2014 NHL Draft: Results and Easy-to-View Grades for Day 1

Ryan DavenportContributor IJune 28, 2014

Michael Dal Colle pulls on a New York Islanders sweater after being chosen fifth overall during the first round of the NHL hockey draft, Friday, June 27, 2014, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Matt Slocum/Associated Press

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
PickPlayerNationalityNHL TeamCollege/Junior/Club TeamGrade
1Aaron Ekblad (D)CanadaFlorida PanthersBarrie Colts (OHL)A
2Sam Reinhart (C)CanadaBuffalo SabresKootenay Ice (WHL)A-
3Leon Draisaitl (C)GermanyEdmonton OilersPrince Albert Raiders (WHL)C+
4Sam Bennett (C)CanadaCalgary FlamesKingston Frontenacs (OHL)A-
5Michael Dal Colle (C/LW)CanadaNew York IslandersOshawa Generals (OHL)B+
6Jake Virtanen (RW)CanadaVancouver CanucksCalgary Hitmen (WHL)B-
7Haydn Fleury (D)CanadaCarolina HurricanesRed Deer Rebels (WHL)B+
8William Nylander (C/LW)SwedenToronto Maple LeafsModo Hockey (SHL)B
9Nikolaj Ehlers (LW)DenmarkWinnipeg JetsHalifax Mooseheads (QMJHL)B
10Nick Ritchie (LW)CanadaAnaheim Ducks (from Ottawa)Peterborough Petes (OHL)B+
11Kevin Fiala (C/RW)SwitzerlandNashville PredatorsHV71 (SHL)B
12Brendan Perlini (LW)CanadaArizona CoyotesNiagara IceDogs (OHL)B
13Jakub Vrana (LW/RW)Czech RepublicWashington CapitalsLinköpings HC (SHL)C+
14Julius Honka (D)FinlandDallas StarsSwift Current Broncos (WHL)B-
15Dylan Larkin (C)United StatesDetroit Red WingsUSA U-18 (USHL)B+
16Sonny Milano (LW)United StatesColumbus Blue JacketsUSA U-18 (USHL)A-
17Travis Sanheim (D)CanadaPhiladelphia FlyersCalgary Hitmen (WHL)B
18Alex Tuch (RW)United StatesMinnesota WildUSA U-18 (USHL)B
19Anthony DeAngelo (D)United StatesTampa Bay LightningSarnia Sting (OHL)C
20Nick Schmaltz (C)United StatesChicago Blackhawks (from San Jose)Green Bay Gamblers (USHL)B
21Robby Fabbri (C)CanadaSt. Louis BluesGuelph Storm (OHL)B+
22Kasperi Kapanen (C)FinlandPittsburgh PenguinsKalPa (SM-liiga)A+
23Conner Bleackley (C)CanadaColorado AvalancheRed Deer Rebels (WHL)B-
24Jared McCann (C)CanadaVancouver Canucks (from Anaheim)Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds(OHL)B+
25David Pastrnak (RW)Czech RepublicBoston BruinsSodertalje (Sweden-2)B+
26Nikita Scherbak (LW)RussiaMontreal CanadiensSaskatoon Blades (WHL)B
27Nikolay Goldobin (LW)RussiaSan Jose Sharks (from Chicago)Sarnia Sting (OHL)A-
28Joshua Ho-Sang (C)CanadaNew York Islanders (from NY Rangers via Tampa Bay)Windsor Spitfires (OHL)B+
29Adrian Kempe (C)SwedenLos Angeles KingsMODO (SHL)A
30John Quenneville (C)CanadaNew Jersey DevilsBrandon Wheat Kings (WHL)B
Bleacher Report


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.

PHILADELPHIA, PA - JUNE 27:  Sam Bennett is selected fourth overall by the Calgary Flames 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

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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