete and two-way skill, Bennett gives the Oilers a potential number one centerman but he won’t be arriving in 2014-15, a scenario Edmonton isn’t familiar with.

Alternative Option: Leon Draisaitl is the type of pivot the Oilers could use as he offers a strong possession game and size down the middle. Also, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Oilers give Nick Ritchie some serious consideration.

Rossy’s Ideal Oilers’ Target: Sam Reinhart

 

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2014 NHL Mock Draft [Midterm Edition]

February 24, 2014 Leave a comment

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 –

Aaron Ekblad (Terry Wilson/OHL Images)

Aaron Ekblad (Terry Wilson/OHL Images)

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.

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