2014 NHL Entry Draft Overlook: Picks 30-21

Now that this year’s draft is done and the lunacy that was the free agency has subsided, I wanted to get a head start on scouting prospects. At this point in time, placing players is not an easy task, as many who are draft eligible are fresh out of high school and need next season in either university or with a CHL team to show off their true skills. Regardless, these kids are the future of our sport and it is never too early to get a sneak peek.

Since I don’t want to cram this all into one blog, I’m going to split it into 3, starting with picks 21-30 and working towards number 1. Each pick will include a little blurb about each player and what he brings. Without further ado:

30. Spencer Watson, LW, Kingston Frontenacs (OHL)
5’10”, 157 lbs
Shoots: L

Spencer-Watson-is-the-second-leading-scorer-among-the-OHLs-incoming-draft-class-OHL-Images
(Photo: kingstonfrontenacs.com)

2012-13 stats:
63 GP, 20G, 23A, 43 pts, E, 18 PIM

Watson is a small scoring winger who uses his speed to his advantage. He is an even player, is sound defensively and takes minimal penalties.

29. Pierre Engvall, LW, Frolunda J18 (Finland)
6’4″, 201 lbs
Shoots: L

2012-13 stats:
20 GP, 11G, 9A, 20 pts, +17, 16 PIM

Engvall is a big power forward who is hard to knock off the puck. His size is a big asset, as he drives hard to the net without taking many penalties. Engvall is the type of player who will make everyone around him better.

28. Jakub Vrana, C, Linkoping (Sweden)
6’0″, 165 lbs
Shoots: L

2012-13 stats:
32 GP, 20G, 12A, 32 pts, +3, 49 PIM

Vrana comes from the Swedish system, which has produced some of the best defensive hockey players in the history of the league. Vrana possesses great defensive skills while still putting up points. He needs to get bigger to reach his full potential.

27. Josh Ho Sang, C/RW, Windsor Spirfires (OHL)
5’11”, 159 lbs
Shoots: R

2012-13 stats:
63 GP, 14G, 30A, 44 pts, -23, 22 PIM

Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images.
(Photo: Terry Wilson/OHL Images)

Josh Ho Sang comes from the club that spit out (no pun intended) 2010 NHL first overall pick Taylor Hall. He is a speedy playmaker and his versatility is desirable, but he needs to bulk up to improve his defensive game.

26. Sonny Milano, C, Team USA U-17 (USHL)
5’10, 159 lbs
Shoots: L

2012-13 stats:
56 GP, 20G, 27A, 47 pts, 20 PIM

Not the smallest forward on the list, but at 5’11”, 159 lbs, it wouldn’t hurt for Milano to gain some muscle. Despite his small stature, Milano plays big and is entertaining to watch.

25. Kyle Jenkins, D, Oakville Blades, OJHL
6’0″, 161 lbs
Shoots: L

2012-13 stats:

46 GP, 9G, 20A, 29 pts, 47 PIM

Jenkins is a big boy, can shoot the puck and isn’t afraid to move bodies away from his own net. As a defender,
it wouldn’t hurt to hit the gym if he wants to crack an NHL roster any time soon.

24. Jack Ramsey, RW, Minnetonka High, USHS
6’2, 165 lbs
Shoots: R

2012-13 stats:
24 GP, 9G, 18A, 27 pts, 6 PIM

A big power forward, Jack Ramsey has a smooth set of hands and can pass just as effectively as he can shoot. 27 points in 24 games is impressive, but a full season at that rate will significantly increase his stock.

23. Nick Ritchie, RW/LW, Peterborough Petes (OHL)
6’2, 205 lbs
Shoots: L

Nick-Ritchie-2-590x472
(Photo: peterboroughpetes.com)

2012-13 stats:
41 GP, 18G, 17A, 35 pts, -10, 50 PIM

Ritchie is another big power forward who uses his size to his advantage. Despite weighing in at over 200 pounds as a 17 year old, the kid can move, and anyone who gets in his way will learn the hard way.

22. Shane Gersich, C, Holy Family Catholic, USHS
5’11”, 163 lbs

2012-13 stats:
20 GP, 30G, 30A, 60 pts, E, 21 PIM

Chances are that Gersich will be drafted in 2015, but some teams will take a chance on high school kids anyways (Ahem, Jay Feaster). The kid scores at an unbelievable rate, all while staying an even player. With 21 PIM in 20 game, it’s clear that Gersich plays with an edge to his game, so discipline may be an issue in the future, but.. 60 points in 20 games!

21. Nikolaj Ehlers, LW, Biel (Swiss)
5’10”, 176 lbs
Shoots: L

2012-13 stats:
32 GP, 26G, 23A, 49 pts, 34 PIM

Ehlers is a solid body, despite measuring up at 5’10” and can fly. He tore up the Swiss league last season and can help a team in need of speedy snipers.

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