The SB Nation network of hockey blogs has come together again to deliver their take on the opening round of the 2014 NHL Entry Draft. With the first overall selection, the LBC brain trust has tabbed Aaron Ekblad as Florida's pick.
With the 9th overall pick in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft, the Winnipeg Jets are happy to select, from MODO of the SHL, William Nylander.
When the Winnipeg Jets were on the clock for this mock draft, the following picks had already been made:
1. Florida: Aaron Ekblad
2. Buffalo: Sam Bennett
3. Edmonton: Leon Draisaitl
4. Calgary: Sam Reinhart
5. NY Islanders: Michael Dal Colle
6. Vancouver: Jake Virtanen
7. Carolina: Brendan Perlini
8. Toronto: Nikolaj Ehlers
To see the rest of the picks in the mock, go here.
Being picked 9th overall would represent a fall of sorts for the Nylander, the son of former NHLer Michael Nylander. William has spend most of the last year ranked as a clear favorite among European skaters. In fact, some had him ranked as an early top three pick along side Same Reinhart and Aaron Ekblad. The course of the season saw a handful of players elevate their stock, but the upside of Nylander remains elite.
Rationale for the pick:
William Nylander is an extremely skilled player. He has some impressive hands and even more impressive skating - both are at a shortage for the Jets. While the NHL club does feature some speedy skaters, there isn't a lot of shift in the play style. The same can be said about the farm where only Nic Petan shows high end offensive upside - and even he isn't a speedster.
Nylander was also Terrel's highest ranked player left on the board. Cara said she'd do a happy dance if the Jets landed him and Arby sharpened his blades for when Nylander fell and Chevy passed.
Some fans may have reservations about the idea of Kevin Cheveldayoff drafting an undersized forward, but sometimes skill cannot be ignored. The Jets are already among the biggest teams in the NHL. Their lack of consistent passing ability comes into play far more than issues with size and while Nylander is small, he already has a track record playing against men.
Terrel's Scouting Report
Birthdate: May 1, 1996. Height: 5'11''. Weight: 181lbs
Height - 5'11''
Weight - 181lbs
Shoots - Right
Age - 18 (May 1, 1996)
From - Stockholm, Sweden
William played for 5 different teams this season as well as playing internationally for Sweden at the U-18 level. Much like his father he has a slick pair of hands and great vision offensively. He sees the ice extremely well and is incredibly adept at finding the soft areas of the ice. He improves on his father's vision with a very elusive skating style and a quick hard wrist shot meaning he has legitimate potential as a goalscorer in the NHL. He is perhaps the most skilled player in this year's draft. While his defensive game is still a work in progress his stick skills mean he can be effective defensively if he applies himself. His combination of playmaking and goalscoring means he has the highest offensive ceiling of any player in the draft although he is not quite as refined as other players in the top 6.
Last Word on Sports