2014 NHL Draft: NHL’s Western Conference adds more forward talent

by Tony Piscotta
on

2014 NHL Draft - Leon Draisaitl, Aaron Ekblad, and Sam Reinhart

Photo: The players chosen with the top three selections in the 2014 NHL Draft – Leon Draisaitl (L), Aaron Ekblad (C), and Sam Reinhart (R) – pose in front of the draft stage at Well Fargo Center in Philadelphia, PA (courtesy of Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

The NHL's Western Conference had some of the most dominant teams in the 2013-14 season — including Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles — thanks largely to forwards such as the Kings' Anze Kopitar, Anaheim's Corey Perry and the Chicago's' Jonathan Toews.

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2014 NHL Draft Preview: Ekblad heads another solid OHL class

by Jason Menard
on

Aaron Ekblad - Barrie Colts

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.

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2014 NHL Combine Video: Jared McCann, Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds

by Ken McKenna
on

2014 NHL Combine - Jared McCann - Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds

Photo: Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds forward and 2014 prospect Jared McCann picked up seven points in nine postseason games for the Greyhounds (courtesy of Graig Abel/NHLI via Getty Images)

While he may believe that he has to work on his consistency over the course of a season, Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds forward Jared McCann was Mr. Consistency when it came to his ranking for the 2014 NHL Draft.

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2014 NHL Combine Video: Sam Bennett, Kingston Frontenacs

by Ken McKenna
on

2014 NHL Combine - Sam Bennett - Kingston Frontenacs

Photo: Kingston Frontenacs center and 2014 prospect Sam Bennett, shown here taking part in the 2014 NHL Combine, is ranked fourth overall for the 2014 NHL Draft by ISS Hockey (courtesy of Graig Abel/NHLI via Getty Images)

There is varied opinions as to which player is the top prospect for the 2014 NHL Draft. Some NHL scouts feel that Barrie Colts defenseman Aaron Ekblad is the top player by a tiny margin, while the independent scouting service ISS Hockey ranked Kootenay Ice center Sam Reinhart as their top prospect. But NHL Central Scouting hasn't wavered in their belief that Kingston Frontenacs center Sam Bennett is the best of this year's crop.

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2014 NHL Combine Video: Brendan Lemieux, Barrie Colts

by Ken McKenna
on

2014 NHL Combine - Brendan Lemieux - Barrie Colts

Photo: Barrie Colts forward and 2014 prospect Brendan Lemieux, shown here during the testing portion of the 2014 NHL Combine, is ranked 28th among North American skaters for the 2014 NHL Draft by Central Scouting (courtesy of Dave Sandford/Getty Images)

With a father that is a four-time Stanley Cup winner, Barrie Colts left wing Brendan Lemieux certainly has a tough act to follow as he pursues his NHL dream. Lemieux's first step towards filling those big skates comes at the end of June when his name is likely to be called at the 2014 NHL Draft.

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