2014 NHL Draft: Who Could Be Available In The Second Round?

Dennis Pajot

Who could be available in the second round of the NHL Draft?

Most of the attention during the NHL Draft goes on the players that will be picked in the first. They are the prospects who will likely make the earliest impact on the system and are easier to identify compared to those who go beyond the first round.

I will profile a few prospects who I think should still be available in the second round and who the Dallas Stars could be interested in.

This isn't an exact science and some teams will be higher on some players more than others. These prospects could go late in the first round or even fall to the third or fourth rounds.

These are only a selection, there are other players who would make interesting picks in the second round but these are those that caught my eye as I researched for this piece.

So without further ado.

Roland McKeown, RD, 6'1", 195lbs, Kingston Frontenacs, OHL

Roland McKeown is a big two-way defenseman, who is a smooth skater with excellent mobility. He's been a leader for the Frontencacs but there are concerns about his overall game that see him going lower than where it was thought he'd be drafted at the beginning of the year.

Despite his leadership material there are plenty of scouts who feel he can get caught out trying to do too much either defensively or offensively. This hurts the team if he's too committed in one end or the other. Despite his size he hasn't really showed much if any of a physical game in the OHL.

His shot is top end and he can make those brilliant passes and breakouts that lead to goals which win games. Consistency in this regards is still a work in progress but that isn't unusual for young defensemen who are developing their offensive game.

Despite this McKeown can make some excellent defensive and offensive players and could be a good complimentary player in the NHL. If he adds to his size, builds his strength up and generally becomes more physically punishing its possible that he could do better than where many predict his ceiling is. The tools are there, its putting it together.

Where is he ranked?

Future Considerations: 28th

Hockey Prospect: 83rd

ISS: 23rd

McKeens: 36th

Craig's List: 51st

Vladislav Kamenev, LW, 6'2", 202lbs, Magnitogorsk, MHL/KHL

Kamenev is a big Russian who has bounced around the various Russian leagues this year. The time he did spend in the KHL he was mostly the healthy scratch. However his play on the international level was very impressive.

Kamenev is a very talented offensive forward, despite his Russian passport many scouts believe his style of play is better suited for the smaller ice in North America than European ice. He's got top end hockey vision and knows how to make the perfect pass. Sometimes it might be better to shoot the puck than to pass it but this isn't exactly uncommon for young players.

So why would he still be available in the second round? In short there are two issues that drop Kamenev down draft rankings. Firstly, he's Russian. It's said again and again but it appears that in the modern NHL a Russian playing in Russia is going to drop compared to players of similar talent levels who play in North America.

Secondly, and in my opinion more importantly, his skating needs work. Technique wise its sloppy. He can make some few quick steps but his top speed is averaging at best. From what I've read this appears just to be a problem with technique rather than something inherently wrong with him as a prospect. Some work on that and he could certainly be faster, even if he's never going to win a speed skating competition.

Where is he ranked?

Future Considerations: 41st

Hockey Prospect: 35th

ISS: 29th

McKeens: 59th

Craig's List: 12th

Marcus Pettersson, LD, 6'4", 165lbs, Skelleftea, SuperElit

Marcus Pettersson is a player that just has raw potential written all over him. He's got the natural body size, which he needs to fill out substantially, and the natural instincts to become at least a good shut down defenseman in the NHL or become a good all around defenseman. He's a classic project pick that, with enough time and patience, could reward a team that takes a flyer on him in the second round and beyond.

What is impressive about Pettersson is that he only recently converted to playing defence. Before he was a forward and sometimes it can be seen in his game. Joining the rush when it might be a better idea to hang back a little and see how the play develops before committing.

He's got good offensive skills, a hard shot and impressive vision. His skating could do with some work, especially when it comes to changing direction, but its something that can be worked upon. The biggest weakness with Pettersson right now is the lack of strength. He's a lanky defenceman who, if he filled out his considerable frame, has the potential to be one of the top defenseman in the NHL.

Where is he ranked?

Future Considerations: 40th

Hockey Prospect: 33rd

ISS: 43rd

McKeens: 39th

Craig's List: 29th

Jake Walman, LD, 6'1", 174lbs, Toronto Jr. Canadiens, OJHL

Walman has risen sharply over the years' rankings. His excellent season with the Toronto Jr. Canadiens caught scout's attention enough that he could be taken in the mid or late second round. He's committed to Providence College for next season but theres always the possibility that a year or two in the OHL might tempt him.

He's an offensive defenseman who is a top end skater. His ability to move around the ice efficiently makes him able to join the rush and get back to help out with any defensive work if necessary. The main criticism level against Walman is his need to add some more muscle and generally grow stronger. Despite this over the course of last season Walman really stepped up his physical game.

It's the offensive potential that will be the focus of NHL teams that want to draft Walman. He's an elite level offensive defenseman whose work on their top power play unit was very impressive. Despite this he know his own defensive job as well, though this also need some work.

Where is he ranked?

Future Considerations: 71st

Hockey Prospect: 55th

ISS: 64th

McKeens: 49th

Craig's List: 59th

Justin Kirkland, LW 6'2", 175lbs, Kelowna Rockets, WHL

Kirkland is a big power forward who played his first full rookie season in the WHL this year. He played mostly fourth line minutes but he moved up the order as the season progressed. Kirkland is a very raw forward prospect, he has a lot of skills and tools that make him an intriguing prospect but they need to be developed.

At the moment it is clear from his size and his frame that he has the potential to be a third line checker at the NHL level. His footwork needs some time and effort put into them as he can be a bit slow. He's a very intelligent player whose offensive talents I don't think have been fully discovered yet.

His puck handling skills are underrated and he has a good shot. I'd expect his point totals to increase as he moves up the lineup with Kelowna. Nevertheless over 40 points in his first season isn't too bad for a rookie who doesn't turn 18 until August.

Justin Kirkland is one the dark horses of the draft and could go higher than some expect. A lot of scouts think he will be drafted in the second round.

Where is he ranked?

Future Considerations: 58th

Hockey Prospect: 68th

ISS: 35th

McKeens: 54th

Craig's List: 46th

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