Scouts who have spent the last year evaluating the prospects for the 2014 NHL Draft can agree on one thing: This year's class is one of the most difficult in recent memory to evaluate.
That difficulty starts at the top, where with less than 48 hours to go before the start of the draft Friday (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TSN, RDS), there's no consensus as to who will be the first player picked.
"I think there's more guys that are similar to each other than a lot of years," Tampa Bay Lightning director of amateur scouting Al Murray told NHL.com. "It's a little bit difficult. It tends to come down to team preferences."
Unlike previous years, where Sidney Crosby (2005), Steven Stamkos (2008), John Tavares (2009) and Taylor Hall (2010) were clear-cut top choices, this year's No. 1 selection won't be known until Florida Panthers general manager Dale Tallon steps to the podium at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia -- assuming he hasn't traded the pick.
Article text courtesy of: Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor