FCHockey
Staff
January 6, 2024

NHL Draft Notebook: 2024 World Juniors

The 2024 scouting season is in full swing, and there was no shortage of NHL Draft talent at the World Juniors.

The tournament, an unofficial midway point of the draft year, saw over a dozen of first-year eligibles represent their countries at the annual holiday tradition. The showcase featured a lengthy glimpse at the consensus No. 1 for the 2024 draft, talent working their way into the top-half of the first round, and others hoping to earn more than mid-round consideration.

Here’s an extended look at some of their analysis in our latest scouting reports in notebook form from the 2024 World Juniors:

MACKLIN CELEBRINI | F | CANADA | December 12, 2023

PRELIMINARY RANKING: A

Scouting report by Blake McGuire

Macklin Celebrini demonstrated a stellar performance, showcasing an impressive skill set that revolves around his elite hockey sense, dynamic skating, and exceptional playmaking abilities. His greatest strength lies in his elite hockey sense, particularly at high speeds. His adept use of strong edge work, even when flat-footed, allows him to navigate open lanes with precision and speed. This ability to make split-second decisions and capitalize on openings sets him apart as an elite player. A key contributor to his team’s success, Celebrini enhances the performance of his teammates with his strong playmaking abilities. His vision on the ice enables him to execute passes through defenders’ triangles and maintain a high pace. This dynamic skating not only aids him in spinning out of corners with the puck but also facilitates finding open teammates for offensive opportunities. Celebrini’s determination and work ethic are notable aspects of his game, evident in his constant effort across all three zones. His dynamic skating serves as a tool for pressuring opponents, contributing to turnovers on the backcheck. This two-way commitment adds depth to his overall impact on the game. While not known for possessing a powerful shot, Celebrini compensates with a quick release and high accuracy. The potential for increased shot power as he gains size and strength adds another dimension to his already impressive offensive arsenal. Having the opportunity to compete against and alongside some of the world’s top-ranked players, Celebrini’s high hockey IQ and playmaking abilities stand out prominently. In this elite environment, his skills shine, making him a standout player whose contributions elevate the team’s overall performance, showing why he remains the consensus for the No. 1 pick in the 2024 draft.

Full scouting report

KONSTA HELENIUS | F | Finland | January 24, 2024

PRELIMINARY RANKING: A

Scouting report by Joey Fortin Boulay

Konsta Helenius is an intelligent playmaker with sublime play-driving assets and superior skating mechanics. He engages in transition instantly, offering middle-lane presence in all three zones and keeps himself available for pucks, supported by great transition speed through his first steps. His stride is elegant, allowing him to move smoothly in all directions and his edges are crisp as he can spin of stop on a dime with ease, avoiding opponents at will. I though the only setback in his footwork is his top speed acceleration as he could add some power in his strides, but that’ll come with time and development. He plays a solid north-south game and supports defenders well down low, resulting in him gaining his coaches’ trust for defensive faceoffs in the most crucial situations. Helenius displays a calm demeanor and shows patience with the puck, waiting out for lanes to open and not letting pressure affect him. He owns incredible vision and outlet deception, completing precise feeds regularly. He also shows a willingness for physical play at times, but will need to bulk up to win more puck battles. With his performance in the tournament, it’s clear Helenius has top-10 upside in the 2024 draft and could blossom into a top-six center in the NHL.

Full scouting report

LEON MUGGLI | D | Switzerland | January 2, 2024

PRELIMINARY RANKING: B

Scouting report by Erik Sjolund

Leon Muggli is a left-shot two-way defender who played a ton in this game despite being one of the youngest players on the Swiss team. Right of the bat you can see that he is a smooth skater with great mobility and a quick first step who can move up and down the ice effortlessly. His skating enables him to effectively control the gap to his forwards and adjust his pace to match theirs. This is one of his best attributes and he uses it to limit their time and space which makes it difficult for the opposition to move the puck up the ice. Despite not being the most physically developed defender, he doesn’t shy away from using his body to deliver hits and battle along the boards to disrupt play and force turnovers. His physical presence adds an element of grit to his overall game, solidifying him as a contributor at both ends of the ice. Offensively, he usually exits the defensive zone with ease either with a good first pass or by skating the puck into the neutral zone. Additionally, he likes to join the rush any time he can to try and establish offensive zone pressure. He has got a quick wrister which he used a couple of times from the blue line, and he used his mobility to create an open lane before pulling the trigger. In terms of improvement areas, I noticed that he tends to play the puck elevated from the ice when he’s pressured. It can be useful in certain situations to escape the oncoming pressure, but it appears to be a recurring habit. Over time, this tendency could become an issue as he’s either just throwing the puck away or making it more difficult for his teammates to receive the pass and quickly gain control of the puck. This was my first-time watching Muggli play and I have to say that he really impressed me. From this one viewing I couldn’t find any significant flaws, with his elevated passing being the only notable concern. As with most young defenders he would benefit from adding some muscle to his frame but since he’s already contributing with physicality and playing regularly in the Swiss first division, I don’t see this being an issue down the line. With continued development and senior experience, he has the potential to develop into a potential No. 4 to bottom-pair defender and a dynamic two-way force at the highest level. This could see him garnering some attention as early as the second round of the 2024 draft.

Full scouting report

TOMAS GALVAS | D | Czechia | December 29, 2023

PRELIMINARY RANKING: B

Scouting report by Aaron Vickers

Tomas Galvas is an undersized defenseman who has plenty of positive characteristics in his overall approach and play despite the hindrance of his frame. He’s a fluid skater who is able to create time and space for himself at both ends of the ice with his shiftiness. Galvas isn’t shy to defend and is efficient in scanning around to read where the incoming threats are attacking from before retrieving the puck. He’s frequently on pucks first in his own end, but is susceptible to being boxed out and can be forced into turnovers by behind spun around by forecheckers. He has the understanding and compete level, generally, but perhaps not the full physical characteristics to execute how he wants to defend at this stage of his development. There are also issues with boxing out opponents in front of the net. This, potentially, will be course corrected simply by physically maturing and adding strength. Battling the size element and defensive issues is some offensive upside. Glavas isn’t shy to work himself down low deep in the offensive zone to orchestrate or continue scoring forays, and can be deceptive in his offensive generation with his slick hands and edgework. This element of his game doesn’t come without its own hiccups, however, as his risk-reward analysis on the fly could use some refinement. In other words, his situational awareness on when to attack in terms of the time and circumstance in the game isn’t always up to par. Still, Galvas is one to keep an eye on in my books as a player that might be able to develop into an offensive-minded bottom-pairing defenseman, and I would start to consider him as a selection in the late third or early fourth rounds of the 2024 draft.

Full scouting report

ZEEV BUIUM | D | Team USA | December 31, 2023

PRELIMINARY RANKING: B

Scouting report by Aaron Vickers

Zeev Buium is a blueliner with some elite offensive flair. His skating is impressive and his edgwork is phenomenal — he’s able to cut back and weave through the neutral zone. It’s hard to remember that he’s also got really good size with how he’s able to move out on the ice. With the puck, Buium is able to manipulate the defense when in possession with the puck at the top of the offensive zone, and he shows great patience and little panic with the puck on his stick. He never seems flat-footed in the offensive zone, either. He ensures he’s always moving around, even if it’s subtle, in order to react quicker to developing plays. He’s more than comfortable to work slightly tucked inside the blue line with his calm, quick hands. He doesn’t take unnecessary chances, but also doesn’t allow any real threats of having the puck poked away off his stick. There’s good geometry in his game when it comes to bank-passes when breaking the puck out, almost always end up right on the tape of his outlet. When he chooses to haul the puck up ice, Buium is deceptive moving through the middle and feels like an automatic zone entry when he carries the puck through the neutral zone. There wasn’t a lot of defending on display in this game, but Buium seemed more than adequate on that front. His skating ability rarely has him beat wide, and an active stick and good reach keeps attackers at bay. He’s able to battle for pucks on the boards and has a general understanding of how to quickly squash plays. With the entire package he presents, Buium is almost certainly a first-round pick in the 2024 draft with top-pairing upside.

Full scouting report

MICHAEL BRANDSEGG-NYGARD | F | Norway | December 27, 2023

PRELIMINARY RANKING: A

Scouting report by Mike Kennedy

Michael Brandsegg-Nygard is a big, power winger with an explosive skating stride and superior agility. I was impressed with his elusiveness and use of his big frame to shield the puck from opposing players. He gets up and down the ice extremely well. Brandsegg-Nygard forces defenders to burn energy while attempting to slow him down or strip him of the puck. I really noticed his motor and how he draws lots of attention which in turn opens up the ice for his linemates. In one-on-one situations while driving into the attacking zone he demonstrates great puck skills and deception. He was used on Norway’s top power play unit on the point. His shot is hard and heavy with a tricky release point. Norway was badly outmatched in this game and it was difficult for Brandsegg-Nygard to fully showcase his abilities, however he clearly is the best player on his team with a promising future in hockey. He can continue to develop his consistency and play away from the puck. Though he is certainly a hard worker and committed to playing well on both sides of the puck. Working on further rounding out his skill set will pay dividends. Brandsegg-Nygard projects to become a top-six forward at the NHL level. It is reasonable to suggest that he will be selected in the first round of the 2024 draft.

Full scouting report


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