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5 best available NHL Draft prospects following Round 1

With Round 1 of the 2014 entry draft now in the books, here are five prospects to watch on Day 2 of the draft, that begins Saturday at 10 a.m. ET. 

Ivan Barbashev

Moncton Wildcats forward Ivan Barbashev is still on the board after Day 1 of the 2014 NHL Entry Draft, but will surely be among the first players selected in the second round. The lanky forward logged major minutes for the Wildcats in the QMJHL as a 17-year-old this past season, and finished second on his team in scoring (behind overager Christophe Lalonde).

Barbashev was 3rd among all first time draft eligible forwards in the CHL in assist per game rate this past season, behind only Sam Reinhart and Sam Bennett. It's probably notable that those two players were top-five selections on Friday. 

Beyond his offensive chops, Barbashev has a physical edge to his game and is a willing shot-blocker with some two-way upside. 

Read more about Ivan Barbashev

Brayden Point

At 5-foot-10 and 160 pounds soaking wet, Moose Jaw Warriors center Brayden Point is undersized and that probably caused him to drop out of the first round on Friday. 

Don't let size fool you on Point though, he's a player that brings a healthy dose of snarl to his game and can shoulder a massive load. His Warriors side was one of the worst clubs in the WHL, but at just 17-year-old, Point logged first-line minutes and managed an astounding 91 points on a team that scored just 202 goals in total.

Point has consistently dominated his age group, generally a solid indicator of future success, and outscored his next highest scoring teammate in Moose Jaw this past season by 36 points. If Point had played for the London Knights, or Portland Winterhawks, or a half-decent CHL club, he'd have very probably gone in the top-half of Friday's draft frankly.

Read more about Brayden Point

Vlad Kamenev

A 6-foot-2 forward who spent time playing for Mike Keenan with Mettallurg of the KHL this past season, Kamenev has the size and two-way abilities that scouts and NHL clubs usually drool over in the first round of the draft. Because of "the Russian factor" and potential signability issues, however, Kamenev will be available for clubs looking to roll the dice a bit on Day 2 of the 2014 NHL Entry Draft. 

Read more about Vlad Kamenev

Roland McKeown 

A fast puck-moving defenseman who has been a captain at pretty much every level he's ever played at, that Kingston Frontenacs defender Roland McKeown wasn't selected in the first-round on Friday is a bit confusing. 

After all, his offensive profile is nothing short of tantalizing. McKeown was tied for fourth among draft eligible CHL defensemen in assist per game rate (with likely No. 1 overall pick Aaron Ekblad) behind only Haydn Fleury, Anthony DeAngelo and Julius Honka. He was also third among first time draft eligible CHL defenders in even-strength goals (just one behind Honka and DeAngelo).

In addition to his chops as a puck-mover and point producer, McKeown is one of the best overall athletes in this draft. The club that stops McKeown's slide in Round 2 could have a serious steal on their hands. 

Jayce Hawryluk

A stocky, 5-foot-10 center Jayce Hawryluk went undrafted in Round 1 of the 2014 NHL Entry Draft, even as his less productive teammate John Quenneville was selected with the 30th overall pick.

Why was Hawryluk overlooked? Likely because of his height, though a mysterious health scare this past spring may have contributed to it as well

Here's the thing about Hawryluk's health scare: though he was short of breath following a playoff game, he also scored three goals in that game because he's an excellent player. His hospitalization also didn't cause him to miss a single game, as he returned and scored the overtime winner, a series winner actually, in the WHL playoffs.

Risks aside, Hawryluk led all Brandon Wheat Kings players in scoring this past season and was far and away their best player by goal differential. A hard-nosed player with significant two-way upside, Hawryluk plays larger than his height would suggest and will represent excellent value for the team that takes a chance on him on Day 2 of the draft. 

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