The 2014 NHL Entry Draft is still a couple years away but there are prospects already making a case to be the first overall pick in 2014. The early favourites are Sam Reinhart and Aaron Ekblad. Here is a look at some prospects who will become more familiar as the 2014 NHL Entry Draft approaches.
Sam Reinhart – C – Kootenay Ice
Reinhart is the son of former NHLer Paul Reinhart and his brothers are 2010 Calgary Flames draft pick Max Reinhart and 2012 draft prospect Griffin Reinhart. As a 16 year old, Sam finished second in scoring for Kootenay behind his older brother Max with 62 points in 67 games and tied him for the team lead with 28 goals.
Aaron Ekblad – D – Barrie Colts
Ekblad became only the second player after John Tavares to be granted Exceptional Player Status allowing him to be eligible for the 2011 OHL Draft as a 15 year old and was selected 1st overall by the Barrie Colts. In his rookie season, the blueliner scored 10 goals and added 19 assists in 63 games and was named the 2011-12 OHL Rookie of the Year. At 6’3″ and 207 lbs and only 16 years old, Ekblad already has the size for an NHL defenceman and should be even bigger by his draft year.
Jake Virtanen – LW - Calgary Hitmen
The 1st overall pick in the 2011 WHL Bantam Draft, Virtanen appeared in 9 games with Calgary in 2011-12 and scored 3 goals. Virtanen should be a key part of the Hitmen’s offense this season.
Nick Ritchie – LW – Peterborough Petes
A late ’95 birthday, Ritchie was the second overall pick in the 2011 OHL Priority Selection. In his rookie season, Ritchie registered 39 points in 62 games.
Joshua Ho-Sang – RW – Windsor Spitfires
Perhaps one of the most offensively gifted players to come out of the GTHL in recent years, Ho-Sang will need to add bulk to his frame to dominate at the next level. He was the 5th overall pick in the 2012 OHL Draft.
Anthony DeAngelo – D – Sarnia Sting
Missing the 2013 NHL Draft by just over a month, American born DeAngelo posted 23 points in 68 games from the blueline with Sarnia.
Patrik Koys – RW – HK Dukla Trencin
One of the best prospects from Slovakia since Marian Gaborik, Koys should make the jump to the men’s league this season which will help with his development.
Daniel Audette – C - Sherbrooke Pheonix
Son of former Buffalo Sabre Donald Audette, Daniel was the 1st overall pick in the 2012 QMJHL Draft.
Roland McKeown – D – Kingston Frontenacs
McKeown was the 2nd overall pick in the 2012 OHL Priority Selection. The blueliner had 35 points in 28 games with the Toronto Marlboros in 2011-12.
Brayden Point – C – Moose Jaw Warriors
After appearing in only 5 games for Moose Jaw in the regular season, Point scored 7 goals and added 3 assists in 14 games with the Warriors during the playoffs.