NHL Draft: Round 1 analysis

A pick-by-pick breakdown of top prospects and their new teams

Updated: June 28, 2014, 9:38 AM ET
By Frank Provenzano and Corey Pronman | ESPN Insider

Draft ProspectsLen Redkoles/NHLI/Getty Images

PHILADELPHIA -- The next generation of NHL stars takes the stage at the 2014 NHL draft. Insider's Frank Provenzano and Corey Pronman break down every first-round pick, including analysis of the prospects' talents and where they fit into each team's pipeline.

Follow along on Twitter (@NHLDraftBlog) for additional insights throughout the night.

MORE NHL DRAFT CONTENT:

Final Mock Draft | Top 100 Prospects


1
Aaron Ekblad
Florida Panthers
TEAM: Barrie (OHL)
HT: 6-foot-3
WT: 213 lbs
POS: D

Prospect analysis: He's a monster on the back end and plays the game with an edge and elite defensive value. He does so much more than just hit and win battles: he skates well with good power in his stride and excellent pivots; he has really developed the offensive side of his game, with above-average puck skills; and he sees the ice well, can be creative along the point and join the attack or run the point with a high-end shot from deep. -- Pronman

Team-fit analysis: Ekblad will give the Panthers a potential cornerstone defenseman who can eat up big minutes in big situations. He will complement a strong group of young forwards (led by Jonathan Huberdeau and Aleksander Barkov) and the recently reacquired Roberto Luongo to help shore up a very leaky Panthers defense that ranked 29th in the NHL last season. If Florida ever hopes to gain admittance to the perennial playoff club, it needs to develop a true hockey identity to go along with this young core. -- Provenzano

Corey Pronman is ESPN's NHL Draft and Prospects analyst. He provides analysis on the top draft-eligible players, prospects drafted by NHL teams and all other relevant prospect information. He lives in New York.