NHL Director of Central Scouting Dan Marr acknowledged that while the 2014 NHL Draft will certainly have its share of high-caliber players, there remains no clear front-runner as the top pick at this point in the season.
Still, after tireless deliberation and constructive debate at Central Scouting's midterm meetings that concluded Jan. 7, one player had to be deemed the No. 1 skater.
That early honor belongs to center Samuel Bennett of the Kingston Frontenacs.
The 6-foot-0.25, 178-pound left-handed shot ranks fourth in the Ontario Hockey League with 66 points (26 goals, 40 assists) in 40 games. At this juncture Central Scouting believes he is the top North American player available for the 2014 draft, which will be held June 27-28 at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia.