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2014 MOCK DRAFT: #24, #23

Kris Baker makes his selections for the 1st round of the 2014 NHL Draft

Thursday, 06.05.2014 / 2:00 PM / Features
By Kris Baker  - SabresProspects.com
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2014 MOCK DRAFT: #24, #23
Kris Baker reveals his 23rd and 24th-ranked prospects of the 2014 NHL Draft

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.


#24 – NIKOLAY GOLDOBIN
RW, Sarnia Sting (OHL)
5’ 11.75”, 178 lbs.
2013-14: 67 games, 38-56-94, 21 PIM

The CHL import has been a star offensive performer since joining Sarnia prior to the 2012-13 season. Goldobin has combined smooth skating and acceleration, heady playmaking and accurate sniping skills to post back-to-back 30-goal seasons leading up to his first year of draft eligibility. His 2013-14 resume included a 22-game point streak, and a two-point (1+1) performance in the CHL Top Prospect Game to take home Player of the Game honors for Team Cherry.

The high-scoring Russian faded down the stretch with just seven goals in his final 25 games for the last-place Sting, but his skills were still rewarded in the 2013 OHL Western Conference Coaches Poll where he received votes for Best Playmaker (2nd), Best Shot (3rd), Most Dangerous in Goal Area (3rd) and Best Shootout Shooter (t-3rd).

Aside from maintaining a high level of offensive production, Goldobin proved this season that he is willing to put in the work to compete at a higher level away from the puck. Goldobin learned to counter his lack of size by keeping his feet moving through checks and improving his attention to detail on the backcheck. The work needs to continue, especially in the defensive zone, but it was a notable step in the right direction in terms of building a more complete North American style.


#23 – DYLAN LARKIN
C, United States U-18
6’ 0.75”, 190 lbs.
2013-14: 60 games, 31-25-56, 56 PIM

Larkin’s size and all-around reliability projects to a middle-line NHL anchor, making him one of the safer first-round targets in the class.

A highly skilled and hard-working competitor with a very fluent two-way game, Larkin kicked off his draft year by showing flashes of brilliance with two points (1+1) at the 2013 CCM/USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game in Pittsburgh. Larkin went on to be a key contributor in 2013-14 by scoring 31 goals for the U.S. National Under-18 Team, up from 13 the year before. But his developmental leaps go beyond the stat sheet. He’s skating harder, his shooting is amped up and he’s becoming a more aggressive player in general with a developing “pro style” power game.

Larkin’s game is all about working the offensive zone and being tough on the puck in pursuit. He hits the corners with speed, and he’s willing to take absorb contact to make a play. His excellent skating and willingness to drive the net make him dangerous in one-on-one situations.

The highly-intense Larkin, who grew up in Detroit watching Steve Yzerman, is both confident and competent in all three zones, and his ability to do the little things that coaches love should see him blossom into a high-end collegian when he enrolls at the University of Michigan this fall.


For more on all the youngsters in the Sabres pipeline, check out Kris Baker’s website - sabresprospects.com. You can also follow him on Twitter @sabresprospects for in-game updates throughout the season on any Buffalo prospects that are in action.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - BOS 82 54 19 9 261 177 117
2 y - PIT 82 51 24 7 249 207 109
3 x - TBL 82 46 27 9 240 215 101
4 x - MTL 82 46 28 8 215 204 100
5 x - NYR 82 45 31 6 218 193 96
6 x - PHI 82 42 30 10 236 235 94
7 x - CBJ 82 43 32 7 231 216 93
8 x - DET 82 39 28 15 222 230 93
9 WSH 82 38 30 14 235 240 90
10 NJD 82 35 29 18 197 208 88
11 OTT 82 37 31 14 236 265 88
12 TOR 82 38 36 8 231 256 84
13 CAR 82 36 35 11 207 230 83
14 NYI 82 34 37 11 225 267 79
15 FLA 82 29 45 8 196 268 66
16 BUF 82 21 51 10 157 248 52

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
C. Hodgson 72 20 24 -26 44
T. Ennis 80 21 22 -25 43
D. Stafford 70 16 18 -19 34
C. Ehrhoff 79 6 27 -27 33
C. Stewart 63 15 11 0 26
C. Conacher 79 7 19 1 26
T. Myers 62 9 13 -26 22
Z. Girgensons 70 8 14 -6 22
M. Foligno 74 7 12 -17 19
J. McBain 69 6 11 -13 17
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
M. Neuvirth 4 8 2 .921 2.78
J. Enroth 4 17 5 .911 2.82