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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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Youngblood Special Release: 2014 NHL Draft Midterm Edition

February 18, 2014 1 comment
(OHL Images by Aaron Bell/Terry Wilson; Blended by Brendan Ross)

(OHL Images by Aaron Bell/Terry Wilson; Blended by Brendan Ross)

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

 

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The Dean’s List – 2013 – Everything’s Bigger in Texas

October 22, 2011 Leave a comment

Originally Posted at DobberHockey.com

Written By:  Brendan Ross

The Dean’s List series promises that it will not make a habit of jumping this far ahead in the future of hockey to profile a budding star but this 2013 NHL prospect has been making too much noise to simply ignore.  How often do you find an emerging hockey star in the land of Texas?  Seth Jones is proving that hockey has no geographic limits.  The six-foot-four-inch 16-year-old hails from Dallas, Texas and is the son of former NBA basketball forward Popeye Jones which explains the youngster’s excellent athleticism. Jones is not eligible for the NHL Entry Draft until 2013 but fantasy owners will soon start realizing that he is quickly developing into a special prospect.

Seth Jones (Bruce Burnette/Getty Images)

The Everett Silvertips of the Western Hockey League selected the star defenseman 11th overall in the 2009 Bantam Draft.  Seth has not made his decision on whether he will pursue the NCAA or major junior route but one thing is for certain, Seth will be among the names mentioned to go first overall in 2013.  Scouts have been thoroughly impressed with the 16-year old over this past week as he showcases his skills at the U.S. National Junior Evaluation Camp as they prepare for the upcoming Under-20 World Junior Championships in December.  To be blunt, Seth Jones has been one of the best players in this evaluation camp that is usually reserved primarily for 18-year olds.

 

It is easy for people to want to compare an emerging talented defenseman to one of hockey’s great players in Niklas Lidstrom, but, in this instance let’s not nix it.  Comparing Seth Jones to Lidstrom is fairly accurate in terms of his playing style.  The kid has a lot of work to do to even be mentioned in the same sentence as Nik but he plays the game eerily similar. Jones has a smooth effortless skating stride that complements his soft hands and passing abilities.  Skating at well over six-feet, Jones is not shy to playing the body when needed but will not seek out an opponent to make a point.  His hockey intelligence and decision making are admirable as he rarely makes the wrong play.  The most impressive attribute of this rising star is his on-ice positioning and ability to get his hard and extremely accurate shot on net which is a shooting skill that Is often overlooked.

 

Seth Jones has survived the first cuts at the U.S. National Junior Evaluation Camp and it would not be surprising to see the swift defender on Team U.S.A. when the 2012 World Junior Championships get underway in Alberta later this year.  The Dean’s List is excited to see Jones’ progression over the next few years but the fact that he is drawing such rave reviews this early on bodes well for his future as a fantasy contributor.  The NHL’s Dallas Stars are a team that could use a talent of Jones’ in their pipelines and by the time 2013 rolls around Seth Jones could find himself returning home to Dallas, Texas.  Only time will tell how good he can become but we will certainly be watching very closely.