This is the second mock draft we have done this season. Here is a look at the first one from March 11.
Positions 26-29 still have yet to be determined although 26 and 27 will be known once the Los Angeles-Chicago series is over. The Stanley Cup champ will pick 29th while the other finalist will pick 28th. New Jersey was awarded the 30th pick after losing their first round selection. The NHL fined the Devils the pick for the Ilya Kovalchuk signing a few years ago as they attempted to circumvent the salary cap by adding years to the end of the contract at the NHL minimum.
As always, a special thanks to McKeen’s Hockey Director of Amateur Scouting, David Burstyn as he prepared the mock draft. David has been involved with McKeen’s Hockey for well into a decade and an OHL scout for the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds and briefly worked with the scouting crew as a part time scout for the Atlanta Thrashers/Winnipeg Jets.
Don't forget to get McKeen's 2014 Draft Guide which will detail the top 128 players in this year's Draft as well as a look forward to the 2015 and 2016 drafts. It's a great buy.
1. Florida - Aaron Ekblad (D)
Debate will loom on whether GM Tallon will trade the pick however the selection of Ekblad solidifies an improving backend and gives them a top four defenseman for many years to come. His third year in Barrie saw him improve to 23 goals and 53 points.
The Sabres are drawn to his jam and offensive fortitude, although they would like him to be bigger, Bennett's work ethic and tenacity may be the best in the entire draft class. Bennett exploded this season with a 36 goal and 91 point effort after picking up only 18 goals and 40 points in his rookie season with Kingston of the OHL.
The Oilers would love to see Ekblad fall to them however Reinhart is an outstanding consolation prize. A point producing machine with an uncanny feel for the game, Reinhart's rapid development to the pro ranks should make other forwards expendable for the Oilers to fill holes.
4. Calgary - Leon Draisaitl (LW)
Draisaitl helped Prince Albert to consecutive playoff appearances, Flames hope he can help them return to the post-season for the first time since 2008-09 as he gives them a player who could already step into their top six. He had 38 goals and 105 points in 64 games for the Raiders.
5. New York Islanders - Michael Dal Colle (LW)
The Islanders need help on the left side and Dal Colle is the perfect fit blending deft skill with size. He needs to mature physically but has a high offensive ceiling and would work well within the Islanders system play. Dal Colle had 39 goals and 95 points for a good Oshawa team in 2013-14.
6. Vancouver - Jake Virtanen (LW)
The Canucks go with the local boy as he brings size and scoring on the wings. Virtanen plays an up-tempo game and is one of the better skaters in the draft. He had 71 points and 100 penalty minutes for the Calgary Hitmen this season.
7. Carolina - Haydn Fleury (D)
With plenty of good options on the board, the Canes pluck Fleury whose game translates very well at the NHL level as a serviceable two-way defenseman who can pile up points, anchor a PP while providing a steady defensive game. Fleury had eight goals and 46 points for Red Deer in 2013-14.
8. Toronto - William Nylander (C)
The Maple Leafs final month nose dive in the standings is rewarded on draft day as Nylander instantly gives them a legitimate number one center whose playmaking and skill set may be the best in the draft. Nylander managed to play 22 games, scoring once and adding six assists, at the age of 17 for Modo of the Swedish Elite League.
9. Winnipeg - Nick Ritchie (LW)
Despite needing centermen, the Jets swing for the fences with this pick as Ritchie has boom or bust potential. When dialed in, Ritchie is one of the best offensive producing wingers whose shot and release point are already NHL caliber. Ritchie picked up 39 goals and 74 points in 61 games for Peterborough of the OHL this past season.
10. Anaheim (via Ottawa Senators) - Nikolaj Ehlers (LW)
The Ducks are elated that Ehlers is still on the board. The organization can be patient with him, giving him time to develop and eventually play within their top six as his skating and vision are off the charts. The native of Denmark had 49 goals and 105 points for Halifax of the QMJHL.
11. Nashville - Kevin Fiala (LW)
Adding to an impressive core of young forwards, the Predators wisely select Fiala who is a tad under-sized but gives the organization more skill up front and a player with impressive play making ability to be utilized on the PP. He had three goals and 11 points in 17 games for HV71 Jonkoping of the Swedish League.
12. Phoenix - Jared McCann (C)
McCann is a perfect fit for the Coyotes system with the capacity to produce offensively but more importantly he can skate and defend. McCann needs to fill out physically but starts with a good foundation. He had 27 goals and 62 points to finish second in scoring on the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds of the OHL.
13. Washington - Travis Sanheim (D)
Exploded with a stellar World U18 Championships vaulting him to the top of the draft class. Size, athleticism and improving game make him an extremely enticing pick sporting a high development curve. Sanheim had five goals and 29 points for the Calgary Hitmen of the WHL.
14. Dallas - Julius Honka (D)
The need for puck moving defenders is addressed with Honka; a player renowned for being able to push the pace and anchor a PP as he was dominant in his first full WHL season, emerging as one of the best defensemen in the league. Honka won gold with Finland at the 2014 World U20 championships and finished the season with 16 goals and 56 points for Swift Current of the WHL.
15. Detroit - Brendan Perlini (RW)
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The Red Wings like his skill and skating ability on the wings. Not known for his grittiness, Perlini's skill and shot will be a welcome addition on the right side. Perlini exploded for 34 goals and 71 points for Niagara of the OHL after picking up eight goals and 12 points in 59 games the season before, split between Barrie and Niagara.