With the 2014 NHL Draft set for June 27-28 in Philadelphia, Kris Baker from SabresProspects.com has meticulously compiled his list of the top 30 players. We'll reveal two players each weekday complete with analysis and video, leading up to the unveiling of Kris' top two picks on June 20.
The full mock draft as it's revealed can be found here.
#6 – WILLIAM NYLANDER
C/RW, Modo (Sweden)
5’ 11”, 169 lbs.
2013-14: 22 games, 1-6-7, 6 PIM
Born in Calgary when his father Michael was playing in the NHL, Nylander is a dashing winger whose top-end speed, shiftiness, vision and hands make him a viable target for teams appreciative of straight offense.
He is elusive and at times flashy on the big European ice, but his explosive first three steps and ability to anticipate and capitalize are sure to make him an effective professional when he makes his North American re-entry.
The 17-year-old Nylander stepped into the Swedish pro ranks in 2013-14, posting a modest seven points (1+6) with MODO’s SHL entry.
He was loaned to second division clubs Rogle BK and Sodertalje SK along the way, collecting a more impressive 15 goals and 27 points over 35 contests.
Nylander put the cherry on top of his draft resume at the 2014 IIHF World Under-18 Championship, leveraging his agility and quick offensive mind to gather a tournament best six goals and 16 points in six games, and was named the tournament’s Best Forward.
Scouts won’t argue his game-breaking skills, so it's all about rounding off the package with physical and mental maturity while becoming a more committed defensive player in the final year of his SHL contract.
#5 – MICHAEL DAL COLLE
LW, Oshawa Generals (OHL)
6’ 1.5”, 182 lbs.
2013-14: 67 games, 39-56-95, 34 PIM
Dal Colle is a hard-skating, high-skill shooter with good playmaking instincts and an NHL-friendly frame. The big winger tied for fifth in OHL scoring in 2013-14 with 95 points as a 17-year-old, nearly doubling his previous year’s output, while collecting 16 of his 39 goals with the man advantage.
The offensive display landed Dal Colle second place for both Best Playmaker and Best Stickhandler in the OHL Eastern Conference Coaches Poll, and a spot on the league’s Second All-Star Team.
An active shooter, Dal Colle is tough to knock off the puck when he glides into the middle of the ice to improve his angle and leverage his quick release.
He doesn’t have the most fluid skating stride, but his excellent straight-line speed makes him relentless in pursuit and determined when driving to the net.
Dal Colle plays with a level head and high level of discipline. He uses his size to control possession and compete for position down low. When the opposition tries to rattle him, he skates away and goes about his business.
Dal Colle is also committed to becoming a better player in the defensive zone, giving the left wing sniper a solid scoring line platform to build from as he continues to gain mass and add quickness to his burgeoning power forward game.