The Top 10 pure offensive 2014 NHL Draft-eligible forwards
With the NHL draft less than two weeks away, many fantasy general managers are rivalling their real-life counterparts with scouting and making the tough decisions on who deserves to be their first round pick.
With some fantasy drafts taking place before the NHL draft on June 27-28, those owners are trying to figure out which player has the best offensive upside.
I emailed Brendan Ross, manager of DobberProspects, to get his take on the top 10 pure offensive draft-eligible forwards.
(all players are linked to their DobberProspects profile and scouting report)
Ranked #28 on the International Scouting Services list, the Sarnia Sting left winger finished sixth in the Ontario Hockey League with 38 goals and 56 assists for 94 points. While some teams (and fantasy owners) may shy away from Russians, Goldobin managed to put up a 22-game consecutive point streak earlier this season. It is interesting to note that Goldobin dropped 10 spots on the NHL’s draft rankings, going from 14th on the midterm rank and 24th on the final rank.
The Calgary Hitman left winger looks to have all tools to become a future power forward in the NHL. His 6-foot, 208-pound frame managed to score 45 goals this past season (fifth most in the Western Hockey League), to go along with 26 assists and 100 penalty minutes. He was ranked sixth on the NHL draft prospect ranking, and seventh in the ISS ranking. He did miss the combine due to a shoulder surgery and is expected to miss four to six months.
The Guelph Storm forward probably needs to put on some weight before he can play in the big leagues, as he weighs in at just 166 pounds. However, his small size didn’t stop him from having a monster year in the OHL, and he had 45 goals and 87 points in just 58 games. He carried that over to the postseason, where he won the MVP thanks to his 13 goals and 28 points in 16 games as the Storm won the OHL championship. Fabbri is ranked 21st in the NHL ranking and eighth in the ISS ranking.
The 5-foot-11 right winger put up seven goals and seven assists in 47 games with Kalpa in the Finnish Elite League, and is the son of Sami Kapanen, who had five straight 20-goal seasons with Carolina Hurricanes. The two actually played together for the past two years on Kalpa. In 2013, the junior Kapanen had five goals at the world junior championship. He is ranked 13th overall by the ISS, but is the NHL top-ranked European in the NHL draft prospect ranking.
Dal Colle had an unbelievable season for the Oshawa Generals of the OHL, scoring 39 goals and 95 points in just 67 games. He actually improved on his point-per-game pace in the playoffs, scoring eight goals and 20 assists in just 12 games. The left winger is ranked third by the ISS, and fifth by the NHL draft prospect rankings.
The potential first overall pick in many mock drafts, (he’s ranked third in the NHL draft rankings and first in the ISS rankings), Reinhart scored 36 goals and 105 points with Kootenay in the WHL. The Kootenay captain was the WHL MVP, and followed up his remarkable regular season with 23 points in 13 playoff games.
One of the biggest risers (he was ranked 22nd in the NHL draft mid-term rankings, and improved to a final rank of 13, becoming the top-ranked QMJHL player), Ehlers is still a little on the small side. However, he dominated in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, scoring 49 goals and 104 points in 63 games. The left winger also scored 11 goals and 28 points in 16 playoff games. It will be interesting to see how much of his success has due to playing with Jonathan Drouin, and how much because of his talent.
One of the bigger prospects in the draft (he checks in at six-foot-one and 208 pounds), Draisaitl hit the century mark with the Prince Albert Raiders, scoring 38 goals and 105 points in just 64 games, tying him for fourth in the league with Reinhart. At the World Junior Championships, Drasaitl had six points in six games for Germany. He’s ranked sixth in the ISS listing, and fourth in the NHL draft prospect rankings.
The son of former NHLer Michael, Nylander had a great year in Sweden, getting the opportunity to play on different teams in different leagues. He had 11 goals and 19 points with Sodertalje in the Sweden second division league, and a goal and six assists in 22 games with Modo in the Swedish Hockey League. Nylander is ranked fifth overall on the ISS draft list, and second for Europeans in the NHL draft prospect rankings.
The number one ranked prospect in North America in the NHL draft prospect rankings, and fourth overall in the ISS rankings, Bennett has a good chance of being the number one draft pick in June 27. Bennett put up 36 goals and 91 points for Kingston, and followed that up with nine points in seven playoff games. In 2013, he had three goals and four assists at the World Junior Under-18 Championships.
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