Bender's Top 30 - 2014 NHL Entry Draft

Discussion in 'Colorado Avalanche' started by Bender, Jun 27, 2014.

  1. Bender

    Bender TheHockeyProspector

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    Here is my my top 30 for this year. With my site being down for at least another week, I'll be posting individual player reports here a little later on this weekend when I have some time. Enjoy!

    2014 NHL Entry Draft - TOP 30
    1. Sam Bennett, LW - Kingston - OHL
    2. Aaron Ekblad, RD - Barrie - OHL
    3. Leon Draisaitl, C - Prince Albert - WHL
    4. Kevin Fiala, LW - HV71 - SHL
    5. Nikita Scherbak, LW - Saskatoon - WHL
    6. Sam Reinhart, C - Kootenay - WHL
    7. Nicolaj Ehlers, LW - Halifax - QMJHL
    8. Haydn Fleury, LD - Red Deer - WHL
    9. Dylan Larkin, LW - USA - USHL
    10. Jake Virtanen, RW - Calgary - WHL
    11. Nick Ritchie, LW - Peterborough - OHL
    12. Jakub Vrana, LW - Linkoping - SHL
    13. William Nylander, C - Modo - SHL
    14. Sonny Milano, LW - USA - USHL
    15. Brendan Lemieux, LW - Barrie - OHL
    16. Alex Tuch, RW - USA - USHL
    17. Adrian Kempe, C - Modo - SHL
    18. Travis Sanheim, LD - Calgary - WHL
    19. Kasperi Kapanen, RW - KalPa - SM-liiga
    20. Julius Honka, RD - Swift Current - WHL
    21. Michael Dal Colle, LW - Oshawa - OHL
    22. Josh Ho-Sang, RW - Windsor - OHL
    23. Jared McCann, C - Sault-Ste-Marie - OHL
    24. Roland McKeown, RD - Kingston - OHL
    25. Robby Fabbri, C - Guelph - OHL
    26. Noah Rod, LW - Geneve-Servette - SWISS
    27. Ivan Barbashev, LW - Moncton - QMJHL
    28. David Pastrnak, RW - Sodertalje - Swe-1
    29. Ryan Collins, RD - USA - USHL
    30. Adam Ollas-Mattsson, LD - Djurgardens - Swe-1

    HR (#31) - Nikolai Goldobin, RW - Sarnia - OHL
    HR (#32) - Brendan Perlini, LW - Niagara - OHL
    HR (#33) - Jayce Hawryluk, RW - Brandon - WHL
    HR (#34) - Connor Bleackley, C - Red Deer - WHL
    HR (#35) - Ryan MacInnis, C - Kitchener - OHL
     
  2. SoundwaveIsCharisma

    SoundwaveIsCharisma Moderator

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    Hope you're right about Fabbri or Barbashev. Think they'd be massive steals at our spot.
     
  3. Freudian

    Freudian Clearly deranged

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    Not a fan of Perlini?
     
  4. VikingAv

    VikingAv Mediiic!!

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    First of all: Massive kudos for putting your balls on the table! So sick and tired of everybody having virtually the same rankings. Heck, there's even an agency (FC) that provides rankings which look like a compilation of hf-rankings every single year.

    I agree completely with the rankings of Larkin and Kempe and it wouldn't surprise me if Scherbak ends up in the top 5 of this class down the road.

    What's the reason for Dal Colle's drop?
     
  5. henchman24

    henchman24 Mr. Meeseeks

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    Thanks for posting! Some interesting placements on there, but you have seem somethings others haven't before. It will be interesting to look back on this in 5 years.
     
  6. Duchene2MacKinnon

    Duchene2MacKinnon Dybalascibar

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    As always an interesting read thanks Bendy.

    Glad you're high on Fiala and Vrana.

    @henchy Bender's ranking are usually different than the consensus. He had Adam Larsson 11th and Brodin 5th in the 2011 draft IIRC.
     
  7. R S

    R S @avs_tweets

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    Interesting.
     
  8. henchman24

    henchman24 Mr. Meeseeks

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    Yeah I have seen them looking back. I like it when people are right over the consensus picks.
     
  9. MikeC

    MikeC Registered User

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    Extremelly surprise to see Scherback at 5. I never saw him play so I am not judging your ranking but from what I read about him, he seems like the kind of player we would love in our line up.

    I read somewhere that some some scouts, in the middle of the WHL season, were saying that he will be a better NHL player than Leon.

    I would love to know why you have him and Lemieux so high

    Thanks for the read
     
  10. InjuredChoker

    InjuredChoker Registered User

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    yeah it's funny i happened to read, by accident, post from bender back in 2012 when he told to devils fans what they would be going with larsson for the next couple of years.

    and that's exactly what has happened, lol.
     
  11. Bender

    Bender TheHockeyProspector

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    Not at all...I think he compares to Taylor Pyatt or Benoit Pouliot and that's IF all goes well. I could very well be wrong though. I just call it like I see it.

    The last 2 guys on my list (#29 & #30) are huge projects...I fully realize they won't go in the first round but there is something there with those two. I know a lot of people like Bleackley but I really don't see it with him. Hope I'm wrong, seems like a good kid for sure.

    I think Dal Colle has tremendous offensive upside but the guy reminds me so much of Wolski, it's ridiculous. I'm thinking it really depends which team drafts him. If the Islanders get him and pair him with Tavares, he's got a very good shot at putting up a lot of points. If he goes to a team where everyone expects him to be the savior, I think they'll end up being disappointed.

    I will try to post all my comparables + scouting reports (so you can follow my train of thought of each of these guys) throughout the night but I will be watching the draft delayed 1 hour as it is. (DVR don't fail me now!!!)

    Thanks for all your comments, very much appreciated.
     
  12. Lonewolfe2015

    Lonewolfe2015 Rom Com Male Lead

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    I love Bender's lists. No BS, just straight and to the point. It doesn't hurt I happen to agree with some of the jumpers on his list more often than not.

    Taking Larkin as my favorite prospect of the draft. No real logic to how I approach these things... my current portfolio consists of Lander (in hindsight, I'm glad I was wrong about him since ROR was our pick), Watson (still think I'd rather him than Hishon, but at least Hishon is highly skilled), Siemens, Brock McGinn (still can't believe we picked Heard before this guy... ugh) and Mirco Mueller.
     
  13. dahrougem2

    dahrougem2 Registered User

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    I definitely agree with where you have Reinhart. The guy just doesn't look like a 1st overall pick whatsoever, and I think he's getting the massive hype simply because of his last name
     
  14. Bender

    Bender TheHockeyProspector

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    Here are the scouting reports as promised and the thinking behind the rankings. Sorry I couldn't get this up sooner, I just finished watching the draft. [SOOOO disappointed with Bleackley] :cry:

    1. Sam Bennett, LW - Kingston, OHL

    Comparable - Doug Gilmour/Ryan O'Reilly
    Upside - Top 6 Center/Winger

    I was extremely impressed with Bennett when he played for Canada at the U-18s as a 16 yr old. While most eyes were on phenom Connor McDavid, it was easy to see that Bennett was going to be a solid NHLer. He probably won't be the player who puts up the most points from this draft class but he's the complete package of what anyone's looking for in a hockey player. He plays a lot like his coach did and if he has a career that even comes close, he'll be in good shape. These are the kinds of players you win with, that's why he's #1 on my list.

    2. Aaron Ekblad, RD - Barrie, OHL

    Comparable - Eric Desjardins
    Upside - Top Pairing D-Man

    Whenever I see Ekblad play, that's the guy that immediately comes to mind. Eric Desjardins had a much unheralded career in the NHL while being a solid top pairing guy for the majority of it with the Habs and Flyers. I see Ekblad having the same kind of impact in the NHL. I think those who believe he'll be a franchise d-man are going to be disappointed.

    3. Leon Draisaitl, C - Prince Albert, WHL

    Comparable - Anze Kopitar-Lite
    Upside - Top 6 Center/Winger

    My comparison is with Kopitar but I don't think he'll reach that level. Draisaitl has a real opportunity to step in next season and make an impact depending on who drafts him. He would fit in remarkably well on the Oilers 2nd line. As a fans of the Avalanche, I hope it doesn't happen. ;)

    4. Kevin Fiala, LW - HV71, SHL

    Comparable - Patrick Kane-Lite
    Upside - Top 6 Winger

    I was absolutely blown away watching this kid play. He's got remarkable vision, tenacity, determination and skill. He competes extremely hard and has a knack for changing angles to get his shots through which will serve him well at the next level. He's easily one of my favorites for this year's draft. Frankly I'm surprised he's not ranked higher and get that he's not the biggest guy but it doesn't seem to be a problem for guys like Tarasenko and Schwartz. I doubt very much he gets by Jarmo at #16 who incidentally drafted those two guys.

    5. Nikita Scherbak, LW - Saskatoon, WHL

    Comparable - Nikushkin
    Upside - Top 6 Winger

    Coming up for a comparable for Sherman wasn't easy. He's got a bit of Malkin in him and a bit of Nikushkin in him. One of my favorites this year, this guy is just a joy to watch. He could become a real impact player in the NHL. At worst, he's a second liner who puts up his share of points. He didn't have a lot of help in Saskatoon this year, imagine if he had been on a stacked team, he would have easily cracked 100 points, in my opinion.

    6. Sam Reinhart, C - Kootenay, WHL

    Comparable - Sam Gagner+
    Upside - Second Line Center

    I realize there are just tons of people who just love this guy. For some reason, whenever I see him play, I see Sam Gagner thought I do expect him to turn out to be better. I think this is a guy who's had incredible success in juniors but who's going to find the transition to the pros to be a lot more difficult. There is really no arguing against the numbers, they are phenomenal and have been for years. This is just a gut feeling that he's just not going to be as good as everyone expects. That said, he should still become a very effective 2nd line center in the NHL if all goes well.

    7. Nicolaj Ehlers, LW - Halifax, QMJHL

    Comparable - Johnathan Huberdeau
    Upside - Top 6 Winger

    If you're looking for speed, this guy has it as well as skill and a lot of puck poise. He's a little on the light side and will need to fill out to handle the pro game but that shouldn't be a concern. He was the hardest guy to find a comparable for because he plays the game with a lot of pace, competes really hard and is an extremely smart playmaker. I guess you could say a cross between Martin St-Louis and Carl Hagelin or a bit like Johnathan Huberdeau.

    8. Haydn Fleury, LD - Red Deer, WHL

    Comparable - Eric Brewer
    Upside - Top 4 Two-way D-Man

    Fleury is probably as solid a bet as there is, at least on defense in this draft. I compare him to Eric Brewer because that's who he reminds me of when he lugs the puck up the ice. (young Eric Brewer not the current version) He should be a solid mid-pairing guy in the NHL for a long time.

    9. Dylan Larkin, LW - US, USHL

    Comparable - Alex Steen
    Upside - Top 6 Two-way Forward

    Easily one of my favorite players from this year's draft. I love everything about this kid. Much like Sam Bennett, this is the kind of player you win with. He's just a great all-around player who will likely end up an important part of a 2nd line on some lucky team.

    10. Jake Virtanen, RW - Calgary, WHL

    Comparable - Adam Deadmarsh
    Upside - Top 6 Scoring Winger

    One of the safest bets in the draft, Virtanen should develop as solid scoring winger in the mold of Adam Deadmarsh.

    11. Nick Ritchie, LW - Peterborough, OHL

    Comparable - Max Pacioretty
    Upside - Top 6 Scoring Winger

    The way this player scores goals reminds me of the way Steve Larmer used to for the Blackhawks and Rangers way back when. I think Pacioretty is a good comparable but he may not end up being as good as MaxPac.

    12. Jakub Vrana, LW - Linkoping, SHL

    Comparable - Jeff Skinner
    Upside - Top 6 Goalscoring Winger

    I'm a huge fan of this player. He's extremely smart and shifty and I think the Jeff Skinner comparable fits very well here. I think he's being underrated probably due to his size but I don't see it as a factor.

    13. William Nylander, C - Modo, SHL

    Comparable - Alex Semin
    Upside - Top 6 Scoring Forward

    The skill is undeniable but I saw a lot of immaturity in his game when I saw him play. He didn't seem to use his linemates as well as he could have and tried to do too much on his own. That said, he should get there with time.

    14. Sonny Milano, LW - US, USHL

    Comparable - Logan Couture-Lite
    Upside - Top 6 Playmaking Center

    Milano skates like the wind and handles the puck extremely well. He reminds me of Logan Couture a little bit but I think it would be stretch to suggests he develops into that good of a player.

    15. Brendan Lemieux, LW - Barrie, OHL

    Comparable - Claude Lemieux
    Upside - Top 9 Agitating Winger

    I love this kid. It's like looking at his dad in a mirror (Claude was right-handed while Brendan is left-handed). He plays just like his dad and has the ability to drive other teams crazy. He's got a fair bit of skill too. In my opinion, this kind of player can likely play anywhere in your top-9 and that kind of versatily is where the value really is.

    16. Alex Tuch, RW - US, USHL

    Comparable - Bill Guerin
    Upside - Top 9 Power Forward

    Alex Tech reminds me of Bill Guerin. He's kind of got that lanky stride and a serious set of hands. He'd be pretty lucky to end up having the career that Guenin did though. This is a guy who can likely play anywhere in your top-9.

    17. Adrian Kempe, C - Modo, SHL

    Comparable - Brandon Dubinsky
    Upside - Top 9 Two-way Forward

    Another one of my favourites, Kempe is underrated in my opinion. He's a good all-around player and could end up on any of the top 3 lines. Versatility is where the value is.

    18. Travis Sanheim, LD - Calgary, WHL

    Comparable - Jake Muzzin
    Upside - Mid-Pairing Two-way D-man

    Sanheim is an interesting prospect. He's got underrated puck skills and is a very fluid skater. When it's all said and done, he's got a good shot at becoming a top-4 D-Man and if not, he should make it as a depth guy.

    19. Kasperi Kapanen, RW - KalPa, SM-liiga

    Comparable - Kris Versteeg
    Upside - Top 6 Forward

    Kapanen has a lot of skill and he should becoming a solid contributor on a 2nd line. Failing that, I'm not convinced he'd be nearly as useful on a 3rd line and that's part of the risk.

    20. Julius Honka, RD - Swift Current, WHL

    Comparable - Ryan Ellis
    Upside - Mid-Pairing D-Man

    He's a dynamic albeit smallish offensive D-Man who can run a power play. Reminds me a lot of Ryan Ellis. He moves the puck extremely well so he's got a good shot as a top-4 guy.

    21. Michael Dal Colle, LW - Oshawa, OHL

    Comparable - Wojtek Wolski
    Upside - Top 6 Forward

    I see the upside with Dal Colle, he's a tremendously gifted offensive player however, he reminds me a lot of Wojtek Wolski. I think he could put up a lot of points, depending on which team drafts him but he'd end up being a solid complementary player. I see this player either making it on one of the top 2 lines on a team or not at all. Any team drafting him to be their savior will end up disappointed.

    22. Josh Ho-Sang, RW - Windsor, OHL

    Comparable - Ales Hemsky
    Upside - Top 6 Forward

    Josh Ho-Sang has tons of skill just like his comparable Ales Hemsky but whether he chooses to play with intensity every night remains to be seen. Like Dal Colle, I can't see this guy on a 3rd line, it's top 2 lines or bust.

    23. Jared McCann, C - Sault Ste-Marie, OHL

    Comparable - Matt Stajan
    Upside - 2nd / 3rd line Two-way Center

    I like Jared McCann, he's a solid player with a rocket of a shot. He's a pretty safe pick to become a good NHLer for many years.

    24. Roland McKeown, RD - Kingston, OHL

    Comparable - Roman Polak
    Upside - Mid-Pairing/Bottom Pairing Two-way D-Man

    Any team drafting this guy will be getting a solid NHLer in my opinion, as long as they realize that he's likely never going to develop into a top pairing guy. He's got an outside shot at being a top-4 guy but in all likelihood, he'll end up somewhere between a #4 and a #5 guy.

    25. Robb Fabbri, C - Guelph, OHL

    Comparable - Michael Grabner
    Upside - Top 6 Forward

    It's a bit harder to get an accurate read on a kid like Fabbri, when he's playing on an absolutely stacked team like the Guelph Storm. He's got a ton of skill no doubt but how it translates over to the pros is the real question. He could make it on a 2nd line if all goes well.

    26. Noah Rod, LW - Geneve-Servette, SWISS

    Comparable - Justin Abdelkadder
    Upside - Top 9 Two-way Winger

    Darkhorse pick, I just love the way this guy plays the game. He will likely only end up on a 3rd line but he's one of those guys who can still put up their share of points because he's got a nose for the net. He's a kid who's also not afraid to throw the body around.

    27. Ivan Barbashev, LW - Moncton, QMJHL

    Comparable - Marcus Kruger
    Upside - Top 9 Forwardd

    I saw Barbashev play live and in one of the games, he scored a 'Gordie Howe Hat Trick' yet I still came away from the game unimpressed. Perhaps my expectations were too high but I'm not certain that his game translates to the pros. He could end up a good 3rd line player if all goes well.

    28. David Pastrnak, RW - Sodertalje, Swe-1

    Comparable - Lee Stempniak
    Upside - Top 9 Forward

    Pastrnak could surprise but in the end, he's likely a tweener between the 2nd and 3rd lines.

    29. Ryan Collins, RD - US, USHL

    Comparable - Johnny Boychuk
    Upside - Bottom Pairing D-Man

    There's a huge projection with this player but there is something about his play that has me intrigued. He would be the type that would take 4-5 years to make it but he's got a shot if he gets the right development. Truly a project.

    30. Adam Ollas-Mattsson, LD - Djurgardens, Swe-1

    Comparable - Alex Edler
    Upside - Bottom Pairing D-Man

    Same as with Collins, this guy is extremely raw but could turn out to be a very good player should he develop. Another project.


    HR (31) Nikolai Goldobin, RW - Sarnia, OHL

    Could end up being a good goalscorer in the NHL, I don't see it though. Top-6 or bust.

    HR (32) Brendan Perlini, LW - Niagara, OHL

    I see this guy as another Benoit Pouliot/Taylor Pyatt. I don't think he translates over to the pros.

    HR (33) Jayce Hawrylyuk, RW - Brandon, WHL

    I'm a fan of Hawrylyuk, I like the way he competes and thinks the game. His size could hold him back.

    HR (34) Connor Bleackley, C - Red Deer, WHL

    Not a fan of this player. I can see how he can be a very good player in the junior ranks but I don't see that carrying over to the NHL. His lack of footspeed is noticeable and will hold him back at the next level.

    HR (35) Ryan MacInnis, C - Kitchener, OHL

    Has a rocket of a shot and could surprise but will likely end up on a 3rd line if he makes it at all.
     
  15. Bender

    Bender TheHockeyProspector

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    On a side note, I am pretty happy to see that one kid that I was really impressed with seeing him live a bunch of times, ended up getting drafted by the Rangers in the 5th round. It's kind of gratifying when scouts are kind of seeing the same thing you are. :)

    Daniel Walcott
    http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/pdisplay.php?pid=169643

    Each time I saw him play, I just kept thinking 'wow, he always seems to make such smart decisions with the puck'. Will likely need years in the AHL to round out the rest of his game but if he sticks to it, he's got a shot.
     

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