Photo: Nikolay Goldobin, San Jose’s top pick at 27th overall, ranked seventh overall in OHL scoring with 94 points in 67 games for Sarnia in 2013-14 (courtesy of Derik Hamilton/Icon SMI)
Coming into the 2014 NHL Draft in Philadelphia, General Manager Doug Wilson and the San Jose Sharks were making substantial noise and looked to be on the precipice of a big change, a monumental rebuild of sorts that would alter the culture and look of the Sharks for years to come. Instead of a loud boom, in typical Sharks fashion, the 2014 draft quietly ushered in a new age for the San Jose organization.
Photo: Barrie Colts defenseman and 2014 prospect Aaron Ekblad is said to be the most NHL-ready player in this year’s NHL Draft class (courtesy of Terry Wilson/OHL Images)
While it may not be the slam-dunk consensus that previous years have provided, either Sam Bennett or Aaron Ekblad are the odds-on favorites to be the sixth first-overall NHL Draft selection in the past nine years to come from the OHL.
Photo: Sarnia Sting forward and 2014 prospect Nikolay Goldobin is the Sting’s leading scorer this season with 81 points, a point total that ties him for fifth overall in the OHL (courtesy of Terry Wilson/OHL Images)
For most draft-eligible players, receiving a first-round grade and spot in the top 15 would be cause for celebration. But most players aren’t Sarnia Sting forward Nikolay Goldobin, a player who has set some lofty goals for himself.
Photo: Kingston Frontenacs forward and 2014 prospect Sam Bennett is ranked as the top North American skater in Central Scouting’s 2014 midterm rankings (courtesy of Aaron Bell/OHL Images)
The Ontario Hockey League loves to bill itself as the marquee developmental league for the National Hockey League. It’s a statement that’s at the core of its recruiting and marketing tactics for players throughout the province, into the U.S., and around the world. And 2014 is shaping up to be another banner year — led by an “exceptional” player that hockey watchers have been anxiously awaiting.
Photo: Barrie Colts forward and 2014 prospect Brendan Lemieux (C) netted a goal for Team Orr in their win over Team Cherry at the 2014 BMO CHL/NHL Top Propsects Game, with his style of play reminding many of that of his father, former NHL forward Claude Lemieux (courtesy of Brad Watson/CHL Images)
Here is a look at a few of the players who made a significant impact at the 2014 BMO CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game in Calgary.