The 2014 NHL Entry Draft went by in a flash this year.
With Round 1 out of the way Friday night, the remaining six rounds were completed Saturday in just under four hours. Prospects flew off the board as NHL executives couldn't wait to pounce on the players who will help decide their team's futures—presumably for the better.
The draft featured a couple of notable anomalies: No goalies were taken in the first round of the draft, and then five flew off the board in quick succession in Round 2.
The Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings have a new trophy to haul around to an impressive gathering of players from the draft; they finished with 10 picks and can build toward the future with the present already very much secure.
The Ottawa Senators finished 10th in the Eastern Conference but unfortunately had just five picks to work with. Fans of this franchise will be hoping general manager Bryan Murray has a long-term plan of action.
Here is the full breakdown of each team's picks along with grades for every franchise's overall draft performance.
|Anaheim Ducks||Nicholas 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+|
|Boston Bruins||David Pastrnak (25), Ryan Donato (56), Danton Heinen (116), Anders Bjork (146), Emil Johansson (206)||C+|
|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|
|Calgary Flames||Samuel Bennett (4), Mason McDonald (34), Hunter Smith (54), Brandon Hickey (64), Adam Ollas Mattsson (175), Austin Carroll (184||A+|
|Carolina Hurricanes||Haydn Fleury (7), Alex Nedeljkovic (37), Warren Foegele (67), Josh Wesley (96), Lucas Wallmark (97), Clark Bishop (127), Kyle Jenkins (187)||A-|
|Chicago Blackhawks||Nick Schmaltz (20), Matheson Iacopelli (83), Beau Starrett (88), Frederik Olofsson (98), Luc Snuggerud (141), Andreas 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|
|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-|
|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|
|Detroit Red Wings||Dylan Larkin (15), Dominic Turgeon (63), Christoffer Ehn (106), Chase Perry (136), Julius Vahatalo (166), Axel Holmstrom (196), Alexander Kadeykin (201)||C|
|Edmonton Oilers||Leon Draisatil (3), William Lagesson (91), Zachary Nagelvoort (111), Liam Coughlin (130), Tyler Vesel (153), Keven Bouchard (183)||B-|
|Florida Panthers||Aaron Ekblad (1), Jayce Hawryluk (32), Juho Lammikko (65), Joe Wegwerth (92), Miguel Fidler (143), Hugo Fagerblom (182)||A-|
|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)||A-|
|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|
|Montreal Canadiens||Nikita Scherbak (26), Brett Lernout (73), Nikolas Koberstein (125), Daniel Audette (147), Hayden Hawkey (177), Jake Evans (207)||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-|
|New Jersey Devils||John Quenneville (30), Joshua Jacobs (41), Connor Chatham (71), Ryan Rehill (131), Joey Dudek (152), Brandon Baddock (161)||C+|
|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)||B+|
|New York Rangers||Brandon Halverson (59), Keegan Iverson (85), Ryan Mantha (104), Igor Shesterkin (118), Richard Nejezchleb (122), Daniel Walcott (140), Tyler Nanne (142)||B-|
|Ottawa Senators||Andreas Englund (40), Miles Gendron (70), Shane Eiserman (100), Kelly Summers (189), Francis Perron (190)||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|
|St. Louis Blues||Robert 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|
|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+|
|Tampa Bay Lightning||Anthony Deangelo (19), Dominik Masin (35), Johnathan 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+|
|Vancouver Canucks||Jake Virtanen (6), Jared McCann (24), Thatcher Demko (36), Nikita Tryamkin (66), Gustav Forsling (126), Kyle Pettit (156), Mackenze Stewart (186)||A|
|Washington Capitals||Jakub Vrana (13), Vitek Vanecek (39), Nathan Walker (89), Shane Gersich (134), Steven Spinner (159), Kevin Elgestal (194)||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|
via NHL.com; grades by Nate Loop.
A full round-by-round recap of the NHL draft can be found at NHL.com.
Panthers Keep No. 1 Pick, Take Aaron Ekblad
TSN's Darren Dreger relayed the interest in the Panthers' pick before the first round Friday:
Florida is considering a number of trade options for the 1st pick, including teams outside the top 10 offering current NHL players...— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) June 27, 2014
Dale Tallon is telling gm's he has 1 really good offer for 1st pick overall. Not sure he's going to take it. Other so-so offers as well.— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) June 26, 2014
Clearly nothing ever materialized, and the Panthers made a start on building a promising future by keeping the pick and taking Aaron Ekblad.
Tallon said the team deliberated over trading the No. 1 pick, but eventually stuck with long-term roster building, via Yahoo Sports' Greg Wyshynski.
"We laid out all the cards on the table. All the pros and cons. What was best for the franchise, long-term," he said.
CBS Sports' Chris Peters wrote at length on why it was easy for the Panthers to decide on Ekblad:
Assuming his skating improves, which it does need to do, and he continues to tack on strength to his already beastly frame, he's probably going to be a strong NHL defenseman that projects as a top-pairing player not terribly fair down the road.
Passing on the top forwards available had to be easier for the Panthers knowing they have some tremendous youth up front including Nick Bjugstad, Aleksander Barkov, Jonathan Huberdeau, Brandon Pirri, Vince Trocheck and numerous other prospects on the cusp of becoming full-time NHLers.
The NHL's official Twitter account relayed some crucial information on Ekblad's performances this past year:
Aaron Ekblad became just 3rd player in 18-yr-old birth year to claim OHL’s Most Outstanding Defenseman in the past 20 years. #NHLDraft— NHL (@NHL) June 27, 2014
Ekblad is coveted for his maturity and physicality at just 18 years old.
He was one of the few blue-chip prospects in this draft, and the Panthers were wise to make him the top choice. There is no such thing as too much defense in the NHL, especially for a team that had the league's No. 29 GAA last season with 3.15.
Los Angeles Kings Reload with 10 Picks
It's not often that a championship-winning team has the opportunity to add so many young players to its system. The Kings got off to a wonderful start by taking young Swedish winger Adrian Kempe at No. 29 overall.
Fox Sports West's Patrick O'Neal loved the pick for the Kings:
Adrian Kempe has been playing for Modo in Swedish league, an NHL factory, and is said to have a very heavy game. Perfect fit for #LAKings.— Patrick O'Neal (@Patrick_ONeal) June 28, 2014
The Los Angeles Times' Helene Elliott noted that Kempe will continue to develop overseas:
Kings' pick Adrian Kempe says he will stay in Sweden next season.— Helene Elliott (@helenenothelen) June 28, 2014
The lefty Kempe joined MODO's senior hockey team in the Swedish Hockey League in 2013-14 and should have plenty of experience against older players by the time he makes his way to the NHL.
The Kings also clearly favored Canadian youth hockey, as seven of their 10 picks came from the Ontario Hockey League. After drafting Kempe, the Kings went with defense on three of their next four picks, picking up Roland McKeown, Alex Lintuniemi and Steven Johnson to secure the future of their blue line.
Brendan Ross of OHLWriters.com felt the Kings got a bit of a steal with McKeown:
Felt #LAKings would target D Roland McKeown with 29th pick but they get him 51st. Excellent value— Brendan Ross (@RossyYoungblood) June 28, 2014
The Kings were able to land McKeown by trading center Linden Vey to the Vancouver Canucks for the second-round pick. The shrewd maneuver netted the Kings plenty of prospects on the night while keeping the core of the Stanley Cup winning roster intact.