NHL Draft Grades 2014: Final Report Card for Every Team

Steve MacfarlaneFeatured ColumnistJune 28, 2014

NHL Draft Grades 2014: Final Report Card for Every Team

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    USA TODAY Sports

    The 2014 NHL draft is in the books after a star-studded first round hit the TV airways on Friday night and Rounds 2 to 7 closed it out Saturday afternoon.

    It will be years before we know what the long-term effects of the weekend's selections will be, but the early grades are in for each team.

    Factoring into these letters are what the team needed heading into the draft and what they got out of it; whether or not they got an impact player, or if they were really fortunate, more than one; whether or not they turned assets into multiple assets via trade, or were smart enough to stand back and just pick the best player available at every turn.

    Click ahead to see where your team ranks, and offer your own grades in the comments.

Anaheim Ducks

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    The Picks

    First round, 10th overall: RW Nick Ritchie (Peterborough, OHL)

    Second round, 38th overall: D Marcus Pettersson (Skelleftea Jr., Sweden)

    Second round, 55th overall: D Brandon Montour (Waterloo, USHL)

    Fifth round, 123rd overall: D Matthew Berkovitz (Ashwaubenon, HIGH-WI)

    Seventh round, 205th overall: RW Ondrej Kase (Chomutov, Czech Rep.)

     

    The Grade: B

     

    The Bottom Line

    Credit the Ducks for stocking up on what they needed in their system, but their picks will all take some seasoning before making the jump.

    Ritchie has the tools to be a dominant player but has a lot of work to do before he's truly ready for the NHL. Training right, and focusing on nutrition to shed some weight off his 6'2", 230-pound frame, will be necessary to make an impact at the next level. He's not a gamble, by any means, but he's a bit of a raw project.

    The Ducks made nice picks in the second round with puck-handling defensemen Pettersson and Montour. Pettersson is a tall kid with a long reach and smart positioning skills. He's also got offensive potential. He'll need to bulk up to play in the NHL and will start by playing against men in Sweden. Montour had 14 goals and 62 points in 60 games this season.

    Berkovitz, another offensively gifted blueliner, is nice value in the fifth round. Kase is already playing against men in the top Czech league and is a playmaking winger who has a shot at becoming a decent pro.

Arizona Coyotes

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    The Picks

    First round, 12th overall: LW Brendan Perlini (Niagara, OHL)

    Second round, 43rd overall: C Ryan MacInnis (Kitchener, OHL)

    Second round, 58th overall: LW Christian Dvorak (London, OHL)

    Third round, 87th overall: RW Anton Karlsson (Frolunda Jr., Sweden)

    Fourth round, 117th overall: LW Michael Bunting (Sault Ste. Marie, OHL)

    Fifth round, 133rd overall: D Dysin Mayo (Edmonton, WHL)

    Sixth round, 163rd overall: D David Westlund (Brynas Jr., Sweden)

    Seventh round, 191st overall: LW Jared Fiegl (USA U18)

    Seventh round, 193rd overall: LW Edgars Kulda (Edmonton, WHL)

     

    The Grade: A

     

    The Bottom Line

    Depth on the wing was the biggest need coming in, and Perlini is a strong prospect who grabbed more and more attention from Christmas on because of his impressive play for the IceDogs. He's 6'3" and has plenty of time to fill out his large frame. He scored 34 times and had 71 points in 58 games in the OHL this season.

    MacInnis is a solid two-way player with strong bloodlines. Dad Al MacInnis is a Hall of Famer, who should tell his son to shoot a little more.

    With a nice collection of picks throughout, the Coyotes brought in a quality mix of talented skaters and offensive weapons like Perlini and potential seventh-round steal Kulda—who was the Oil Kings' second-leading scorer in the WHL playoffs en route to a Memorial Cup championship. Arizona also added physical players with the likes of Karlsson and Mayo.

Boston Bruins

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    The Picks

    First round, 25th overall: RW David Pastrnak (Sodertalje, Sweden)

    Second round, 56th overall: C Ryan Donato (Dexter High School, HIGH-MA)

    Fourth round, 116th overall: C/LW Danton Heinen (Surrey, BCHL)

    Fifth round, 146th overall: LW Anders Bjork (USA U18)

    Seventh round, 206th overall: D Emil Johansson (HV71 Jr., Sweden)

     

    The Grade: C

     

    The Bottom Line

    Pastrnak has promise, showing his skill at the world juniors. He's extremely creative with the puck but is also hungry without it. He was a solid pick for a team that is always seeking second-line wingers. Donato has size and smarts, but his body of work so far is at the high school level, so it may not translate as he works toward the pros.

    What's most surprising about the Bruins' weekend is they took just one defenseman—and not until the seventh round—despite the fact they have a top three that is aging and will need to stock the cupboards in the system to replace the guys who are graduating to the NHL full time.

Buffalo Sabres

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    The Picks

    First round, second overall: C Sam Reinhart (Kootenay, WHL)

    Second round, 31st overall: LW Brendan Lemieux (Barrie, OHL)

    Second round, 44th overall: C Eric Cornel (Peterborough, OHL)

    Second round, 49th overall: RW Vaclav Karabacek (Gatineau, QMJHL)

    Third round, 61st overall: G Jonas Johansson (Brynas Jr., Sweden)

    Third round, 74th overall: D Brycen Martin (Swift Current, WHL)

    Fifth round, 121st overall: C Maxwell Willman (Williston-Northampton, HIGH-MA)

    Sixth round, 151st overall: C Christopher Brown (Cranbrook Kingswood, HIGH-MI)

    Seventh round, 181st overall: RW Victor Olofsson (Modo Jr., Sweden)

     

    The Grade: A-

     

    The Bottom Line

    It seemed as if the Sabres were constantly on the clock, and they picked up some strong pieces in multiple positions for their rebuild.

    In Reinhart, they picked up the smartest player in the draft. He's a center who has the kind of vision and hockey sense that makes other players around him better. He also shines under pressure, according to Sabres general manager Tim Murray.

    "Watching him play, he rose to the occasion in big games," Murray said on the TSN broadcast of the first round.

    They picked up a gritty complement in Lemieux, who like his dad Claude is capable of getting under an opponent's skin. He could be more talented offensively than his old man, too.

    Second-rounders Cornel and Karabacek have offensive potential as well, and to add to the defensive group they brought in a very sound defensive-minded blueliner in Martin—who was the more offensive Julius Honka's partner on the back end.

Calgary Flames

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    The Picks

    First round, fourth overall: C Sam Bennett (Kingston, OHL)

    Second round, 34th overall: G Mason McDonald (Charlottetown, QMJHL)

    Second round, 54th overall: RW Hunter Smith (Oshawa, OHL)

    Third round, 64th overall: D Brandon Hickey (Spruce Grove, AJHL)

    Sixth round, 175th overall: D Adam Ollas Mattsson (Djurgarden Jr., Sweden)

    Seventh round, 184th overall: RW Austin Carroll (Victoria, WHL)

     

    The Grade: C

     

    The Bottom Line

    Size was the word of the day for the Flames brass, led by president of hockey operations Brian Burke and GM Brad Treliving. After picking up Bennett—who has been compared to his junior coach, Doug Gilmour, because of his heart and agitating style complementing his high-end skills—the Flames added some large bodies on Day 2. 

    The pick might have been early, and McDonald wasn't even the top-ranked netminder, but the Flames wanted the 6'4" backstop badly enough to take him with their first of two picks in the second round—starting a run on goalies. He is agile and athletic and has progressed in the last couple of seasons. He could turn out to be a nice asset, but it will likely take years.

    Smith is 6'6" and isn't a brute or a goon, although how well he may be able to play at the NHL level remains to be seen. He's destined for a bottom-six role at best. The second round seems high for that kind of player.

    Mattsson is 6'4" and plays a simple defensive game. Carroll is 6'2" with more offensive ability but as a 20-year-old who was at their development camp a year ago may have been available as a free agent, freeing them up to take a shot at another asset instead.

Carolina Hurricanes

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    The Picks

    First round, seventh overall: D Haydn Fleury (Red Deer, WHL)

    Second round, 37th overall: G Alex Nedeljkovic (Plymouth, OHL)

    Third round, 67th overall: LW Warren Foegele (St. Andrews, HIGH-ON)

    Fourth round, 96th overall: D Josh Wesley (Plymouth, OHL)

    Fourth round, 97th overall: C Lucas Wallmark (Lulea, Sweden)

    Fifth round, 127 overall: C Clark Bishop (Cape Breton, QMJHL)

    Seventh round, 187th overall: D Kyle Jenkins (Sault Ste. Marie, OHL)

     

    The Grade: D

     

    The Bottom Line

    Fleury was the second-best choice at the position, and the Hurricanes needed another prospect on the back end. The team did pass up on some potentially elite offensive talents, however, which leaves it open to some criticism before Fleury proves his worth in a couple of years. 

    The Hurricanes got caught up in the goalie run in the second round, again passing up on forwards when they already have three netminders at the NHL level.

    In terms of value, Jenkins in the seventh round might have been their best bargain if he pans out as a defensive-minded bottom-pairing guy, but the Hurricanes need their top two picks to pan out for this draft not to be seen as a bust down the road.

Chicago Blackhawks

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    The Picks

    First round, 20th overall: C Nick Schmaltz (Green Bay, USHL)

    Third round, 83rd overall: RW Matheson Iacopelli (Muskegon, USHL)

    Third round, 87th overall: C/LW Beau Starrett (South Shore, USPHL PRE)

    Fourth round, 98th overall: LW Frederik Olofsson (Chicago, USHL)

    Fifth round, 141st overall: D Luc Snuggerud (Eden Prairie, HIGH-MN)

    Fifth round, 148th overall: D Andreas Soderberg (Skelleftea Jr., Sweden)

    Sixth round, 178th overall: C Dylan Sikura (Aurora, OJHL)

    Sixth round, 179th overall: G Ivan Nalimov (SKA St. Petersburg 2, Russia Jr.)

    Seventh round, 208th overall: RW Jack Ramsey (Penticton, BCHL)

     

    The Grade: C+

     

    The Bottom Line

    Schmaltz has the offensive skills to make him a top-10 pick, but there are doubts about his defensive commitment. At least the Blackhawks have captain Jonathan Toews as a potential mentor. The fact they traded up seven picks to get him means they like what they see.

    Hopefully for the Hawks he turns out to be as dynamic as he has been in the USHL, because he may be the only player with top-six potential out of this crop, which was heavy on the USHL and high school ranks and lower-end North American junior leagues.

    Snuggerud, a balanced defenseman who may one day develop into a top-four guy on the team, may be their best value in the fifth round.

    Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman sounded happy about the wide range of selections, according to Tracey Myers of CSN Chicago:

    “We had a lot of picks and added to that, so we walked away with a nice mixture, guys at every position,” general manager Stan Bowman said. “What we wanted to do was address needs across the board: wingers, defensemen, centers, goalie. We’re happy with the breadth of players.”

Colorado Avalanche

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    The Picks

    First round, 23rd overall: C Conner Bleackley (Red Deer, WHL)

    Third round, 84th overall: D Kyle Wood (North Bay, OHL)

    Fourth round, 93rd overall: RW Nicholas Magyar (Kitchener, OHL)

    Fourth round, 114th overall: LW Alexis Pepin (Gatineau, QMJHL)

    Fifth round, 144th overall: D Anton Lindholm (Skelleftea Jr., Sweden)

    Sixth round, 174th overall: G Maximilian Pajpach (Slovakia U18)

    Seventh round: 204th overall: C/LW Julien Nantel (Rouyn-Noranda, QMJHL)

     

    The Grade: C

     

    The Bottom Line

    Bleackley is a strong leader, captaining the Rebels during his WHL stint. The franchise is in desperate need of defensive prospects, however, and although Wood is a big kid who could develop into what they're looking for as defensive pillar, they only added two blueliners through seven selections.

    Beyond Bleackley, they didn't address the center position, either, which makes re-signing either Ryan O'Reilly or Paul Stastny even more important.

    Even Bleackley was a bit of a reach, ranked as the 35th-best North American skater by CSS and taken 23rd overall. His leadership and intangibles will be great for the team years down the road, but it has that in place already with recent draft picks.

Columbus Blue Jackets

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    The Picks

    First round, 16th overall: C/LW Sonny Milano (USA U18)

    Second round, 47th overall: D Ryan Collins (USA U18)

    Third round, 76th overall: G Elvis Merzlikins (Lugano, Swiss)

    Third round, 77th overall: D Blake Siebenaler (Niagara, OHL)

    Fourth round, 107th overall: LW Julien Pelletier (Cape Breton, QMJHL)

    Fifth round, 137th overall: RW Tyler Bird (Kimball Union, HIGH-NH)

    Seventh round, 197th overall: D Olivier LeBlanc (Saint John, QMJHL)

     

    The Grade: B

     

    The Bottom Line

    The grade is primarily based on Milano growing both physically and as a player at Boston College the next couple of seasons. He'll need that time to get stronger in order to make the jump to the pro ranks, but there's no doubt he has the skills to impress in the NHL at some point. He's got a great feel for the puck.

    Collins is a big and steady defender who can also make a solid first pass out of his own zone. He's nothing flashy, but the Blue Jackets don't need that on the back end right now.

    The Jackets are hoping they struck gold with Merzlikins, a Latvian playing in the Swiss league who posted a 9.25 save percentage last season.

Dallas Stars

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    The Picks

    First round, 14th overall: D Julius Honka (Swift Current, WHL)

    Second round, 45th overall: LW Brett Pollock (Edmonton, WHL)

    Third round, 75th overall: D Alexander Peters (Plymouth, OHL)

    Fourth round, 105th overall: D Michael Prapavessis (Toronto Lakeshore, OJHL)

    Fourth round, 115th overall: G Brent Moran (Niagara, OHL)

    Fifth round, 135th overall: D Miro Karjalainen (Jokerit U18, Finland Jr.)

    Sixth round, 154th overall: D Aaron Haydon (Niagara, OHL)

    Sixth round, 165th overall: LW John Nyberg (Frolunda Jr., Sweden)

    Seventh round, 195th overall: D Patrick Sanvido (Windsor, OHL)

     

    The Grade: B+

     

    The Bottom Line

    The Stars did just what they needed to do and focused heavily on the blue line, starting with a standout offensive defenseman who can fight his way into the top four within a couple of seasons.

    CSS scout Peter Sullivan wrote:

    Let’s just say that when you go to a game and you see his name in the lineup, you’re excited to watch the game because he’s got about four or five different gears. You think he’s just skating normally and he puts it in another gear, then another gear. Excellent vision and on-ice awareness. He reads the play so well sometimes he’s two or three steps ahead of his own teammates.

    Honka put up great numbers in his first season in North America, scoring 16 goals and 56 points in 62 games for the Broncos. His size is a bit of a scare, but a couple of years of training should help him fill out the 5'10" frame. Peters is a solid stay-at-home defender with great size, while Prapavessis might be a bit of a combination of the other two with impressive offensive numbers and a 6'1" frame.

    Pollock has a chance to develop into a decent power forward but may project to a third- or fourth-line role in the pros.

Detroit Red Wings

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    The Picks

    First round, 15th overall: C Dylan Larkin (USA U18)

    Third round, 63rd overall: C Dominic Turgeon (Portland, WHL)

    Fourth round, 106th overall: C Christoffer Ehn (Frolunda Jr., Sweden)

    Fifth round, 136th overall: G Chase Perry (Wenatchee, NAHL)

    Sixth round, 166th overall: LW Julius Vahatalo (TPS Jr., Finland)

    Seventh round, 196th overall: C Axel Holmstrom (Skelleftea Jr., Sweden)

    Seventh round, 201st overall: C Alexander Kadeykin (Mytischi, Russia)

     

    The Grade: B-

     

    The Bottom Line

    With Jared McCann still available, the Larkin pick might have been based on proximity. McCann seems to have a little more upside offensively, but Larkin, a Waterford, Michigan, product, will be motivated to play for the Wings, according to Detroit Free Press writer George Sipple.

    Considering their struggles at center behind Pavel Datsyuk, the Wings made the middle a real focus this weekend and scored a promising third-line prospect in Turgeon (son of Pierre) and an offensive wild card in Ehn, who was strong at the junior level and will play against men in the top league in Sweden next season.

    As usual, the Red Wings' draft took on a very European look. It's worked out well in the past, so you have to give them the benefit of the doubt one or more of the later-round picks will play in the NHL.

Edmonton Oilers

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    The Picks

    First round, third overall: C Leon Draisaitl (Prince Albert, WHL)

    Fourth round, 91st overall: D William Lagesson (Frolunda Jr., Sweden)

    Fourth round, 111th overall: G Zachary Nagelvoort (UMichigan, Big Ten)

    Fifth round, 130th overall: C/LW Liam Coughlin (Vernon, BCHL)

    Sixth round, 153rd overall: C Tyler Vesel (Omaha, USHL)

    Seventh round, 183rd overall: G Keven Bouchard (Val D'Or, QMJHL)

     

    The Grade: B+

     

    The Bottom Line

    The Oilers need size up the middle to compete in the Western Conference, and they got it in the form of the 6'2" German Draisaitl with stellar hands to go with that size and strength.

    "We all know how difficult big centers are to obtain. Leon really fits that bill for us. We feel Leon's skill set fits in incredibly well for us in Edmonton," Oilers GM Craig MacTavish said on TSN.

    He could be the best player from this draft class when all their careers are over, and that would certainly mean a better grade in review down the road.

    They're penalized for taking two goaltenders (really, Oilers?) but given credit for adding bigger bodies in order to protect their smaller and more skilled assets.

    “You’ve been telling us we need to be a little grittier and edgier, so we’re trying,” director of amateur scouting Stu MacGregor told reporters, via Canadian Press writer Stephen Whyno. “Obviously size isn’t everything but it’s a factor. The biggest thing is passion to play the game and want to get into battle.”

Florida Panthers

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    The Picks

    First round, first overall: D Aaron Ekblad (Barrie, OHL)

    Second round, 32nd overall: C Jayce Hawryluk (Brandon, WHL)

    Third round, 65th overall: RW Juho Lammikko (Assat Jr., Finland)

    Fourth round, 92nd overall: RW Joe Wegwerth (USA U18)

    Fifth round, 143rd overall: LW Miguel Fidler (Edina High, HIGH-MN)

    Seventh round, 182nd overall: G Hugo Fagerblom (Frolunda U18, Sweden Jr.)

     

    The Grade: B

     

    The Bottom Line

    The Panthers added another big, two-way blueliner on Friday by taking who they thought was the best player in the draft. 

    "There's a maturity factor to his game that you don't see in a lot of players," NHL analyst Pierre McGuire said on the TSN broadcast of the first round. 

    They followed up with some important picks to fill up the forward depth in the system and got a great under-the-radar pick in Hawryluk early in the second round. He's only 5'10" but has one of those motors similar to Sam Bennett. Central Scouting's B.J. MacDonald loved Hawryluk's spunk in his viewings, via NHL.com:

    "Hawryluk was spunky and had a good work ethic; he's undersized but plays big and with grit. He has decent hands and good instincts, and definitely had a tremendous second half."

Los Angeles Kings

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    The Picks

    First round, 29th overall: C Adrian Kempe (Modo, Sweden)

    Second round, 50th overall: D Roland McKeown (Kingston, OHL)

    Second round, 60th overall: D Alex Lintuniemi (Ottawa, OHL)

    Third round, 90th overall: C Michael Amadio (North Bay, OHL)

    Fourth round, 120th overall: D Steven Johnson (Omaha, USHL)

    Fifth round, 150th overall: G Alec Dillon (Victoria, BCHL)

    Sixth round, 157th overall: C Jake Marchment (Belleville, OHL)

    Sixth round, 180th overall: LW Matthew Mistele (Plymouth, OHL)

    Seventh round, 209th overall: RW Spencer Watson (Kingston, OHL)

    Seventh round, 210th overall: D Jacob Middleton (Ottawa, OHL)

     

    The Grade: A

     

    The Bottom Line

    Just on quantity alone, the Kings have an impressive haul from the 2014 draft. But they were shrewd, too.

    Top pick Kempe is a big center who boasts power, skill and determination. He didn't put up flashy  offensive numbers overseas but was playing a smaller role against men much older. With time to develop his game, Kempe could become a key replacement as a second- or third-line center in the NHL.

    Trading up to grab defenseman Roland McKeown in the second round was a strong move. He had first-round talent, and the Kings recognized what value he possessed at that spot and pounced.

    “I love this kid," Central Scouting's David Gregory wrote on NHL.com. "He can play offensively and move the puck and has a bomb of a shot. When defending you, he presents himself as a big, strong and mobile guy. He'll push guys to the side; he's a legitimate top prospect.”

    He trains in the offseason with Gary Roberts, and he may be close to making the jump to the NHL.

    Every player picked seems to fit the Kings mold with a blend of size, toughness and reliability with a secondary focus on offensive production.

Minnesota Wild

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    The Picks

    First round, 18th overall: C/RW Alex Tuch (USA U18)

    Third round, 80th overall: D Louis Belpedio (USA U18)

    Fourth round, 109th overall: G Kaapo Kahkonen (Blues Jr., Finland)

    Fifth round, 139th overall: D Tanner Faith (Kootenay, WHL)

    Sixth round, 160th overall: D Pontus Sjalin (Ostersunds, J20 Elit)

    Sixth round, 167th overall: C Chase Lang (Calgary, WHL)

    Sixth round, 169th overall: C Reid Duke (Lethbridge, WHL)

    Seventh round, 199th overall: C Pavel Jenys (BRNO, Czech Rep.)

     

    The Grade: C+

     

    The Bottom Line

    The Wild filled a need early with Tuch, one of the few legitimate top-end power forwards available in the draft. 

    His vision and size is a unique combination, and he'll be honing his game in the college ranks for a year or two before making the jump to the NHL.

    Character was a big focus for the Wild, and they picked Tuch's teammate Belpedio next in the third round for that reason. He's an undersized defender but was the team's captain and plays smart defensively.

    With a risk/reward selection in the fifth round, the Wild took Faith, who suffered a season-ending shoulder injury after just 10 games in his sophomore season in the WHL. They're banking on the 6'3" defenseman coming back strong and providing size and defensive responsibility on the back end.

Montreal Canadiens

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    The Picks

    First round, 26th overall: RW Nikita Scherbak (Saskatoon, WHL)

    Third round, 73rd overall: D Brett Lernout (Swift Current, WHL)

    Fifth round, 125th overall: D Nikolas Koberstein (Olds, AJHL)

    Fifth round, 147th overall: C Daniel Audette (Sherbrooke, QMJHL)

    Sixth round, 177th overall: G Hayden Hawkey (Omaha, USHL)

    Seventh round, 207th overall: C/RW Jake Evans (St. Michaels, OJHL)

     

    The Grade: B

     

    The Bottom Line

    The Canadiens needed more size on the farm, and Scherbak fits the bill at 6'1". OK, maybe size is relative to what little they have.

    In his first year in North America, the Russian playmaker scored 28 goals and 78 points in 65 games. A little more seasoning in junior and he will be ready to make the jump right to the NHL.

    They really went big with Lernout, a basher at 6'4" who will fortify their defense in the future. He and Koberstein could play with more offensively-minded partners and allow them to roam without fear of consequences.

    Audette is a teeny tiny center (5'8") with loads of skill well worth the risk in the fifth round.

    Bonus points for drafting a guy with the last name Hawkey.

Nashville Predators

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    The Picks

    First round, 11th overall: LW Kevin Fiala (HV71, Sweden)

    Second round, 42nd overall: LW Vladislav Kamenev (Magnitogorsk 2, Russia Jr.)

    Second round, 51st overall: D Jack Dougherty (USA U18)

    Third round, 62nd overall: LW Justin Kirkland (Kelowna, WHL)

    Fourth round, 112th overall: LW Viktor Arvidsson (Skelleftea, Sweden)

    Fifth round, 132nd overall: D Joonas Lyytinen (Kalpa, Finland)

    Sixth round, 162nd overall: D Aaron Irving (Edmonton, WHL)

     

    The Grade: A

     

    The Bottom Line

    Fiala jumped from No. 11 on NHL Central Scouting's midterm rankings of top Europeans to No. 3 in its final rankings. He's a shifty and explosive offensive weapon and suits the new-look Nashville Predators perfectly as they attempt to transition to an up-tempo team.

    He can play either wing and is the kind of dynamic player fans in Nashville have longed for. They got another in Kamenev, who fell to the second round despite a first-round grade from the ISS, likely due to his citizenship. The KHL didn't scare off the Predators, but if he bolts for Mother Russia money long term, that would really hurt.

    Dougherty is another guy who could have gone much higher but fell into Nashville's lap. He's a tough and smart two-way defenseman who can gobble up minutes one day. Perfect addition to a future top four.

    Arvidsson could prove a steal in the fourth round, and the same goes for Lyytinen in the fifth.

New Jersey Devils

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    The Picks

    First round, 30th overall: C/LW John Quenneville (Brandon, WHL)

    Second round, 41st overall: D Joshua Jacobs (Indiana, USHL)

    Third round, 71st overall: RW Connor Chatham (Plymouth, OHL)

    Fifth round, 131st overall: D Ryan Rehill (Kamloops, WHL)

    Sixth round, 152nd overall: C Joey Dudek (Kimball Union, HIGH-NH)

    Sixth round, 161st overall: LW Brandon Baddock (Edmonton, WHL)

     

    The Grade: C+

     

    The Bottom Line

    Brendan Lemieux was the fan favorite. Quenneville is a pretty versatile player, though, who also has an edge to his game and can play in the middle or on the wing. He offers a more balanced game overall. He is defensively responsible but also put up strong offensive numbers for the Wheat Kings, and he played his best games in the playoffs. He's always finding a way to get to open spaces on the ice and his hockey smarts could help him carve out a nice NHL career if he can find his consistency.

    Jacobs is big and a solid two-way defensive prospect—responsibility being the biggest common link between all this year's new Devils.

    There is little to get excited about, however.

New York Islanders

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    The Picks

    First round, fifth overall: LW/C Michael Dal Colle (Oshawa, OHL)

    First round, 28th overall: C/RW Josh Ho-Sang (Windsor, OHL)

    Third round, 78th overall: G Ilya Sorokin (Novokuznetsk, Russia)

    Fourth round, 95th overall: G Linus Soderstrom (Djurgarden Jr., Sweden)

    Fourth round, 108th overall: D Devon Toews (Quinnipiac, ECAC)

    Sixth round, 155th overall: C Kyle Schempp (Ferris State, WCHA)

    Seventh round, 200th overall: C Lukas Sutter (Red Deer, WHL)

     

    The Grade: A+

     

    The Bottom Line

    I'm repeating myself from the live draft coverage on Friday night, but what an incredible first round for the Islanders. 

    Dal Colle, a big winger who can already shoot at the NHL level and is extremely mature, might already be ready for the next level. He has tremendous potential and the ability to play two positions.

    And talk about a bold move, trading back into the first round to nab one of the most impressive offensive players in the draft in Ho-Sang—a controversial personality who was no doubt left off many teams' draft lists because of a perceived cockiness (see this story from Toronto Sun writer Steve Simmons) that comes from his unique upbringing.

    People who don't like P.K. Subban because of his perceived cockiness would love to have him on their teams now. The same might be said about Ho-Sang in a couple of years.

    They filled a goaltending need with Soderstrom and Sorokin and got value picks in Toews and Sutter, too.

New York Rangers

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    Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

    The Picks

    Second round, 59th overall: G Brandon Halverson (Sault Ste. Marie, OHL)

    Third round, 85th overall: C/RW Keegan Iverson (Portland, WHL)

    Fourth round, 104th overall: D Ryan Mantha (Indiana, USHL)

    Fourth round, 118th overall: G Igor Shesterkin (Spartak 2, Russia Jr.)

    Fifth round, 122nd overall: LW Richard Nejezchleb (Brandon, WHL)

    Fifth round, 140th overall: D Daniel Walcott (Blainville-Boisbriand, QMJHL)

    Fifth round, 142nd overall: D Tyler Nanne (Edina High, HIGH-MN)

     

    The Grade: D

     

    The Bottom Line

    The grade might seem a little harsh, but a team that has no first-round pick and one of the league's best goaltenders locked up forever using its first pick to grab a goalie? That just doesn't make a whole lot of sense. Yes, you need goalies in the system as well in case of injury, etc., but there's always next year, or the next round.

    Wait, what's this? They added another one two rounds later?

    Their best pick came in the fifth round. Nejezchleb showed offensive instinct and is the kind of guy who could play a third-line role and be bumped up if needed.

Ottawa Senators

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    Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

    The Picks

    Second round, 40th overall: D Andreas Englund (Djurgarden, Sweden2)

    Third round, 70th overall: D Miles Gendron (Rivers Academy, HIGH-MA)

    Fourth round, 100th overall: C/LW Shane Eiserman (Dubuque, USHL)

    Seventh round, 189th overall: D Kelly Summers (Carleton Place, CCHL)

    Seventh round, 190th overall: LW Francis Perron (Rouyn-Noranda, QMJHL)

     

    The Grade: B-

     

    The Bottom Line

    Considering the Senators didn't have a first-round pick, they did fairly well with what limited resources they had.

    Recognizing a need for a stay-at-home defender, they picked up a good one in Englund, who Ken Warren of the Ottawa Citizen says Sens assistant general manager Pierre Dorion felt was ranked much lower than his value:

    “For us, we feel like we left this draft with a first round pick. I’ve been scouting for 20 years, I don’t think we could bring in a higher character person into our organization.”

    They got value in Eiserman, who was ranked 45th among North American skaters, and could also hit with offensive blueliner Gendron after a few years of growth.

Philadelphia Flyers

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    Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

    The Picks

    First round, 17th overall: D Travis Sanheim (Calgary, WHL)

    Second round, 48th overall: RW Nicolas Aube-Kubel (Val D'Or, QMJHL)

    Third round, 86th overall: D Mark Friedman (Waterloo, USHL)

    Fifth round, 138th overall: LW Oskar Lindblom (Brynas Jr., Sweden)

    Sixth round, 168th overall: C Radel Fazleev (Calgary, WHL)

    Seventh round, 198th overall: D Jesper Pettersson (Linkoping, Sweden)

     

    The Grade: C+

     

    The Bottom Line

    When it comes to impact players, it will be a few years until we see whether Sanheim pans out.

    He was a huge riser in the draft rankings and opinions of scouts this season after being on virtually nobody's radar to start the year. But he does have speed and offensive ability that rose to the forefront in Calgary when injuries led to an increased role with the Hitmen.

    Aube-Kubel and Friedman are both speedy prospects who are years away from contributing. Revisit this grade in a few years and see if it gets bumped up to a B-.

Pittsburgh Penguins

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    The Picks

    First round, 22nd overall: RW Kasperi Kapanen (KalPa, Finland)

    Fourth round, 113th overall: C/LW Sam Lafferty (Deerfield, HIGH-MA)

    Fifth round, 145th overall: C Anthony Angello (Omaha, USHL)

    Sixth round, 173rd overall: RW Jaden Lindo (Owen Sound, OHL)

    Seventh round, 203rd overall: D Jeff Taylor (Union College, ECAC)

     

    The Grade: B

     

    The Bottom Line

    Kapanen fell into the Penguins' laps in the first round, but they didn't have much to work with beyond that.

    They added three forwards who are all long-term projects.

    All their eggs are in the Kapanen basket in this one.

    He was a top talent, but it's tough to live up to his father's reputation. His dad, Sami, was a Stanley Cup winner who put everything on the line on a nightly basis. He wasn't a high-end offensive talent but was still coveted for his intangibles. His son, Kasperi, has more skill, but the knock on him is he may not have the same kind of work ethic. I think he'll prove to be a steal with the 22nd overall pick.

San Jose Sharks

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    Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

    The Picks

    First round, 27th overall: RW Nikolay Goldobin (Sarnia, OHL)

    Second round, 46th overall: D Julius Bergman (Frolunda Jr., Sweden)

    Second round, 53rd overall: RW Noah Rod (Geneve Jr., Swiss)

    Third round, 72nd overall: RW Alex Schoenborn (Portland, WHL)

    Third round, 81st overall: LW Dylan Sadowy (Saginaw, OHL)

    Fourth round, 102nd overall: D Alexis Vanier (Baie-Comeau, QMJHL)

    Fifth round, 149th overall: C Rourke Chartier (Kelowna, WHL)

    Sixth round, 171st overall: RW Kevin Labanc (Barrie, OHL)

     

    The Grade: B

     

    The Bottom Line

    The Sharks traded down to get Goldobin, acquiring an early third-rounder in a deal with the Chicago Blackhawks and still grabbing a solid offensive prospect in Goldobin. The Russian is a well-rounded offensive playmaker, but his defensive efforts will need some work.

    They used the extra pick to add another selection later and add to their collection of offensively talented wingers. With their first second-round pick, they scooped up a defenseman who may—in the long run—be the answer to the departed Dan Boyle.

St. Louis Blues

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    The Picks

    First round, 21st overall: C Robby Fabbri (Guelph, OHL)

    Second round, 33rd overall: C/LW Ivan Barbashev (Moncton, QMJHL)

    Second round, 52nd overall: C Maxim Letunov (Youngstown, USHL)

    Third round, 82nd overall: D Jake Walman (Toronto JC, OJHL)

    Fourth round, 94th overall: G Ville Husso (HIFK, Finland)

    Fourth round, 110th overall: RW Austin Poganski (Tri-City, USHL)

    Fifth round, 124th overall: RW Jaedon Descheneau (Kootenay, WHL)

    Sixth round, 172nd overall: RW Chandler Yakimowicz (London, OHL)

    Sixth round, 176th overall: LW Samuel Blais (Victoriaville, QMJHL)

    Seventh round, 202nd overall: RW Dwyer Tschantz (Indiana, USHL)

     

    The Grade: A

     

    The Bottom Line

    With their first two picks, the Blues got top-end talents, and both play the most critical forward position.

    Strength down the middle is so important in today's NHL, and Fabbri and Barbashev provide a strong future there.

    Fabbri was dynamite in the OHL playoffs, scoring 13 goals and 28 points in 16 games after a 45-goal, 87-point, 58-game regular season. He has serious determination and plays hard despite his 5'10" frame. Combine the two, and he may be on the same plane as top-four pick Sam Bennett by the time his NHL career is over.

    It was a smart move to let goalie Ryan Miller walk and hang onto this pick—which they would have had to forfeit had Miller re-signed before the draft.

    Barbashev is a big-time skater and goal scorer who shined at the world juniors. He also plays physical. He is a very well-rounded prospect who could crack the roster sooner than later.

    Walman was a great grab at his spot. He's a strong two-way defender.

Tampa Bay Lightning

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    The Picks

    First round, 19th overall: D Anthony DeAngelo (Sarnia, OHL)

    Second round, 35th overall: D Dominik Masin (Slavia Jr. Czech Rep.)

    Second round, 57th overall: D Jonathan MacLeod (USA U18)

    Third round, 79th overall: C Brayden Point (Moose Jaw, WHL)

    Fourth round, 119th overall: D Ben Thomas (Calgary, WHL)

    Sixth round, 170th overall: LW Cristiano Digiacinto (Windsor, OHL)

    Seventh round, 185th overall: C Cameron Darcy (Cape Breton, QMJHL)

     

    The Grade: B

     

    The Bottom Line

    When it comes to risk-reward picks, going with DeAngelo was extremely brave.

    He could turn out to be an even better pick than No. 1 overall Aaron Ekblad. But let's not get too far ahead of ourselves.

    The Bolts need help on the back end, and DeAngelo fills that in full. He comes with question marks about attitude thanks to a couple of suspensions for his big mouth and anger issues, but Tampa Bay GM Steve Yzerman and his team did their due diligence and believe he'll grow as a player and person.

    "We definitely had a long look at it," Yzerman said on the TSN broadcast. "We did our homework with the people he's played for, the people he's played with. His family. We think this is a young man with great potential. He's gonna have to change if he's going to make it as a professional hockey player and we believe in him."

    Just in case, they went with defensemen with three of their top picks and four of their first five. Masin was the 10th-ranked European skater, and MacLeod is an extremely physical and punishing hitter.

    The forward they grabbed in Point was his team's leading scorer this season, and his offensive efforts come with grit and determination as a bonus.

Toronto Maple Leafs

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    The Picks

    First round, eighth overall: C William Nylander (Modo, Sweden)

    Third round, 68th overall: D Rinat Valiev (Kootenay, WHL)

    Fourth round, 103rd overall: RW John Piccinich (Youngstown, USHL)

    Fifth round, 128th overall: C Dakota Joshua (Sioux Falls, USHL)

    Sixth round, 158th overall: LW Nolan Vesey (South Shore, USPHL PRE.)

    Seventh round, 188th overall: LW Pierre Engvall (Frolunda Jr., Sweden)

     

    The Grade: B

     

    The Bottom Line

    The Leafs have had success with a Swedish center in the past, and they get another one here in Nylander, who might prove to be the most talented offensive player in the draft. The knock on him is he often tries to do too much on his own as opposed to utilizing his teammates. It's a trait he may have inherited from his dad, former NHLer Michael Nylander.

    He could be a boom-or-bust type of pick.

    "We were pretty fortunate he was there for us," said GM Dave Nonis on the TSN broadcast.

    They got an older prospect in Valiev, who went undrafted last year but had a strong year in Kootenay and has improved a great deal.

Vancouver Canucks

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     The Picks

    First round, sixth overall: LW Jake Virtanen (Calgary, WHL)

    First round, 24th overall: C Jared McCann (Sault Ste. Marie, OHL)

    Second round, 36th overall: G Thatcher Demko (Boston College, H-East)

    Third round, 66th overall: D Nikita Tryamkin (Yekaterinburg, Russia)

    Fifth round, 126th overall: D Gustav Forsling (Linkoping Jr. Sweden)

    Sixth round, 156th overall: C Kyle Pettit (Erie, OHL)

    Seventh round, 186th overall: D Mackenze Stewart (Prince Albert, WHL)

     

    The Grade: A+

     

    The Bottom Line

    Virtanen could be the best power forward from this draft and has every element a team wants from a big winger: size, speed, a heavy shot and a feisty edge. The fact he was picked by his hometown team made it an even easier choice for the Canucks. There's some risk with his shoulder surgery, but the reward could be incredible.

    "We're trying to change the culture of our team a little bit, and he's another piece of the puzzle," said new GM Jim Benning on the TSN broadcast.

    Having traded gritty two-way center Ryan Kesler earlier in the day (via The Canadian Press' Stephen Whyno) as posted on the National Post, the second pick of the first round was a potential replacement—although not right away—for that aspect of the forward corps. McCann was nearly a point-per-game player in his second year in the OHL but also boasts the kind of defensive responsibility teams crave out of their big men in the middle.

    Just to make sure everyone was impressed, Benning locked up the top goaltending prospect available in Demko in the second round.

Washington Capitals

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    The Picks

    First round, 13th overall: LW Jakub Vrana (Linkoping, Sweden)

    Second round, 39th overall: G Vitek Vanecek (Liberec Jr., Czech Rep.)

    Third round, 89th overall: LW Nathan Walker (Hershey, AHL)

    Fifth round, 134th overall: C/LW Shane Gersich (USA U18)

    Sixth round, 159th overall: RW Steven Spinner (Eden Prairie, HIGH-MN)

    Seventh round, 194th overall: RW Kevin Elgestal (Frolunda Jr., Sweden)

     

    The Grade: C+

     

    The Bottom Line

    The Capitals picked a guy who celebrates goals like Alex Ovechkin and plays defense like Ovechkin, too. And neither of those are the Ovechkin traits a team wants to spread around.

    There's no disputing the talent of Vrana, a Czech-born winger who has incredible offensive skills. The problem is that new coach Barry Trotz will be busy trying to get his stars to play a more well-rounded style, and the addition of another guy who has yet to learn defensive responsibility could be a case of bad timing.

    It's just a bad match, unless Trotz is able to get them all to buy into his philosophy.

    Vanecek likely would have been available later in the draft. Only Spinner seems to have any late-round value among the picks.

Winnipeg Jets

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    The Picks

    First round, ninth overall: LW Nikolaj Ehlers (Halifax, QMJHL)

    Third round, 69th overall: D Jack Glover (USA U18)

    Fourth round, 99th overall: C Chase De Leo (Portland, WHL)

    Fourth round, 101st overall: D Nelson Nogier (Saskatoon, WHL)

    Fifth round, 129th overall: LW Clinston Franklin (Sioux Falls, USHL)

    Sixth round, 164th overall: C Pavel Kraskovsky (Yaroslavl 2, Russia Jr.)

    Seventh round, 192nd overall: C/LW Matt Ustaski (Langley, BCHL)

     

    The Grade: B+

     

    The Bottom Line

    I really like what the Jets did with the few selections they had.

    Ehlers is tiny but incredibly fast and offensively gifted. He was playing alongside Jonathan Drouin, last year's third overall pick, in Halifax this year and looks a lot like the small and speedy Mooseheads teammate on the ice, too.

    "He's a dynamic player," GM Kevin Cheveldayoff told TSN. "He loves to play the game."

    In the third and fourth rounds, the Jets snagged two defensive pillars in Glover (6'3") and Nogier (6'2"). They won't be spending any time on the power play but will be dependable in their own end and difficult to play against.

    De Leo is a hard worker with heart who scored at more than a point-per-game pace this season. He has the kind of determination that can take an undersized prospect—a stocky 5'8"—a long way in a couple of years.

     

    All stats are via NHL.com.

     

    Steve Macfarlane has covered the NHL for more than a decade, including seven seasons with the Calgary Sun. Follow him on Twitter @macfarlaneHKY.