NHL Draft Grades 2014: Complete Results and Grades for Each Franchise

Nate Loop@Nate_LoopFeatured ColumnistJune 30, 2014

From left, Edmonton Oilers' Leon Draisaitl, Florida Panthers' Aaron Ekblad and Buffalo Sabres' Sam Reinhart pose for photographs during the first round of the NHL hockey draft, Friday, June 27, 2014, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Matt Slocum/Associated Press

2014 NHL Draft, Team-by-Team Results and Grades
TeamDraft PicksGrades
Anaheim DucksNicholas Ritchie (10), Marcus Pettersson (38), Brandon Montour (55), Matthew Berkovitz (123), Ondrej Kase (205)B
Arizona CoyotesBrendan 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 BruinsDavid Pastrnak (25), Ryan Donato (56), Danton Heinen (116), Anders Bjork (146), Emil Johansson (206)C+
Buffalo SabresSam 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 FlamesSamuel Bennett (4), Mason McDonald (34), Hunter Smith (54), Brandon Hickey (64), Adam Ollas Mattsson (175), Austin Carroll (184A+
Carolina HurricanesHaydn Fleury (7), Alex Nedeljkovic (37), Warren Foegele (67), Josh Wesley (96), Lucas Wallmark (97), Clark Bishop (127), Kyle Jenkins (187)A-
Chicago BlackhawksNick 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 AvalancheConner Bleackley (23), Kyle Wood (84), Nicholas Magyar (93), Alexis Pepin (114), Anton Lindholm (144), Maximilian Pajpach (174), Julien Nantel (204)B
Columbus Blue JacketsSonny Milano (16), Ryan Collins (47), Elvis Merzlikins (76), Blake Siebenaler (77), Julien Pelletier (107), Tyler Bird (137), Olivier Leblanc (197)B-
Dallas StarsJulius 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 WingsDylan Larkin (15), Dominic Turgeon (63), Christoffer Ehn (106), Chase Perry (136), Julius Vahatalo (166), Axel Holmstrom (196), Alexander Kadeykin (201)C
Edmonton OilersLeon Draisatil (3), William Lagesson (91), Zachary Nagelvoort (111), Liam Coughlin (130), Tyler Vesel (153), Keven Bouchard (183)B-
Florida PanthersAaron Ekblad (1), Jayce Hawryluk (32), Juho Lammikko (65), Joe Wegwerth (92), Miguel Fidler (143), Hugo Fagerblom (182)A-
Los Angeles KingsAdrian 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 WildAlex 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 CanadiensNikita Scherbak (26), Brett Lernout (73), Nikolas Koberstein (125), Daniel Audette (147), Hayden Hawkey (177), Jake Evans (207)C+
Nashville PredatorsKevin Fiala (11), Vladislav Kamenev (42), Jack Dougherty (51), Justin Kirkland (62), Viktor Arvidsson (112), Joonas Lyytinen (132), Aaron Irving (162)B-
New Jersey DevilsJohn Quenneville (30), Joshua Jacobs (41), Connor Chatham (71), Ryan Rehill (131), Joey Dudek (152), Brandon Baddock (161)C+
New York IslandersMichael 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 RangersBrandon Halverson (59), Keegan Iverson (85), Ryan Mantha (104), Igor Shesterkin (118), Richard Nejezchleb (122), Daniel Walcott (140), Tyler Nanne (142)B-
Ottawa SenatorsAndreas Englund (40), Miles Gendron (70), Shane Eiserman (100), Kelly Summers (189), Francis Perron (190)C-
Philadelphia FlyersTravis Sanheim (17), Nicolas Aube-Kubel (48), Mark Friedman (86), Oskar Lindblom (138), Radel Fazleev (168), Jesper Pettersson (198)B+
Pittsburgh PenguinsKasperi Kapanen (22), Sam Lafferty (113), Anthony Angello (145), Jaden Lindo (173), Jeff Taylor (203)C
St. Louis BluesRobert 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 SharksNikolay 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 LightningAnthony Deangelo (19), Dominik Masin (35), Johnathan MacLeod (57), Brayden Point (79), Ben Thomas (119), Cristiano Digiacinto (170), Cameron Darcy (185)B
Toronto Maple LeafsWilliam Nylander (8), Rinat Valiev (68), John Piccinich (103), Dakota Joshua (128), Nolan Vesey (158), Pierre Engvall (188)B+
Vancouver CanucksJake Virtanen (6), Jared McCann (24), Thatcher Demko (36), Nikita Tryamkin (66), Gustav Forsling (126), Kyle Pettit (156), Mackenze Stewart (186)A
Washington CapitalsJakub Vrana (13), Vitek Vanecek (39), Nathan Walker (89), Shane Gersich (134), Steven Spinner (159), Kevin Elgestal (194)A
Winnipeg JetsNikolaj Ehlers (9), Jack Glover (69), Chase De Leo (99), Nelson Nogier (101), Clinston Franklin (129), Pavel Kraskovsky (164), Matt Ustaski (192)B
NHL.com, grades by Nate Loop

It's clear that fans are wonderfully optimistic before any NHL draft. Seven rounds, hundreds of prospects, how could their team possibly go wrong? 

Then again, the optimism may be even more feverish after the draft, when every team's bundle of picks is just a collection of names, each one representing untold possibilities and potential.

The 2014 NHL draft was dripping with talented players who will be ready to take the ice and alter teams' fortunes in the years to come. Every team had a unique set of needs to fill. Some were looking for the next great goalie, others a speedy winger and a few franchises might have been stockpiling assets for a potential blockbuster trade.

It stands to reason that each team can be judged on whether or not they fulfilled their needs. Let's take a look at the grades for every franchise's overall draft haul.

LONDON, ON - MAY 25:  Robby Fabbri #9 of the Guelph Storm scores at 1:00 of the first period against Tristan Jarry #30 of the Edmonton Oil Kings  during the 2014 Memorial Cup championship game at Budweiser Gardens on May 25, 2014 in London, Ontario, Canad
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images


Best First-round Picks

Robert Fabbri, C, St. Louis Blues

The Blues struck gold with Canadian center Robert Fabbri as the No. 21 overall choice. 

Fabbri is a potential first-line center with wonderful playmaking ability and a nose for the goal.

He posted 45 goals and 42 assists in 58 regular season games in the Ontario Hockey League this past season. Fabbri showed his competitive streak in the postseason, leading the Guelph Storm to the OHL championship and picking up the MVP award along the way.

The Hockey News' Matt Larkin noted the Blues brass were likely unable to contain their enthusiasm over the pick:

While ESPN's Corey Pronman suggested the move must surely appease the Blues fanbase:

Fabbri has a slightly smaller frame than most at 5'10" and 170 pounds, but the 18-year-old should have plenty of time to bulk up. He has already proven to be an aggressive player up top, and if he can increase his physicality, Fabbri should have no problem rising up the ranks of the Blues' system.


Sam Bennett, C, Calgary Flames

Sam Bennett might have a weak upper body, but he was one of the strongest picks of the night, going No. 4 overall to the Calgary Flames.

Bennett will want to make hockey observers forget about his failed pull-up attempt at the NHL combine, which is the hockey equivalent of Kevin Durant's inability to do a single 185-pound bench-press rep at a pre-draft camp in 2007. 

The 18-year-old center will obviously need to get stronger to compete at the highest level of hockey. It is a brutal game and his body must be able to withstand the nightly beatings. Then again, it might not be a problem if the elusive, nimble skater can maneuver around potential hits. 

The Globe and Mail's Eric Duhatschek believes the Flames are set at center thanks to this pick:

Bennett had a cracker of a year with the Kingston Frontenacs of the Ontario Hockey League. He racked up 36 goals and 91 points in the regular season.

The Flames had plenty of strong options with the No. 4 pick, but general manager Brad Treliving thought Bennett's intangibles stood out amongst the other prospects.

"They’re all good players, but Sam’s a guy we had our eye on from Day 1,” Treliving said, via Randy Sportak of the Calgary Sun. “He has a special combination of skill, speed. I’ve talked about this since Day 1, the character, the intangible pieces, this guy oozes character, plays with an edge. We’re real happy tonight.”

If Bennett can capitalize on his myriad offensive talents, he could be a perennial All-Star for the Flames in due time.


William Nylander, C/RW, Toronto Maple Leafs

Yes, it's another potential center as a top pick, but the first-round forwards were absolute gems this year. The Maple Leafs deserve credit for snatching up Nylander with the No. 8 overall choice.

Nylander—the son of former NHL player Michael Nylander—is known for his magical ability to create goals and chances out of nothing. He is a human highlight reel that needs to polish up a few areas of his game to truly soar in the NHL.

Like Bennett, Nylander will have to add bulk to his slight frame to make it in the NHL. He's another young prospect at 18 years old and can wait a season or two to mature before transferring from Swedish to North American hockey rinks.

In addition to the strength issue, there is often an adjustment period for players coming over from Europe. Nylander should be able to handle the changes if given the proper amount of time to acclimate.

Maple Leafs general manager Dave Nonis is convinced Nylander's key skills are already developed enough for the top ranks.

He has NHL speed, NHL hands, an NHL shot right now," Nonis said, as per TSN's Jonas Siegel. "It's whether or not the rest of his game can catch up."

The Maple Leafs took him early, but Nylander has more upside than any other blue-chip prospect in the draft. 


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