At the draft table, part 2

This is the second in a series of articles reviewing recent drafting of each NHL team and the needs of their organization. We covered Buffalo, Florida, Toronto and Ottawa in the first article, which can be found at

Atlantic Division

Detroit Red Wings

2013-­14 Regular Season Record: 39-­28-­15

Selection Order in First Round: 15th overall
Current No. of picks in 2014 Draft: 7
Recent Top Round Draft Selections:

2013 Anthony Mantha (RW)
2012 None
2011 None
2010 Riley Sheahan (C)

The Red Wings haven’t had a pick this early in the first round in more than 20 years. Generally, the team has found gems at the end of the first round and later in the draft, often after a trade. At this point, Detroit has several good group of goaltenders on the team, and a nice stable of defensemen. What would be most useful in the middle of the first round would be a top six center. Any of Ivan Barbashev, Dylan Larkin, and Jared McCann may be available at this spot in the draft,and each could be a good fit.

The Red Wings do not currently have a second round selection, but could move down and get one, if they believe that they could get a center that the team is eyeing. Expect Detroit also to pick a goaltender with one of their late round picks (the Red Wings have one fifth rounder, one sixth round pick, and two selections in the seventh round).

Boston Bruins

2013-­14 Regular Season Record: 54-­19­-9

Selection Order in First Round: 25th overall
Current No. of picks in 2014 Draft: 6
Recent Top Round Draft Selections:

2013 None
2012 Malcolm Subban (G)
2011 Dougie Hamilton (D)
2010 Tyler Seguin (C)

The Bruins have been taking defensemen early in recent drafts (Linus Arnesson, Dougie Hamilton, and Matt Grzelcyk) and, although it is possible that the team will go that way again, we expect that this year Boston will be looking for wingers. With the 25th pick, there should be several top six wingers available, especially high-­end talented forwards from Europe. Boston has kept six of their seven picks this year (the Bruins have no sixth round pick as of this writing) and, with a strong prospect pool, the team could afford to take chances on high risk, high reward forwards and defensemen with later picks. One position they do not need more prospects in, however, is between the pipes. The Bruins have very good depth in goal, and likely will not choose another in this year’s draft.

Montreal Canadiens

2013­-14 Regular Season Record: 46-­28-­8

Selection Order in First Round: 26th overall
Current No. of picks in 2014 Draft: 7
Recent Top Round Draft Selections:

2013 Michael McCarron (RW)
2012 Alex Galchenyuk (C)
2011 Nathan Beaulieu (D)
2010 Jarred Tinordi (D)

Despite adding some size and grit over the past few years, the Canadiens are still one of the smaller organizations in the league. With some good defensive prospects already in the system and developing well, the team needs at least one big, top-­six forward out of this draft. A close to sure thing is going to be hard to get at the 26th overall selection, but Montreal will have quite a few second tier wingers with skill, size and grit to choose from in that spot. Currently without a second round selection, sixty picks will go by before the Canadiens choose a second time, but there are a few hidden gems that may be left. Character top nine forwards are always needed, as well as mobile defenseman who can fight, so watch for these players to be sought out in the later rounds.

Tampa Bay Lightning

2013-­14 Regular Season Record: 46­-27-­9
Selection Order in First Round: 19th overall
Current No. of picks in 2014 Draft: 8

Recent Top Round Draft Selections:

2013 Jonathan Drouin (LW)
2012 Slater Koekkoek (D)
Andrei Vasilevskiy (G)
2011 Vladeslav Namestnikov (C)
2010 Brett Connolly (RW)

Defense, defense, defense–­­should be the cry from the podium when the Lightning are selecting in the first round. Tampa Bay has two picks, numbers 19 and 28, and there should be at least two excellent two­-way defensemen available at those slots. In addition, a strictly puck moving blueliner should also be available through the second round (Tampa Bay has a third pick at number 50 in the second round). With the rest of the prospect pool looking very good (Andrei Vasilevskiy and Jonathan Drouin are already considered elite talents), don’t be surprised if the first three names the Lightning brass calls up to the podium are blueliners.

Metropolitan Division

Pittsburgh Penguins

2013­-14 Regular Season Record: 51-­24-­7

Selection Order in First Round: 22nd overall
Current No. of picks in 2014 Draft: 5
Recent Top Round Draft Selections:

2013 None
2012 Derick Pouliot (D)
Olli Maata (D)
2011 Joseph Morrow (D)
2010 Beau Bennett (RW)

This week the Penguins hired Mike Johnston as their head coach, after hiring Jim Rutherford as GM in April. So, it’s a new system in Pittsburgh and it is very difficult to predict how the draft will go for the Pens. With a first round selection (at 22nd overall) and then not another pick until late in the fourth round, the organization’s first pick takes on even more importance. Expect the new hockey operations’ folks to select a forward with that pick–it certainly will be a change from the recent past. Potential top six wingers are few and far between in the prospect pool, and there should be several available in the bottom third of the first round. Also, despite the recent additions of netminders Matt Murray (2012) and Tristan Jarry (2013), don’t be surprised if Pittsburgh uses one of its late round picks on a goaltending prospect.

New York Rangers

2013­-14 Regular Season Record: 45-­31­-6
Selection Order in First Round: 29th overall
Current No. of picks in 2014 Draft: 4

Recent Top Round Draft Selections:

2013 None
2012 Brady Skjei (D)
2011 JT Miller (C/W)
2010 Dylan McIlrath (D)

The Rangers have several needs in this draft, but have no first round pick (it was traded away in the transaction that brought Marty St. Louis to New York). In fact, the team has the fewest picks in this draft of any NHL organization (i.e., four). Absent a trade, which I do not expect, the first time the Rangers will step to the podium is at the second to last pick of the second round. If there is an offensive defenseman available at this point of the draft, you very well might hear his name be called.

With one of the other three picks, New York likely will take a chance on a goalie; and with another, late-round selection expect Gordie Clark and company to pick a heretofore mostly unknown European skater.

Philadelphia Flyers

2013­-14 Regular Season Record: 42-­30-­10
Selection Order in First Round: 17th overall
Current No. of picks in 2014 Draft: 5

Recent Top Round Draft Selections:

2013 Samuel Morin (D)
2012 Scott Laughton (C)
2011 Sean Couturier (C)
2010 None

Philadelphia should take the best player available at 17th overall. If they could move down and package their second round pick with their first pick (of four in the first two rounds), they could come away with more picks and a very successful draft. One of the reasons the Flyers could move down is that they may be targeting goalie, Thatcher Demko. He is not likely to go as high as 17th, and because the Flyers could use a pick in every category of player to improve their system, the more the better. Samuel Morin, Scott Laughton and Shane Gotisbehere are considered the best prospects in the system, but that will not be enough to get Philadelphia where they need to go–more picks and more high-end prospects are the order of the day with the team hosting this year’s draft.

Columbus Blue Jackets

2013¬14 Regular Season Record: 43¬32¬7
Selection Order in First Round: 16th overall
Current No. of picks in 2014 Draft: 7

Recent Top Round Draft Selections:

2013 Alexander Wennberg (C)
Kerby Rychel (LW)
Marco Dano (C)
2012 Ryan Murray (D)
2011 None
2010 Ryan Johansen (C)

When a hockey fan starts looking at organizations on the cusp of being something special, the first place to look is Columbus. Although we have to admit that this turnaround started before the change in hockey operations’ staff, the John Davidson/ Jarmo Kekalainen dynamic duo is getting some kind of magical reputation in the NHL. It started with St. Louis (which is presently one of th4e most talented systems in hockey) and continues in Columbus. The Blue Jackets have seven picks, including two third round picks (no sixth rounder). Although we would expect the team to go with a defenseman with their first pick (at number 16) and maybe the second round selection too, if Kekalainen and company think that a European forward has dropped to them and should be grabbed up, the Blue Jackets’ GM will not hesitate to pull the trigger.

Washington Capitals

2013¬14 Regular Season Record: 38¬30¬14
Selection Order in First Round: 13th overall
Current No. of picks in 2014 Draft: 9

Recent Top Round Draft Selections:

2013 Andre Burakovsky (LW)
2012 Filip Forsberg (C)
Tom Wilson (RW)
2011 None
2010 Evgeny Kuznetsov

There is a complete regime change in Washington, so the team’s history of favoring European forwards may be over. With nine picks in the draft, the Caps (including selections in every round and two in the fourth and seventh rounds) are expected to select potential top-six centers early on this weekend. Additionally, expect Washington to at least look at the possibility of drafting a netminder with one of the late-round selections, as well as puck-moving defenseman somewhere among the nine selections.

New Jersey Devils

2013¬14 Regular Season Record: 35¬29¬18
Selection Order in First Round: 30th overall
Current No. of picks in 2014 Draft: 6

Recent Top Round Draft Selections:

2013 None
2012 Stefan Matteau (C)
2011 Adam Larsson (D)
2010 Jacob Josefson (C)

Due to the Ilya Kovalchuk contract, the Devils select last in the first round, and if there is any time where this won’t hurt them that much, it is this year. Although the team’s top defensive prospects are doing very well, where New Jersey needs new high¬end prospects is up front. There are several pure scorers available in this draft who may not go til the end of the first round, among them Vlad Kamenev and Nick Schmaltz. New Jersey also selects 11th in the second round, so it is conceivable that both of these forwards could be still there. With one fifth and two sixth round picks, the Devils may look to draft another goalie. Although Keith Kinkaid and Scott Wedgewood both looked good last season, it is still not clear that either is a long term backup alternative to Cory Schneider or a potential number one some years in the future.

Carolina Hurricanes

2013¬14 Regular Season Record: 36¬35¬11
Selection Order in First Round: 7th overall
Current No. of picks in 2014 Draft: 6

Recent Top Round Draft Selections:

2013 Elias Lindholm (C)
2012 None
2011 Ryan Murphy (D)
2010 Jeff Skinner (C)

The Hurricanes have the seventh overall pick in the draft as well as an early second rounder. With a top ten selection, Carolina should get a top-line or top-pairing player, but which should it be? Either would be fine, frankly, as this organization has needed its draftees so badly at the NHL level, that the prospect pool is now very thin. Lindholm, Murphy and Skinner were all home run selections, but the organization has no more of these elite players coming up behind them. In addition, there was a change in management, as Jim Rutherford retired (and then found a home in Pittsburgh) and Ron Francis has taken over the reigns. We don’t expect much wheeling and dealing at the Hurricanes table this weekend, but do think that good sized, north- south forwards and responsible defensemen (ie., safe picks) will be selected by the team with their post-second round selections.

New York Islanders

2013¬14 Regular Season Record: 34¬37¬11
Selection Order in First Round: 5th overall
Current No. of picks in 2014 Draft: 9

Recent Top Round Draft Selections:

2013 Ryan Pulock (D)
2012 Griffin Reinhart (D)
2011 Ryan Strome (C)
2010 Nino Niederreiter (RW)
Brock Nelson (C)

Oh, how other teams look at the Islanders’ prospect pool and drool. Both up front and on defense, this organization is stocked. And yet, they once again have a top 10 pick. New York decided to keep the pick (rather than give it up to Buffalo), so its likely Garth Snow and company will take the pick. And with the pick, the team will select a forward, most likely a winger. If he is still available, Michael dal Colle would be a good addition to the prospect pool. Thinking of him playing with John Tavares one day could be a frightening thought for opponents. With the signing of Jaroslav Halak to a four year deal, goaltending is more stable on the Island, but there is still a question mark between the pipes, and, if Thatcher Demko is available at the 35th pick overall, New York might grab him there.

Central Division

Colorado Avalanche
2013¬14 Regular Season Record: 52¬22¬8
Selection Order in First Round: 23rd overall
Current No. of picks in 2014 Draft: 7

Recent Top Round Draft Selections:

2013 Nathan MacKinnon (C)
2012 None
2011 Gabriel Landeskog (LW)
Duncan Siemens (D)
2010 Joey Hishon (C)

The Avalanche surprised no one this season when they made the playoffs for the first time. The team has one of the most talented group
of forwards in the NHL. What they do not have are high end young defensemen, who can play a very good two¬way game. At the 23rd
selection in the first round, Colorado should be able to pick such a defenseman, perhaps either Travis Sanheim or Jack Dougherty.
Without a second round pick, however, the Avs will have to wait until almost the end of the third round for their next pick. Don’t be surprised if Colorado continues to select a blueliner with this pick.

St. Louis Blues

2013¬14 Regular Season Record: 52¬23¬7
Selection Order in First Round: 21st overall
Current No. of picks in 2014 Draft: 9
Recent Top Round Draft Selections:

2013 None
2012 Jordan Schmaltz (D)
2011 None
2010 Jaden Schwartz (C)
Vladimir Tarasenko (RW)

The Blues were disappointed with their finish in the playoffs, and are looking to add high¬end prospects to their system. With three selections
in the first two rounds and nine picks overall in the draft, the team is expected to make some moves. Whether St. Louis is able to move up
from number 21 overall to a more favorable spot, what the team will be looking for is a forward–preferably a center. Although a top¬six center
may be available in the bottom third of the first round, if the team could move up about 5 spots, the likelihood of this happening would be much
better. Expect this draft to be forwards, forwards, forwards for the Blues.

Chicago Blackhawks
2013¬14 Regular Season Record: 46¬21¬15
Selection Order in First Round: 27th overall
Current No. of picks in 2014 Draft: 8

Recent Top Round Draft Selections:

2013 Ryan Hartman (RW)
2012 Teuvo Tervainen (LW)
2011 Mark McNeill (C)
Phillip Danault (LW)
2010 Kevin Hayes (RW)

Chicago has an impressive array of personnel at the NHL level and over the years has generally accumulated a very good stable of
prospects too. Particularly at center, this team is very deep. Additionally, the development of the Blackhawks’ defensive prospects
is generally moving along. At the 27thspot in the first round, Chicago will be looking at wingers–and there are several European players who
will likely be on their radar. Adrian Kempe, Jacob Vrana, and David Pastrnak have a good chance to be among those forwards that the
Blackhawks will consider.

Minnesota Wild
2013¬14 Regular Season Record: 43¬27¬12
Selection Order in First Round: 18th overall
Current No. of picks in 2014 Draft: 8

Recent Top Round Draft Selections:

2013 None
2012 Matt Dumba (D)
2011 Jonas Brodin (D)
Zack Phillips (C)
2010 Mikael Granlund (C/W)

Minnesota is now an exciting team to watch–no longer the Lemaire defensive team of the early 2000s, the Wild can be explosive. And the team has some very good prospects–defenseman Matt Dumbaand forward Erik Haula. Where the team is weakest is between the
pipes, with uncertainty surrounding every goalie in the organization. The Wild desperately need solid consistent netminding–the question is
do they get it from this draft. Thatcher Demko, the top goalie available in the draft, probably will be taken a little lower than Minnesota’s 18
thoverall pick. Does the team take a chance and move down? The Wild have no second round selection, but do have nine overall picks this
weekend. A trade would make sense. With later round picks, Minnesota needs forwards, particularly potential high¬scoring
forwards. There will be several high risk, high reward forwards available in the middle rounds.

Dallas Stars

2013¬14 Regular Season Record: 40¬31¬11
Selection Order in First Round: 14th overall
Current No. of picks in 2014 Draft: 9

Recent Top Round Draft Selections:

2013 Valeri Nichushkin (RW)
Jason Dickinson (C)
2012 Radek Faksa (C)
2011 Jamie Oleksiak (D)
2010 Jack Campbell (G)

Looking through the prospect pool of this franchise is an embarrassment of riches. At every position, the team has excellent
prospects, and their AAA affiliate, the Texas Stars, just won the AHL Calder Cup. It is an impressive group, and yet, Dallas has nine picks in
this draft. The first round pick is 14 th overall, high enough to get a very good prospect in this year’s draft. It will most likely be a true center, one with top six potential. With the second round pick (number 45
overall), the Stars could be looking to a defenseman, perhaps even American¬born Jack Glover. No matter who Dallas picks, this franchise
is brimming with young elite and close to elite prospects. It is only a matter of time before the NHL team contends for the Stanley Cup.

Nashville Predators

2013¬14 Regular Season Record: 38¬32¬12
Selection Order in First Round: 11th overall
Current No. of picks in 2014 Draft: 8
Recent Top Round Draft Selections:

2013 Seth Jones (D)
2012 None
2011 None
2010 Austin Watson (LW)

Nashville has an excellent core of forwards in their prospect pool. Where they are missing high end prospects is on defense. With the
eleventh overall selection, it is possible that the need could be filled by selecting the second best blueliner in the draft (Aaron Ekblad, the only elite defenseman in the draft is expected to go number one overall). Haydn Fleury, the WHL Red Deer Rebels reliable two- way blueliner, may be a perfect addition to the Preds’ back end. Nashville also has two mid¬second round picks (numbers 42 and 46). Those could either be packaged for a player or another defenseman (or two) could be selected. Another need includes a first line center of the future (probably not available to the Preds in this draft, unless they trade to move up).

Winnipeg Jets

2013¬14 Regular Season Record: 37¬35¬10
Selection Order in First Round: 9th overall
Current No. of picks in 2014 Draft: 7

Recent Top Round Draft Selections:

2013 Joshua Morrissey (D)
2012 Jacob Trouba (D)
2011 Mark Schiefele (C)
2010 Alexander Burmistrov (C)

The Jets strengths for young players are between the pipes and on defense. That leaves Winnipeg with large needs up front. And with the
ninth overall pick, some of that problem could be addressed. In addition, there are rumors that there will be a major shakeup as to
players on the team before the 2014¬15 season starts–several skaters are not expected back. The Jets do not have a second round pick, but it
is very possible that a trade could yield both an extra first round selection and a second round pick, if it is completed during or before
the draft. Extra picks could increase the quality of the forward prospect pool, which is desperately needed by the franchise.

Pacific Division

Anaheim Ducks

2013¬14 Regular Season Record: 54¬20¬8
Selection Order in First Round: 10th overall
Current No. of picks in 2014 Draft: 7

Recent Top Round Draft Selections:

2013 Shea Theodore (D)
2012 Hampus Lindholm (D)
2011 Rickard Rakell (RW)
2010 Cam Fowler (D)
Emerson Etem (RW)

Anaheim has one of the best and deepest prospect pools in the NHL. Strong at every position, there are no glaring needs. However, the team
will need to replace Teemu Selanne, who retired after last season. So, with the tenth overall pick, expect the Ducks to draft a center, who can
score and take faceoffs. This draft should yield several of those type of forwards, so there should not be a problem obtaining a player for down
the road. However, Anaheim does need that player now, so the team may choose to trade one of its two first round selections (numbers 10
and 24) as part of a deal to bring the second¬line center to Southern California. The Ducks also have two second round selections, which it
may use to select a high risk, high reward defenseman.

San Jose Sharks

2013¬14 Regular Season Record: 51¬22¬9
Selection Order in First Round: 20th overall
Current No. of picks in 2014 Draft: 7

Recent Top Round Draft Selections:

2013 Mirco Mueller (D)
2012 Tomas Hertl (C)
2011 None
2010 Charlie Coyle (C/W)

It is no secret that the Sharks need more offense. With the 20th overall pick, a high¬end forward should still be available, and San Jose should
grab one. The Sharks also have two picks in the second round, and, frankly, they should just keep selecting forwards. With at least one of
their late round picks, the team could possibly select a goalie (one of San Jose’s best goalie prospects signed a contract in the KHL for the
2014¬15 season), but the focus of this draft should be up front.

Los Angeles Kings

2013¬14 Regular Season Record: 46¬28¬8
Selection Order in First Round: 29th overall
Current No. of picks in 2014 Draft: 9

Recent Top Round Draft Selections:

2013 None
2012 Tanner Pearson (C)
2011 None
2010 Derek Forbort (D)

The Kings have all their picks this year and added two more late rounders through trades. This is in stark contrast to recent years, when
the team had few selections. And those picks are needed, as the prospect pool is getting very light. With the first round selection, Los
Angeles should be looking for a potential top¬six center, who will grow into a real playmaking role. A player with high¬end skills is needed in
the center pipeline. Additionally, although the number one netminder and his back up are firmly established at the NHL level, there is no
goalie in the prospect pool who had number one potential. One of the Kings nine selections this year should be a netminder.

Arizona Coyotes

2013¬14 Regular Season Record: 37¬30¬15
Selection Order in First Round: 12th overall
Current No. of picks in 2014 Draft: 8

Recent Top Round Draft Selections:

2013 Max Domi (C/W)
2012 Henrik Samuelsson (C/W)
2011 Connor Murphy (D)
2010 Brandon Gormley (D)
Mark Visentin (G)

Arizona (hard to get used to that name) needs high end centers and wingers. Selecting at number 12 overall should help somewhat, and the
Coyotes may be able to get a high risk/high reward forward with their two second round picks, but it will take more than one draft to rectify
what is an empty cupboard in Arizona. The Coyotes need creative, natural scorers and puckhandlers¬¬excellent skaters¬¬who can dangle
the puck. The team has been playing well without them, but to be a real Stanley Cup contender, the Coyotes will have to become more of a skill
team. That should start with the use of all the team’s eight draft picks this year.

Vancouver Canucks

2013¬14 Regular Season Record: 36¬35¬11
Selection Order in First Round: 6th overall
Current No. of picks in 2014 Draft: 6

Recent Top Round Draft Selections:

2013 Bo Horvat (C)
Hunter Shinkaruk (C/W)
2012 Brendan Gaunce (C)
2011 Niklas Jensen (W)
2010 None

The Canucks have the sixth pick in this year’s draft and then the sixth pick in the second and third rounds, no fourth round selection and then three picks in the later rounds. After picking centers with four top round picks in the last two years, Vancouver will be looking at wingers
in the 2014 draft. At number six overall, the Canucks will be getting a near elite or elite player, who may be NHL ready this coming season,
which will help, however, the team should also be looking to shore up its goaltending prospect pool. With the upheaval in net last season,
there is no proven NHL goaltender on the club’s roster¬¬only top prospect Jacob Markstrom between the pipes.

Calgary Flames

2013¬14 Regular Season Record: 35¬40¬7
Selection Order in First Round: 4th overall
Current No. of picks in 2014 Draft: 7

Recent Top Round Draft Selections:

2013 Sean Monahan (C)
Emile Poirier (LW)
Morgan Klimchuk (LW)
2012 Mark Jankowski (C)
2011 Sven Baertschi (LW)
2010 None

Calgary needs Aaron Ekblad, a calm two¬way defenseman, but is unlikely to get him without moving up to number one overall. At fourth
overall, the Flames can draft William Nylander, who has very high¬end skills, or drop down to lower in the top ten and select either a
defenseman or a winger. There are many options for the Flames, who not only have an early selection in the first round, but two second and
third round picks.

Edmonton Oilers

2013¬14 Regular Season Record: 29¬44¬9
Selection Order in First Round: 17th overall
Current No. of picks in 2014 Draft: 6

Recent Top Round Draft Selections:

2013 Darnell Nurse (D)
2012 Nail Yakupov (RW)
2011 Ryan Nugent¬Hopkins (C)
Oscar Klefbom (D)
2010 Taylor Hall (LW)

With so many recent top picks, one would expect Edmonton to be competing for the Stanley Cup, but the Oilers are not even close. The
team once again has a high pick, third overall, in the first round, and there are rumors that they are trying to trade up to the first overall pick for the fourth time in five years. Although 2013 draftee Darnell Nurse is expected to be a first pairing defenseman in the future, the Oilers could use an additional blueliner. Aaron Ekblad could be that guy. Edmonton does not have either a second or third round pick to trade,
but there are a myriad of top six forwards that they could dangle before Florida’s eyes to obtain the pick. We shall see soon enough.

Leslie Treff covers professional and amateur scouting for Hockey Prospectus.


Follow Leslie on Twitter at @HFNYRangers.

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