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2014 NHL Draft Class Recap

The newest crop of NHL talent and stars have found the teams to start future.  Not all will play in the NHL and not all will stay with their drafted team but right now the future is bright for those 210 players that heard their names called over the last two days at the Wells Fargo Center.

Philadelphia played a wonderful host to the event, even the spirited fans in the arena (especially during the first round). This proud historic American town saw 77 Canadians and 67 Americans get selected representing North American hockey. Sweden (27), Russia (13), Finland (9), Czech Republic (8), Latvia (2), Switzerland (2), United Kingdom (2), Denmark (1), Germany (1) and Slovakia (1) round out the countries represented by the 2014 draft picks.

Some Highlights from the 2014 NHL Draft:


* After no goaltenders were selected in the first round of the draft, five were picked in the second round, including four in a six-pick span: No. 34 Mason McDonald (CGY), No. 36 Thatcher Demko (VAN), No. 37 Alex Nedeljkovic (CAR) and No. 39 Vitek Vanecek (WSH).

* At No. 36 overall, Canucks pick Thatcher Demko (San Diego, Calif.) became the highest-drafted California-born goaltender in NHL history.

* At No. 96 overall, Hurricanes pick Josh Wesley (Raleigh, N.C.) became North Carolina’s first homegrown player to be selected in the NHL Draft.

* The OHL led all leagues with 41 players selected in the draft, followed by the WHL (37) and USHL (30) and Sweden Jr. (21).

* The Blues and Kings led the draft with 10 picks apiece. The Bruins, Ducks, Penguins and Senators had the fewest selections with five each.

NHL Families Well Represented with Family Ties in the 2014 Draft Class

Several players with NHL bloodlines were selected in Rounds 2-7 of the 2014 NHL Draft, including three by the same team their fathers played for: Canadiens pick Daniel Audette (father Donald), Bruins pick Ryan Donato (Ted) and Hurricanes pick Josh Wesley (Glen).

Daniel Audette (selected 147th overall by Montreal): His father, Donald, registered 509 points (260-249—509) in 735 career NHL games with the Buffalo Sabres, Los Angeles Kings, Atlanta Thrashers, Dallas Stars, Montreal Canadiens and Florida Panthers. He currently is an amateur scout for the Montreal Canadiens.

Anders Bjork (selected 146th overall by Boston): His cousin Erik Condra was selected 207th overall by Ottawa at the 2006 NHL Draft and completed his fourth campaign with the Senators in 2013-14.

Ryan Donato (selected 56th overall by Boston): His father, Ted, recorded 347 points (150-197—347) in 795 career NHL games with the Boston Bruins, New York Islanders, Ottawa Senators, Anaheim Ducks, Dallas Stars, Los Angeles Kings, St. Louis Blues and New York Rangers. He just completed his 10th season as head coach of Harvard University’s men’s ice hockey team.

Shane Eiserman (selected 100th overall by Ottawa): His cousin and personal trainer Eddie Hill was selected 61st overall by the Nashville Predators in the 1999 NHL Draft and has a decade of pro hockey experience in the American Hockey League and East Coast Hockey League.

Shane Gersich (selected 135th overall by Washington): His uncles are the Broten brothers: Neal (drafted 42nd overall by Minnesota in 1979), Aaron (106th overall by Colorado in 1980) and Paul (77th overall by NY Rangers in 1984). Neal was a member of the U.S. “Miracle on Ice” gold medal-winning team at the 1980 Winter Olympic Games and won a Stanley Cup with the New Jersey Devils in 1995.

Anton Karlsson (selected 87th overall by Arizona): His brother, Erik, was drafted 99th overall by the Carolina Hurricanes in 2012 and spent the 2013-14 season with Frolunda in the Swedish Hockey League.

Edgars Kulda (selected 194th overall by Arizona): His brother, Arturs, was drafted 200th overall by the Atlanta Thrashers in 2006 and spent the 2013-14 season with Ufa in the Kontinental Hockey League.

Brendan Lemieux (selected 31st overall by Buffalo): His father, Claude, is a four-time Stanley Cup champion and 1995 Conn Smythe Trophy winner who recorded 786 points (379-407—786) and 1,777 penalty minutes in 1,215 career regular-season games. He added 157 points (80-77—157) in 234 career playoff games with the Montreal Canadiens, New Jersey Devils, Colorado Avalanche, Phoenix Coyotes, Dallas Stars and San Jose Sharks.

Ryan MacInnis (selected 43rd overall by Arizona): His father, Al, is a Hockey Hall of Fame defenseman, Stanley Cup champion and seven-time All-Star who spent 23 seasons in the NHL with the St. Louis Blues and Calgary Flames. He also won the Hardest Shot competition a record seven times at the NHL All-Star Skills Competition.

Ryan Mantha (selected 104th overall by NY Rangers): His uncle Moe Mantha Jr. played 656 career NHL games with the Winnipeg Jets, Pittsburgh Penguins, Edmonton Oilers, Minnesota North Stars and Philadelphia Flyers.

Jake Marchment (selected 157th overall by Los Angeles): His uncle Bryan was selected 16th overall by Winnipeg in 1987 and played 926 career NHL games with Calgary, Chicago, Colorado, Edmonton, Hartford, San Jose, Tampa Bay, Toronto and Winnipeg.

Tyler Nanne (selected 142nd overall by NY Rangers): His grandfather is U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame member Lou Nanne, who played 10 seasons with the Minnesota North Stars and served as the team’s general manager for another 13 seasons. He was presented the Lester Patrick Award in 1980 for his outstanding service to hockey in the United States. His brother, Louie, was drafted 188th overall by the Minnesota Wild in 2012 and spent the 2013-14 season with the Sioux Falls Stampede of the United States Hockey League.

Alexander Peters (selected 75th overall by Dallas): His brother, Justin, is a goaltender who was selected 38th overall by Carolina in the 2004 NHL Draft. He appeared in 21 games for the Hurricanes during the 2013-14 season.

Jack Ramsey (selected 208th overall by Chicago): His father, Mike, was a defenseman for the U.S. “Miracle on Ice” gold medal-winning team at the 1980 Winter Olympic Games and is a member of the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame. He skated in 1,070 career NHL games with the Buffalo Sabres, Pittsburgh Penguins and Detroit Red Wings.

Hunter Smith (selected 54th overall by Calgary): His uncle Brad was selected in the fourth round (57th overall) by Vancouver in the 1978 NHL Draft and totaled 62 points (28-34—62) in 222 games over nine NHL seasons with the Canucks, Calgary Flames, Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs. He currently is the director of player personnel for the Colorado Avalanche.

Luc Snuggerud (selected 141st overall by Chicago): His uncle Dave represented the U.S. at the 1988 Winter Olympic Games and played 265 NHL games over four seasons with the Buffalo Sabres, San Jose Sharks and Philadelphia Flyers.

Kelly Summers (selected 190th overall by Ottawa): His cousin Mike Sullivan was drafted 244th overall by the Los Angeles Kings in 2003 and attended Clarkson University before playing professionally in Germany (from 2008-11).

Lukas Sutter (selected 200th overall by NY Islanders): He is the son of Rich Sutter and a member of the famous Sutter hockey family. Rich was drafted 10th overall in 1982 by Pittsburgh and went on to play 874 NHL games with seven teams. His dad and five of his uncles (Brent, Brian, Darryl, Duane and Ron) combined for 3,000 points in just under 5,000 NHL games. More recently, four of his cousins have been drafted: Brody (193rd overall in 2011 by Carolina), Brandon (11th overall in 2007 by Carolina), Brett (179th overall in 2005 by Calgary) and Shaun (102nd overall in 1998 by Calgary).

Dominic Turgeon (selected 63rd overall by Detroit): His father, Pierre, was selected first overall by Buffalo in the 1987 NHL Draft and registered 1,327 points (515-812—1,327) in 1,294 career NHL games with the Sabres, New York Islanders, Montreal Canadiens, St. Louis Blues, Dallas Stars and Colorado Avalanche. He scored 30 or more goals in a season nine times, played in four All-Star Games and was awarded the Lady Byng Trophy in 1992-93. His uncle Sylvain also played 12 seasons in the NHL with the Hartford Whalers, New Jersey Devils, Montreal Canadiens and Ottawa Senators.

Nolan Vesey (selected 158th overall by Toronto): His father, Jim, was a star at Merrimack College and was drafted 155th overall in 1984 by the Blues – he briefly played in the NHL for St. Louis and Boston. His brother, Jimmy, was selected 66th overall in 2012 by Nashville.

Josh Wesley (selected 96th overall by Carolina): His father, Glen, patrolled the blue line for 1,457 career games with the Boston Bruins, Hartford Whalers, Carolina Hurricanes and Toronto Maple Leafs. He won the Stanley Cup with Carolina in 2006 and still is with the organization as director of defensemen development. His uncle Blake skated in 298 career NHL games with the Philadelphia Flyers, Hartford Whalers, Quebec Nordiques and Toronto Maple Leafs.

From USA Hockey:

Sixty-five Americans were chosen here in this weekend’s 2014 NHL Entry Draft. Not since 1991 (67) have more U.S.-born players been selected in a single draft.

Dylan Larkin (Waterford, Mich./U.S. National Under-18 Team) was the first American selected when the Detroit Red Wings took him 15th overall, while Sonny Milano (Massapequa, N.Y./U.S. National Under-18 Team) was selected one pick later by the Columbus Blue Jackets. The Minnesota Wild madeAlex Tuch (Baldwinsville, N.Y./U.S. National Under-18 Team) the 18th pick overall.  Anthony DeAngelo (Sewell, N.J.) went with the 19th selection to the Tampa Bay Lightning and Nick Schmaltz(Madison, Wis./Green Bay Gamblers) was chosen with the 20th pick by the Chicago Blackhawks to round out American choices in the first round.

At least 10 U.S. players were chosen in each of rounds two through six. Three American goaltenders were picked in the second round, with Thatcher Demko (San Diego, Calif./Boston College) going to the Vancouver Canucks 36th overall and Alex Nedeljkovic (Parma, Ohio) to the Carolina Hurricanes with the next pick. The New York Rangers selected Brandon Halverson (Traverse City, Mich.) at No. 59. All three netminders are invitees of the 2014 U.S. National Junior Evaluation Camp.

Americans represented 31 percent (65/210) of the 2014 draft class, which is the third-highest U.S. percentage of any NHL Draft. In 1987, 38 percent (97/252) of players were American and in 1988, 32 percent (80/252) of draftees hailed from the U.S.

Only time will tell what the future has in store for these players but for now it is the morning after the NHL Draft and it is time for many to head to development camp and don their new jerseys on the ice for the first time.

With the new crop selected the NHL and the teams focus will now move to analyzing and development planning for their new prospects and looking toward the near future with the NHL Free Agency set to open on Tuesday.

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Iggy_Rules's avatar

Thanks for the write up, Monica. Amazing to see how many kids of past players are being picked up. Hopefully some of them will become NHL regulars. Very interested to see how the junior Turgeon and junior MacInnis turn out.

One note, and this is something I got from cruising KK over the past 48 hours, Nathan Walker was the first Australian born player ever drafted. But he is not mentioned in the country breakdown? I think if you had any notes on that story they would be great to share.

Additionally, is there any chance of a “first person view from the floor ” type of post? I am jus curious as I think it would make for a great piece. Not many people have the chance to skulk around the draft floor on draft day smile.


Posted by Iggy_Rules from Calgary, Canada on 06/29/14 at 09:27 AM ET

Monica McAlister's avatar

Oh I fully agree and I am looking into why he isn’t included on the count.  I took the numbers from the NHL PR email on the Draft Notes.

I have some pictures.  I can post - some are on my Twitter as well; as it was faster to snap and upload with my phone right to Twitter.  I am keep getting lag and errors trying to get them uploaded to my laptop even now that I am back home this morning.

Posted by Monica McAlister from Michigan on 06/29/14 at 09:37 AM ET

Monica McAlister's avatar

UPDATE:  Nathan Walker was born in Wales and thus he is noted as one of the two United Kingdom selections.

Posted by Monica McAlister from Michigan on 06/29/14 at 09:44 AM ET

Iggy_Rules's avatar

Ah OK, so he is Aussie but not Australian born. Technicalities smile.

I will check out the pics on Twitter, thanks for the heads up.

Posted by Iggy_Rules from Calgary, Canada on 06/29/14 at 10:56 AM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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