Welcome back to Top Shelf Prospects, the daily column that brings you the next crop of professional hockey players. Each day I will bring you a new player profile or topical article in the lead-up to the 2014 NHL Draft. Be sure to bookmark the site, follow me on Twitter, and spread the word for the site that will bring you analytical and critical profiles and scouting reports! Last Word On Sports is your new headquarters for everything “Draft”! For a Complete Listing of all our 2014 Draft Articles Click here.
For those who haven’t read the LWOS mock before here are the rules.
1) No trades except for those that have already been made by NHL teams.
2) A two-round Mock draft will be done in four parts. The first two parts (ie the first round) will be done today and tomorrow. The next two parts (ie the second round) will be done next week.3) Since the final two positions in the draft (this year picks 28 and 29) will be determined by the Stanley Cup Final, as always we will be assuming that the the team with home-ice advantage in the Cup Final will win the cup. (This is not a slight to the New York Rangers, its just a fact that we need some way of determining draft order).
3) Clicking the Player’s name will bring you to a full scouting report.
So with that out of the way, I present.
The LWOS 2014 NHL Mock Draft
Part 2 (Picks 16-30)
16) Columbus Blue Jackets – Sonny Milano, LW, USNTDP, USHL: Last year the Columbus Blue Jackets had three first round picks and took three forwards. With most of their defence core being young, and some other prospects in the pipeline they can continue to focus on forwards this year, and grab an American winger with all world skills out of the USNTDP. Milano can add some offensive scoring punch to a quickly improving team down the road.
17) Philadelphia Flyers – Roland McKeown, D, Kingston Frontenacs, OHL: After taking Samuel Morin as a big, tough, defensive D, with a huge slapshot last year, the Flyers continue to build their defence with McKeown. He’s a slick skater, and a fantastic puck mover, who can quarterback the powerplay and play in his own end of the rink.
18) Minnesota Wild – Ivan Barbashev, LW/C, Moncton Wildcats, QMJHL: The Wild were recently on top of our 2012 Prospects Rankings. Since that time some prospects have been moved in trades, and others have graduated to the team, so they will fall this year. However the team is still well stocked at nearly every position. Grabbing a two-way forward with the versatility to play centre and the wing, who also happens to be the best player available is a great move for the Wild.
19) Tampa Bay Lightning Adrian Kempe, C/LW, Modo, SHL: The Lightning grabbed Jonathan Drouin last year, and are hoping he can be a centre at the next level. With Tyler Johnson and Ondrej Palat having great rookie seasons, they have a lot of forward talent. They are also absolutely stacked in goaltending prospects. Steve Yzerman would love to add a defenceman to the pool, but there just isn’t one at this draft spot. So he grabs a forward who plays the game like a wrecking ball out there to add some grit and skill in the top 6. Yzerman’s never been afraid to take players out of Europe.
20) San Jose Sharks – Kevin Fiala, LW, HV71 Jonkoping, SHL: For San Jose, they have a relatively shallow pool of prospects right now compared to other teams around the league. Thats what happens when you draft in the 20s for most drafts in the last decade, and its all about adding the best talent they can get their hands on with this pick. They go for a player with an extremely high skill level, but questions about his size and defensive game.
21) St. Louis Blues – Nikolay Goldobin, RW, Sarnia Sting, OHL: After not signing Ryan Miller, the Blues are able to keep this pick (giving up a later pick to Buffalo instead). The Blues team is relatively young and talented, and they still have some good prospects in the system such as Dmitri Jaskin. They had success with a talented Russian in Vladimir Tarasenko, and so they don’t fear the Russian factor in grabbing the best player off the board.
22) Pittsburgh Penguins – Josh Ho-Sang, RW, Windsor Spitfires, OHL: The Penguins have a ton of young defencemen in their system, and so this draft being relatively weak on the blueline in the first round doesn’t concern them. They add to the winger depth, taking a gamble on one of the biggest boom or bust prospects in this draft. If Ho-Sang develops, he’d be absolutely deadly in their top 6.
23) Colorado Avalanche – David Pastrnak, LW/RW, Sodertalje, Allvenskan: Colorado would love to add more defence, but it just doesn’t break down that way on draft day. So the team adds another talented winger to their group of young forwards. Pastrnak is extremely slick with the puck on his stick and should mesh well with the other young, talented Avs forwards.
24) Anaheim Ducks – Robby Fabbri, C, Guelph Storm, OHL: Earlier in our mock the Ducks took Brendan Perlini of the Niagara Ice Dogs. The Ducks now take Robby Fabbri of the Guelph Storm again picking out of the OHL. Fabbri is undersized, but the talent is undeniable and he would have scored 100 points if not for a ten game suspension.
25) Boston Bruins – Jakub Vrana, RW, Linkopings, SHL: The Bruins have a ton of young defencemen, and they gave a lot of them NHL experience this season with the number of injuries they got on the blue line. Here they grab a talented Czech Winger who they can work with to add to the top 9 going forward.
26) Montreal Canadiens – Nikita Scherbak, RW, Saskatoon Blades, WHL:The Habs continue to look for more size and power after drafting Michael McCarron last year. With this pick they take a Russian who played in the WHL and plays a very heavy game. He can score goals, and might make a nice complement to Alex Galchenyuk in the future.
27) Chicago Blackhawks – Jack Glover, D, US NTDP, USHL: Lacking depth on the blueline beyond the NHL level, and stacked full of young forward, the Blackhawks add a young, American defender to the mix. Glover can really move the puck and join the rush which fits perfectly into the style of play the Blackhawks have on their blueline.
28) Tampa Bay Lightning (From New York Rangers) – Anthony DeAngelo, D, Sarnia Sting, OHL : A pick acquired in the Martin St. Louis trade, its the second Lightning pick of the round after taking Adrian Kempe at 19th overall. Tampa grabs Anthony DeAngelo looking to address blueline depth. He’s a very talented defender, but has some questions about his attitude. With two first rounders, the Lightning can take the gamble that he matures.
29) Los Angeles Kings – Dylan Larkin, C/LW, US NTDP, USHL: The Kings continue to go with the Best Player available philosophy and that leads them to Dylan Larkin from the US NTDP. He’s a good skater, gritty, and plays well at both ends of the ice. Sounds like he will fit in perfectly with a Darryl Sutter coached group.
30) New Jersey Devils – Conner Bleackley, C, Red Deer Rebels, WHL: A two-way power forward with leadership ability who never stops moving his feet? Sounds exactly like a New Jersey Devils prospect. Bleackley isn’t the most creative player in the draft, but he plays a very smart simple game that leads to offence, and he is willing to do whatever it takes defensively to help his team win.
For a listing of NHL Mock drafts around the internet, please check out our friends at the NHL mock database.
For the latest sports injury news, check out our friends at Sports Injury Alert.
Main Photo by Jana Chytilova/Freestyle Photography/Getty Images