What to Watch For at the 2014 NHL Draft


The future of the NHL is gathering in Philadelphia this weekend. Some may go on to greatness. Some may fizzle early. But all will be available in stores this fall. That's right, so you can buy and wear them.

Did you think I was talking about future NHL players? Future jerseys, of course!

In recent years, the NHL Draft has been used as an opportunity for teams to unveil new sweaters, logos, or — in the case of the Jets — even their name! This year there should be more of the same.

What follows is a pick-by-pick preview of what to watch for on draft night.

Early picks

Don't expect anything too exciting through the first nine selections. The only potential question mark is the New York Islanders at 5th overall. But they're sure to give their pick the classic blue sweater over the Stadium Series threads. No one else has anything big on the horizon.

10 · Anaheim Ducks

All signs point to a new white road jersey being unveiled when the Anaheim Ducks welcome the 10th overall pick. Reports have stated it will be a simple reverse of the current third jersey.

On Wednesday, reddit user "ewoods3" claimed to have seen the sweater and offered up details of its design.

So I saw our new away jersey...
You guys are gonna like it!
I'll describe it roughly so I don't give too much away
White Jersey, Gold D Logo with I believe Silver? maybe? trim around it. Shoulders are black with the Mighty Ducks patches on the shoulders. Arms have a similar (maybe even the same pattern) color scheme.

Not sure what he's leaving to the imagination there, but we'll take it — assuming it's true. By the way, the Ducks also pick 24th overall so they might use that to debut the black third as the new home sweater. Just a thought.

UPDATE · Jun 27 · The rumors are true! The Anaheim Ducks unveiled their new sweaters this morning and they're just what we were expecting.

Now I'm certain we'll see them at the draft tonight.

12 · Arizona Coyotes

Two picks later, we'll get a 2011 flashback as the Arizona Coyotes officially introduce their new name. You could argue the difference is we've seen this one coming for months now. But truly, who really thought Winnipeg's NHL team would be called anything but the Jets?

The Coyotes are not changing their jerseys this year, but we will get our first look at the redesigned "AZ" shoulder patch when their draftee tries on his new threads.

UPDATE · Jun 27 · Coyotes VP of communications Rich Nairn tweeted a photo of today's draft jerseys this morning — featuring that new AZ patch.

This photo also may clear up the question as to whether the Reebok logo on the back of the neck will make a swift exit this year in favor of Adidas — or CCM, seen around much of the hockey world these days.

However, who's to say if this is a 2014-15 jersey. Could be an old one with the new patch sewn on. Just some things to consider.

16 · Columbus Blue Jackets

A few picks later we should get to see the 2015 version of the NHL All-Star Game patch on the Columbus Blue Jackets jerseys. We saw the 2013 version at the draft two years ago, but the patch was never used beyond that since the game was canceled due to the lockout.

17 · Philadelphia Flyers

Up next, the Philadelphia Flyers take the stage. I have no reason to expect them to offer their first-round choice anything but their orange home jersey. But they are hosting this year so there should be a lot of Flyer fans in the house. It could be a unique opportunity to debut that rumored new third jersey. Worth watching for.

min09a.jpg

18 · Minnesota Wild

No new jerseys are coming to the Minnesota Wild this year, but I wanted to mention them since they've been an anomaly at recent drafts. Most teams give out their colorful home jerseys. Some do white roads. But the Wild have been using their green thirds. Will they continue?

tbl11.jpg

19 · Tampa Bay Lightning

The Tampa Bay Lightning have been teasing a new third jersey. But with such a late pick, it's not like there will be a ton of Bolts fans fixated on the proceedings. It's unlikely the team would use the 19th overall pick to reveal an alternate sweater. Still, I'd hate for us not to at least have it in the back of our minds.

Tampa also has the 28th overall pick, received in the Martin St. Louis trade.

stl98.jpg

21 · St. Louis Blues

The St. Louis Blues are expected to introduce new home and road uniforms this summer. However, I get the feeling they'll want to make a big deal about it with their fans. So the draft in Philly would likely not be ideal. When asked recently whether the jersey rumor was even true, the team's owner said, "let's talk about that another time."

Blues draftees will probably get the current (soon to be retired) jerseys for now.

pit02.jpg

22 · Pittsburgh Penguins

Same story as the Lightning here. The Pittsburgh Penguins pick 22nd overall, but introducing its future by giving him a new third jersey inspired by the past is the kind of thing one might expect from this team. So again, keep it in the back of your mind.

23 · Colorado Avalanche

Anniversary patches are often premiered at the NHL Draft. The only team that could conceivably celebrate a special anniversary this year is the Colorado Avalanche, who turn 20 next season after moving from Quebec in 1995. However, they marked their 10th year during the post-lockout 2005-06 season, so they may wait until 2015-16 to do the 20th — if they do it at all.

Then again, the Predators had a 15th anniversary logo last year but never used it on their jerseys. And the Capitals marked 40 years without hardly acknowledging it. And for the record, the Avs have not done any special 20th anniversary promotions or marketing for 2014-15 at this point. So yeah, this is all just complete speculation on my part.

24 · Anaheim Ducks

Again, keep an eye on the Ducks when they make their second first-round pick. This could be where we get confirmation the third jersey is receiving that full-time promotion.

29 · Los Angeles Kings

The Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings select 29th due to the Devils' Kovalchuk contract punishment. But don't expect them to break out their new gold throwback jerseys just yet. Because the team started the production process late, they don't expect the sweaters to be ready until December.

However, you may recall they gave out a special non-game throwback when they hosted the draft in 2010. So you never know.


Watch the first round of the NHL Draft starting at 7 PM ET Friday night on NBCSN, TSN or NHL Network. I'll do my best to keep up with the live coverage, but I'll be working late. (Lousy day job, right?)

1 Comment