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2014 MOCK DRAFT: #8, #7

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

Tuesday, 06.17.2014 / 2:00 PM / Features
By Kris Baker  - SabresProspects.com
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2014 MOCK DRAFT: #8, #7
Kris Baker reveals his 7th and 8th-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.


#8 – JAKE VIRTANEN
RW, Calgary Hitmen (WHL)
6’ 0.75”, 208 lbs.
2013-14: 71 games, 45-26-71, 100 PIM

Which Player Would You Rather See The Sabres Draft? in Buffalo Sabres Polls on LockerDome
A powerful downhill player with excellent speed and a pro-ready frame, Virtanen is a physical finisher who gains an extra gallop when around the net.

His light feet, which helped him win the Fastest Skater competition at the CHL Top Prospects Game, get him space when backing off defenders. Virtanen’s strong one-on-one game allows him to succeed when they try step towards him. You’ll have a hard time finding a better release off the rush in this class.

Add in a willingness to drop the mitts (four fighting majors in 2013-14), and the 17-year old represents a very promising NHL prospect with room to grow.

Virtanen is slated to be out of action for up to six months after undergoing post-season shoulder surgery, and wasn’t able to test his strength and conditioning at the NHL Draft Combine.

Still, the power forward structure is clearly in place, and scouts were pleased to see Virtanen block shots and battle hard in the defensive zone as the season played on, culminating with a three-goal, six-point effort for Canada at the Under-18 World Championship.

Continuing to build the other dimensions to his game will only bring more value, but for now Virtanen's 61 goals over the past two seasons provide more than enough upside for a team to pull the trigger in the top 10.


#7 –NICK RITCHIE
LW, Peterborough Petes (OHL)
6’ 2.25”, 226 lbs.
2013-14: 61 games, 39-35-74, 136 PIM

A strong forward with excellent speed, quickness and a physical edge, Ritchie cuts with power and produces with his long reach and soft hands.

The Orangeville, Ont. native was an offensive force in 2013-14, bulldozing his way to 39 goals and 74 points in 61 games, highlighted by a five-goal outing Feb. 7 in a 7-6 shootout loss at Kingston. Ritchie would later get even when his OT game-winner knocked Sam Bennett’s Frontenacs out of the OHL playoffs.

Rightly described as a scorer with a big one-timer, Ritchie possesses good eyes for the passing game to make him more than a just one-trick pony around the net.

His huge frame provides a heavy hitting game, and his short fuse drives a mean streak.

Ritchie’s nasty edge emerged at the CHL Top Prospects Game and never went away, with the total package seeing Ritchie named the Best Body Checker in the OHL Eastern Conference Coaches Poll.

He also tied for third place in the Best Shot and Best Shootout Shooter categories.

Ritchie, whose brother Brett scored 22 goals for Texas in 2013-14 season an AHL rookie, will want to improve both his fitness and shift-to-shift consistency as he eases his way into the pro game. But the unquestionable impact potential on the table makes him a surefire top-10 selection.

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