Top 2014 NHL Draft Prospects with Top goalie and Top European

The NHL Central Scouting already has estimated hundreds of the top prospects available in the upcoming NHL draft with the top five North American prospects, top North American goalie and top European skater provided on their questionnaire, followed by an evaluation of that response by NHL Central Scouting.

Players are listed in the order they were ranked in Central Scouting’s mid-term release in January.

1. Samuel Bennett, C, Kingston Frontenacs (OHL)
2013-14: 36 goals, 91 points, 118 penalty minutes, plus-34 rating, 10 power-play goals in 57 games
Height/weight: 6-0.25, 178
Comparison: “Mike Richards.”
Best asset: “Hockey sense, shooting.”

2. Leon Draisaitl, C, Prince Albert Raiders (WHL)
2013-14: 38 goals, 105 points, 24 penalty minutes, plus-7 rating, 12 power-play goals in 64 games
Height/weight: 6-1.75, 208
Comparison: “Evgeni Malkin.”
Best asset: “Playmaking ability, passing and protecting the puck.”

3. Aaron Ekblad, D, Barrie Colts (OHL)
2013-14: 23 goals, 53 points, 91 penalty minutes, plus-7 rating, 16 power-play goals in 58 games
Height/weight: 6-3.5, 216
Comparison: “Some have said Nicklas Lidstrom, the player I’ve strived to play like.”

4. Sam Reinhart, C, Kootenay Ice (WHL)
2013-14: 36 goals, 105 points, 11 penalty minutes, plus-24 rating, 12 power-play goals, 2 shorthanded goals in 60 games
Height/weight: 6-0.75, 185
Comparison: “Jonathan Toews.”
Best asset: “Hockey sense.”

5. Michael Dal Colle, C/LW, Oshawa Generals (OHL)
2013-14: 39 goals, 95 points, 34 penalty minutes, plus-8 rating, 16 power-play goals in 67 games
Height/weight: 6-1.5, 179
Comparison: “Eric Staal.”

Top European: Kasperi Kapanen, RW, Kalpa (FIN)
2013-14: 7 goals, 14 points, 10 penalty minutes, minus-8 rating in 47 games
Height/weight: 6-foot, 180
Comparison: “Ilya Kovalchuk.”
Top goalie: Thatcher Demko, Boston College (H-EAST)
2013-14: 14-4-3, 2.13 goals-against average, .921 save percentage, 2 shutouts, 573 shots, 528 saves in 21 games
Height/weight: 6-3.75, 192
Comparison: “Pekka Rinne.”

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