June 21, 2024

2024 NHL Draft Mock: Predicting the first round with draft day nearing

We are now entering the gauntlet of the 2024 NHL Draft, so it’s time to mock it up again.

With just a week to go, there are different rumors about prospects and the teams that are picking them. This year’s iteration of the draft will be exciting to monitor, as there are no guarantees after No. 1. After that, we’re expecting pure chaos. The 2024 draft could completely turn on its head after any pick, which makes it one of the hardest for building a mock.

Nevertheless, here’s how the first round could unfold at the 2024 draft in FCHockey’s latest mock draft:


1. San Jose Sharks – Macklin Celebrini, C, Boston University (NCAA)
FCHockey rank: 1

There are no questions about who’s going first overall in the 2024 draft. Macklin Celebrini appeared at the NHL Draft Lottery, interviewed with San Jose Sharks general manager Mike Grier on the broadcast, and is the consensus top prospect in the class. The only question now is if Celebrini will join Will Smith in San Jose next season or stay in college like Smith did last year. Celebrini may not have as much offensive upside as Connor Bedard, but he could become a better all-around player.

What we like… He’s a dynamic and skilled dual-threat center who can change a game with just one touch of the puck. — FCHockey’s 2024 NHL Draft Guide

2. Chicago Blackhawks – Ivan Demidov, RW, SKA-1946 St. Petersburg (MHL)
FCHockey rank: 2

The Chicago Blackhawks won’t want to pass up on putting Ivan Demidov alongside Bedard. They shouldn’t look any further than the success of Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane, as they could set themselves up to have a similar one-two punch for the next decade. The concerns about Demidov seemed to be put to rest at the Gold Star Combine, with reports that he is taller than expected and ready to come to North America after the 2024-25 season. An elite playmaker and shooter on Bedard’s right wing in 2025-26, along with their other top prospects, could be just what they need.

What we like… He’s a raw, highly-skilled, talented forward who has all the necessary skills and tools to be a difference-making NHL producer. — FCHockey’s 2024 NHL Draft Guide

3. Anaheim Ducks – Artyom Levshunov, RHD, Michigan State (NCAA)
FCHockey rank: 10

The Anaheim Ducks have plenty of defensive depth in their prospect pipeline but a severe lack of right-handed defensemen overall. Four left-handed shots had to play their off-side at different times in 2023-24, so the Ducks could use a natural right-shot blueliner. Artyom Levshunov will be a perfect partner for Olen Zellweger in the future, as he plays both a two-way and defensively aware game that will help Zellweger do what he does best on offense.

What we like… He’s a two-way defenseman who leans on the offensive side of the game with his willingness to join the attack on a consistent basis. — FCHockey’s 2024 NHL Draft Guide

4. Columbus Blue Jackets – Cayden Lindstrom, C, Medicine Hat Tigers (WHL)
FCHockey rank: 8

The Columbus Blue Jackets could have the middle of their ice set in stone for the next decade if they take Cayden Lindstrom at fourth overall. Adam Fantilli looked good towards the end of the season in 2023-24 and will be the perfect compliment to Lindstrom in a 1A/1B lineup in Columbus. Lindstrom’s injuries are a concern, but his ability to stay a top prospect shows people are impressed by the modern-day power forward. 

What we like… He’s a well-rounded power center who blends his size, skill, and smarts to play a very projectable, pro-style game. — FCHockey’s 2024 NHL Draft Guide

5. Montreal Canadiens – Beckett Sennecke, RW, Oshawa Generals (OHL)
FCHockey rank: 16

The Montreal Canadiens may have their sights set on Demidov or Lindstrom at No. 5, but it’s starting to look like they won’t be available. It may be a reach in the eyes of Canadiens fans, but you can’t deny the upside in Beckett Sennecke. The Canadiens need talent in their top-six, and the elite skating Sennecke would do the trick. He’s also a big-game player, elevating his play during the playoffs for the Oshawa Generals in the Ontario Hockey League with 22 points (10 goals, 12 assists) in 16 games. The Canadiens could go defense again, but with their depth there, it’d be a hard sell for the fanbase.

What we like… He’s a a talented offensive winger and multi-faceted offensive threat with above-average shooting, puck control, and playmaking ability. — FCHockey’s 2024 NHL Draft Guide

6. Utah Hockey Club – Zeev Buium, LHD, Denver (NCAA)
FCHockey rank: 9

Zeev Buium would be a perfect selection for the Utah Hockey Club at No. 6. They need a player to start marketing around, and who better than the California native? Buium is an offensive star on defense, tallying 50 points (11 goals, 39 assists) as a freshman at the University of Denver. Buium saved his best for last, leading his school to the National Championship with elite offensive ability and hard-hitting defense at the other end. Buium may not go in the top five, but there’s no doubt his ceiling is up there with them.

What we like… He’s an offensive-minded defender that thrives with the puck on his stick and is a dominant transitional player. — FCHockey’s 2024 NHL Draft Guide

7. Ottawa Senators – Anton Silayev, LHD, Nizhny Novgorod (KHL)
FCHockey rank: 3

The Ottawa Senators should be thrilled to land Anton Silayev with the No. 7 selection. The uncertainty of KHL players is always there, so it’d be no surprise to see Silayev slide like Matvei Michkov last season. Silayev was the highest-scoring 17-year-old in KHL history with 11 points (three goals, eight assists) in 63 games last season and could grow as an elite defensive player with his 6-foot-7 frame. If Ottawa fans are skeptical about this pick, let’s remind them how good Zdeno Chara was once he grew into his body.

What we like… He’s an incredibly fluid two-way defender that has a lot of good in his game that would translate to the next level. — FCHockey’s 2024 NHL Draft Guide

8. Seattle Kraken – Zayne Parekh, RHD, Saginaw Spirit (OHL)
FCHockey rank: 7

Zayne Parekh may deserve to go even higher after his performance in the Memorial Cup victory. The elite offensive mind ended his regular season with 96 points (33 goals, 63 assists) in 66 games, then tallied 16 goals in 18 games between the OHL playoffs and Memorial Cup. Parekh has some flaws defensively, but the Seattle Kraken take a big swing, hoping to hit a home run.

What we like… He’s an ultra-aggressive defender, constantly pushing the pace on offense and showing unusual confidence and vision with the puck. — FCHockey’s 2024 NHL Draft Guide

9. Calgary Flames – Tij Iginla, C, Kelowna Rockets (WHL)
FCHockey rank: 13

The Calgary Flames have any choice but to take Tij Iginla if he is available at No. 9. Jarome Iginla is one of the greatest players in Flames’ history, and the fans can watch another Iginla don the red and yellow for the foreseeable future. It wouldn’t just be a ceremonial pick, as Iginla proved this season that he can play and is worthy of a top-10 pick. If his growth this season is any indication, Iginla could become one of the top players in this class once his career is over.

What we like… He’s an offensive forward who blends a touch of finesse with an incredible shot, and he shows no hesitation to use it at will. — FCHockey’s 2024 NHL Draft Guide

10. New Jersey Devils – Konsta Helenius, C, Jukurit (LIIGA)
FCHockey rank: 5

Konsta Helenius draws many comparisons to Nico Hischier as a player who could make an immediate impact at the NHL level. He is an intelligent, two-way center that plays well beyond his years. The New Jersey Devils expect to contend next season, as evidenced by their trade to acquire a goaltender this week. Helenius is the player available who is most likely to contribute on opening night.

What we like… He’s an outstanding forward who plays a complete 200-foot game with offensive awareness and an ability to pick apart defensive-zone coverages. — FCHockey’s 2024 NHL Draft Guide

11. Buffalo Sabres – Berkly Catton, C, Spokane Chiefs (WHL)
FCHockey rank: 4

Berkly Catton is an elite two-way forward who will contribute on both ends of the ice for the Buffalo Sabres. Buffalo has plenty of young talent that can’t seem to get the job done, but Catton is a player who can bring all that talent together. Zach Benson spent last season with the Sabres after getting drafted 13th overall, and Catton blew his WHL draft-year numbers out of the water with 116 points (54 goals, 62 assists).

What we like… He’s an offensively-gifted center who displays a high hockey IQ, a heck of a lot of poise, and quick feet. — FCHockey’s 2024 NHL Draft Guide

12. Philadelphia Flyers – Sam Dickinson, LHD, London Knights (OHL)
FCHockey rank: 6

The Philadelphia Flyers need to find depth at every position, but it’d be hard for them to see Sam Dickinson available here and not snatch him up. Philadelphia hopes Michkov will soon come to North America, and the duo of him and Dickinson leading their team in the future could help get the Flyers over the top. Dickinson may not be an offensive star like some taken before him, but he could be one of the best all-around defensemen in the class.

What we like… He’s a two-way defenseman, as steady as they come, who is a workhorse that can log major ice time in all situations. — FCHockey’s 2024 NHL Draft Guide

13. Minnesota Wild – Carter Yakemchuk, RHD, Calgary Hitmen (WHL)
FCHockey rank: 18

The Minnesota Wild are good with their forwards and goaltenders in the prospect pipeline, but they need to find their defenseman of the future. Carter Yakemchuk has some question marks at the defensive end, but with some strong development, he could be a two-way star for the Wild. Even if he doesn’t pan out defensively, there’s room in the game for an offensive weapon on the back end. The Wild get that with the WHL’s 30-goal scorer.

What we like… He excels in offensive playmaking, strong puck control, and physicality, with an ability to effectively use his body to impact games. — FCHockey’s 2024 NHL Draft Guide

14. San Jose Sharks – Cole Eiserman, LW, USA U18 (NTDP)
FCHockey rank: 11

The Sharks get as close to a sure thing as possible with the Celebrini selection. They can afford to take a swing here and do with the selection of Cole Eiserman. Eiserman contended with Celebrini as the potential first-overall pick in their younger days, but a stagnant draft year has sent Eiserman down the rankings. It’s a risk, but Eiserman broke the National Team Development Program’s career goal record and is the best pure goal scorer in the draft.

What we like… He isn’t just one-trick pony, and can score in many ways — off the rush, rebounds, one-timers, snap shots, in the slot, you name it. — FCHockey’s 2024 NHL Draft Guide

15. Detroit Red Wings – Stian Solberg, LHD, Valerenga (Norway)
FCHockey rank: 16

Stian Solberg’s stock is through the roof after a successful stint at the 2024 IIHF World Championship, which makes this a bit of a risk. However, if his ceiling hits, Solberg will be a valuable player for the Detroit Red Wings. He is a physical defenseman who is hard to play against but can show glimpses of offensive upside. Red Wings fans can consider him as a modern-day version of Niklas Kronwall.

What we like… He excels with physical two-way play, strong defensive positioning, effective gap control, smooth skating, and the ability to contribute offensively. — FCHockey’s 2024 NHL Draft Guide

16. St. Louis Blues – Trevor Connelly, LW, Tri Ciy Storm (USHL)
FCHockey rank: 15

Trevor Connelly has some off-ice issues to fix before a team uses a draft selection on him, but all signs point to them being solved after some interviews with various teams. Connelly is a perfect fit for the St. Louis Blues, and finishing second in scoring in the USHL helps his case. He had 78 points (31 goals, 47 assists) in 52 games.

What we like… He’s an a high-risk dual-threat winger who looks equally comfortable in both a playmaking and play-finishing capacity. — FCHockey’s 2024 NHL Draft Guide

17. Washington Capitals – Michael Brandsegg-Nygard, RW, Mora IK (Allsvenskan)
FCHockey rank: 12

Michael Brandsegg-Nygard’s stock has been increasing significantly since the start of the season. He is now one of the most valuable power forwards in the draft and a solid successor to some of the old guard with the Washington Capitals. He had four goals and six assists in 12 playoff games and followed that up with three goals and two assists in seven games at Worlds. He is ready to play against the best the world has to offer.

What we like… He’s a power forward with excellent goal-scoring ability and the physical readiness to compete in professional games against men. — FCHockey’s 2024 NHL Draft Guide

18. Chicago Blackhawks – Adam Jiricek, RHD, HC Plzen (Czechia)
FCHockey rank: 20

The Blackhawks traded up to get another top-20 prospect, and it will likely depend on their No. 2 selection. They take Demidov in this mock, which means they may take a defenseman with this pick. Adam Jiricek was near the top of this class for defensemen before an injury caused him to miss most of the season. The Blackhawks would feel like they’re getting a steal if they can get him alongside Demidov.

What we like… He showcases with strong passing, strategic defensive positioning, and effective puck-moving capabilities, reliable playmaking, and a solid physical presence. — FCHockey’s 2024 NHL Draft Guide

19. Vegas Golden Knights – EJ Emery, USA U18 (NTDP)
FCHockey rank: 24

The Vegas Golden Knights have never drafted a defenseman with their first-round draft pick. Vegas has an aging defense core, which would look better with a young stay-at-home defenseman like EJ Emery waiting in the wings. There isn’t a lot of offensive upside in his game, but he will be valuable in the physical Western Conference — particularly in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

What we like… He excels in defensive zone control, precise passing, and strong decision-making, with effective puck interception and physical play that disrupts opponents. — FCHockey’s 2024 NHL Draft Guide

20. New York Islanders – Jett Luchanko, C, Guelph Storm (OHL)
FCHockey rank: 32

The New York Islanders need more talent in their forward group, and Jett Luchanko is a good start. He will remind Islanders fans of Mat Barzal the way he speeds around the ice and has a high offensive IQ. They have to worry about too much redundancy in their top six, but a lack of size and physicality won’t concern them if they can find the right players to put around him and Barzal.

What we like… He has exceptional skating speed, high hockey IQ, smart playmaking, effective passing, strong defensive awareness, quick recovery, and relentless work ethic. — FCHockey’s 2024 NHL Draft Guide

21. Los Angeles Kings – Michael Hage, C, Chicago (USHL)
FCHockey rank: 29

The Los Angeles Kings are again looking for a one-two punch at center after the Pierre Luc-Dubois experiment didn’t work out. Michael Hage could be the guy, as he has an elite ceiling with his skating and skill. The Kings lack these traits, and they should be thrilled to get him at 21.

What we like… He excels with strong skating, excellent vision, powerful shot, high-level puck skills, effective positioning, smart playmaking, and solid defensive abilities. — FCHockey’s 2024 NHL Draft Guide

22. Nashville Predators – Lucas Pettersson, C, MoDo (J20 Nationell)
FCHockey rank: 22

The Nashville Predators could use some help down the middle of the ice. Who better than a player who likely looks up to Filip Forsberg? Lucas Pettersson had a great year in Sweden, averaging over a point-per-game at the club and international levels. He is a playmaker at heart, but his shot is an underrated part of his game. Pettersson will be a reliable player for whichever team is lucky enough to draft him.

What we like… He impresses with exceptional vision, strong puck skills, tactical forechecking, and the ability to create scoring opportunities, underscored by solid defensive play. — FCHockey’s 2024 NHL Draft Guide

23. Toronto Maple Leafs – Charlie Elick, RHD, Brandon Wheat Kings (WHL)
FCHockey rank: 38

The Toronto Maple Leafs need some young size and snarl on their back end, which means they could get Charlie Elick here. Toronto hasn’t been afraid to reach before, and it looks like that strategy worked last season with the Easton Cowan pick. Elick’s outing at the Under-18s was a bit concerning, but he is too gifted physically for someone not to take a chance in the first round.

What we like… He excels in defensive positioning, gap control, and physicality, with fluid skating, strong puckhandling under pressure, and a hard, low shot from the point. — FCHockey’s 2024 NHL Draft Guide

24. Colorado Avalanche – Sacha Boisvert, C, Muskegon Lumberjacks (USHL)
FCHockey rank: 26

Skilled, big-sized centers who can skate are a hot commodity in the league, especially in the Western Conference. The Colorado Avalanche love forwards who can go through you just as easily as they can go around you, making Sacha Boisvert a perfect fit for their system.

What we like… He’s a talented goal-scorer with a powerful, accurate shot, strong stickhandling, excellent hockey sense, solid passing, and impressive poise and situational awareness under pressure. — FCHockey’s 2024 NHL Draft Guide

25. Ottawa Senators – Liam Greentree, RW, Windsor Spitfires (OHL)
FCHockey rank: 23

Apart from Brady Tkachuk, the Senators have mostly the same style forward. Liam Greentree would be a nice switch-up as a big, skilled forward. Greentree’s defensive awareness could use some work if he’s going to be a middle-six forward in the NHL, but his shooting and size will compensate for his faults.

What we like… His elite shot, powerful physical play, excellent puckhandling, strategic playmaking, and ability to create and capitalize on scoring opportunities effectively. — FCHockey’s 2024 NHL Draft Guide

26. Montreal Canadiens – Igor Chernyshov, LW, Dynamo Moscow (KHL)
FCHockey rank: 14

The Canadiens continue their quest to get bigger and more skilled up front. They were disappointed when Demidov failed to drop to them but can snap up Igor Chernyshov to fill the void. Chernyshov split his time between the MHL and KHL this season, recording 28 points (13 goals, 15 assists) in 22 MHL games and four points (three goals, one assist) in 34 KHL games.

What we like… He’s a modern-day power forward who excels in a transitional game on every level and is an excellent two-way forward as well. — FCHockey’s 2024 NHL Draft Guide

27. Carolina Hurricanes – Leo Sahlin Wallenius, LHD, Vaxjo Jr. (J20 Nationell)
FCHockey rank: 40

The Carolina Hurricanes have a lot of defense depth, but most of their core is aging. They also don’t have ones with the same skillset as Leo Sahlin Wallenius. He is average-sized but is an offensive defenseman who excels in transition and puck-moving, as highlighted by his 42 points (11 goals, 31 assists) in 43 games in Sweden’s top junior circuit.

What we like… He excels in puck movement, smart decision-making, strong transitional play, effective offensive facilitation, good stick positioning, and physical net-front defense. — FCHockey’s 2024 NHL Draft Guide

28. Calgary Flames – Jesse Pulkkinen, LHD, JYP, (Liiga)
FCHockey rank: 33

The Flames could add even more defensive depth to their prospect pipeline, and Jesse Pulkkinen is the next best available. He needs to work on his skating, but his 6-foot-6 frame and defensive instincts will make him a force on the Flames back end. The Flames had a player like this before in Nikita Zadorov, but Pulkkinen offers much more offensive upside.

What we like… His his large frame, exceptional anticipation, strong stick handling, smooth skating, effective positioning, bold puck handling, and defensive reliability with strategic playmaking. — FCHockey’s 2024 NHL Draft Guide

29. Dallas Stars – Julius Miettinen, C, Everett Silvertips (WHL)
FCHockey rank: 63

Julius Miettinen could have trouble staying in the first round after missing out on the Under-18s, however the Dallas Stars love their Finnish players and will need depth down the middle once Tyler Seguin and Matt Duchene are no longer on the team, as well as the eventual departure of Joe Pavelski. The Stars still have some depth to allow Miettinen a couple more years of seasoning.

What we like… He is a well-rounded forward with vision, calmness under pressure, intelligent passing, strong off-puck positioning, solid skating and defensive awareness. — FCHockey’s 2024 NHL Draft Guide

30. New York Rangers – Terik Parascak, RW, Prince George Cougars (WHL)
FCHockey rank: 77

The New York Rangers can afford to take a chance on a project at this pick, as no one they take will make an immediate impact in their lineup anyway. Terik Parascak has plenty of offensive skills, but there are red flags with his frame and skating ability. Speed and strength can be fixable issues, under certain circumstances, which make Parascak an intriguing prospect.

What we like… He excels in finding high-danger areas, has a strong and accurate shot, good spatial awareness, and effective puckhandling skills. — FCHockey’s 2024 NHL Draft Guide

31. Anaheim Ducks – Cole Beaudoin, C, Barrie Colts (OHL)
FCHockey rank: 58

The Ducks got their right-handed defenseman at No. 3, so they went with a center at the end of the first round. Cole Beaudoin doesn’t have high offensive upside, but he is a player you’ll win with at the pro level. The Ducks could be looking for some center depth if they end up trading Trevor Zegras, and Beaudoin, ironically, would be the anti-Zegras in terms of style and compete.

What we like… He excels in two-way play with strong board work, physicality, good speed, effective puck protection, aggressive forechecking, and solid defensive awareness. — FCHockey’s 2024 NHL Draft Guide

32. Philadelphia Flyers – Dean Letourneau, C, St. Andrew’s College (CAHS)
FCHockey rank: 135

Dean Letourneau’s upside is too high to avoid him just because he played prep school hockey in Ontario. He is a massive player but skates better than most kids his size. He also has a good offensive skill set. Broad Street will still love guys like Letourneau regardless of how much smaller and less physical the league gets.

What we like… He has impressive size, a fluid stride, sound puckhandling, above-average vision, solid reads, strong reach, net-front presence, and effective puck protection. — FCHockey’s 2024 NHL Draft Guide

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