2014 NHL Draft: WHL Prospects You Should Really Know

This is one of the latest of a series of brief articles profiling various 2014 NHL Draft Prospects. This week, its the Western Hockey League.

The WHL has been a league that the Stars have consistently drafted from in the past few years. The WHL is, arguably, the toughest of all of the leagues that make up the CHL.

They produce high end prospects ever year and this year is no different. There are numerous prospects I could profile but I'm going to focus on two that most will have heard of and one that people will hear of in the next few months. They are: Sam Reinhart, Leon Draisatl and Nikita Scherbak.

Sam Reinhart

Sam Reinhart is the last of the Reinhart brothers to enter the NHL Draft and is arguably the most talented of them all. He is a legitimate contender for the top spot in the draft and would probably be picked within the top three picks.

Reinhart is a right handed centre playing with the Kootenay Ice. He has 46 points in in the last 29 games. He got excellent vision, instincts, skating and hands. He is an excellent two way forward and is seen as a team player rather than an individualist player.

He's got some good size at 6-foot-1, 183 pounds, and is likely to be in the NHL next season. Will the Stars do that badly they have a shot at him? It seems very unlikely.

Leon Draisaitl

Draisaitl is a centre playing with the Prince Albert Raiders, the same team Mike Winther plays for. He is almost certainly going to be the highest drafted German in the history of the NHL Draft. He is certain to be drafted in the top 10 if not the top five when the Draft is held in 2014.

He's got the NHL ready body already at 6-2, 210 pounds. He is a play making center who, despite his size, isn't known for being an overly physical player.

He makes up for his lack of physicality with top vision and hands. He's not going to be the fastest skater in the draft but he's got a pretty good skating style despite his size.

Draisaitl is one of those prospects I would love the Stars to get their hands on. At the rate he's producing and the Stars current draft position I find it highly unlikely that the Stars are in a position to draft this young German.

Nikita Scherbak

This is the mystery of the three prospects I've profiling in this article. Who is he? He's a 6"2 right wing Russian playing with the Saskatoon Blades, the same organisation Matej Stransky played for.

He's grown quite a bit in the past year and now stands at 6-2, 174 pounds. What is impressive is that in his rookie season in his draft year he has 42 points in 29 games and leads all rookies in scoring. He's sixth overall in the WHL in scoring.

He is an intriguing combination of skill and gritty play. He's got the offensive skills, as can be seen by his impressive points total. He is quick and skilled enough to evade oncoming forecheckers and is a good forechecker in his own right.

His main area of weakness is his own defensive game, not an uncommon problem for young forwards, especially in their rookie season in a new country.  This can certainly be improved upon and ironed out over time.

For now it seems like Nikita Scherbak could be a very interesting prospect. Definitely one that people should keep an eye out for in the upcoming months.

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