Top 100 prospects | Mock Drafts: Provenzano | Pronman
We're hours away from the start of the 2014 NHL draft, when all of our projecting, profiling and prognosticating will be put to the test. For our final piece of preparation, it's time to take one last shot at a mock draft for the first 30 picks.
For this edition, we handed the keys to NHL war rooms around the league to Frank Provenzano and Corey Pronman, who alternated picks (Corey taking the odds, Frank taking the evens). Each has made picks for their teams based upon their own thoughts on the best player for each team at that spot, taking into account our intel on how teams feel about certain players.
1. Florida Panthers: Aaron Ekblad, D, Barrie (OHL)
DOB: 2/7/96 | Ht: 6-foot-4 | Wt: 216 pounds
Ekblad is not a lock at first overall. Sam Bennett seems plausible here, and Panthers GM Dale Tallon has expressed interest in some of the highly skilled wingers, but the big defenseman is the probable selection. That's the case for most of the teams trying to trade up to the top spot as well, other than the Canucks, who believe that Sam Reinhart is the top prospect in the class.
2. Buffalo Sabres: Sam Reinhart, C, Kootenay (WHL)
DOB: 11/6/95 | Ht: 6-1 | Wt: 183
The Sabres will use the No. 2 pick to take the talented two-way center and begin the process of mending one of the most historically anemic offenses in the modern NHL era.