NHL 2014 Draft: The top 30 players, according to the experts

Greg Wyshynski
NHL 2014 Draft: The top 30 players, according to the experts

PHILADELPHIA – There’s no consensus on the best player available in the 2014 NHL Draft, scheduled to begin Friday night in Philadelphia. But there is consensus on who will go first overall. 

Aaron Ekblad, a defenseman for the Barrie Colts (OHL), is the top-ranked prospect in our complication of several mock drafts from the hockey world. He’s 6-3, 213 pounds and seen as the most NHL ready player.

Who will follow behind him?

We took the results from the following mock drafts and player rankings, and ranked the prospects to based on their average projections. The rankings used: Kyle Woodlief of the Red Line Report; DraftSite.com; My NHL Draft; Bob McKenzie’s rankings; Craig Button’s mock draft; Hockey Prospectus; and Adam Kimelman of NHL.com.

Here’s how the experts see the first round, with the average ranking …

1. Aaron Ekblad, D, Barrie (1.14)

2. Sam Bennett, C, Kingston (2.57)

3. Sam Reinhart, C, Kootenay (2.65)

4. Leon Draisaitl, C, Prince Alberta (3.57)

5. Michael Dal Colle, LW, Oshawa (5.00)

6. Jake Virtanen, LW, Calgary (7.29)

7. Nick Ritchie, LW, Peterborough (7.29)

8. William Nylander, RW, Sodertalje (7.43)

9. Hayden Fleury, D, Red Deer (8.857)

10. Nikolaj Ehlers, LW, Halifax (8.71)

11. Brendan Perlini, LW, Niagara (12.14)

12. Kasperi Kapanen, RW, KaPa (12.43)

13. Kevin Fiala, LW, HV 71 Jr. (13.00)

14. Dylan Larkin, C, USA U-18 (15.29)

15. Robby Fabbri, C, Guelph (16.57)

16. Sonny Milano, LW, USA U-18 (17.71)

17. Jared McCann, C, Sault Ste. Marie (18.00)

18. Alex Tuch, C, USA U-18 (19.43)

19. Ivan Barbashev, LW, Moncton (20.86)

20. David Pastrnak, LW, Sodertalje (23.00)

21. Nikita Scherbak, LW, Saskatoon (23.14)

22. Travis Sanheim, D, Calgary (24.86)

23. Julius Honka, D, Swift Current (25.86)

24. Jakub Vrana, RW, Linkoping (25.71)

25. Nick Schmaltz, C, Green Bay (26.00)

26. Jack Dougherty, D, Wisconsin (27.00)

27. Thatcher Demko, G, Boston College (27.57)

28. Adrian Kempe, RW, Modo (28.00)

29. Josh Ho-Sang, C, Windsor (28.00)

30. Conner Bleackley, C, Red Deer (28.56)

Keep in mind that these are a combination of player rankings and mock drafts. Obviously, team needs and trades made during the Draft will weigh heavily on where they all end up.