Huw's Very Early and Broad look at the 2014 NHL Draft Class

Sam Reinhart is on the Right - Andre Ringuette, Francois Laplante, HHOF

Yes, the curtains were only drawn on the 2013 NHL Draft Class a few short weeks ago but its time for prospect geeks to look to the future.

So as the excitement from development camp finishes prospect geeks, such as myself, turn our eyes to the next draft which will be held in Philadelphia in 2014.

I understand that its far too early to know where some players will be drafted, will they rise or fall but its soon enough to take a brief look across the draft class and to analyse where it fits in with the other recent drafts.

At this very early stage it appears there are three players who will be vying for the top spot, with one of them having the edge over his two fellow draft prospects.

That's Sam Reinhart, brother of Griffin Reinhart (New York Islanders 4th Overall) and Max Reinhart (Calgary Flames 64th overall). He is the most talented of the three brothers and enters his draft year as the favourite to go first overall in Philadelphia.

Contending with him is the uber talented young Swede, William Nylander Atlelius, son of former NHLer Michael Nylander and the looming defenseman out of the OHL, Aaron Eklbad.

While the 2013 NHL Draft may have seen a lot of prospects out of the QMJHL going in the top 60 it appears unlikely that this feat will be repeated. In the Future Considerations Preliminary Rankings there is only one QMJHLer in the top 30, Ivan Barbashev from the Moncton Wildcats.

The 2014 NHL draft is going to be a big one for the Ontario Hockey League with many top prospects seeking to solidify or earn a place in the first round. These include Blake Clarke, Michael Dal Colle, Nick Ritchie (younger brother of Dallas Stars prospect Brett Ritchie), Roland McKeown and Sam Bennett to name a few.

The top ranked player coming out of the WHL this year is young German power forward Leon Draisatl. He spent last season with the Prince Albert Raiders (The team also has Stars prospect Mike Winther on its roster) and was impressive in his first season in the Dub. He's likely to be the first German born player to be selected in the first round, if not the top 10. He's one to keep an eye on.

While Europeans featured heavily in the first round of the 2013 NHL Draft, 9 European born players were taken, it appears that they could again form a reasonable part of the top prospects in the upcoming draft. Outside of Nylander and Draisatl keep an eye out for Anton Karlsson, Julius Bergman, Adrian Kempe and Oskar Lindblom as the year progresses.

It doesn't appear likely that this draft class will match the 2013 NHL Draft Class but it could be a decent draft with lots of above average prospects contending for top places in the the draft.

The Stars currently have all of their picks in the 2014 Draft and no extras. Obviously with the draft so far away, an entire season away, its too early to predict where the Stars will end up picking in each round or where any of these players will be drafted.

Keep an eye to the future as the Stars hopefully work towards their first playoffs following this five year drought.

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