ANAHEIM - Sunday's 2014 XHL Entry Draft, which will be held at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California, is sure to be an unusual one. The Chicago Blue Demons, holders of the first overall pick in the draft, will have the league make all of their selections, as they do not currently have a general manager. In addition, a record six teams will skip the draft after trading away their picks.
But there will still be a lot of interest and intrigue at Sunday's draft as some teams once considered among the league's best hope to begin their rise back up the ranks.
Draft mainstays Brooklyn and Los Angeles will once again own a slew of picks, but the Speed Kings will not be as active as usual as they have opted to save their picks for what should be an even better draft next season.
As for two big market teams that missed the playoffs for the first time in their existences, the New England Whalers and New York Empire were active in acquiring draft choices to help re-stock their cupboards. New England owns the third and fifth overall picks in the draft while New York will select seventh, eighth, 12th and 15th.
Picking in the first round for the first time in many years will be the Detroit Cougars, who go second after Chicago opens the draft. It is likely that the league will select D Aaron Ekblad for Chicago, so that will give the Cougars their share of options at number two.
Hometown Anaheim is sure to want to make a big splash as they pick fourth overall, and then again at 21 in the first round. And for the first time in a long while, the St. Louis Smugglers will have a top ten pick as they will select at number nine - sandwiched between two picks each from New York and Los Angeles.
Currently, Montreal, Philadelphia, Dallas, Quebec, Calgary and San Diego do not own draft picks. However, there is always the chance that one or more teams could deal back into the draft, so it will be worth tuning in for all five rounds on Sunday evening.
2014 XHL DRAFT
Sunday, October 26 - All times Eastern
2014 XHL Draft - Honda Center, Anaheim, CA - 8 PM - NBCSN, TSN, RDS