Talk Lightning Hockey with fans and staff at the BP Message Boards and follow us on Twitter and Facebook

2014 Draft: 4th Round, 119th Overall

Name: Ben Thomas
Position: Defense
Height: 6'1"
Weight: 190 lbs
Club: Calgary (WHL)

Strengths:
Assertive, aggressive player at both ends of the ice. Strong upper body with a high compete level. Excellent puck handler with the much coveted righty shot who loves to jump in the play. Loves to jump in the play, but responsible enough not to get caught for odd man rushes the other way. High compete level.

Weaknesses:
Poor backward skater with mediocre lateral agility compounded by poor reads and hockey sense in the defensive third.

Projection: #5 defenseman

Comparisons: Cody Franson

2014 Draft: 3rd Round, 80th Overall

Name: Brayden Point
Position: Center
Height: 5'10"
Weight: 160 lbs
Club: Moose Jaw (WHL)

Strengths:
Dynamic puckhandler with top notch creativity and playmaking skills. Well above average hockey sense and soft hands in tight around the net. Shifty, darting, hard to catch and even harder to stop.

Weaknesses:
Tiny, and at 160 lbs lacks the strength to stand up to the rigors of the pro game. Questionable whether his frame can support putting the bulk on he needs.

Projection:
Second line scoring center or AHL/European league scoring champ.

Comparisons:
Valtteri Filppula

2014 Draft: 2nd Round, 57th Overall

Name: Johnathan MacLeod
Position: Defense
Height: 6'2"
Weight: 200 lbs
Club: USNTDP

Strengths:
Lots of pro tools. Big, mobile rearguard has NHL athleticism and has barely scratched his potential. Shows willingness to take the body and a big point shot. Will develop in a strong program at Boston University.

Weaknesses:
Raw. Very raw. Positionally unpolished in the defensive zone. Unrefined offensively and can tend to make a sloppy outlet pass.

Projection:
Project defenseman with top-4 ceiling.

Comparisons:
Ben Lovejoy

2014 Draft: 2nd Round, 35th Overall

Name: Dominik Masin (pronounced "Machine")
Position: Defense
Height: 6'2"
Weight: 189 lbs
Club: Slavia Praha (CZE)

Strengths:
Mobile skater with a nice, projectable frame that will fill out even more. Already strong and well schooled positionally. Manages his gap control well and closes out his marks physically. Shows some ability to handle the puck and jump into the play and is fairly unflappable under duress.

Weaknesses:
Had a slow start to the 2013-2014 campaign and performed better overall for country than he did for club. Although he has some offensive tools, he's not a power play quarterback at this point in his career. Sometimes struggles giving and receiving passes.

Projection:
#4/5 Defenseman

Comparisons:
Travis Hamonic

2014 NHL Draft: 1st Round, 19th Overall

Name: Anthony DeAngelo
Position: Defense
Height: 5'11"
Weight: 175 lbs
Club: Sarnia (OHL)

Wow, here's a definitive swing for the fences.

Strengths:
With DeAngelo, the talent is unquestionable. The Philadelphia native ripped up the OHL with 15 goals and 71 points in 51 games this season. Nobody questions that, on talent alone, DeAngelo was one of the 10-15 best players in this year's class. His skating and puckhandling skills allow him to dismantle opposing defenses and gain the offensive zone with ease when he chooses to carry it. He's also got excellent vision and passing ability, and runs a power play with ruthless efficiency and a heavy righty shot. Indeed, Red Line Report ranked DeAngelo the 7th best pure skater and 13th best pure goal scorer in this draft, the latter of which is surely worth a double take given that DeAngelo is a defenseman.

Weaknesses:
The negatives, athletically, center on DeAngelo's stature, which leads to his being overwhelmed down low in the defensive zone, and his tendency to surrender neutral zone turnovers at bad times while pushing the pace. As a consequence, he posted a cringe-worthy -34 rating this season with the Sting. And yet, as cringe-worthy as that is, it pales in comparison to the red flags that surround DeAngelo off the ice. DeAngelo hasn't exactly mastered the team concept, as evidenced by his verbal abuse of a teammate with slurs that led to a suspension by the OHL. This is a young man who has been branded by many as a me-first player who the Lightning are gambling they can reorient into a productive member of the organization. If they can, Red Line Report projects him as a tremendously skilled offensive d-man and power play quarterback with comparisons to a lite version of Paul Coffey. If they can't get DeAngelo to coexist within the team concept, he'll be a bust, and one you have to worry will drag down teammates with him. Hey coaches: this is why they pay you the big bucks.

Projection:
Highly skilled offensive defenseman and power-play QB

Comparisons:
Same kind of game as Paul Coffey but, you know, not Paul Coffey

Pete Choquette contributed to this article

Syndicate content