Jun 27, 2014; Philadelphia, PA, USA; A general view of the arena floor before the first round of the 2014 NHL Draft at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

2014 NHL Draft First Round Coverage

Welcome to our live coverage of the first round of the 2014 NHL Draft. We’ll have pick-by-pick coverage of the first round, including any trades that might go down, and instant analysis of every pick. We’ve already had one trade involving a first round pick as the Vancouver Canucks acquired the 24th overall pick from the Anaheim Ducks as part of the package they received for Ryan Kesler. You can view every trade that’s gone down to today at the bottom of the page. We’ll continue to update this page with every pick and any trade that goes down.

While you wait for the Colorado Avalanche to make their selection, make sure to check out possible first round targets at pick #24 and our seven-round Avalanche mock draft.

First Round

1 Florida Panthers – Aaron Ekblad (D) Analysis: A big defenseman who plays strong in his own end and can contribute with his rocket of a shot. The safest pick for a Panthers team lacking defense. He’s NHL ready as well. The Panthers willingness to trade this pick shows that Ekblad might not be that elite player that you hope to get at #1, but Ekblad will be a really strong defenseman for years to come.
2 Buffalo Sabres – Sam Reinhart (C) Analysis: Buffalo desperately needed scoring and Reinhart is the most skilled offensive player in this draft. If he plays in Buffalo this year, he won’t be surrounded by much, but his passing and vision is good enough to make others player. Clearly the guy Buffalo wanted and with 3 first round picks next season, someone they can build around in the future.
3 Edmonton Oilers – Leon Draisaitl (C) Analysis: A power forward with plenty of skill with the puck. The problem is, the Oilers already have a ton of young and talented forwards and probably need to move one of them for defensive help. Sam Gagner is definitely on the block.
4 Calgary Flames – Sam Bennett (C) Analysis: This kid is going to be a pest on and off the puck. A skilled forward who is going to battle you until the bitter end. He might get pushed around because he’s not the biggest guy, but he’ll always push back. Along with Sean Monahan, the Flames could have a strong 1-2 punch for years to come.
5 New York Islanders – Michael Dal Colle (LW) Analysis: The Islanders need someone to play alongside John Tavares and Dal Colle could be that guy. The purest scorer in the draft. Still raw, but a lot of upside.
6 Vancouver Canucks – Jake Virtanen (LW) Analysis: Coming off shoulder surgery, which is a bit worrisome, but as far as talent goes this is a good pick. Strong skater who plays a simple but effective game and knows how to put the puck in the net. Given Vancouver’s reshuffling mode, they need this pick to hit.
7 Carolina Hurricanes – Hayden Fleury (D) Analysis: The Hurricanes need a well-rounded defenseman and they got their guy with Fleury. I really like his game and think he could be a top four defenseman in Carolina within five years.
8 Toronto Maple Leafs – William Nylander (C) Analysis: The son of Michael Nylander and a skilled forward. Perhaps a little too flashy for his own good. He and Kessel could be an extremely talented and fun duo or two teammates that will end up in a few fist fights.
9 Winnipeg Jets – Nikolaj Ehlers (LW) Analysis: He’s very small, but his speed and skill more than make up for his lack of size. Jets usually favor bigger players, but they could really benefit from his speed.
10 Anaheim Ducks – Nick Ritchie (LW) Analysis: No brainer for the Ducks at this spot. They want to get bigger and tougher; and Ritchie fits the bill. He’s a big guy with plenty of talent. Possible character issues, but the Anaheim organization can correct that. Adding Kesler and now Ritchie, the Ducks are having a pretty nice day.
11 Nashville Predators – Kevin Fiala (C) Analysis: Obviously Nashville needs scoring. Adding James Neal in a trade helps and drafting Fiala will help as well. He’s a well-rounded offensive player who could be setting up Neal for plenty of goals in a year or two.
12 Arizona Coyotes – Brendan Perlini (LW) Analysis: His game improved a lot over the past year. We’ll see if it was a fluke or growth. A talented offensive player goes to another team that is in need of offense.
13 Washington Capitals – Jakub Vrana (RW) Analysis: A very “Capitals” pick as they go with a talented goal-scoring forward who needs to work on his all-around game. I’m a little surprised by this pick because Barry Trotz usually prefers grittier players and I’m not sure he’ll fit in with Trotz.
14 Dallas Stars – Julius Honka (D) Analysis: Sergei Gonchar‘s future replacement in Dallas. A great PP quarterback with a lot of offensive talent. Not big, but competes. Dallas is building a very strong defensive pipeline.
15 Detroit Red Wings – Dylan Larkin (C) Analysis: This is a very “Red Wings” pick as he’s a good two-way center with leadership ability. It’s always tough to doubt what the Red Wings do in the draft given their history.
16 Columbus Blue Jackets – Sonny Milano (LW) Analysis: The best hands and stick handling in the draft. Very good vision and passing ability. The Blue Jackets aren’t usually a team full of flash, but this kid plays with a lot of flare.
17 Philadelphia Flyers – Travis Sanheim (D) Analysis: A skilled offensive defenseman. If he improves his skating and becomes a better defender, this is a good pick. Otherwise Sanheim might be a pretty big bust.
18 Minnesota Wild – Alex Tuch (RW) Analysis: Power forward who still needs time to develop. Minnesota will give him that time.
19 Tampa Bay Lightning – Anthony DeAngelo (D) Analysis: A talented player but plenty of character issues. Maybe a reach for the Lightning, who likely could’ve taken him at #28, but obviously they value his talent as an offensive defenseman.
20 Chicago Blackhawks – Nick Schmaltz (C) Analysis: Like the Red Wings, it’s always tough to doubt a Blackhawks pick. Can absolutely dominate or can be completely invisible. Under the Blackhawks system, my guess is we’ll see domination more than invisibility.
21 St. Louis Blues – Rob Fabbri (C) Analysis: A small guy but competes hard and has skill. Blues have no problem going with smaller guys and his skating could really help them down the road.
22 Pittsburgh Penguins – Kasperi Kapanen (LW) Analysis: New Penguins GM Jim Rutherford knows all about Sami Kapanen so it makes sense that he takes his son. Kapanen’s injuries hurt his draft stock but he’s a very talented player and the Penguins really need to hit on a forward.
23 Colorado Avalanche – Connor Bleackley (C) Analysis: A really good two-way center and a high character guy. A 17-year old captain under Brent Sutter, which says a lot about his leadership ability. I really like this pick for the Avs and we’ll have more on him in the coming days.
24 Vancouver Canucks – Jared McCann (C) Analysis: Canucks picked up this pick in the Ryan Kesler deal. Good hockey IQ and it’s easy to see what the Canucks were going for in this draft: smart and simple players.
25 Boston Bruins – David Pastrnak (RW) Analysis: Good skater and hands. Still a couple of years away and will have to improve his defense if he wants to make it in Boston.
26 Montreal Canadiens – Nikita Scherbak (RW) Analysis: A sleeper pick in this draft. High-end talent who was surrounded by terrible players in juniors. He’s a project, but Montreal could definitely use some talented offensive players.
27 San Jose Sharks – Nikolav Goldobin (LW) Analysis: A possible reach here. Another player who put up big numbers on a bad team. Sharks are an older team and definitely need to hit on some draft picks for their potential rebuild.
28 New York Islanders – Josh Ho-Sang (C) Analysis: A very talented player but character issues hurt his draft status. The Islanders traded up in the first round to get him, so they must really like his talent. Another guy who could really help Tavares. Not short on confidence.
29 Los Angeles Kings – Adrian Kempe (LW) Analysis: Second youngest player in the draft. Not the best offensive player, but given his age, that could change. Modo has a history of producing high-end talent and Kempe could fall into that category given time with the Kings.
30 New Jersey Devils – John Quenneville (C) Analysis: Well-rounded player and the Devils are even lucky to have this pick. So any pick would’ve been a good pick.

Trades

*Vancouver Canucks trade Ryan Kesler, 2017 3rd round pick to Anaheim Ducks for Nick Bonino, Luca Sbisa, 2014 #24 overall, 2014 #85 overall

*Vancouver Canucks trade Jason Garrison, rights to Jeff Costello to Tampa Bay Lightning for 2014 #50 overall, 2015 7th round pick

*New York Rangers trade Derek Dorsett to Vancouver Canucks for 2014 #85 overall

*Pittsburgh Penguins trades James Neal to Nashville Predators for Patric Hornqvist, Nick Spaling

*San Jose Sharks trade 2014 #20 overall, #179 overall to Chicago Blackhawks for 2014 #27 overall, #62 overall

*Tampa Bay Lightning trade 2014 #28 overall to New York Islanders for 2014 #35 overall, #57 overall

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