10:15 p.m: The New Jersey Devils select Brandon Wheat Kings (WHL) forward John Quenneville with the 30th overall pick, and with that, the first round of the 2014 NHL entry draft comes to a close.
Be sure to check back in tomorrow as NESN.com brings your full coverage of Rounds 2 through 7.
10:08 p.m: The Islanders use that newly acquired pick to select Windsor Spitfires forward Josh Ho-Sang, who made headlines ahead of the draft as much for his puzzling remarks made in interviews as for his undeniable skill on the ice.
The Los Angeles Kings follow up that selection by using the penultimate pick of the first round on Swedish winger Adrian Kempe, who played for Modo in the Swedish Hockey League last season.
9:56 p.m: The San Jose Sharks use the 27th pick to select Russian winger Nikolay Goldobin, who spent last season with the OHL’s Sarnia Sting.
The Lightning then traded the 28th pick to the Islanders in exchange for picks Nos. 35 and 57, both of which will be made Saturday.
9:46 p.m: The Montreal Canadiens pick Saskatoon Blades winger Nikita Scherbak with the 26th selection.
Scherbak’s offensive game definitely is more developed than his defense, and he’ll probably need to pack a few pounds on his 6-foot-1, 175-pound frame.
He’s a project pick for the Habs, who are prepared to give him a few more years to develop at the lower levels.
9:40 p.m: The Bruins’ first 2014 draft pick is Czech winger David Pastrnak.
Pastrnak, whom TSN compares to Los Angeles Kings playoff hero Justin Williams, played for Swedish club Södertälje SK last season, tallying eight goals and 16 assists in 36 games. He also represented the Czech Republic in both the U-18 and U-20 World Junior Championships.
9:36 p.m: The Colorado Avalanche pick Red Deer Rebels center Conner Bleackley at No. 23, and the Vancouver Canucks use the 24th selection — their second of the first round — on Mared McCann, a center from the OHL’s Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds.
The Boston Bruins now are on the clock to make their first pick of this draft.
9:25 p.m: The Pittsburgh Penguins select Kasperi Kapanen, son of ex-NHLer Sami Kapenen, with the 22nd pick.
Kasperi actually played with his father for the past two years in Liiga, the top Finnish professional league, and hears his name called in the city in which Sami spent his final four NHL seasons.
9:20 p.m: Speaking of the Blues, St. Louis picks Guelph Storm center Rob Fabbri with the No. 21 pick.
Fabbri tallied 87 points (45 goals, 42 points) in 58 regular-season games last season and was the MVP of the OHL playoffs as he guided the Storm to the Memorial Cup.
9:13 p.m: The Tampa Bay Lightning use the 19th pick to select Anthony DeAngelo, an undersized defenseman with undeniable skill but a questionable history.
DeAngelo twice was suspended last season for violating the OHL’s diversity policy, the second of which came as a result of an incident with one of his Sarnia Sting teammates.
That certainly hurt his draft stock, as DeAngelo is considered arguably the top offensive defenseman in this year’s class.
After the Lightning’s selection, a trade was announced:
Trade alert! #Blackhawks get picks #20 and #179 from San Jose for #27 and #62. In related news... we're on the clock!—
Chicago Blackhawks (@NHLBlackhawks) June 28, 2014
The Blackhawks used that 20th pick to select Green Bay Gamblers (USHL) center Nick Schmaltz, who will play his college hockey at North Dakota this season. Schmatlz’s older brother, Jordan, was a 2012 first-round pick, going to the Blues at No. 25.
9:03 p.m: Americans are flying off the board now.
At No. 18, the Minnesota Wild take winger Alex Tuch, another USNTDP product who will go on to play at BC with Milano this season.
Unlike his fellow soon-to-be Eagle, Tuch is a power forward with a formidable 6-foot-4, 213-pound frame.
Tuch finished with 29 goals and 64 points for the USNTDP U-18 squad, and his coach with that team, Danton Cole, said the winger still has yet to tap into his full potential.
“He’s always been a big body and has skated well, but I think he’s just starting to realize how big and strong he is,” Cole told NHL.com last month. “He imposes his will on the game sometimes, and that’s a good compliment. If he makes it to the second round of the draft, a lot of (NHL) people made a mistake because I feel Alex is a legit first-round candidate.”
8:57 p.m: The hometown Flyers use their first pick of the night (No. 17 overall) to select Calgary Hitmen defenseman Travis Sanheim, who attracts strong comparisons to New York Rangers star Ryan McDonagh.
8:50 p.m: Dylan Larkin becomes the first American picked in this draft, going No. 15 overall to the Detroit Red Wings.
Larkin, a Michigan native, competed for the U.S. National Team Development Program’s Under-18 team based in Ann Arbor last season, ranking second on the squad with 31 goals in 60 games.
Another U.S.-born player hears his name just minutes later, as the Columbus Blue Jackets select Boston College commit Sonny Milano with the 16th pick.
Milano, Larkin’s teammate in the USNTDP, is known for his ridiculous stickhandling skills, which are on full display in his now-famous YouTube highlights. He has a knack for creating offense, too, averaging 1.48 points per game (29 goals, 57 assists) during the 2013-14 campaign.
Hockey folks expect his game to grow by leaps and bounds under the tutelage of BC head coach Jerry York.
8:38 p.m: Finnish defenseman Julius Honka goes to the Dallas Stars at No. 14.
Honka, a member of the Finnish squad that won gold at the World Juniors, is a goal-scoring blue-liner, trailing only top pick Aaron Ekblad in goals among top D-man prospects with 16 last season. He added 40 assists in 62 games for the WHL’s Swift Current Broncos.
Honka also is lauded for his hockey IQ.
8:34 p.m: The Washington Capitals — who are mercilessly booed by the Philly faithful — choose Czech winger Jakub Vrana with pick No. 13.
8:27 p.m: The Arizona — yes, Arizona — Coyotes select Brendan Perlini with the 12th overall pick.
The Niagra IceDogs (OHL) winger has an excellent shot and great skating ability, but some concerns remain about his ability to produce on a consistent basis. He did put up 71 points last season, though, a 59-point increase from 2012-13.
8:22 p.m: The Predators use the No. 11 pick to select Swiss forward Kevin Fiala, who plays for HV 71 in the Swedish Hockey League. He’s rated third among European skaters by NHL Central Scouting.
8:15 p.m: The Anaheim Ducks take Peterborough Petes left winger Nick Ritchie with the No. 10 overall pick acquired from Ottawa in last year’s trade for Bobby Ryan.
Ritchie is a big dude at 6-foot-3, 236 pounds, and he plays like one on the ice.
“He’s a big, physical, tough guy,” Chris Edwards of NHL Central Scouting writes. “When he’s playing and using his size and strength, he’s tough to knock off the puck. He goes to the net hard and has that power-forward mentality that’s tough for people to handle. He protects the puck and has an excellent shot off the rush.”
8:10 p.m: The Toronto Maple Leafs use the No. 8 pick to select William Nylander, the son of former NHLer Michael Nylander.
The younger Nylander was born in Alberta but grew up in Stockholm, Sweden, and most recently played for Modo Hockey of the Swedish Hockey League.
We also have a pretty noteworthy trade to report, as the Pittsburgh Penguins have dealt winger James Neal to the Nashville Predators. In return, Pittsburgh will receive winger Patric Hornqvist and center Nick Spaling.
BREAKING NEWS: James Neal traded to the @PredsNHL for Patric Hornqvist and Nick Spaling.—
Nashville Predators (@PredsNHL) June 28, 2014
With the ninth pick, the Winnipeg Jets have selected Danish winger Nikolaj Ehlers, who played last season with the QMJHL’s Halifax Mooseheads.
7:57 p.m: With the seventh overall pick, the Carolina Hurricanes select Haydn Fleury, the second defensman chosen tonight.
Fleury, who played for the WHL’s Red Deer Rebels last season, is considered a solid two-way D-man with decent size (6-foot-2, 202 pounds) and above-average skating ability.
Tony MacDonald, the Hurricanes’ director of amateur scouting, spoke highly of him before the draft.
“He’s the next best defenseman in the draft after (top pick Aaron) Ekblad,” MacDonald said last month, via The News & Observer. “He’s a safe pick.”
7:50 p.m: Former Bruins assistant general manager Jim Benning strolls to the stage to announce Calgary Hitmen winger Jake Virtanen as the Vancouver Canucks’ selection at No. 6 overall.
Virtanen, a 17-year-old, is a hometown kid, having grown up down the road in Abbotsford, British Columbia. He’s the first B.C.-born player to be selected by the Canucks in the first round in 30 years.
The last? Cam Neely, way back in 1983.
7:45 p.m: The New York Islanders select Oshawa Generals winger Michael Dal Colle with the No. 5 pick.
Dal Colle was considered the top forward prospect behind Reinhart, Bennett and Draisaitl. An 18-year-old known for his scoring touch, Dal Colle scored 95 points (39 goals, 56 assists) during the OHL regular season and another 20 in 12 playoff games.
7:38 p.m: No surprise here: Sam Bennett goes No. 4 to the Calgary Flames, and the top four prospects entering tonight are the first four names called.
Bennett, whom non-hockey diehards might recognize as the guy who couldn’t do a pull-up at the NHL combine, led the OHL’s Kingston Frontenacs with 91 points (36 points, 55 assists) in 2013-14 while also proving that he wasn’t afraid to play with an edge (118 PIMs).
7:32 p.m: The Edmonton Oilers make Leon Draisaitl the highest German player ever drafted, selecting him third overall.
Draisaitl is a big-bodied center (6-foot-1, 208 pounds) who many believe will be ready to play in the NHL this season. He matched Reinhart’s points total this past season in the WHL, finishing with 38 goals and 67 assists in 64 games with the Prince Albert Raiders.
7:25 p.m: The Sabres had two Sams to choose from, and they went with Reinhart, who lit up the scoreboard for the WHL’s Kootenay Ice last season.
Reinhart, the defending WHL Player of the Year, potted 36 goals and added 69 assists in 60 games and also represented Canada at the World Junior Championships.
He’s the fourth member of his family to be drafted, following father Paul and brothers Max and Griffin.
7:20 p.m: The Panthers do indeed go with Aaron Ekblad, making him the first non-forward to go first overall in eight years.
Ekblad, 18, has drawn comparisons to Chicago Blackhawks blueliner Brent Seabrook for his skill at both ends of the ice. He captained the Barrie Colts in the OHL last season, tallying 53 points (23 goals, 30 assists) in 58 games.
The Buffalo Sabres now are on the clock with the No. 2 selection.
7:15 p.m: The Florida Panthers are on the clock.
6:52 p.m: We’re just minutes away from the first pick, which, to the best of our knowledge, still belongs to the Panthers. Our guess is that Aaron Ekblad will be holding a red jersey up on stage shortly after the clock hits 7.
6 p.m. ET: Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to draft night in the NHL.
The first round of the 2014 NHL draft takes place Thursday night at Philadelphia’s Wells Fargo Center, and, as it currently stands, the Florida Panthers own the top pick. That certainly is subject to change, however, as reports have been flying that Dale Tallon’s club is actively looking to trade out of that top spot.
Among the reported deals are one with the Toronto Maple Leafs that features winger James van Riemsdyk as the “centerpiece” and a potential “blockbuster” with the Philadelphia Flyers that could include any combination of Vincent Lecavalier, Wayne Simmonds, and Brayden and Luke Schenn.
And just as there is much uncertainty over which team will end up picking first, there is far from a consensus over which player will be selected with that No. 1 pick. Many prognosticators — including NESN.com’s Nick Goss — have Barrie Colts defenseman Aaron Ekblad going first overall, especially if the Panthers decide to keep the pick, but centers Sam Bennett, Sam Reinhart and Leon Draisaitl all have been mentioned as potential No. 1’s.
Ekblad would be the first blueliner drafted No. 1 since the St. Louis Blues took Erik Johnson first overall in 2006.
These questions all soon will be answered, with the draft kicking off at 7 p.m. ET. In the words of Bennett:
Here we go...—
Sam Bennett (@SBennett93) June 27, 2014
Here’s the full first-round draft order, which, of course is subject to change:
1) Florida Panthers
2) Buffalo Sabres
3) Edmonton Oilers
4) Calgary Flames
5) New York Islanders
6) Vancouver Canucks
7) Carolina Hurricanes
8) Toronto Maple Leafs
9) Winnipeg Jets
10) Anaheim Ducks (From Ottawa Senators)
11) Nashville Predators
12) Phoenix Coyotes
13) Washington Capitals
14) Dallas Stars
15) Detroit Red Wings
16) Columbus Blue Jackets
17) Philadelphia Flyers
18) Minnesota Wild
19) Tampa Bay Lightning
20) San Jose Sharks
21) St. Louis Blues
22) Pittsburgh Penguins
23) Colorado Avalanche
24) Anaheim Ducks
25) Boston Bruins
26) Montreal Canadiens
27) Chicago Blackhawks
28) Tampa Bay Lightning (from New York Rangers)
29) Los Angeles Kings
30) New Jersey Devils
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