More 2014 NHL draft content
Now that Round 1 of the NHL draft is in the books, let's get you ready for Saturday -- which includes Rounds 2 through 7 -- with my 25 best remaining prospects.
Ivan Barbashev was the biggest surprise to drop out of the first round. I get the "Russian factor" issue -- concerns over a Russian player going back home to play in the KHL -- but Nikolay Goldobin was selected before Barbashev, and he's arguably a bigger transfer risk.
The following are my best available, and at this point of the draft, it's possible some of them might not be picked in the second or third round, as the draft opens up greatly at this point.
1. Ivan Barbashev, C, Moncton (QMJHL)
He's the kind of player who can be set up on the point on a power play, due to the way he can control the puck and see all the options. He's a very hard worker who plays with a physical edge and can land some crushing blows. He's committed defensively, with fine skills on the penalty kill. He needs to get stronger and be a little more consistent offensively.
2. Roland McKeown, D, Kingston (OHL)
McKeown is one of the better skaters available in the class. Regularly, you see him get closer to the play than most defenders would because he has the ability to recover easily. McKeown outlets the puck very well, and, while he might not make a highlight-reel rush, he can execute pretty difficult passes. His defensive game has grown a ton over the past 12 months. He's a little too aggressive with his decision-making at times, but mostly, he tends to make the right calls.