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Jack Michaels' 2014 Mock Draft

by Jack Michaels / Edmonton Oilers

Related mock drafts: Tom Gazzola | Bob Stauffer | Jack Michaels | Chris Wescott
(From FLA)
Aaron Ekblad, D,
Barrie (OHL)
Draft is in Philly and Flyers have had history of draft-day fireworks.  Panthers have shown a willingness to take on iffy contracts and cobble together a competitive team under Dale Tallon, so look for Flyers to move a couple of its high-priced pieces in order to swap first-round picks with a team that has said all along it’s willing to trade the top pick.
2 BUF Sam Reinhart, C,
Kootenay (WHL)
The long road back for Buffalo begins with the selection of this gifted, playmaking centre from a strong NHL pedigree (father Paul, brothers Griffin and Max).
3 EDM Leon Draisaitl, C,
Prince Albert (WHL)
See above, except adds a key component missing among Edmonton’s top six (size).  Draisaitl will surpass Marcel Goc as the highest-drafted German player ever.
4 CGY Jake Virtanen, RW, Calgary (WHL) With Sean Monahan already in place, perhaps Calgary’s familiarity with the Hitmen’s 45-goal sniper will lead them in this direction rather than Bennett, whose two-way attributes mirror Monahan’s.
5 NYI Sam Bennett, C,
Kingston (OHL)
If he should drop this far, the Isles almost have to take this versatile forward with speed to match his grit and hockey sense. 
6 VAN Michael Dal Colle, LW,
Oshawa (OHL)
Decent size and great hands, plus a tremendous closing rush (20 playoff points for an Oshawa club that didn’t even reach the OHL Final) and a quick release.
7 CAR Kasperi Kapanen, RW, Kalpa (FIN)

One of several “legacies” targeted as a high pick in this year’s draft, the son of Sami actually played a bit with his Dad in Finland this season after missing the World Jrs. due to injury.
8 TOR Nick Ritchie, LW, Peterborough (OHL)
Hulking winger should be no stranger to the Toronto organization, having piled up 39 goals with nearby Peterborough in the OHL last year.  Should project to be the prototypical NHL power forward (6-2, 225).  That word “consistency” is bandied about a lot when discussing Ritchie, but few 18-year-olds bring their best game every night.
9 WPG Haydn Fleury, D, Red Deer (WHL)

Winnipeg hasn’t had trouble scoring, but rather preventing goals. Fleury took advantage of increased responsibility with Red Deer when the Rebels lost Matt Dumba, and has the size, skating, and hockey IQ to defend in his own end.  Puck movement seems to be the primary question mark at this point.
10 ANA
(From OTT)
William Nylander, LW,
Modo (SWE)
May not last this long as one of the most discussed prospects leading up to the draft.  The son of ex-NHLer Michael, he also spent some time playing with his Dad last year in Sweden.  Highly skilled and dynamic with the puck.
11 NSH Nikolaj Ehlers, LW,
Halifax (QMJHL)
Nashville has drafted one forward who has managed has many as 60 points (David Legwand) and 30 goals (Patric Hornqvist) in a single season.  The search continues, with Ehlers having scored 49 goals and 104 points last year in Halifax.
12 PHX Brendan Perlini, LW,
Niagara (OHL)
The son of Fred, who played briefly for the Maple Leafs in the early 1980’s and then spent most of his career in England (where Brendan was born), has size and speed but struggled a bit down the stretch with Niagara (OHL).  Still finished with 34 goals, which should be his forte at the next level.
13 WSH

Jared McCann, C, Sault Ste. Marie (OHL)

Yet another centreman in this year’s draft reputed to play that “200-foot game” general managers covet.  Brings a certain battle level and consistency that Washington sorely lacks among its talented forward group.
14 DAL Kevin Fiala, RW, HV-71 (SWE)

Dallas needs to add a game-breaker or two, and while Fiala is undersized, he has tremendous speed and hockey IQ as the son of a coach.  Represented Switzerland at the World Jrs. but also has experience playing against men in the Swedish Elite League.
15 DET Dylan Larkin, C,
Homegrown, from Detroit and a product of the U.S. National Development Program.  He has committed to the University of Michigan, a program that’s been down a peg from its usual level so he’ll get plenty of playing time as a freshman and be well-ripened by the time Detroit is ready for him in, say, 2019.
16 CBJ Alex Tuch, RW, USNTDP (USHL) Another product of the U.S. National Development Program, Alex will be attending Boston College.  A good fit for the Jackets with plenty of size (6-3, 213) but the skill to play on a line with Sonny Milano and highly regarded ’15 prospect Jack Eichel.
17 FLA
(From PHI)
Ivan Barbashev, C/LW, Moncton (QMJHL) Youngest member of Russia’s bronze medal team at the World Jrs. already has two North American seasons under his belt with Moncton.
18 Nikita Scherbak, LW,
Saskatoon (WHL)
Another Russian who excelled in North America last season, often carrying a poor Saskatoon club.  Finished with 26 goals and 69 points, far and away the team leaders in both categories.
19 Robert Fabbri, C,
Guelph (OHL)
Undersized but gritty centreman who scored 45 goals in Guelph (OHL) last season.  Unafraid in the tough areas, similar to the veteran they peddled to pry the eventual 28th pick from the Rangers.
20 SJS Jack Dougherty, D, USNTDP (USHL) Even if Brent Burns does move back to defence, San Jose is in need of puck-movers on the back end, especially now that Dan Boyle has been traded.  The Minnesota product will get much-need seasoning at NCAA powerhouse Wisconsin.
21 Adrian Kempe, LW, Modo Jr. (SWE) While drafting 21st won’t bring immediate help, St. Louis could use another centreman and Kempe should grow into his 6-2 frame in due time, which will complement his two-way game and dangerous shot.
22 Sonny Milano, LW, USNTDP (USHL) For those who have missed his stickhandling videos to this point, I’m sorry.  Pittsburgh sorely needs to bring some talented forwards into its system, having recently stocked up on defencemen.  Originally from Long Island and yet another player out of the U.S. National Development program, Milano will join Tuch at Boston College.
23 Marcus Pettersson, D, Skelleftea (SWE) Colorado has gobs of elite talent up front, but a mediocre back end didn’t help matters in its first-round loss to Minnesota.  Pettersson isn’t anywhere near ready for the NHL at 165 pounds on a good day, but should fill out his 6-4 frame in the next couple of years.  Moves the puck exceptionally well.
24 ANA Julius Honka, D,
Swift Current (WHL)
A member of Finland’s gold medalists at the World Juniors, Honka contributed 16 goals and 56 points from the back end for Swift Current (WHL).  He’s not ready yet and a bit undersized, but his creativity would be a great fit with Cam Fowler and Hampus Lindholm in a couple of years.
25 Ryan MacInnis, C, Kitchener (OHL) May be a bit of a stretch here, but the son of Hall-of-Famer Al showed decent chops in Kitchener (OHL) last year and has the combination of skill and size that always can be found up front on the Boston roster.
26 MTL Brendan Lemieux, LW, Barrie (OHL) Son of four-time Cup winner Claude (a 2nd-round pick of Montreal in ’83) attempts to play much like his Dad, with a mixture of skating, a quick release, and the requisite belligerence.  27 goals, 145 minutes with Barrie (OHL) last year.
27 CHI Nick Schmaltz, C,
Green Bay (USHL)
Played Bantam and Midget in Chicago so there’s a bit of a local angle here.  The ‘Hawks moved Brandon Pirri to Florida last year and Schmaltz brings a similar skill-set, having committed to the University of North Dakota (like his brother Jordan, a 1st-rounder of the Blues in ’12).  John Quenneville also would be an interesting selection here.
(From NYR)
Joshua Ho-Sang, C,
Windsor (OHL)

This was the pick that came with Ryan Callahan from New York.  Worked out reasonably well for the Rangers, as Martin St. Louis helped lead them to the Stanley Cup Final.  A lot of questions surround this 30-goal scorer from the Windsor Spitfires, but Tampa can’t afford to let this kind of talent slip out of the first round.
29 Connor Bleackley, RW, Red Deer (WHL) Not the greatest skater, but Los Angeles has won two Cups in three years without possessing a great deal of breakaway speed.  His two-way abilities at the centre position will be prized by L.A., who may elect to buy out centre Mike Richards.  Bleackley played at Red Deer, coached by Brent Sutter, brother of Darryl, so there’s that connection as well.
30 NJD Thatcher Demko, G,
Boston College (NCAA)

This is the pick New Jersey originally lost entirely in the Ilya Kovalchuk salary cap circumvention fiasco, only to have the NHL subsequently rule that the Devils get a pick in the first round as long as it’s the last one.  Might as well make it count with the #1 goaltending prospect in this year’s draft in Demko, who like starter Cory Schneider, has excelled at Boston College, leading the Eagles to the NCAA Frozen Four as a true freshman.
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