With the 2014 NHL Draft set for June 27-28 in Philadelphia, Kris Baker from SabresProspects.com has meticulously compiled his list of the top 30 players. We'll reveal two players each weekday complete with analysis and video, leading up to the unveiling of Kris' top two picks on June 20.
The full mock draft as it's revealed can be found here.
#26 – JOSHUA HO-SANG
C/RW, Windsor Spitfires (OHL)
5’ 11”, 175 lbs.
2013-14: 67 games, 32-53-85, 44 PIM
A dynamic offensive talent with elusive acceleration and shiftiness, Ho-Sang enters the draft with loads of offensive upside and room to improve his discipline and two-way dedication.
Ho-Sang is a confident player who dangles the puck on a yo-yo when entering traffic. His speed, vision and shooting are on par with the top forwards in the class, and he’s engaged physically, but a tendency to cheat out of the zone and get goaded into penalties may hamper his stock come draft day. Still, teams who watched his six-point (2+4) effort versus North Bay in February may be willing to invest high in a draft class short on high-ceiling offense.
After a regular season that saw him ride his excellent puck skills to a team-leading 85 points, Ho-Sang earned a 15-game suspension (which has since been reduced to six games) that will be served at the start of the 2014-15 OHL campaign for a hit from behind in Game 4 of the Western Conference quarterfinal versus London. Junior hockey watchers continue to debate whether or not the lengthy ban was warranted, but the question remains how the missed time will impact his development.
#25 – ANTHONY DeANGELO
D, Sarnia Sting (OHL)
5’ 10.5”, 175 lbs.
2013-14: 51 games, 15-56-71, 90 PIM
A native of New Jersey, DeAngelo is one of the top puck-moving defensemen in the draft class. His fantastic skating skill and ability to quarterback the offense, especially with the man advantage, makes him an attractive option for teams looking for a back-end catalyst. His vision and shooting skill came in handy as he led all OHL defenders in scoring in 2013-14 with 71 points (15+56) in just 51 contests.
While the offensive foundation is in place, DeAngelo will need to improve his defensive discipline moving forward, as the mobile rearguard is prone to unnecessary penalties and suspect positioning at times that can negate some of his overall value. If Sarnia is to work its way out of the OHL basement next season, DeAngelo improving his minus-34 rating will be job one on their road success. Developing a greater sense of urgency defensively would also help him land a spot on Team USA at the 2015 World Junior Championship.
Also of note is a late-season suspension that saw him sit for eight games following a verbal altercation with a teammate. What was said is of less importance. What he learned from it will tell a better story moving forward, as a proper attitude adjustment could translate to even greater success between the boards.
For more on all the youngsters in the Sabres pipeline, check out Kris Baker’s website - sabresprospects.com. You can also follow him on Twitter @sabresprospects for in-game updates throughout the season on any Buffalo prospects that are in action.