March 8, 2024

Post NHL Trade Deadline mock for the 2024 NHL Draft

The 2024 NHL Trade Deadline has come and pass, and there are certainly some implications on the 2024 NHL Draft.

Just ask the seven teams that have acquired a first-round pick in the 2024 draft via trade, whether that was ahead of Friday’s deadline, or over the course of transactions leading up to the firm halt of negotiations that came at 3 pm ET on March 8.

And with those transcations completed, there are more than a few fanbases on the outside of the Stanley Cup Playoffs picture that’ll look more towards late June than late April for their next milestone marker.

So we’re mockin’ it up.

Here’s a look, via the post-deadline mock, at how the first round could shake down at the 2024 draft:

1. Chicago Blackhawks – Macklin Celebrini, C, Boston University (NCAA)

The Chicago Blackhawks add another first-line talent with the consensus top prospect in the draft. Macklin Celebrini is a dynamic dual-threat forward who is able to impact the scoresheet with his skill and creativity. He sees the ice well and can distribute to his linemates well with crisp passes, while also owning a high-end shot that allows him to beat netminders from range. Celebrini has all of the makings of a future top-line forward in the NHL, and would look great in Chicago’s top-six alongside Connor Bedard.

“Celebrini has a quick release on his shot and can release the puck while carrying it on the rush, allowing him to catch netminders off guard and score goals from medium range. His slap shot and one-timer add a potent threat to his game on the power play.” – Brandon Holmes, crossover scout

2. San Jose Sharks – Anton Silayev, D, Nizhny Novgorod (KHL)

A towering presence on the blue line, Anton Silayev is the defenseman with top-pair potential that the San Jose Sharks are currently missing in their system. The 6-foot-7 left-shot defenseman has become a KHL regular this year at the age of 17, sticking in Russia’s top professional league due to his rangy, mobile style of play. He skates very well for a player his size, and though he projects more as a defensive-minded blueliner, there still yet be more two-way potential to be unlocked and may be the cornerstone on the back end the Sharks are looking for.

“Silayev has become one of the most talked about prospects in the upcoming draft over the course of this season and it’s not too hard to figure out why. He’s an incredibly mobile and defensively-astute defenseman already eating up minutes on a KHL blue line.” – Jake Janso, crossover scout

3. Anaheim Ducks – Artyom Levshunov, D Michigan State (NCAA)

After trading young right-shot defenseman Jamie Drysdale earlier this year, the Anaheim Ducks quickly replenish the right side of their blue line with Belarusian defenseman Artyom Levshunov. Levshunov is an active and aggressive defender who regularly engaged at both ends of the ice, particularly coming to life on the offensive side of the red line with his willingness to rush pucks and jump into the attack in transition. He may have some inconsistencies to iron out in his defensive game, but he should remind many Ducks fans of current rookie standout Pavel Mintyukov.

“He’s adept at buying time for himself atop the offensive zone with some quick footwork, and up top isn’t shy to punch a puck on net. He has a very whippy shot and he gets it on target with great effectiveness.” – Aaron Vickers, regional scout

4. Columbus Blue Jackets – Ivan Demidov, RW/C, SKA-1946 St. Petersburg (MHL)

The Columbus Blue Jackets select the player with possibly the highest upside in the draft after Celebrini with Ivan Demidov, a remarkably skilled Russian forward who has been torching the Russian junior league this year with 60 points (23 goals, 37 assists) in just 30 games for St. Petersburg. Capable as a finisher, he profiles more as a playmaker with gifted hands and elite vision in the offensive zone, making him a natural complement alongside Columbus’ other young forwards like Adam Fantilli and Kirill Marchenko.

“His puckhandling abilities are among the best I’ve ever seen at this age. He pulls off some of the most complex moves against KHL veterans, both in open ice and along the boards, and makes it look simple.” – Ty Brooks, regional scout

5. Arizona Coyotes – Sam Dickinson, D, London (OHL)

The Arizona Coyotes add another significant piece to the rebuild of their blue line with Sam Dickinson, a mobile and rangy left-shot defenseman who has arguably the most complete game of any rearguard in this class. Dickinson is a highly-mobile two-way defender who allows his mobility to enhance every aspect of his game, allowing him to deny chances on the rush and get active in the offensive zone. Dickinson has top-pair potential and may remind some Coyotes fans of their 2023 first-round selection Dmitri Simashev.

“Dickinson has emerged as one of the Knights’ most leaned-on defenders thanks to his elite skating ability, edgework, and excellent defensive instincts. His mobility in all four directions is near-elite, showing great extension in his strides and the agility to keep tight gaps on quick opponents to drive them towards the boards.” – Joseph Aleong, regional scout

6. Ottawa Senators – Cayden Lindstrom, C/LW, Medicine Hat (WHL)

The Ottawa Senators add a towering power center to their core with the selection of Cayden Lindstrom, a player who blends size and skill to make an impact in the offensive zone. Lindstrom is an increasingly rare breed of player, as he possesses a pro-ready frame with size and strength while also showcasing advanced skill and offensive touch. Lindstrom has everything you look for in a future top-six center, and would look excellent alongside the likes of Tim Stutzle and Brady Tkachuk.

“Lindstrom is a well-rounded power center who blends his size, skill, and smarts to play a very projectable, pro-style game.” – Holmes  

7. Montreal Canadiens – Konsta Helenius, C, Jukurit (Liiga)

The Montreal Canadiens select a mature playmaker in Konsta Helenius, who has the pedigree to be a top-six center solution. Helenius has had an excellent season this year for Jukurit with 36 points (14 goals, 22 assists) in 49 Liiga games, putting him on pace for the fifth-most points by a draft-eligible skater in the history of Finland’s top professional league. Helenius is a skilled and intelligent playmaking center who routinely makes good reads and decisions at both ends of the ice, and would round out Montreal’s forward core nicely alongside Cole Caufield, Nick Suzuki, and Juraj Slafkovsky.

“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.” – Joey Fortin Boulay, regional scout

8. Buffalo Sabres – Zayne Parekh, D, Saginaw (OHL)

The Buffalo Sabres add even more offensive punch to their back end with Zayne Parekh, a right-shot defenseman who’s currently in the midst of a historic offensive season in the OHL. Parekh’s 30 goals rank him second all-time among draft eligible OHL defensemen, while he’s currently on pace to have the most points of a draft-eligible OHL blueliner since Ryan Ellis in 2009. He’s an aggressive and creative attacker with an excellent shot with a defensive game that’s continuing to improve, and would add to a quickly developing defense core with Rasmus Dahlin, Owen Power, and the newly-acquired Bowen Byram.

“Parekh is an ultra-aggressive defender, constantly pushing the pace on offense and showing unusual confidence and vision with the puck for a defender his age. He is an offense-first defenseman, using a powerful but casual-looking stride that generates speed quickly and allows him to jump into the offense and carry the puck with speed into the offensive zone.” – Aleong

9. Minnesota Wild – Zeev Buium, D, University of Denver (NCAA)

The Minnesota Wild add the perfect complement to Brock Faber with the selection of left-shot defenseman Zeev Buium. Buium is a heads-up, mobile blue liner who is also posting a historic season this year in the NCAA with gaudy point totals. His 42 points in 32 games for Denver this year are the most by a draft eligible defenseman in the last 40 years, a total that’s driven by his awareness in the offensive zone and his ability to drive possession through the transition game.

“He uses his physical attributes to his advantage, which is complimented by his strong skating and decision making with the puck. His head is always up scanning the ice to determine his next move.” – Mike Kennedy, regional scout

10. New Jersey Devils – Berkly Catton, C, Spokane (WHL)

After a disappointing 2024 campaign, the New Jersey Devils receive a consolation prize in the form of Berkly Catton, a highly-skilled playmaking center with an underrated two-way skillset. Catton is currently tied for second in WHL scoring this year with 103 points (48 goals, 55 assists) in 60 games, showcasing his excellent offensive vision, high-end skill, and ability in transition offense. Catton is also capable in the faceoff dot and has seen time on Spokane’s penalty kill, and may remind some Devils fans of current star forward Jesper Bratt.

“He shows excellent full-ice vision and is able to spot the second and third wave of attack while under pressure. He consistently has a game plan before the puck hits his stick which aids in his decision making and he rarely gets rattled or frantic.” – Donesh Mazloum, chief scout

11. San Jose Sharks (via PIT) – Cole Eiserman, LW, USNTDP U18 (NTDP)

The Sharks scoop up Cole Eiserman just as he slips out of the top-10, picking up the top pure scorer in the class and a player that’s currently gunning for Caufield’s NTDP goal-scoring record. Eiserman is an elite shooter with a quick release and a multitude of shot types at his disposal, whether that be a quick snapper in stride, a bullet of a wrist shot from range, or a booming one-timer from the circles. Eiserman may have work to do in his own end, but there’s no denying he’s among the top offensive talents in this class and could be a nice fit alongside Will Smith, the No. 4 pick in 2023, in a few years.

“Eiserman is a winger who possesses some elite offensive tools and is absolutely a volume shooter once he works his way over the blue line. He’s able to shoot in stride without any power or efficiency loss, and he’s never hesitating to take the opportunity to put the puck on net.” – Vickers

12. St. Louis Blues – Carter Yakemchuk, D, Calgary (WHL)

The St. Louis Blues pluck a much-needed piece to the future of their blue line with Carter Yakemchuk, an offensive defenseman with high-end skill and vision. He’s a rangy, 6-foot-3 right-shot rearguard who plays with a touch of bite to his game as well. His blend of skill and bite has been on display in the WHL this year with 61 points (26 goals, 35 assists) in 59 games for Calgary, while also racking up 116 penalty minutes in the process.

“Yakemchuk is an extremely intriguing defenseman for both the skills he has now, what he might be able to layer on in the future, and the red flags he has in his game. He’s most certainly a top-15 pick in the 2024 draft to me, but there’s a massive boom-or-bust element in his game teams will undoubtedly be aware of.” – Vickers

13. Seattle Kraken – Adam Jiricek, D, Plzen (Czechia)

The Seattle Kraken snag some defensive depth to their prospect pool with the selection of Adam Jiricek, a well-rounded but raw right-shot defenseman who’s the younger brother of 2022 No. 5 pick David Jiricek. The younger Jiricek is a two-way defenseman who does most things well, with strong four-way mobility, flashes of offensive creativity, and a developing physical game as his frame fills out. Jiricek owns upside as a potential top four defenseman, and would be a nice addition to Seattle’s pool alongside Ryker Evans.

“On the offensive side of the puck, Jiricek does everything with his head up. He skates and scans for outlets, his head up when shooting, and at a standstill at the point he’s looking for his options.” – Vickers

14. Calgary Flames – Tij Iginla, LW, Kelowna (WHL)

The Calgary Flames bring home Tij Iginla, the son of franchise legend Jarome Iginla. In the younger Iginla, they’re getting an offensive force who plays fairly differently than his father, with a game built upon creativity and small-area skill rather than the power game his father was known for. Iginla has been an offensive force for Kelowna this year, scoring 43 goals and 75 points in 57 games this year. Beyond being a nice story, Iginla would be an excellent addition to the future of the Flames’ forward core.

“Iginla is a savant attacker with superior offensive skill and confidence with the puck. He displays high-end awareness as his head is always on a swivel, constantly scanning for lanes and open spaces.” – Fortin Boulay

15. Washington Capitals – Trevor Connelly, LW, Tri-City (USHL)

The Washington Capitals step up and takes American winger Trevor Connelly, a creative offensive-minded forward who is able to make an impact with his high-end skill. Connelly started the season with an excellent Hlinka Gretzky tournament and never looked back, making an impact both internationally for Team USA while also performing as one of the USHL’s best forwards this year in Tri-City. Though some red flags have arose, he’s a dual-threat offensive tool kit has him third in league in scoring with 57 points in 41 games, while also displaying some underrated tenacity on a nightly basis.

“He has good hands and can stickhandle through players to get the puck where he wants it to go. Connelly is dangerous with space in the offense zone and does follow the puck to the net looking for change.” – Chad Carlson, regional scout

16. Chicago Blackhawks (via TB) – Michael Brandsegg-Nygard, RW, Mora IK (SWE-2)

With their second first-round selection the Blackhawks pick up a mature winger for their developing center core with Norwegian winger Michael Brandsegg-Nygard. Brandsegg-Nygard is a heavy, forechecking winger who is able to blend his north-south game with skill and a heavy wrist shot, allowing him to score in multiple ways, whether that be from medium range with his shot or by getting to hard areas of the ice to bank in goals. His puck pursuit and tenacity are plus attributes and would fit beautifully next to Chicago’s growing pool of skilled forward talent.

“Brandsegg-Nygard is a versatile right-shot winger who already exhibits a mature style of play, infusing a significant amount of physicality and tenacity on the ice, making him a challenging opponent.” – Erik Sjolund, regional scout

17. New York Islanders – Liam Greentree, RW, Windsor (OHL)

The New York Islanders add some offensive punch with the addition of Liam Greentree, a highly skilled power forward with pro size and offensive flair. Greentree is a remarkably talented winger, capable of playing both sides and attacks in waves with a blend of power and creativity, showing the willingness to find his way into dirty areas and play in tight spaces.

“Greentree is a dynamic power forward with a diverse skill set that combines size, speed, and exceptional hockey IQ. His game is marked by his dynamic skill set, utilizing his impressive speed and long, strong stride to create plays.” – Blake McGuire, regional scout

18. Philadelphia Flyers – Sacha Boisvert, C, Muskegon (USHL)

The Philadelphia Flyers adds some support down the middle with the selection of Sacha Boisvert, a well-rounded center who can play up and down your lineup. Boisvert’s offensive game is highlighted by flashes of one-on-one skill and a high-end shot, while his game is rounded out by competitiveness and a gritty edge that allows him to get to dirty areas in the offensive zone to make an impact on the scoresheet.

“Boisvert is a smart and heady player with size and skill. His best asset is his hockey sense. He is a smart system-oriented hockey player and can generate opportunities by being in the right spot and capitalizing on mistakes.” – Carlson

19. Vegas Golden Knights – EJ Emery, D, USNTDP U18 (NTDP)

The Vegas Golden Knights adds a piece to their future of their blue line with EJ Emery, a toolsy defensive defenseman with an intriguing upside. Emery’s a 6-foot-3 right-shot defenseman with advanced mobility for a player his size, and is a bit of a throwback with his willingness to lay the body and play with grit in front of his own goal. The mobility makes you wonder if there’s more to give offensively, but he owns a very strong baseline as a modern physical shutdown defenseman.

“Emery has all the tools to be a reliable top-four defender at any level of hockey. He is the guy that everyone wants on their team and that no opposition forward wants to line up against. He plays a simple and efficient game and doesn’t really take any risks in terms of passing or pinching.” – Greyson Goudy, crossover scout

20. Detroit Red Wings – Emil Hemming, RW, TPS (Liiga)

The Detroit Red Wings add some scoring punch with the selection of Emil Hemming, a stocky Finnish winger with skill and a finisher’s touch. Hemming has had a solid rookie campaign in Liiga, splitting time between the top pro league and Finland’s U20 division but making the most of his ice time when he gets it with seven goals and 11 points in 41 Liiga games. He shows flashes of strong small area skill and has a shot that doesn’t require many chances to convert.

“Hemming is very dangerous winger who shines with a great passion for hockey. He’s a puck driver who doesn’t have any problems with zone entries. His shot is one of the best amongst his peers but he also able to create chances for others.” – Arttu Myllymaki, regional scout

21. Nashville Predators – Igor Chernyshov, LW, Dynamo Moskva (MHL)

The Nashville Predators add another Russian to their pool with Igor Chernyshov, a skilled power winger with advanced puck carrying skills. Chernyshov’s size and strengths allows him to beat checks below the hashmarks, showing good puck protection ability and puckhandling skills, while also showing a high-end transition game with skill and smarts that allows him to gain the zone with control and generate offense for his team.

“Chernyshov is a modern-day power forward who excels in a transitional game on every level and is an excellent two-way forward as well. His biggest strength, in my opinion is his, is that transitional game. He doesn’t make mistakes when puck is on his stick.” – Samuel Tirpak, regional scout

22. Los Angeles Kings – Aron Kiviharju, D, HIFK (Liiga)

The Los Angeles Kings add a high-reward prospect to their system with Aron Kiviharju, a highly mobile Finnish defenseman who was once thought of among the top of the 2024 class. Kiviharju is a gifted transition defenseman who can skate pucks himself, but his best asset is his passing ability. He’s capable of sending crisp outlet passes to start the breakout or find teammates in the offensive zone for scoring chances. Injury has sidelined him since late September, but the upside is there when he gets healthy.

“Kiviharju is an elegant defenseman with ultimate playmaking skills. He can pass the puck anywhere on the ice from even the smallest spaces. In addition, he can pass high pucks into empty spaces for wingers at high speed.” – Myllymaki

23. Toronto Maple Leafs – Charlie Elick, D, Brandon (WHL)

The Toronto Maple Leafs add a minute-munching, physical defenseman in Charlie Elick, a 6-foot-3 right-shot defenseman who skates and defends at a high level. Defensemen with size and mobility are in high demand, and Elick checks those boxes with smooth four-way skating ability that allows him to control his gaps well and close on opposing attackers. He plays with an edge to his game as well, making him a desirable presence that most teams are looking to add in today’s NHL.

“Elick is a horse of a two-way right-shot defenseman. He gets up and down the ice quite well for his size. He provides consistency and a steadying presence from the back end.” – Kennedy

24. Anaheim Ducks (via EDM) – Nikita Artamonov, RW/LW, Nizhny Novgorod (KHL)

With their second selection, the Ducks add to their growing wealth of forwards with Russian winger Nikita Artamonov. Artamonov won a consistent role in the KHL this year as an 18-year-old with his blend of skill and energy. He’s an active forward who pressures pucks below the goal line and shows flashes of small area skill, allowing him to penetrate contested areas with the puck and make an impact on the scoresheet.

“Artamonov is a highly-energetic, speedy forward who has a really high offensive upside. He is always involved offensively on a shift-to-shift basis and his game is an example of how you can be an effective player on a professional level even without that high of a hockey IQ.” – Tirpak

25. Carolina Hurricanes – Leo Sahlin Wallenius, D, Växjö J20 (SWE-J20)

The Carolina Hurricanes add to their wealth on defense with Swedish left-shot defenseman Leo Sahlin Wallenius. Sahlin Wallenius is a high-end skater with a smooth stride that allows him to carry pucks with ease. He can push the pace of play through the neutral zone and has shown good offensive smarts throughout the year in the Swedish junior ranks, and will just need to continue working on his overall defensive game and strength to become a regular pro defenseman.

“Sahlin Wallenius is a dangerous player when he is moving at pace. He boasts above-average puck handling abilities, and combines that with his speed to put defenders on their heels in transition.” – David Phillips, crossover scout

26. Colorado Avalanche – Ryder Ritchie, C/RW, Prince Albert (WHL)

The Colorado Avalanche select a tenacious and skilled forward in Ryder Ritchie, a versatile player who can play up and down any lineup. Ritchie has a good offensive mind with strong skill and a capable transition game, but is able to be a difference-maker in the offensive zone with his willingness to get to hard areas on the ice. He competes very hard and would be a natural fit in the top-nine for most NHL clubs, especially for a team like Colorado.

“He is a fluid skater who maintains balance and speed through his edges. They aren’t necessarily quick or agile or explosive from a standstill, but his understanding of momentum combined with his awareness off the rush to find gaps in coverage when using crossovers is excellent.” – Joel Henderson, regional scout

27. Dallas Stars – Beckett Sennecke, RW, Oshawa (OHL)

The Dallas Stars add more skill to their forward group with the selection of Beckett Sennecke, a creative, skilled winger with a developing power dynamic to his game. Sennecke has a 6-foot-2 frame that he’s still adding strength to and filling out, lending upside to his outlook as a pro scorer as he adds strength to his frame and shot. He’s a gifted stickhandler who can make high-end plays with the puck and has shown good playmaking instincts in the OHL this year.

“Sennecke is a talented offensive winger with a strong skillset in multiple facets of the game. He is a multi-dimensional offensive threat with above-average shooting, puck control, and playmaking ability.” – Austin Broad, chief scout

28. Ottawa Senators (via BOS) – Henry Mews, D, Ottawa (OHL)

With their second first-round pick, the Senators select a piece for the right side of their blue line with local product Henry Mews. Mews is a divisive but talented defenseman who shows obvious upside on the offensive side of the puck. He’s a confident and creative player who can make plays with his hands and generate offense from the blue line, and excels as a playmaker with advanced vision with the puck on his stick.

“Mews is a player that loves the puck on his stick, and has the talents to back it up. His standout skill is far and away his playmaking, and it was on full display in this viewing as he would connect on seemingly unavailable passes constantly.” – Brooks

29. New York Rangers – Dean Letourneau, C, St. Andrew’s (CAHS)

The New York Rangers stay true to their identity and select the towering Dean Letourneau, a Canadian power forward who stands at an imposing 6-foot-7. Letourneau towers over his opponents at the Canadian prep level, dominating with his size and puck protection ability, but shows more upside than being merely a bruiser. He skates well for his size, has above-average hands, and looks to make plays with the puck on his stick.

“Letourneau is an absolutely massive right-shot winger who immediately catches the eye because of how physically developed he is. He’s an absolute mountain of a player, and he’s got solid enough skating ability where he’s not just a lug around the ice.” – Vickers

30. Montreal Canadiens (via WPG) – Michael Hage, C/RW, Chicago (USHL)

The Canadiens add more soft skill to their pool with the selection of Michael Hage, a highly skilled center who has stepped into a prominent role for a depleted Chicago team this year. Hage is a very creative and shifty center who looks to find space with his slick one-on-one puck skills, allowing him to find space and open attacking lanes. Hage is capable as a finisher at the junior level, but shows more promise as a facilitator with his high-end playmaking vision.

“He shows excellent spatial awareness with how he’s able to place the puck between his body and the defender, knowing exactly where to place the puck to buy himself time and space in the offensive zone to open up attacking lanes.” – Holmes

31. Calgary Flames (via VAN) – Andrew Basha, LW, Medicine Hat (WHL)

Calgary adds plenty of speed and pace to their pool with Andrew Basha, a speedy playmaking winger who has had an excellent season this year for Medicine Hat. Among the top scorers in this class with 76 points (27 goals, 49 assists) in 57 games, Basha is able to attack in transition with quick bursts of speed and good one-on-one skill. Basha is more of a passer than a finisher, but has shown himself capable this year of scoring goals and plays unafraid of driving to hard areas.

“He’s a natural puck-carrier who can bring the puck through the neutral zone and gain controlled entries in the offensive zone, and has the vision and puck distribution ability to make plays to teammates in the offensive zone.” – Holmes

32. Philadelphia Flyers (via FLA) – Lucas Pettersson, C, MODO J20 (SWE-J20)

With the final pick in the first round, the Flyers take another center in the form of Lucas Pettersson, a highly intelligent two-way center whose game is based on awareness and reads. Pettersson is a capable dual-threat offensive player with a strong shot and capable playmaking instincts, but his 200-foot game is his biggest selling point. He plays a very smart, mature game for a junior-aged player with pro habits in his own end that coaches are bound to love.

“For me, he is one of the smartest players coming out of Sweden this year. He always keeps his head on a swivel to be aware of his surroundings and oncoming opponents.” – Sjolund

Draft order based on current standings, sorted by points percentage entering action on March 8.

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