After seven rounds at the 2014 NHL draft, every organization was hoping to build for the future. However, some teams did a better job of setting themselves up than others.
Unlike the NBA or NFL draft, it will take a few years for many of the players involved to truly make an impact for the squads that drafted them. This makes it difficult to judge which teams did the best job in the two-day draft.
However, a few front offices went out of their way to get the best value at spots that will pay off sooner rather than later.
Here is a complete look at results and grades for each team in the draft with a breakdown of the teams that had the best showing overall.
|Chicago Blackhawks||Nick Schmaltz (20), Matheson Iacopelli (83), Beau Starrett (88), Frederik Olofsson (98), Luc Snuggerud (141), Andres Soderberg (148), Dylan Sikura (178), Ivan Nalimov (179), Jack Ramsey (208)||B|
|Colorado Avalanche||Conner Bleackley (23), Kyle Wood (84), Nicholas Magyar (93), Alexis Pepin (114), Anton Lindholm (144), Maximilian Pajpach (174), Julien Nantel (204)||B+|
|Dallas Stars||Julius Honka (14), Brett Pollock (45), Alexander Peters (75), Michael Prapavessis (105), Brent Moran (115), Miro Karjalainen (135), Aaron Haydon (154), John Nyberg (165), Patrick Sanvido (195)||B|
|Minnesota Wild||Alex Tuch (18), Louis Belpedio (80), Kaapo Kahkonen (109), Tanner Faith (139), Pontus Sjalin (160), Chase Lang (167), Reid Duke (169), Pavel Jenys (199)||C+|
|Nashville Predators||Kevin Fiala (11), Vladislav Kamenev (42), Jack Dougherty (51), Justin Kirkland (62), Viktor Arvidsson (112), Joonas Lyytinen (132), Aaron Irving (162)||B-|
|St. Louis Blues||Robby Fabbri (21), Ivan Barbashev (33), Maxim Letunov (52), Jake Walman (82), Ville Husso (94), Austin Poganski (110), Jaedon Descheneau (124), Chandler Yakimowicz (172), Samuel Blais (176), Dwyer Tschantz (202)||A-|
|Winnipeg Jets||Nikolaj Ehlers (9), Jack Glover (69), Chase De Leo (99), Nelson Nogier (101), Clinston Franklin (129), Pavel KrasKovsky (164), Matt Ustaski (192)||B+|
|Anaheim Ducks||Nick Ritchie (10), Marcus Pettersson (38), Brandon Montour (55), Matthew Berkovitz (123), Ondrej Kase (205)||B-|
|Arizona Coyotes||Brendan Perlini (12), Ryan Macinnis (43), Christian Dvorak (58), Anton Karlsson (87), Michael Bunting (117), Dysin Mayo (133), David Westlund (163), Jared Fiegl (191), Edgars Kulda (193)||B|
|Calgary Flames||Sam Bennett (4), Mason McDonald (34), Hunter Smith (54), Brandon Hickey (64), Adam Ollas Mattsson (175), Austin Carroll (184)||A+|
|Edmonton Oilers||Leon Draisaitl (3), William Lagesson (91), Zachary Nagelvoort (111), Liam Coughlin (130), Tyler Vesel (153), Keven Bouchard (183)||B-|
|Los Angeles Kings||Adrian Kempe (29), Roland Mckeown (50), Alex Lintuniemi (60), Michael Amadio (90), Steven Johnson (120), Alec Dillon (150), Jake Marchment (157), Matthew Mistele (180), Spencer Watson (209), Jacob Middleton (210)||B-|
|San Jose Sharks||Nikolay Goldobin (27), Julius Bergman (46), Noah Rod (53), Alex Schoenborn (72), Dylan Sadowy (81), Alexis Vanier (102), Rourke Chartier (149), Kevin Labanc (171)||C|
|Vancouver Canucks||Jake Virtanen (6), Jared McCann (24), Thatcher Demko (36), Nikita Tryamkin (66), Gustav Forsling (126), Kyle Pettit (156), Mackenze Stewart (186)||A+|
|Boston Bruins||David Pastrnak (25), Ryan Donato (56), Danton Heinen (116), Anders Bjork (146), Emil Johansson (206)||B|
|Buffalo Sabres||Sam Reinhart (2), Brendan Lemieux (31), Eric Cornel (44), Vaclav Karabacek (49), Jonas Johansson (61), Brycen Martin (74), Maxwell Willman (121), Christopher Brown (151), Victor Olofsson (181)||A|
|Detroit Red Wings||Dylan Larkin (15), Dominic Turgeon (63), Christoffer Ehn (106), Thomas (Chase) Perry (136), Julius Vahatalo (166), Axel Holmstrom (196), Alexander Kadeykin (201)||B|
|Florida Panthers||Aaron Ekblad (1), Jayce Hawryluk (32), Juho Lammikko (65), Joe Wegwerth (92), Miguel Fidler (143), Hugo Fagerblom (182)||A-|
|Montreal Canadiens||Nikita Scherbak (26), Brett Lernout (73), Nikolas Koberstein (125), Daniel Audette (147), Hayden Hawkey (177), Jake Evans (207)||C|
|Ottawa Senators||Andreas Englund (40), Miles Gendron (70), Shane Eiserman (100), Kelly Summers (189), Francis Perron (190)||B-|
|Tampa Bay Lightning||Anthony DeAngelo (19), Dominik Masin (35), Jonathan Macleod (57), Brayden Point (79), Ben Thomas (119), Cristiano Digiacinto (170), Cameron Darcy (185)||B+|
|Toronto Maple Leafs||William Nylander (8), Rinat Valiev (68), John Piccinich (103), Dakota Joshua (128), Nolan Vesey (158), Pierre Engvall (188)||B+|
|Carolina Hurricanes||Haydn Fleury (7), Alex Nedeljkovic (37), Warren Foegele (67), Josh Wesley (96), Lucas Wallmark (97), Clark Bishop (127), Kyle Jenkins (187)||A-|
|Columbus Blue Jackets||Sonny Milano (16), Ryan Collins (47), Elvis Merzlikins (76), Blake Siebenaler (77), Julien Pelletier (107), Tyler Bird (137), Olivier Leblanc (197)||B|
|New Jersey Devils||John Quenneville (30), Joshua Jacobs (41), Connor Chatham (71), Ryan Rehill (131), Joey Dudek (152), Brandon Baddock (161)||B-|
|New York Islanders||Michael Dal Colle (5), Joshua Ho-Sang (28), Ilya Sorokin (78), Linus Soderstrom (95), Devon Toews (108), Kyle Schempp (155), Lukas Sutter (200)||A-|
|New York Rangers||Brandon Halverson (59), Keegan Iverson (85), Ryan Mantha (104), Igor Shesterkin (118), Richard Nejezchleb (122), Daniel Walcott (140), Tyler Nanne (142)||C|
|Philadelphia Flyers||Travis Sanheim (17), Nicolas Aube-Kubel (48), Mark Friedman (86), Oskar Lindblom (138), Radel Fazleev (168), Jesper Pettersson (198)||B|
|Pittsburgh Penguins||Kasperi Kapanen (22), Sam Lafferty (113). Anthony Angello (145), Jaden Lindo (173), Jeff Taylor (203)||C+|
|Washington Capitals||Jakub Vrana (13), Vitek Vanecek (39), Nathan Walker (89), Shane Gersich (134), Steve Spinner (159), Kevin Elgestal (194)||B+|
The Canucks had a busy week before and after the draft. They dealt Ryan Kesler to the Anaheim Ducks, which was the first of a number of trades to help key the rebuilding process.
With the picks they acquired, Vancouver made it count by bringing in players who can be able to help early in their careers.
Jake Virtanen is someone with the potential to be an elite scorer in the future, while fans can dream of him being on a line next to center Jared McCann, the team's second first-round pick. These are two high-upside players with loads of offensive skill already in their arsenal.
However, the more interesting selection was Thatcher Demko, who was one of the best goaltenders taken in this draft. Vancouver fans are going to love the confidence of the player who brought Boston College to the Frozen Four. He told Iain MacIntyre of the Vancouver Sun:
Honestly, I have such high expectations for myself. I expected to be the No. 1 guy and I expect to win games and have success. We didn’t win, so for me, it’s not a success. A bunch of people are saying I had a good year. It’s a good starting point for me, but I definitely expect to be better next year.
Add this to a number of other strong selections and the young players brought in through trades, and it is clear the Canucks had a great few days of rebuilding.
Thanks to some maneuvering, the Sabres were able to get a lot of value in this draft. They brought in six of the top 74 picks, which represents a number of players who will make an early impact on this struggling franchise.
The weekend started by bringing in the best offensive player in the class in Sam Reinhart, a center with tons of technique and pure ability. According to John Vogl of the Buffalo News, the young player is excited to get started:
Sam Reinhart on Sabres: "It’s pretty exciting to see what they’re doing there. To go in and fit there would be a huge honor."— John Vogl (@BuffNewsVogl) June 26, 2014
This was followed by the draft of Brendan Lemieux, the son of Claude, Eric Cornel, Vaclav Karabacek and others. Kevin Allen of USA Today provides his views of the Sabres' draft:
The Sabres are putting together a strong collection of young talented players. They are going to be struggling Sabres for another season and a half and then they are going to be like the Chicago Blackhawks.
Of course, Tim Graham of the Buffalo News provides a key going forward:
Sabres headed in right direction, but NHL sources say it's imperative they hire a new player development coach.— Tim Graham (@ByTimGraham) June 29, 2014
The good news is that Reinhart is someone that could play next season without any coaching, hopefully making a big difference for the squad.
For most people, Sam Bennett is known as the player who could not do a single pull up at the combine:
While this was disappointing to see a lack of upper-body strength for a top player, it is important to remember that he just turned 18 years old last week. He will have plenty of time to gain strength in the coming years.
On the other hand, Bennett has the tools that are much harder to teach with great vision and passing ability that could make him a star center in the NHL. The fact that Calgary was able to get him with the No. 4 pick is a steal.
The squad was then able to add goalie Mason McDonald in the second round as part of a long list of talented players throughout the draft.
Finally, Calgary was able to bring in a quality starter in Brandon Bollig for a third-round pick, according to ESPN's Pierre LeBrun:
Hawks trade Bolig to Calgary for the 83rd pick— Pierre LeBrun (@Real_ESPNLeBrun) June 28, 2014
For a team that had one of the worst records in NHL last season, this was a good start to turning things around.
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