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NHL Draft 2014: Full Results and Initial Grades for 1st Round

PHILADELPHIA, PA - JUNE 27:  (L-R) Leon Draisaitl third overall pick by the Edmonton Oilers, Aaron Ekblad first overall pick by the Florida Panthers, and Sam Reinhart the second overall pick by the Buffalo Sabres pose during the first round of the 2014 NHL Draft at the Wells Fargo Center on June 27, 2014 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images
Alex BallentineFeatured Columnist IVJune 30, 2016

The 2014 Stanley Cup may have gone through Los Angeles this season, but the road to future Stanley Cups were built in the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. That's where the NHL entry draft took place on Friday night with teams hoping to fortify their rosters with top-shelf young talent. 

Some of the prospects' names will be familiar to fans. Sam Reinhart and William Nylander each have family legacies in the league. Meanwhile, other prospects such as Aaron Ekblad will look to carve out their own names for fans of their new clubs.

Now that we know where these exciting players will make their NHL homes, the question remains—who were the big winners?

Here's a look at all the first-round selections, a grade for each team and some overall first impressions from an interesting night of picks. 

 

Florida Panthers Make Aaron Ekblad No. 1 Pick

NHL Draft 2014 Grades
TeamPick(s)Grade
Florida PanthersD Aaron Ekblad (1)A
Buffalo SabresC Sam Reinhart (2)A
Edmonton OilersC Leon Draisaitl (3)A-
Calgary FlamesC Samuel Bennett (4)A
New York IslandersLW Michael Dal Colle (5)B+
Vancouver CanucksRW Jake Virtanen (6), C Jared McCann (24)B
Carolina HurricanesD Haydn Fleury (7)A
Toronto Maple LeafsC William Nylander (8)B
Winnipeg JetsLW Nikolaj Ehlers (9)B+
Anaheim DucksLW Nicholas Ritchie (10)B
Nashville PredatorsLW Kevin Fiala (11)B
Arizona CoyotesLW Brendan Perlini (12)B-
Washington CapitalsW Jakub Vrana (13)B+
Dallas StarsD Julius Honka (14)B-
Detroit Red WingsC Dylan Larkin (15)B
Columbus Blue JacketsLW Sonny Milano (16)B+
Philadelphia FlyersD Travis Sanheim (17)B-
Minnesota WildRW Alex Tuch (18)B+
Tampa Bay LightningD Anthony Deangelo (19)A-
Chicago BlackhawksC Nick Schmaltz (20)B
St. Louis BluesC Robert Fabbri (21)B
Pittsburgh PenguinsRW Kasperi Kapanen (22)B+
Colorado AvalancheC Conner Bleackley (23)B-
Boston BruinsRW David Pastrnak (25)B
Montreal CanadiensRW Nikita Scherbak (26)C
San Jose SharksRW Nikolay Goldobin (27)B
New York IslandersC Joshua Ho-Sang (28)B+
Los Angeles KingsLW Adrian KempeB
New Jersey DevilsC John QuennevilleB+
Grades via Alex Ballentine, Results via NHL.com

Unlike years past, the No. 1 pick truly seemed up for grabs this season. With Reinhart and Sam Bennett representing exciting offensive options, it was unclear which way the Panthers would go. 

As it turns out, the Panthers instead went the defensive route. By taking Ekblad over Reinhart and Bennett, they turned back the clock to the last time they had the first pick, as noted by ESPN Stats & Info: 

Matt Slocum/Associated Press

Ekblad won't just be a defensive force for the Panthers, though. He proved to be a capable scorer in the OHL, scoring 23 goals and 53 points for the Barrie Colts last season. 

With the Panthers choosing talented forwards over the course of the last four years, this was an excellent choice. At 6'3" and 213 pounds, he has NHL-ready size and will make his impact felt sooner rather than later. 

 

Sam Reinhart Sets Family Record

The Reinhart name is one that fans have become familiar with. Sam's father was an NHL defenseman, while his brothers, Max and Griffin, are currently in the league. However, Sam may be the most talented member of the family. 

As NHL Public Relations tweeted, he's now the family's highest-drafted player. The Buffalo Sabres made him the No. 2 selection:

PHILADELPHIA, PA - JUNE 27:  Sam Reinhart is selected second overall by the Buffalo Sabres in the first round of the 2014 NHL Draft at the Wells Fargo Center on June 27, 2014 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Reinhart himself was thrilled about the fit. The official Sabres Twitter feed provided the center's reaction to being drafted:

This pick should make Sabres fans happy. Reinhart's ability as a facilitator on the offensive end and defensive capabilities make him a potentially franchise-anchoring star. With the success of his brothers in the league, he has the pedigree to back up his amateur credentials. 

It might be a long climb for the woeful Sabres of yesteryear, but Reinhart is definitely a strong step toward rebuilding the Sabres roster. 

 

Trade Market Surprisingly Quiet

Going into the draft, there was some speculation that there could be a sizable amount of trades on draft night. Even the No. 1 pick seemed as though it might get traded with no clear-cut option. 

As it turns out, the night was all quiet on the trade front. The first major trade didn't even involve any picks, actually. The NHL reported a trade between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Nashville Predators involving James Neal:

Gene J. Puskar/Associated Press

Outside of that, there were only two trades that actually involved picks. Both are detailed in the table below:

The lack of trades made for a rather straightforward draft night. With plenty of talent for teams to scoop up, most clubs were content to stay put and gather the talent that came to them. 

Now fans will have to wait to find out how that strategy plays out over the long haul. 

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