Surely by now you have seen the SBN mock draft read Terrel's 2014 NHL Draft rankings. You have read mock drafts and you have familiarized yourself with some of these names. If you have, you may have run into a bit of an issue finding a consensus.
Every mock seems to be wildly different. Players ranked in the top 10 of one list may sit in the low teens or early twenties elsewhere, so here is your cheat sheet. It is hard to get a grasp on just who could be targeted, so we are here to provide you a cheat sheet.
For this cheat sheet we will use Bob MacKenzie's 2014 draft list (he is incredibly accurate) and we will borrow the scouting reports from our own Terrel (he is the best). We will include the scouting report for every player ranked (by Bob) between 6th and 17th. Odds are the Jets draft somebody from this range, and if they do you won't have to scramble to figure out who the hell they are.
Birthdate: December 5, 1995. Height: 6'3''. Weight: 236lbs.
To say after being drafted #2 in the 2011 OHL draft that Ritchie came out of nowhere would be incorrect. But the big forward broke out this year with Peterborough after being given an "A". He has improved his numbers every year including in this breakout season. Ritchie is a big power forward that loves to mix it up. Plenty of teams have been reaching for the next Milan Lucic by unlike those goons being passed off as "power forwards" in the past few years like Michael McCarron, Tom Wilson and Zack Kassian Ritchie can actually add an element of skill to the package. He is huge and he loves to mix it up in both the corners and in front of the net. He adds plenty of skill to that package as well with some soft hands in tight. He skates well for a kid his size and can make plays on his own. His body is ready for the NHL game already. The question marks with Ritchie is whether or not he is someone that will be able to drive his own offense. He appears to be is more of a complementary type of forward. He will however toughen up a top 6 while adding plenty of goals and grit to the package.
NHL Projection: Big, mean 1st/2nd line winger with soft hands
Comparable: Milan Lucic (better hands)
Birthdate: August 17, 1996. Height: 6'1''. Weight: 212lbs.
RW Jake Virtanen (Calgary, WHL) - Virtanen is one of the youngest players in the draft, but he is also one of the heaviest and strongest. After being #1 overall pick in the WHL draft in 2011, he has continued to progress well with the Calgary Hitmen. He was 6th in the WHL in goals. A large part of that was Virtanen's great speed and shot. He is incredibly dangerous off the rush. Virtanen is also willing to drive the net and get his hands dirty in the hard areas of the ice. He likes to mix it up out front of the net, in the corners, and finishing his checks. He does work hard at both ends of the ice, although he does make some perplexing decisions in the defensive zone. His main drawback is that he sometimes struggles to use his teammates and playing with in his team's system. He can be a very "individual" player that makes plenty happen all on his own. He needs work on reading the play defensively.
NHL Projection: Speedy, goalscoring 1st/2nd line winger
Comparable: Evander Kane
Birthdate: July 8, 1996. Height: 6'3''. Weight: 201lbs.
D Haydn Fleury (Red Deer, WHL) - Fleury is ranked a little lower here than in many other places. Fleury is the type of player that teams tend to fall in love with on draft day. He has great size and loves to use it. He can throw some great hits. He also has a very technically sound skating stride and is hard to knock off his skates. He makes a very solid first pass out of the zone and does not often get caught running around his own zone. He even stepped up this season offensively ,showing off a good shot and good offensive instincts. he question mark is whether that offense and all around game is strong enough for the next level. His lack of any truly dynamic talent creates a question mark next to his upside. He broke out this year wearing the "A" for the Rebels, leading their D in scoring. but was largely shown up on the big stage at U-18's. He plays a safe consistent game from Red Deer, but as the numbers narrow more is needed.
NHL Projection: Physical, two-way, 2nd pairing defenseman
Comparable: Willie Mitchell
Birthdate: May 1, 1996. Height: 5'11''. Weight: 181lbs.
C William Nylander (MODO, SHL) - Nylander is yet another "legacy" kid making an appearance on this list. His father Michael played 15 seasons in the NHL with 8 different teams. 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.
NHL Projection: Elusive, playmaking 1st line center
Comparable: Patrick Kane
Birthdate: February 14, 1996. Height: 6'0''. Weight: 163lbs.
LW Nikolaj Ehlers (Halifax, QMJHL) - Ehlers came from almost nowhere; from a solid player in the Swiss junior leagues to absolutely tearing apart the QMJHL. Ehlers has speed to burn and he uses that to his full advantage. He combines that with a quick, hard shot off the rush and nice vision to make him a threat every time he goes up the ice. Even once established in the offensive zone, Ehlers uses his skills very well He finds soft areas and is creative in the offensive zone. That's not to say Ehlers is bad defensively as he uses his speed and smarts pretty well in the defensive zone. His really slight build does leads to struggles in the corners and in front of the net. but his frame will allow him to add muscle. His elusiveness also allows him to avoid physical play effectively. He has top end potential.
NHL Projection: Speedy, slick 1st/2nd line winger
Comparable: Matt Duchene
Birth Date: July 23, 1996. Height: 5'11". Weight: 179lbs.
RW Kasperi Kapanen (KalPa, SM-Liiga) - Son of longtime NHLer Sami Kapanen, Kasperi got the rare opportunity to play with his father this year in KalPa in the top Finnish league. Kasperi actually managed to outscore his dad this season. While his stats may not look that impressive he was 2nd on his team in goals only one off the team lead. In fact - if you include the European Hockey Tour - he led the team with 10 combined goals. Kapanen has high end skating ability like his father. He has great agility and speed on the ice. He also has deceptive hands with a knack for finding the scoring areas of the ice. He sometimes struggles with battles in part due to his smallish frame. He still needs work on his defensive reads and positioning.
Birthdate: July 30, 1996. Height: 6'0''. Weight: 192lbs.
C Dylan Larkin (US National Development Program, USHL) - Even among a very strong USNDTP crop Larkin has made his presence known. He broke out in a big way this year and solidified the centre of the ice between great wingers like Alex Tuch and Sonny Milano. He has a superb hockey IQ in both ends of the rink. He understands both how to find the soft areas in the offensive zones and how to check hard in the hard areas of the defensive zone. He not only plays a strong a two-way game but he adds slick hands and strong offensive instincts. His shot is quick and deceptive. While he still needs to add strength and refinement to his reads he has superb two-way instincts for the next level. He can potentially play all 3 forward positions with huge success.
NHL Projection: Smart, slick twoway 1st line center
Comparable: Patrick Marleau
Birthdate: April 27, 1996. Height: 6'2''. Weight: 205lbs.
LW Brendan Perlini (Niagara, OHL) - The Bristish-born Canadian is a really enigmatic forward. After struggling mightily in his rookie year with Barrie in 2012-13, a mid-season trade to Niagara sparked him. He followed that up with a widely impressive 2013-14 campaign in which leading his team in goals. He also tied for 2nd in goals on Team Canada at the U-18's. He has a big, strong frame which he uses very effectively for puck protection. He has good hockey IQ in the offensive zone with a knack for finding the soft areas. He has a solid shot and can use his size effectively to win puck battles. However, and in part due to his style, he tends to disappear at times in the game. He does not possess the greatest top end speed either. If he can continue to work on his game he can be an impact NHL player.
NHL Projection: Possession 1st/2nd line winger
Comparable: Thomas Vanek
Birthdate: January 22, 1996. Height: 5'10''. Weight: 165lbs.
C Robby Fabbri (Guelph, OHL) - Fabbri is a late rising forward in part due to a really strong playoffs with the Memorial Cup bound Guelph Storm. He did have a great regular season as well though. Fabbri is a very fast and elusive player on the ice. He is one of the better skaters in the draft. He flys around the ice and thrives with the puck on his stick. He also has has a wicked wrist shot that he gets off very quickly. Despite his smaller size, Fabbri is willing to engage physically although he is often over-matched. At times Fabbri can be inconsistent and he struggles with defensive reads. His below average size and shooting tendencies tend to suggest he will project to the wing at the next level.
NHL Projection: Undersized, speedy 2nd line forward
Comparable: Nazem Kadri
Birthdate: August 22, 1996. Height: 5'11''. Weight: 194lbs.
LW Kevin Fiala (HV71, SHL) - The Swiss national Fiala has been playing international games with Swizterland and with HV71 in SHL. In national games, Fiala was a superstar in U-18's, a star in U-20's, and a quality player in World Championships for Swizterland. In Sweden, the success has been mostly positive, with a decent showing in SuperElit and great success in SHL. Fiala showed his superior offensive IQ, hands and playmaking abilities at both levels. He is a smart offensive player. His elusiveness and hands contribute immensely to his offensive success. He also has a deceptive shot and a knack for identifying weaknesses in defenses. He does struggle at times with his defensive awareness and effort level. His ability to rise to the occasion helps off-set that concern a bit.
NHL Projection: Shifty, playmaking 1st line forward
Comparable: Patrick Kane
Birthdate: May 3, 1996. Height: 6'1''. Weight: 176lbs.
C Jared McCann (Sault Ste. Marie, OHL) - McCann has long been considered a top prospect, but he has not shown the type of high end upside you would hope for. He plays a really strong two-way game combined with some solid if unspectacular talent. He has solid set of hands and can makes some very good plays. He has shown strong leadership skills at all levels. He has a solid hockey IQ combined with a solid work ethic. That combines in his really strong two-way game. The question becomes how high is his offensive upside?
NHL Projection: Hardworking, two-way, 1st/2nd line centerman
Comparable: Ryan Kesler
Birthdate: May 10, 1996. Height: 6'3''. Weight: 216lbs.
RW Alex Tuch (US National Development Program, USHL) - Tuch is another player who had a breakout year with the USNDTP. He more than tripled his USHL point total despite playing in two thirds of the number of games. Tuch is a big kid that can use his size very effectively. He protects the puck really well and is willing to drive the net and get to the dirty areas of the ice. He is a fluid skater up and down the wing. He plays a very simple north south game but he has good vision offensively. The biggest concern of the Boston College commit is that he does not possess the superb offensive awareness of some of the other players in the top 20 of this draft.
NHL Projection: Fast, big puck protection 1st line winger
Comparable: Blake Wheeler
Birthdate: September 13, 1996. Height: 6'2''. Weight: 187lbs.
C Adrian Kempe (MODO, SHL) - Despite being one of the youngest players in this draft Kempe has one of the most pro ready frames. He is a big and strong and has already proven he can play against men with MODO (who from a town of 29,000 has produced Peter Forsberg, Markus Naslund, Daniel Sedin, Henrik Sedin, Victor Hedman). After a very pedestrian season in the juniors at 16 Kempe broke out this year. Kempe plays a very mature two-way game emphasized by the trust he was shown by the coaches of MODO - one of the top defensive teams in SHL. Don't let that diminish his offensive upside. Kempe loves to drive the net and has a deceptive shot which he uses too infrequently. Kempe sees the ice extremely well and makes some fantastic plays. He controls the puck very well and works well in the corners. For a big man he also has a very powerful stride. He is the prototypical two-way playmaking center that every team covets.
NHL Projection: Two-way, playmaking 1st line center
Comparable: Anze Kopitar
Birthdate: March 29, 1996. Height: 6'4''. Weight: 205lbs.
D Travis Sanheim (Calgary, WHL) - Sanheim, from Brandon, Manitoba, is a late riser in the draft this year. He continued to build off a strong second half of the year with an outstanding U-18 tournament for Canada. He led the tournament in scoring from the blueline with 6 points. Sanheim has very good size at 6'4'', 205lbs and he compliments that well with a very smooth and powerful skating stride. He plays a strong two-way game making very good reads in both ends. He could stand to use his size more effectively and at times appeared to hesitate to take any chances particularly early on. Some of the early struggles can be attributed from the huge jump from Manitoba Midget AAA to the WHL. He was also caught on a really deep Calgary blueline. He is expected to take a huge step forward next year as he should graduate into Calgary's top 3 scoring D.
Odds are the Jets will pick one of those players. If they do, you will have some easy notes at your finger tips.
Then again, one of the top five could fall or they could go off Bob's board. One way or another, today will be a fun day. Go Jets Go!!!!
Who do you suspect will be nabbed at #9 overall?