2014 NHL DraftDownload App

NHL Draft 2014 Schedule: Start Time, TV Coverage, Live Stream and Projections

TORONTO - CANADA - MAY 31: Sam Reinhart starts the bike test during the NHL Combine testing May 31, 2014 at the Westin Bristol in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Graig Abel/NHLI  via Getty Images)
Graig Abel/Getty Images
Timothy RappFeatured ColumnistJune 27, 2014

Sure, the NBA draft might get more buzz, what with its short format (just two rounds) and the familiar star power many of us are familiar with from the college ranks. But with the NHL draft up next, it's time to turn away from the hardwood and back to the ice. 

Who needs Andrew Wiggins when we've got Aaron Ekblad, after all? Who needs Jabari Parker when we've got Sam Reinhart? They may not be as familiar to the casual fan, sure, but the hardcore puckheads among us can't wait to see what these guys can do at the NHL level. 

Of course, you won't want to miss a single pick, and with the following information below, you won't have to. From the television schedule to streaming information and even a mock draft included, the following article will have you prepped for the NHL draft. 

 

WhenFriday, June 27 at 7 p.m. ET (Round 1); Saturday, June 28 at 10 a.m. ET (Rounds 2-7)

WhereWells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

WatchNBCSNTSN and RDS (Round 1); NHL Network (Rounds 2-7)

Streaming: NBC Sports Live Extra; TSN GO

 

Projections

NHL Mock Draft
PickTeamPlayerPositionFrom
1Florida PanthersAaron EkbladDBarrie (OHL)
2Buffalo Sabres Sam ReinhartC Kootenay (WHL)
3Edmonton Oilers Leon DraisaitlCPrince Albert (WHL)
4Calgary FlamesSam BennettC/LWKingston (OHL)
5New York Islanders Michael Dal ColleLWOshawa (OHL)
6Vancouver CanucksJake VirtanenLWCalgary (WHL)
7Carolina Hurricanes Nikolaj EhlersLWHalifax (QMJHL)
8Toronto Maple Leafs William NylanderC/RWSodertalje (SWE)
9Winnipeg Jets Kasperi KapanenRWKalPa (FIN)
10Anaheim DucksBrendan PerliniLWNiagara (OHL)
11Nashville Predators Nick RitchieLWPeterborough (OHL)
12Phoenix Coyotes Haydn FleuryDRed Deer (WHL)
13Washington Capitals Kevin FialaLWHV71 J20 (SWE)
14Dallas Stars Jared McCannCSault Ste. Marie (OHL)
15Detroit Red Wings Ivan BarbashevCMoncton (QMJHL)
16Columbus Blue Jackets Julius HonkaDSwift Current (WHL)
17Philadelphia FlyersAlex TuchRWUSA (NTDP-18)
18Minnesota Wild Dylan LarkinCUSA (NTDP-17)
19Tampa Bay Lightning Sonny MilanoLWUSA (NTDP-17)
20San Jose Sharks Tony DeAngeloDSarnia (OHL)
21 St. Louis Blues Robby FabbriCGuelph (OHL)
22Pittsburgh Penguins David PastrnakLW/RWSodertalje SK (SWE)
23 Colorado Avalanche Roland McKeownD Kingston (OHL)
24Anaheim Ducks Travis SanheimDCalgary (WHL)
25 Boston Bruins Nick SchmaltzCGreen Bay (USHL)
26Montreal CanadiensJosh HoSangRWWindsor (OHL)
27Chicago Blackhawks Adrian KempeCMoDo U-20 (SWE)
28Tampa Bay Lightning Conner BleackleyCRed Deer (WHL)
29Los Angeles Kings Nikolay GoldobinRWSarnia (OHL)
30New Jersey Devils Thatcher DemkoGBoston College

 

Analysis

At this point, it seems safe to say there is a consensus top five in this year's draft. In no particular order, Ekblad, ReinhartSam BennettLeon Draisaitl and Michael Dal Colle seem likely to be the top five picks off the board. 

Ekblad, the lone defenseman of the group, is an intriguing prospect not only because he is easily the top blueliner around but also because of his size, smarts, strength and hockey IQ. He also has a lot of room to grow, especially in joining the rush, and his monstrous shot from the point will make him a nice contributor on the power play. 

But this draft, at least at the top, is all about the forwards. And each of the top four has their own characteristics that set them apart. 

TORONTO, CANADA - MAY 31: Leon Draisaitl does a pull-up during the  the NHL Combine testing May 31, 2014 at the Westin Bristol in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Graig Abel/NHLI  via Getty Images)
Graig Abel/Getty Images

Bennett matches skill with grit and determination. Reinhart hails from a family of hockey players. Draisaitl is quite the playmaker from his position at center. Dal Colle has a great combination of size and skill.

It's possible we won't see another defenseman taken off the board until after the top 10, or even top 15, once Ekblad goes. It's that deep of a draft at the forward position (or perhaps that thin a draft on the blue line, depending on your perspective). 

Of course, these prospects come with their own question marks. Many of their weaknesses have to do with their age or physical development. Read through many scouting reports and you'll see "needs to be more physical" or "needs to add strength" listed more than a few times. Bennett, for example, couldn't do a single pull-up at the NHL Scouting Combine.

Yes, you read that correctly.

He's since improved that aspect of his physique, however, according to Greg Wyshynski of Yahoo Sports:

'Really didn’t think it was that big a deal until the next couple of days when it went crazy,' said Bennett on Monday, attending the Stanley Cup Final with other top prospects.

The news spread quickly through junior hockey blogs. The Toronto Star did a roundup of hockey fitness experts’ opinions on his pull-up deficiency. Bennett, projected as a top five pick from the Kingston Frontenacs, was suddenly The Guy Who Can’t Do a Pull-Up.

'It really did bother me. It’s just … I know I couldn’t do them, but obviously I’m going to keep working on them,' he said. 'I guess that’s how people are labeling me right now. There’s nothing I can really do about it, except for work hard in the gym and get better.'

And so he hit the gym after that, working on his upper body strength. In a development that’s likely to get a lot less coverage, he can do multiple pull-ups now.

Spend any time watching him on tape, of course, and you're a bit more likely to give him some time to improve his pull-up game. The kid is a true two-way player and leaves everything on the ice, every night. It's not as though you generally find yourself needing to do pull-ups on the ice (though, of course, upper-body strength is important).

One thing is for certain—Bennett's lack of proficiency at the pull-up bar is unlikely to affect his draft stock too much. It would be pretty shocking if he dropped out of the top five, and if he did, one team would be getting a heck of a steal later in the top 10. 

I think we can all put "Pull-Up Gate" behind us. In a few years, we'll hardly remember it happened. 
 

Follow TRappaRT on Twitter

Where can I comment?

Stay on your game

Latest news, insights, and forecasts on your teams across leagues.

Choose Teams
Get it on the App StoreGet it on Google Play

Real-time news for your teams right on your mobile device.

Download
Copyright © 2017 Bleacher Report, Inc. Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. All Rights Reserved. BleacherReport.com is part of Bleacher Report – Turner Sports Network, part of the Turner Sports and Entertainment Network. Certain photos copyright © 2017 Getty Images. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of Getty Images is strictly prohibited. AdChoices