2014 NHL Draft Preview

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Now that the Stanley Cup Final is over, time to turn our attention towards the 2014 NHL Draft. It’s now less than two weeks away! I’m pretty sure we were the first ever “Mom and Pop” sports news website to have a mock draft for the NFL, NBA, NHL and MLB. Pretty sure we’re the only independently owned, non-corporate behemoth sports news site with a mock for all four.

I’m also pretty sure that i’m the only person who would be proud of something like that. I don’t know if anyone else would find that to be a badge of honor.

Anyways, the NHL Draft preview begins! Here’s what we have in the first three picks in our  first 2014 NHL mock draft.

1. Florida Panthers

Aaron Ekblad, D, Barrie (OHL)

23 G – 30 A – 53 Pts   91 PIM

While it’s tempting to go with offense here, this postseason has shown how important having a bonafide #1 defenseman who can eat up minutes every night.  Ekblad gives the Panthers their first legit blueliner since Ed Jovanovski. Plus he can already grow a legit playoff beard.

2. Buffalo Sabres

Sam Reinhart, C, Kootenay (WHL)

36 G – 69 A – 105 Pts   11 PIM

With a full rebuild going on in Buffalo, having a top flight center to be the face of the franchise is a pretty good thing.  Reinhart gives the Sabres a playmaker that will bring fans back, and hopefully the Sabres back to respectability.

3. Edmonton Oilers

Sam Bennett, C, Kingston (OHL)

36 G – 55 A – 91 Pts   118 PIM

Bennett has been getting some heat since the Scouting Combine, where he was unable to complete a single pull up. That makes his stats maybe even more impressive.  The Oilers will get another young weapon, one who might actually know how to play some defense.

For more on the NHL Draft, click on the podcast below with our very own Jeff Hicks. He also works for 120 Sports, and gives you some NHL Stanley Cup Final analysis He also talks about his upcoming pieces on the Chicago Blackhawks offseason moves and their draft outlook.

Follow him on Twitter @skcih_ffej.

Paul M. Banks owns The Sports Bank.net, an affiliate of Fox Sports. He’s also a frequent guest on talk shows across the world. Banks has been featured in hundreds of media outlets including NFL.com, Forbes, Bleacher Report, Deadspin, ESPN, Washington Times, NBC and the History Channel. President Barack Obama follows him on Twitter (@paulmbanks)

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