Unlike most years, Round 1 of the 2014 NHL draft actually went down as expected with very few teams selecting players far above or below their predraft rankings.
As such, when looking back on the 30 picks from Day 1, there aren't many teams that came away disappointed, and most added prospects who will address areas of need.
It was a unique draft in the sense of parity between the top prospects, as it remained unclear who the Florida Panthers would take at No. 1 to get the ball rolling until the moment general manager Dale Tallon officially tabbed Aaron Ekblad.
Now with Day 2 underway in Philadelphia, here's a look at grades and results for all 30 teams as well as a breakdown of which players will fit best with their new clubs.
|NHL Draft Round 1 Grades|
|Pick||Player||Nationality||NHL Team||College/Junior/Club Team||Grade|
|1||Aaron Ekblad (D)||Canada||Florida Panthers||Barrie Colts (OHL)||A|
|2||Sam Reinhart (C)||Canada||Buffalo Sabres||Kootenay Ice (WHL)||A-|
|3||Leon Draisaitl (C)||Germany||Edmonton Oilers||Prince Albert Raiders (WHL)||C+|
|4||Sam Bennett (C)||Canada||Calgary Flames||Kingston Frontenacs (OHL)||A-|
|5||Michael Dal Colle (C/LW)||Canada||New York Islanders||Oshawa Generals (OHL)||B+|
|6||Jake Virtanen (RW)||Canada||Vancouver Canucks||Calgary Hitmen (WHL)||B-|
|7||Haydn Fleury (D)||Canada||Carolina Hurricanes||Red Deer Rebels (WHL)||B+|
|8||William Nylander (C/LW)||Sweden||Toronto Maple Leafs||Modo Hockey (SHL)||B|
|9||Nikolaj Ehlers (LW)||Denmark||Winnipeg Jets||Halifax Mooseheads (QMJHL)||B|
|10||Nick Ritchie (LW)||Canada||Anaheim Ducks (from Ottawa)||Peterborough Petes (OHL)||B+|
|11||Kevin Fiala (C/RW)||Switzerland||Nashville Predators||HV71 (SHL)||B|
|12||Brendan Perlini (LW)||Canada||Arizona Coyotes||Niagara IceDogs (OHL)||B|
|13||Jakub Vrana (LW/RW)||Czech Republic||Washington Capitals||Linköpings HC (SHL)||C+|
|14||Julius Honka (D)||Finland||Dallas Stars||Swift Current Broncos (WHL)||B-|
|15||Dylan Larkin (C)||United States||Detroit Red Wings||USA U-18 (USHL)||B+|
|16||Sonny Milano (LW)||United States||Columbus Blue Jackets||USA U-18 (USHL)||A-|
|17||Travis Sanheim (D)||Canada||Philadelphia Flyers||Calgary Hitmen (WHL)||B|
|18||Alex Tuch (RW)||United States||Minnesota Wild||USA U-18 (USHL)||B|
|19||Anthony DeAngelo (D)||United States||Tampa Bay Lightning||Sarnia Sting (OHL)||C|
|20||Nick Schmaltz (C)||United States||Chicago Blackhawks (from San Jose)||Green Bay Gamblers (USHL)||B|
|21||Robby Fabbri (C)||Canada||St. Louis Blues||Guelph Storm (OHL)||B+|
|22||Kasperi Kapanen (C)||Finland||Pittsburgh Penguins||KalPa (SM-liiga)||A+|
|23||Conner Bleackley (C)||Canada||Colorado Avalanche||Red Deer Rebels (WHL)||B-|
|24||Jared McCann (C)||Canada||Vancouver Canucks (from Anaheim)||Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds(OHL)||B+|
|25||David Pastrnak (RW)||Czech Republic||Boston Bruins||Sodertalje (Sweden-2)||B+|
|26||Nikita Scherbak (LW)||Russia||Montreal Canadiens||Saskatoon Blades (WHL)||B|
|27||Nikolay Goldobin (LW)||Russia||San Jose Sharks (from Chicago)||Sarnia Sting (OHL)||A-|
|28||Joshua Ho-Sang (C)||Canada||New York Islanders (from NY Rangers via Tampa Bay)||Windsor Spitfires (OHL)||B+|
|29||Adrian Kempe (C)||Sweden||Los Angeles Kings||MODO (SHL)||A|
|30||John Quenneville (C)||Canada||New Jersey Devils||Brandon Wheat Kings (WHL)||B|
Round 1's Best Fits
Sam Bennett - Calgary Flames
For the second consecutive year, it looks like Calgary's landed a surefire franchise cornerstone at the draft.
In 2013, it was Sean Monahan, who stepped in immediately and was among the Flames' best players as a rookie, putting up 22 goals while suiting up for one of the league's weakest teams.
And now, the Flames have picked up a gem in Sam Bennett, and if things go according to plan, Calgary may have secured its top two pivots for the next decade.
Unlike Monahan, who projects to be a two-way center capable of notching 50-60 points, Bennett is an offensive dynamo with a mean streak that head coach Bob Hartley will love.
After recording an impressive 91 points with Kingston of the OHL in 2013-14, he was in the running to go first overall, but Calgary's certainly happy he dropped to No. 4.
Michael Dal Colle - New York Islanders
For GM Garth Snow, this pick was arguably the most important one he's made over the last couple of seasons because after choosing to keep their first-rounder this year, it means the Islanders will concede next year's Round 1 pick to Buffalo as part of the Thomas Vanek trade.
At least at first glance, it looks like he's picked up a future top-six forward and, more importantly, one that should be a nice fit next to John Tavares.
A product of the Oshawa Generals, which is also the same club Tavares spent the weight of his junior career with, Dal Colle emerged in 2013-14 as one of the most promising wingers in his draft year, posting 39 goals and 95 points in 67 games.
He's got the perfect build for a power forward at 6'2" and a solid frame, and assuming the Islanders kept this year's first-rounder in order to get a player who can contribute in the present, Dal Colle appears to fit that billing.
Jared McCann - Vancouver Canucks
The Vancouver Canucks essentially signaled the beginning of what will likely be a painful rebuilding period by dealing All-Star center Ryan Kesler to Anaheim, so GM Jim Benning had to be feeling the pressure of replacing the U.S. Olympian with one of his two Round 1 selections.
If that was the case, Benning did a fantastic job with the No. 24 pick, as Jared McCann is the type of prospect who should one day fill the No. 2 center role in Vancouver.
Though his 62 points in 64 games during his second OHL campaign may not have been as much production as scouts expected, McCann brings a lot more to the table than just offensive numbers.
He's solid defensively, works tirelessly at both ends of the rink and has the motor to get where he needs to be on the ice, and assuming he continues to develop physically, he may not be too far away from getting his first taste of NHL action.
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