The 2014 NHL Draft will be held on Friday and Saturday at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. Kris Baker of SabresProspects.com has ranked his Top 30 prospects with written and video analysis.
You can find that list here.
But the Sabres also currently hold the first pick of the second round (31st overall) as well as Picks 39 and 49.
Here's who Baker thinks might be available when the Sabres are ready to make their next selection:
#31 – CONNER BLEACKLEY
C/LW, Red Deer Rebels (WHL)
6’0.25”, 192 lbs.
Teams can win with highly competitive players that do everything well, and Bleackley does just that without having one top-notch, standout skill.
Bleackley shined as a 17-year old captain in the Western league, using his strong two-way style to ring up 29 goals and 68 points for a mediocre Rebels squad.
An excellent skating game, ultra soft oft passing hands and a willingness to finish hits round out a potential middle-line package that coaches love to have at their disposal.
#32 – ROLAND McKEOWN
LHD, Kingston Frontenacs (OHL)
6’0.75”, 195 lbs.
A smooth two-way defenseman with a solid frame and superb skating, McKeown can lug the puck up ice, but he really shines in the passing game with strong exit feeds and efficient distribution on the power play. He’s not a soft player, as he’s slowly starting to play the body more and mix it up after the whistle.
Continuing to get more involved in the physical battles should round out a very solid prospect, but for now his overall foundation and offensive motion should be attractive early on day two.
#33 – BRENDAN LEMIEUX
LW, Barrie Colts (OHL)
6’0.25”, 206 lbs.
Son of former NHL pest Claude, Lemieux totes the same peskiness and clutch scoring ability that made his father one of the greatest playoff performers of the past 20 years.
His powerful cuts and heavy wrist shot helped him score 27 times last season, and his disturbing presence near the crease drew his share of attention from the opposition. When push came to shove, Lemieux dropped the gloves three times, taking on guys who averaged 6-foot-4 and 216 lbs.
Lemieux has the wide body, cut frame and fearless attitude to compete in the NHL, and it could happen rather quickly with another big year in Barrie.
#34 – JACK DOUGHERTY
LHD, United States NTDP (USHL)
6’1”, 186 lbs.
Dougherty is heading to the University of Wisconsin in the fall, where his assertive, well-rounded mix should make an immediate impact in B1G play. He's an efficient puck mover who exhibits excellent passing skills and sound defensive awareness. He limits his mistakes in the face of pressure.
On top of it all, the Minnesota native is very much engaged physically. Adding strength and polishing up his skating game should see the Minnesota native realize his NHL potential rather quickly.
#35 – VLADISLAV KAMENEV
LW, Mettalurg Magnitogorsk (KHL)
6’2”, 203 lbs.
An immensely talented winger with size that NHL teams covet, Kamenev maintained his draft stock at the World Under-18 Championship with two goals and seven points in seven games.
A big shot, decent puck handling and hard-working playmaking skill will compel teams with offensive needs, but with 16 KHL games already under his belt, Kamenev’s career aspirations could see him remain in Russia for the time being.
#36 – ALEX NEDELJKOVIC
G, Plymouth Whalers (OHL)
6’0”, 182 lbs.
The Parma, Ohio native isn’t the biggest goalie in the class, but his athleticism and ability to battle for second and third saves has carved out a reputation as a winner.
Nedeljkovic saw a lot of rubber this season in Plymouth, backstopping the Whalers to 26 wins while carrying an impressive .925 save% to earn the OHL’s Goalie of the Year award. The resume was rounded out with a gold medal for the United States at the Under-18 World Championship, and it’s fair to think he’ll challenge for the starting gig at this winter’s World Junior Championship.
#37 – RYAN MacINNIS
C, Kitchener Rangers (OHL)
6’4”, 185 lbs.
A big body who is smart, reliable and has shown a willingness to take a hit to make a play, MacInnis’ work ethic and NHL bloodlines (he’s the son of former Norris Trophy and Conn Smythe Trophy winner Al) have him well positioned to be a role player with some offensive upside down the road.
He’s a great open ice skater and he definitely inherited his father’s big shot, which he’ll need to use more down the road. All of the base tools are in place to be a solid contributor at both ends of the rink once he levels out the consistency to match his ideal frame.
#38 – BRETT POLLOCK
C, Edmonton Oil Kings (WHL)
6’2”, 183 lbs.
Pollack skates very well for a big man, and his smarts and vision have led to good decisions with the puck. Scouts in attendance at the Memorial Cup raved about his footwork and commitment to working the defensive side of the puck, while his honest checking game helps keep defenders pinned in their end.
The potential for a big, strong worker who can get to the net and add value on the power play should make him an early second-round target.
#39 – ANTON KARLSSON
RW, Frolunda Indians (SWE Jr.)
6’1.25”, 187 lbs.
A physical forward with a very capable offensive dimension, Karlsson’s versatile mix of agitation and puck skills are made for NHL style hockey.
His determination on the forecheck makes for a tough assignment, and his strong skater and low center of gravity makes him hard to handle when he gets momentum with the puck.
Karlsson played a grind role at the U20 Worlds and was blanked offensively at the U18s, but his size, two-way energy and hands down low should see him occupy many different roles down the road.
#40 – JOHN QUENNEVILLE
C, Brandon Wheat Kings (WHL)
6’1”, 186 lbs.
Quenneville made a steady climb up the rankings throughout the 2013-14 campaign by blending a subtle power game and smooth playmaking hands to pot 25 goals and 58 points for the balanced Wheat Kings’ attack.
He’s not particularly speedy, but he protects the puck and consistently finds the open man. Quenneville’s solid instincts are matched by an engaged physical style. Adding quickness over the next two years should accelerate his career advancement.