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A look at the First Round and 2014 Prospects

Wednesday, 05.14.2014 / 9:27 AM / News
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A look at the First Round and 2014 Prospects
NHL.com draft experts make their predictions on who will be selected in the first round of the 2014 NHL Draft.


The Philadelphia Flyers and the Wells Fargo Center will welcome the 2014 NHL Draft to Philadelphia for the first time on Fri., June 27 and Sat., June 28. NHL club executives, scouts and coaches will be present on the Draft floor while thousands of fans, prospects and media personnel from across the country and around the world will be in attendance. The Draft offers the opportunity for hockey fans to witness
the beginning of the careers of the latest NHL stars.


NOTE: The Flyers hold the 17th overall pick in the first round of the Draft


The top prospects for the 2014 NHL Draft have had a full season to state their case for why they should be considered among the game's next stars.

However, all a highly talented bunch has done is muddy the field NHL teams have to wade through to make their choices.

There's size, skill and talent at every position, and no clear-cut choice for who the best player available is.

If you're looking for talented forwards, there's Sam Reinhart of the Kootenay Ice of the Western Hockey League and Samuel Bennett of the Kingston Frontenacs of the Ontario Hockey League. If you're in need of a power forward, there's three outstanding choices from the OHL alone: Michael Dal Colle of the Oshawa Generals, Nicholas Ritchie of the Peterborough Petes and Brendan Perlini of the Niagara IceDogs.

If defense is what your team needs, there's Aaron Ekblad of the Barrie Colts of the OHL, Haydn Fleury of the Red Deer Rebels of the WHL or Anthony DeAngelo of the Sarnia Sting of the OHL.

There is a rich crop of European talent as well as size and skill in goal.

It's a lot for NHL teams to deal with, but the advantage they have is they don't have to make their decisions until the final weekend in June.

While the final order won't be set until the conclusion of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, one team already is locked into its first-round position. The New Jersey Devils will pick 30th as part of an NHL decision to reduce their punishment for circumventing the salary cap to sign Ilya Kovalchuk in 2010.

The only team with more than one pick in the first round is the Anaheim Ducks, who have their pick and the Ottawa Senators' from the offseason trade that sent forward Bobby Ryan to Ottawa. However, more picks could change hands based on playoff and contract outcomes.

The Buffalo Sabres could end up with three first-round picks. They could receive the New York Islanders' selection through the Thomas Vanek trade in October. If New York's pick finishes in the first 10 selections the Islanders have the option of sending the pick to the Sabres or keeping it, which would mean the Sabres automatically receive the Islanders' first-round pick in the 2015 draft.

The Sabres also could get the St. Louis Blues' pick through the Ryan Miller trade. The Blues' top pick would transfer to the Sabres if the Blues advance to the Western Conference Final with Miller appearing in at least half the minutes during the first two rounds of the playoffs; if the Blues re-sign Miller prior to making their first pick; or if the Blues trade Miller's rights prior to making their first pick.

The Tampa Bay Lightning also could end up with two picks. If the New York Rangers reach the Eastern Conference Final, they will have to send their pick to the Lightning as part of the Martin St. Louis trade.

SCHEDULE

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 MTL 62 41 16 5 171 135 87
2 NYI 64 41 21 2 205 179 84
3 NYR 61 38 17 6 192 152 82
4 TBL 63 38 19 6 207 167 82
5 DET 61 35 15 11 180 159 81
6 PIT 61 35 17 9 176 152 79
7 WSH 63 33 20 10 184 159 76
8 BOS 62 31 22 9 165 161 71
9 FLA 62 27 22 13 150 175 67
10 PHI 63 27 25 11 168 183 65
11 OTT 60 27 23 10 171 163 64
12 NJD 63 26 27 10 141 164 62
13 CBJ 61 26 31 4 157 191 56
14 CAR 61 24 30 7 142 162 55
15 TOR 62 25 32 5 170 189 55
16 BUF 63 19 39 5 123 212 43

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Voracek 63 19 46 5 65
C. Giroux 62 18 41 2 59
W. Simmonds 63 25 18 -1 43
M. Streit 63 8 32 -4 40
B. Schenn 63 12 23 -5 35
S. Couturier 63 12 16 1 28
M. Del Zotto 51 8 17 -5 25
M. Read 63 6 18 -9 24
M. Raffl 48 14 4 6 18
V. Lecavalier 45 7 10 -8 17
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
S. Mason 12 13 7 .926 2.25
R. Emery 10 10 4 .893 3.15
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