2014 NHL Draft Rankings January Consensus Top 60: Ekblad Moves Up, Perlini Rises

Justin K. Aller

Aaron Ekblad noses into the lead, Perlini moves up

In my last update, I noted the stagnation at the top of the list being the hallmark of the cream of the crop through December. But the late January updated remade the top 10, and that was before Bob McKenzie broke his tie between Aaron Ekblad and Sam Reinhart in favor of Ekblad.

While Ekblad moving up a spot in front of the Reinhart is the big story, it's not the most significant of this update. That distinction belongs to Brendan Perlini, the 6'3" 205 lb left wing from Niagara. Perlini jumped 15 spots into 9th and has been compared to Stars' prospect Brett Ritchie by his coach. Perlini has the never-ending hunt for the vaunted power forward working for him - scouts love his size.

Follow: @Bubzp11

The sources for the consensus list are The Scouting Report, Future Considerations, ISS, Red Line Report, Craig Button of TSN, Corey Pronman of ESPN and Bob McKenzie from TSN. Their rankings are weight by their accuracy in ranking previous drafts: Bob McKenzie's rankings carry the most weight as he was the most accurate prognosticator in the group. I may tinker with the model as the draft approaches - McKenzie is the most accurate of the group, but he typically only ranks 75-90 players. Pronman is the most accurate predictor from rounds 4-7, but that isn't reflected in the overall weighting.

Pick Name Pos Ht, Wt Team Last Move
1 Aaron Ekblad D 6'4, 216 Barrie 2 1
2 Sam Reinhart C 6'1, 186 Kootenay 1 -1
3 Michael Dal Colle F 6'2, 184 Oshawa 4 1
4 Sam Bennett F 6'0, 178 Kingston 6 2
5 Leon Draisaitl C 6'1, 208 Prince Albert 5 0
6 Willie Nylander F 5'11, 169 Rogle 3 -3
7 Haydn Fleury D 6'2, 207 Red Deer 7 0
8 Nicholas Ritchie F 6'2, 218 Peterborough 8 0
9 Brendan Perlini F 6'3, 205 Niagara 24 15
10 Kaspari Kapanen F 5'11, 172 Kuopio 11 1
11 Jared McCann C 6'0, 179 S.S. Marie 16 5
12 Roland McKeown D 6'0, 186 Kingston 10 -2
13 Ivan Barbashev F 6'0, 185 Moncton 12 -1
14 Jake Virtanen F 6'0, 213 Calgary 13 -1
15 Anton Karlsson F 6'0, 187 Frolunda 9 -6
16 David Pastrnak F 6'0, 167 Sodertalje 20 4
17 Conner Bleackley C 6'0, 197 Red Deer 18 1
18 Nick Schmaltz F 6'0, 170 Green Bay 14 -4
19 Jakub Vrana F 6'0, 185 Linkoping 15 -4
20 Brycen Martin D 6'1, 178 Swift Current 19 -1
21 Sonny Milano F 5'11, 183 USNT 25 4
22 Adrian Kempe C 6'2, 187 Modo 17 -5
23 Nikolai Goldobin F 5'11, 178 Sarnia 21 -2
24 Anthony DeAngelo D 5'11, 175 Sarnia 26 2
25 Joshua Ho-Sang F 5'11, 166 Windsor 27 2
26 Nikolaj Ehlers F 5'11, 162 Halifax 30 4
27 Dylan Larkin F 6'0, 190 USNT 31 4
28 Jack Glover D 6'3, 173 USNT 29 1
29 Blake Clarke F 6'1, 190 North Bay 23 -6
30 Matthew Mistele F 6'2, 183 Plymouth 22 -8
31 Julius Honka D 5'11, 178 Swift Current 35 4
32 Robby Fabbri C 5'10, 166 Guelph 32 0
33 Oskar Lindblom F 6'2, 187 Brynas 28 -5
34 Jacob Middleton D 6'3, 208 Ottawa 34 0
35 Alex Tuch F 6'4, 213 USNT 45 10
36 Brayden Point C 5'9, 170 Moose Jaw 33 -3
37 Thatcher Demko G 6'4, 180 Boston College 44 7
38 Spencer Watson F 6'0, 172 Kingston 36 -2
39 Jack Dougherty D 6'1, 194 USNT 38 -1
40 Kevin Fiala C 5'10, 180 Frolunda 61 21
41 Adam Ollas Mattsson D 6'3, 194 Djurgardens 37 -4
42 Ryan MacInnis F 6'3, 175 Kitchener 48 6
43 Eric Cornel C 6'1, 186 Peterborough 47 4
44 Vladislav Kamenev C 6'2, 176 Magnitigorsk 39 -5
45 Alexis Pepin F 6'2, 230 Charlottetown 40 -5
46 Tyson Baillie F 5'10, 195 Kelowna 41 -5
47 Austin Poganski F 6'1, 198 Tri-City 42 -5
48 Brandon Robinson F 6'3, 200 North Bay 43 -5
49 Ryan Collins D 6'5, 202 USNT 56 7
50 Nikita Scherbak F 6'0, 172 Saskatoon 60 10
51 Josh Jacobs D 6'2, 193 Indiana 46 -5
52 Maxim Lazarev F 5'10, 147 Kazan Ak Bars 50 -2
53 Alex Nedeljkovic G 6'0, 184 Plymouth 62 9
54 Vladimir Tkachyov F 5'9, 156 Omsk 49 -5
55 Julius Bergman D 6'1, 187 Frolunda 51 -4
56 Brendan Lemieux F 6'0, 206 Barrie 75 19
57 Alex Peters D 6'3, 207 Plymouth 73 16
58 Connor Chatham F 6'2, 224 Plymouth 131 73
59 Alexis Vanier D 6'1, 225 Baie-Comeau 94 35
60 Jonathan MacLeod D 6'1, 200 USNT 81 21

Another player who jumped into the spotlight was Sam Bennett from Kingston. Corey Pronman on Bennett:

Bennett is a highly entertaining player to watch for a variety of reasons. He's a fantastic skater with plus hands, great two-way instincts and a pretty good edge to his game. He fights for pucks well, and shows an unusual amount of strength as well as the ability to come out of corners with pucks for a player his size.

Notes on the fast risers:

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