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Top 2014 Draft Prospects

Pre-Season Report

Posted Sept. 18
Next June, the best young amateur players in the world will be made available at the 2014 NHL Draft. Follow the first TSN Ranking of the season - a compilation based on input from various scouts around the National Hockey League. (Photos courtesy: The Canadian Press, Getty Images, NHLI and EliteProspects.com)

The Top 15

T1. Sam Reinhart

Sam Reinhart
Profile
2013-14 Team: Kootenay League: WHL
Position: Centre Height: 6'1"
DOB: Nov. 6, 1995 Weight: 186 lbs.
2012-13 Statistics
Team GP G A PTS +/- PIM
Kootenay 72 35 50 85 +8 22
TSN Director of Scouting Craig Button:
Sam has been a dominant player for the Kootenay Ice since arriving full time as a 16-year old. He is superbly gifted and skilled and can dominate games in many facets. His intelligence stands out and he is always steps ahead of the play. Combined with excellent feet and hands, he is able to be a prolific offensive contributor. Versatile and adaptable to changing circumstances make him very difficult to keep in check.

T1. Aaron Ekblad

Aaron Ekblad
Profile
2013-14 Team: Barrie League: OHL
Position: Defence Height: 6'5"
DOB: Feb. 7, 1996 Weight: 216 lbs.
2012-13 Statistics
Team GP G A PTS +/- PIM
Barrie 54 7 27 34 29 64
TSN Director of Scouting Craig Button:
Aaron is the proverbial 'workhorse' defenceman. Capable of playing significant minutes, he has a seemingly ability to get better the more he plays and he seems to thrive on these types of demands. Smart and capable of playing in all situations, he is also capable of dominating opponents. Defensively, offensively, skill game or physical game, Aaron can excel in all types of games. Top 2 type defenceman.

3. William Nylander

William Nylander
Profile
2013-14 Team: Rogle League: Sweden - ALS
Position: Left Wing Height: 5'11"
DOB: May 1, 1996 Weight: 169 lbs.
2012-13 Statistics
Team GP G A PTS +/- PIM
Sodertalje J20 27 15 28 43 +14 14
TSN Director of Scouting Craig Button:
William exudes confidence when he plays. Exceptional poise with the puck and is always looking to make threatening plays in the offensive zone. Excellent skater who is very difficult to check because of his agility and because he is always changing pace. Can make pinpoint passes in traffic and if you are his line mate, best be ready, as he will provide opportunities. Top line type player.

4. Leon Draisaitl

Leon Draisaitl
Profile
2013-14 Team: Prince Albert League: WHL
Position: Left Wing Height: 6'2"
DOB: Oct. 27, 1995 Weight: 178 lbs.
2012-13 Statistics
Team GP G A PTS +/- PIM
Prince Albert 64 21 37 58 +22 22
TSN Director of Scouting Craig Button:
Leon is a blend of skill and power and comfortable in either element. His skill derives from excellent hockey sense and the ability to make plays and recognize what is unfolding. His power is more along the lines of being hard to deter and imposing himself on opponents, with a serious determination to make a difference. Skating is good with much room to improve. A Top 2 line type forward.

5. Sam Bennett

Sam Bennett
Profile
2013-14 Team: Kingston League: OHL
Position: Centre Height: 6'1"
DOB: June 20, 1996 Weight: 178 lbs.
2012-13 Statistics
Team GP G A PTS +/- PIM
Kingston 60 18 22 40 -2 87
TSN Director of Scouting Craig Button:
Sam continues to get better and better. The one overarching theme in Sam's game is 'rising to the occasion.' It doesn't matter what is required, he finds a way to get in the 'guts of the action' and to make a difference to winning. Very good skills and is capable of playing in all areas of the game. Smart and reads plays well and is equally adept at setting up plays as he is at finishing them. Top 2 line type.

T6. Jake Virtanen

Jake Virtanen
Profile
2013-14 Team: Calgary League: WHL
Position: Right Wing Height: 6'1"
DOB: Aug. 17, 1996 Weight: 213 lbs.
2012-13 Statistics
Team GP G A PTS +/- PIM
Calgary 62 16 18 34 +25 67
TSN Director of Scouting Craig Button:
Jake has undeniable skill. Excellent skater who has speed, quickness and power. Can beat defenders with his skating and when he gets an advantage, his size makes it almost impossible for a defender to get back on equal footing. Very strong shot and can beat goaltenders from out but also has the quickness in his hands to score in tight. Has the potential to be a dynamic scoring winger.

T6. Nick Ritchie

Nick Ritchie
Profile
2013-14 Team: Peterborough League: OHL
Position: Left Wing Height: 6'2"
DOB: Feb. 9, 1996 Weight: 218 lbs.
2012-13 Statistics
Team GP G A PTS +/- PIM
Peterborough 41 18 17 35 -10 50
TSN Director of Scouting Craig Button:
Nick is a powerful player and when he is skating and driving hard, he is extremely difficult to stop. He has a nose for the net and will take the puck to the net and can score with a very good shot or in tight around net. Very good along the boards and can quickly win a puck battle and create an scoring chance. With his skating and size, he opens up lots of opportunities for his line mates. Players like him, are not common.

8. Kasperi Kapanen

Kasperi Kapanen
Profile
2013-14 Team: KalPa League: Finland - Elite
Position: Right Wing Height: 5'11"
DOB: July 23, 1996 Weight: 172 lbs.
2012-13 Statistics
Team GP G A PTS +/- PIM
KalPa U20 36 14 15 29 -3 16
TSN Director of Scouting Craig Button:
Kasperi can be termed an 'all-round' player. More than that, he's comfortable playing in all the important areas of the game. He has all of the necessary skills and understanding to impact the game in all of its areas. Has an ease to his skating and he uses it to his advantage. Smart and takes advantage of opportunities. Competitive and determined, he finds ways to contribute and help the team be successful.

9. Michael Dal Colle

Michael Dal Colle
Profile
2013-14 Team: Oshawa League: OHL
Position: Left Wing Height: 6'1"
DOB: June 20, 1996 Weight: 184 lbs.
2012-13 Statistics
Team GP G A PTS +/- PIM
Oshawa 63 15 33 48 +19 18
TSN Director of Scouting Craig Button:
Michael has the abilities to impact the game in multiple ways. Very good skater with speed and power and with his size, is the type of player who can 'go where he wants.' Smart and can make plays and has good puck skills in passing and shooting. Appears to be very comfortable on the wing and can create advantages for the team along the boards, at the net and with his skill. Players with these attributes are coveted.

10. Jakub Vrana

Jakub Vrana
Profile
2013-14 Team: Linkoping League: SHL
Position: Left Wing Height: 5'11"
DOB: Feb. 28, 1996 Weight: 183 lbs.
2012-13 Statistics
Team GP G A PTS +/- PIM
Linkoping J20 32 12 20 32 +3 49
TSN Director of Scouting Craig Button:
Jakub is a very gifted offensive player. Excellent hands and is able to maneuver the puck into advantageous positions for himself. Very good shot with a quick release and is able to handle the puck in traffic. He sees offensive opportunities and is ready to exploit them. Skating is good, more quickness than speed but when he has a step or an opportunity, he holds it. A scoring winger.

T11. Anton Karlsson

Anton Karlsson
Profile
2013-14 Team: Frolunda Jr. League: Sweden - J20
Position: Right Wing Height: 6'0"
DOB: Aug. 7, 1996 Weight: 187 lbs.
2012-13 Statistics
Team GP G A PTS +/- PIM
Frolunda J18 16 14 13 27 +12 37
TSN Director of Scouting Craig Button:
Anton is a player who plays in every situation in the game and excels in them. Excellent sense and is able to make plays that have a significant influence on the outcome of the game. Reads plays with the puck and without the puck and knows how to make a positive impact for his team. Skates well, very good puck skills and he makes others around him better. Determined and competitive, winning takes precedent for him.

T11. Haydn Fleury

Haydn Fleury
Profile
2013-14 Team: Red Deer League: WHL
Position: Defence Height: 6'3"
DOB: July 8, 1996 Weight: 207 lbs.
2012-13 Statistics
Team GP G A PTS +/- PIM
Red Deer 66 4 15 19 +4 21
TSN Director of Scouting Craig Button:
Haydn has all the attributes of a two-way defenseman. Excellent skating base and he uses it defensively and to jump into the attack offensively. Very good puck skills and he passes well out of his zone and in the offensive zone to create scoring chances. Very good awareness with the puck and is threat with his shot which makes it hard to keep him from contributing. Competitive and continues to gain confidence and get better.

13. Nick Schmaltz

Nick Schmaltz
Profile
2013-14 Team: Green Bay League: USHL
Position: Centre Height: 6'0"
DOB: Feb. 23, 1996 Weight: 170 lbs.
2012-13 Statistics
Team GP G A PTS +/- PIM
Green Bay 64 18 34 52 +2 15
TSN Director of Scouting Craig Button:
Nick has elite skill. His skating is excellent and it appears as if he's gliding past opponents. Exceptional agility and he's capable of beating opponents quickly in tight areas. Excellent puck skills and he can make plays that create outstanding offensive opportunities. Good shot and combined with his playmaking, keeps defenders off balance. Very smart and poised and can hold puck to allow plays to develop. Top line type.

14. Ivan Barbashev

Ivan Barbashev
Profile
2013-14 Team: Moncton League: QMJHL
Position: Centre Height: 6'0"
DOB: Dec. 14, 1995 Weight: 185 lbs.
2012-13 Statistics
Team GP G A PTS +/- PIM
Moncton 68 18 44 62 +9 36
TSN Director of Scouting Craig Button:
Ivan is a determined and spirited player. Excellent leader who does so by example and has a focus on the team's best interests in all regards. Excellent hockey IQ in all regards and there is not a situation in the game that he can't make a difference in. Has the ability to 'step up' his game when necessary. Very good skills and can score as well as set up a play and is always in the 'guts of the action.' Off-the-charts character.

15. Roland McKeown

Anton Karlsson
Profile
2013-14 Team: Kingston League: OHL
Position: Defence Height: 6'1"
DOB: Jan. 20, 1996 Weight: 186 lbs.
2012-13 Statistics
Team GP G A PTS +/- PIM
Kingston 61 7 22 29 -24 33
TSN Director of Scouting Craig Button:
Roland has the ability to be an offensive catalyst type defenseman. Very good at jumping into the attack and he creates offensive advantages for his team because of this dynamic. Very good shot and he is able to use it as a weapon but in a multi-faceted manner because he can make plays also. Good skater and he is able to use it to gain advantages. Competes well and has a skill set that could allow him to be a Top 2 type.

Honourable Mentions

The following prospects were close to cracking the Top 15, but were edged out in votes.


NAME TEAM POS. BIRTHDATE HT WT
Adrian Kempe Modo (Swe - J20) LW Sep. 13, 1996 6'2" 187
Matt Mistele Plymouth (OHL) C Oct. 17, 1995 6'2" 183

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