2014 NHL Preliminary Draft Rankings | The Scouting Report

2014 NHL Preliminary Draft Rankings

16. RW Kasper Kapanen Kalpa
Date of Birth: July 23, 1996 Height: 5.10 Weight: 165 Shot: Right

The NHL bloodlines continue in this draft as Sami Kapanen's son headlines the crop of Finnish-born draft eligibles this season. And like William Nylander, Kapanen also has the pleasure of calling his father a teammate on the ice as well. The undersized forward might not be the most dynamic, but his understanding of the game and acumen for being around the puck makes him one of the draft's most dangerous snipers. Kapanen is an efficient scorer who takes high percentage shots and doesn't force the puck on net if he has an open teammate. He will need to continue to get stronger as he only checks in around 170 pounds right now, but Kapanen should have no troubles hearing his name earlier than his dad did as a fourth round pick in 1995.

17. C Nick Schmaltz Green Bay Gamblers
Date of Birth: February 23, 1996 Height: 5.11 Weight: 170 Shot: Right

The bloodlines continue as Schmaltz hopes to replicate the success of his older brother, Jordan, who was a first round pick of the St. Louis Blues in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft. The younger Schmaltz is coming off a productive rookie season and is pegged to be one of the top players in the USHL in Year 2. Schmaltz has no shortage of offensive flair which is supported by his quickness with the puck and high-end offensive vision and puck distribution. Schmaltz, a North Dakota commit, doesn't have as much size as his older brother but his powerful skating and fluidity makes him very difficult for defenders to contain.

18. LW Blake Clarke North Bay Battalion
Date of Birth: January 24, 1996 Height: 6.02 Weight: 196 Shot: Left

Clarke was a revelation in the OHL last year as the Missouri native shook off some rocky games in the USHL as a 15-year-old, going on to be one of the top 16-year-old players in the OHL in 2012-13. The 6-foot-2 winger plays a hard nosed north/south style of game which helped him earn the trust of coach Stan Butler early last season but has yet to rekindle that magic since the team's move to North Bay. Through his first eight games, Clarke has managed a lowly two points and doesn't quite seem to have the level of confidence that helped make him so good as a rookie. Clarke still has time to re-assert himself as a legitimate top 15 prospect this season but there is a lineup of players who could be quick to overtake him if his struggles continue.

19. D Brycen Martin Swift Current Broncos
Date of Birth: May 19, 1996 Height: 6.03 Weight: 179 Shot: Left

The WHL has become a well known factory of big defensemen and Martin is yet another one on what is becoming a very long list; especially in recent years. The Swift Current Bronco has impressive skating ability for a big man and has shown more willingness to use it as a sophomore in the league this season. Martin's overall game is very solid and his offensive game seems to have really taken the next step this year, which bodes quite well for his draft stock. If Martin can continue to develop into a top pairing defenseman this season there's no doubt that his name will be in high demand in Philadelphia.

20. C Adrian Kempe Modo
Date of Birth: September 13, 1996 Height: 6.02 Weight: 187 Shot: Left

Kempe's game drew rave reviews in the SuperElit where he served as an alternate captain of MoDo's J20 team, so much so that he's now seen action with the organization's SHL entry. Kempe is an intriguing forward who has good size and an all-around skill-set that projects well moving forward. The Kramfors native plays with intensity and rarely takes shifts off which will go a long way for teams looking for a player that they can afford to be patient with in the second part of the first round.

21. D Anthony DeAngelo Sarnia Sting
Date of Birth: October 24, 1995 Height: 5.10 Weight: 150 Shot: Right

It seems like we've been waiting forever for Anthony DeAngelo to become NHL Draft eligible as the Sewell, N.J. native started his junior career as a 15-year-old with Cedar Rapids (USHL) in 2010-11. After jumping ship to the OHL a year later, DeAngelo has rather quietly become one of the premier offensive defensmen in the league. The undersized defenseman can be a fourth forward on the ice at times and is a major asset on the powerplay where his shot placement and puck distribution is top notch. DeAngelo's defensive game is coming around but there's no doubt that that's the area that NHL scouts will be fixated on.

22. LW Sonny Milano USNTDP
Date of Birth: May 12, 1996 Height: 5.10 Weight: 159 Shot: Left

Milano is our top ranked player from the US Under 18 team at this juncture, but it's a perch that he'll have no shortage of competition for. Checking in at 5-foot-10, 170 pounds, Milano can play centre or the wing and given his lack of size, it will be interesting to see what position he does ultimately find a home at. Milano's game has a lot of parallels to fellow American Nick Schmaltz, as the U18 forward is a shifty player who can attack with his explosive skating and high-end offensive talent. Milano will be expected to be a key producer on the Under 18 team this season and early indications would show that he is in line to be exactly that.

23. RW Nikolay Goldobin Sarnia Sting
Date of Birth: October 7, 1995 Height: 5.11 Weight: 165 Shot: Left

The Sarnia Sting have had no shortage of luck in the CHL Import Draft in recent years, but Nikolay Goldobin may have been their greatest coup when you consider that the Sting were able to nab the dynamic Russian forward with the 36th pick in 2012. What Goldobin lacks in strength - and there is definitely a pressing need for improvement there - he more than makes up for with scintillating talent and goal scoring ability. The 18-year-old tallied 30 goals and 68 points as an OHL rookie a year ago and will be relied on heavily to produce on a youthful Sarnia team which lacks depth and experience. 

24. RW David Pastrnak Sodertalje
Date of Birth: May 25, 1996 Height: 6.00 Weight: 168 Shot: Right

Pastrnak is another quality Czech prospect who is plying his trade in the Swedish development system, currently doing so with Sodertalje of the Allsvenskan. The '96 born right winger is an intriguing offensive talent who has excellent one-on-one ability and finishing skills. Pastrnak's defensive game is a work in progress but he will have the benefit of playing against professional players this year which should really help him develop as a three-zone player and could see his stock improve as a result.

25. LW Oskar Lindblom Brynas
Date of Birth: August 15, 1996 Height: 6.02 Weight: 187 Shot: Left

Lindblom is a bit of a work in progress but there's definitely some things to like about the 6-foot-2, 190 pound winger. Currently playing with Brynas' U20 team, Lindblom was exceptional in last year's Under 17's where he led the Swedish team with eight goals and 13 points in only six games. He parlayed that into a strong showing with the U18 team in the spring and is starting to scratch the surface of some intriguing offensive potential which bodes well when you factor in his size and what he could become in four or five years.

26. D Jack Glover US Under 18 Team
Date of Birth: May 17, 1996 Height: 6.03 Weight: 172 Shot: Right

Standing 6-foot-3 inches but checking in only around 175-pounds, Glover's key to his potential lies in what he will become when he fills out with 30-40 more pounds over the next few years. The lanky defender plays a very solid two-way game and could really become a solid top four NHL defenseman once he fills out his frame; something that he'll have every opportunity to do as he spends time at the University of Minnesota starting in 2014. 

27. C Josh Ho Sang Windsor Spitfires
Date of Birth: January 22, 1996 Height: 5.11 Weight: 159 Shot: Right

Ho-Sang has been a known commodity in scouting circles since a memorable season as an underaged player with the Toronto Marlboros Minor Midget team in 2010-11. The undersized forward is an absolute wizard with the puck and his powerful strides are often enough to beat any defender when he really wants to. Consistency is the major red flag that jumps out with Ho-Sang's game, however, and is something that really mitigates his upside as a first round pick. The 5-foot-11 forward can be the best player on the ice when he wants to be, but he often takes shifts (or games) off and really leaves a lot to be desired. If he can find some consistency this season there is no doubt that his skill-set alone is up there with anyone in this draft.

28. G Thatcher Demko Boston College
Date of Birth: December 8, 1995 Height: 6.03 Weight: 192 Shot: Left

Graduating from the US NTDP program with a spectacular season last year, Demko will be a player that NHL scouts will be flocking to see in the NCAA this season as the late birthday '95 will be eligible for the NHL Draft for the first time. Demko should see significant playing time with Boston College from the outset this season and will have a great opportunity to showcase why his 6-foot-4 frame and excellent net presence makes him a top flight goaltending prospect at the NHL level.

29. C Conner Bleackley Red Deer Rebels
Date of Birth: July 2, 1996 Height: 6.00 Weight: 201 Shot: Right

Bleackley is quickly becoming one of those players who you leaves an impression on you every time you leave the rink. The 17-year-old High River, Alta. native has a very high talent level and seems to always be around the puck making things happen. Bleackley won't run over any defense but he plays a gritty game and is not afraid of being hit or going into the dirty areas of the ice to create offense. The 6-foot, 200 pound centre has taken on a much larger role with the Rebels this season and has shown in the early juncture that he is more than capable of producing in a top line role.

30. C Eric Cornel Peterborough Petes
Date of Birth: April 11, 1996 Height: 6.02 Weight: 173 Shot: Right

After being selected with the third overall pick in the 2012 OHL Priority Selection, Cornel almost became an afterthought as he struggled through a four goal season on a Peterborough team that wound up missing the playoffs. Despite the trying season, Cornel is no worse for the wear as the 6-foot-2 centre has come back in 2013-14 with added strength and determination. Cornel is a crafty playmaker who brings an intriguing skill-set with good size as a right-shot centre. After a quick start out of the gates, it should be interesting to see how Cornel's game progresses the rest of the way, but there is no doubting that he could wind up being a very intriguing prospect to monitor as we get closer to draft day.


2014 NHL Draft Rankings

1. C Sam Reinhart Kootenay Ice
2. D Aaron Ekblad Barrie Colts
3. C Michael Dal Colle Oshawa Generals
4. C Leon Draisaitl Prince Albert Raiders
5. C William Nylander Rogle
6. LW Nick Ritchie Peterborough Petes
7. D Haydn Fleury Red Deer Rebels
8. D Roland McKeown Kingston Frontenacs
9. LW Sam Bennett Kingston Frontenacs
10. C Jared McCann Soo Greyhounds

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