April 28, 2024

Pre-lottery mock for the 2024 NHL Draft

The 2023-24 season has come to a close and the 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs are in full swing for 16 successful teams, while the remaining 16 clubs have turned attention has firmly been on the 2024 NHL Draft and what’s to come at the top-half of the first round. So it’s time to mock it up.

That anticipation is just amplified by the fact the 2024 NHL Draft Lottery date has been set for Tuesday, May 7 at NHL Network’s Secaucus, NJ, studio.

It’ll lock in the order of the opening 16 picks and set the destination, potentially, for consensus No. 1 pick Macklin Celebrini.

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

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

The San Jose Sharks select the consensus No. 1 prospect in Celebrini, a dynamic offensive forward who led Boston University in scoring this year with 32 goals and 64 points in just 38 games. In Celebrini, the Sharks get a well-rounded offensive force who can shoot, distribute, play with pace and skill, and line up at his natural center position or on the wing. Celebrini became the youngest player ever to win the Hobey Baker as the Nation’s top collegiate player at just 17-years-old, and appears to be destined for NHL stardom.

“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.” – FCHockey crossover scout Brandon Holmes

2. Chicago Blackhawks – Ivan Demidov, RW/C, SKA-1946 St. Petersburg (MHL)

The Chicago Blackhawks take a big swing on skill and upside with the selection of Ivan Demidov, a slick, creative forward who has the highest offensive ceiling in this draft outside of Celebrini. Demidov would be a perfect complement on the wing with an elite shooter like Connor Bedard, as he’s a gifted playmaker with elite vision, skill, and elusiveness. Demidov has been simply too good for the Russian junior ranks this year with 60 points (23 goals, 37 assists) in 30 regular season games before tallying 28 points (11 goals, 17 assists) in 17 playoff games, and he appears to be one of the next big talents coming out of Russia over the next few years.

“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.” – FCHockey regional scout Ty Brooks

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

After the trade of Jamie Drysdale earlier this season, the Anaheim Ducks replenish the right side of their blossoming blue line with the selection of Artyom Levshunov. Levshunov is a talented two-way defenseman who came into the year more developed on the offensive side of the puck with on-puck confidence and skill, but showed great growth throughout this year into a well-rounded, all-situations defender who shows potential as a minute-munching top-pair defenseman at the next level.

“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.” – FCHockey crossover scout Aaron Vickers

4. Columbus Blue Jackets – Sam Dickinson, D, London (OHL)

The Columbus Blue Jackets add another pillar to the future of their defense with Sam Dickinson, a left-shot defenseman with arguably the most well-rounded tool kit among this year’s rearguard crop. Dickinson checks many of the boxes teams look for in top-pair defensemen, with pro-ready size, athleticism, and two-way acumen that allows him to eat up big minutes and play in all situations.

“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.” – FCHockey regional scout Joseph Aleong

5. Montreal Canadiens – Cayden Lindstrom, C, Medicine Hat (WHL)

The Montreal Canadiens add a powerful center with Cayden Lindstrom, a versatile pivot with pro-ready size and skill. Lindstrom is strong on pucks and is very difficult to beat in tight areas, showcasing elite puck protection ability and good small area skill to work his way into scoring areas or generate offense for his linemates off the cycle.

“He truly is a unicorn bringing both elite skill and size to the table, not often you see a player who can do everything. He has a 6-foot-5 frame, loves to punish his opponents and effectively screens the goalie which gives him reigns to the net-front on the first power play unit.” – FCHockey crossover scout Brody Melsted

6. Utah Hockey Club – Anton Silayev, D, Nizhny Novgorod (KHL)

With their first selection in franchise history, the Utah Hockey Club selects a massive Russian defender in Anton Silayev. Silayev played his way into a prominent role in the KHL this year, averaging over 20 minutes a night on Novgorod’s blue line by season’s end. He’s a plus skater for a player his size, allowing him to make the most of his 6-foot-7, 207-pound frame to close gaps on attackers quickly and cause turnovers.

“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.” – FCHockey Russian scout Jake Janso

7. Ottawa Senators – Zayne Parekh, D, Saginaw (OHL)

The Ottawa Senators adds a potent offensive weapon to their backend with the selection of Zayne Parekh, an active offensive defenseman who put together one of the best draft eligible seasons in OHL history with 96 points (33 goals, 63 assists) in 66 games. Parekh is a mobile right-shot defender who is constantly probing for offense when he’s on the ice, taking opportunities to join the rush or put pucks on net from the blue line whenever they present themselves.

“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

8. Seattle Kraken – Zeev Buium, D, University of Denver (NCAA)

The Seattle Kraken add a high-end piece to the future of their blue line with Zeev Buium, a smooth and intelligent defenseman who’s coming off a National championship with Denver this season. Buium was a massive part of the title run, with a package that includes smooth four-way mobility, poise with the puck on his stick, and advanced offensive vision that allowed him to post the highest-scoring season by a draft-eligible defenseman in NCAA history with 50 points (11 goals, 39 assists) in 42 games.

“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.” – FCHockey regional scout Mike Kennedy

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

A story that’s too good to not root for, the Calgary Flames bring home the son of a franchise legend with the selection of Tij Iginla. Iginla shares his father’s competitive motor, allowing him to make up for his average frame and fight his way into scoring areas. Iginla’s a natural goal-scorer who can contribute in a number of ways, showing high-end small area skill that allows him to score in close while also having a strong shot that allows him to beat goalies from range as well.

“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.” – FCHockey regional scout Joey Fortin Boulay

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

After loading up on defense in recent drafts, the New Jersey Devils add a highly-skilled center to their mix with the selection of Berkly Catton. Catton is an incredibly fun and exciting player to watch, with a creative spark to his game that allows him to change a game with one trip down the ice. He’s a gifted stickhandler with elite playmaking vision, while also having an underrated two-way game with good reads and ability in the faceoff dot.

“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.” – FCHockey chief Western scout Donesh Mazloum

11. Buffalo Sabres – Konsta Helenius, C, Jukurit (Liiga)

The Buffalo Sabres add a mature playmaking center to their crop of young forwards with the selection of Konsta Helenius. Helenius made an immediate impact in the Finnish Liiga this year, posting 36 points (14 goals, 22 assists) in 51 games while playing against men in Liiga — Finland’s top professional league. Helenius is a very intelligent and mature player for his age, showcasing great poise and strong decision-making with the puck on his stick.

“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.” – Fortin Boulay

12. Philadelphia Flyers – Carter Yakemchuk, D, Calgary (WHL)

The Philadelphia Flyers add a high-energy defenseman whose style of play would be quickly embraced in Philadelphia with the selection of the right-shot blueliner Carter Yakemchuk. Yakemchuk is an exciting presence when he’s on the ice, bringing an aggressive style of play at both ends of the ice. He’s a confident player who loves to press for offense while also playing with a hard edge to his game, willing to throw his weight around and lay open ice hits on opposing attackers.

“Yakemchuk is an offensive defenseman with outstanding vision and playmaking skills, with his hockey IQ standing out as his most notable attribute. His ability to scan the ice and anticipate plays, always thinking one step ahead, is impressive, making him a top defenseman in the class.” – Melsted

13. Minnesota Wild – Cole Eiserman, LW, USNTDP U18 (NTDP)

The Minnesota Wild select American-born sniper Cole Eiserman as he slides outside of the top-10, picking up a player who is currently attempting to chase down Cole Caufield’s all-time NTDP scoring record. Eiserman is a pure sniper in every sense, with strong offensive reads that allow him to get into scoring position. He has a number of shot types at his disposal, and is able to score with both a heavy one-timer from the circles or with a snappy wrist shot while attacking on the rush.

“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

14. San Jose Sharks (via PIT) – Michael Brandsegg-Nygard, RW, Mora IK (SWE-2)

With their second selection, the Sharks pick up Michael Brandsegg-Nygard — a tenacious Norwegian winger who uses his motor and intelligence to make an impact in the offensive zone. Brandsegg-Nygard is a relentless puck-hound who closes distance on opposing defenders quickly on the forecheck. He has an active stick that allows him to cause turnovers and has a heavy snap shot that he uses to capitalize on the havoc he creates for his opponents.

“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.” – FCHockey regional scout Erik Sjolund

15. Detroit Red Wings – Liam Greentree, RW, Windsor (OHL)

The Detroit Red Wings add a talented offensive piece to their pool with the selection of Windsor captain Liam Greentree, a versatile winger who plays with a tantalizing blend of power and skill. Greentree plays with a pro frame and has a dynamic skill game for a player his size, as he’s able to handle in tight spaces and has a high-end offensive brain that allowed him to put up 90 points (36 goals, 54 assists) in 64 games this year.

“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.” – FCHockey regional scout Blake McGuire

16. St. Louis Blues – Adam Jiricek, D, Plzen (Czechia)

The St. Louis Blues pick up a piece for the future of their top four defense core with right-shot Czech defender Adam Jiricek. Jiricek missed the second half of the season after sustaining an injury at the 2024 World Juniors, but when healthy he’s a well-rounded two-way defenseman who was able to hold down a consistent role in Czechia’s top professional league. He’s still raw in some aspects, but his tools all grade out as NHL quality and he still has plenty of room to grow into his rangy 6-foot-2 frame.

“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

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

The Washington Capitals select a highly-skilled American winger with Trevor Connelly, one of this year’s standouts from the USHL. Connelly is a dual-threat forward who is equally capable as a distributor and a finisher, showcasing advanced offensive vision and creativity when the puck is on his stick. He shoots the puck well and can make crisp passes through tight spaces to set up scoring chances for his teammates.

“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.” – FCHockey regional scout Chad Carlson

18. New York Islanders – Beckett Sennecke, RW, Oshawa (OHL)

The New York Islanders take a skilled power winger in Beckett Sennecke, a creative player who is in the midst of a productive OHL playoff run with Oshawa. Sennecke has a 6-foot-2 frame that he’s still growing into, but he’s a rangy player who can protect pucks with his reach and stickhandle through crowds below the hashmarks. He sees the ice well and is a natural distributor, while also having an above average finishing skillset.

“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.” – FCHockey chief Ontario scout Austin Broad

19. Vegas Golden Knights – Michael Hage, C, Chicago (USHL)

The Vegas Golden Knights nab a highly-skilled center in Michael Hage, a Canadian playing in the USHL who ended the season as one of the league’s hottest players, scoring 17 points (seven goals, 10 assists) in his final 10 games. Hage is able to make an impact in the offensive zone with his blend of smarts and creativity, able to identify attacking lanes quickly with his high-end offensive vision. He’s a shifty, skilled player who can distribute to his linemates well with crisp, accurate passes.

“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

20. Chicago Blackhawks (via TB) – Aron Kiviharju, D, HIFK (Liiga)

With Chicago’s second pick in the first round, they select a smooth-skating Finnish defenseman in Aron Kiviharju. Kiviharju has fallen from his status as an elite prospect in this class and, though there are doubts he has a true elite upside, his highly-mobile style of game makes him a natural puck-mover and he’s a natural fit as a power-play quarterback with his offensive zone vision. Kiviharju missed a large portion of the season with injury, but a strong World Under-18s showing could vault him back up draft boards.

“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.” – FCHockey regional scout Arttu Myllymaki

21. Los Angeles Kings – EJ Emery, D, USNTDP U18 (NTDP)

The Los Angeles Kings select a player who fits the archetype of a modern shutdown defenseman with American defender EJ Emery. Emery is a rangy rearguard who is able to leverage his 6-foot-3 frame with his advanced mobility to cover a lot of ice quickly, making him a natural transition defender with excellent gap control, stick work, and a physical bite to his game.

“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.” – FCHockey crossover scout Greyson Goudy

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

The Nashville Predators bolster their depth on the wings with Russian power winger Igor Chernyshov. Chernyshov is a skilled power forward who is able to transition pucks through the neutral zone effectively and work off the cycle with his puck-protection skills and poised puck play. Chernyshov sees the ice very well, allowing him to both distribute to teammates or find his way into soft areas of coverage to make himself a shooting threat.

“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 that transitional game. He doesn’t make mistakes when puck is on his stick.” – FCHockey crossover scout Samuel Tirpak

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

The Toronto Maple Leafs continue to build their new hard-nosed identity with the selection of Charlie Elick, a mean, physical defenseman who excels primarily on the defensive side of the puck but has puck-moving capabilities and a good stride. Elick is a big-bodied right-shot defender standing at 6-foot-3 and nearly 200 pounds, and he’s not afraid to use his size to clear the net-front, close off attackers along the boards, or get involved in physical battles.

“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 pool of talented forwards with Russian winger Nikita Artamonov, a player that any coach is going to love. He’s a workmanlike forward who plays with a high motor on a shift-by-shift basis. He works hard at both ends of the ice to support his defensemen and centers in breakups and on the breakout, and reads off his teammates on the cycle to generate offense.

“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. Colorado Avalanche – Andrew Basha, LW, Medicine Hat (WHL)

The Colorado Avalanche bring more speed to their prospect pool with the selection of Andrew Basha, a fleet-of-foot winger who is constantly looking to push the pace of play when he’s on the ice. Basha is a gifted attacker on the rush as he’s able to make plays at full speed with the puck on his stick. He sees the ice well and can distribute to teammates to gain controlled zone entries, and works hard to get to contested areas and make up for his lack of size.

“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

26. Ottawa Senators (via BOS) – Sacha Boisvert, C, Muskegon (USHL)

The Senators add more punch to the center ice position with their second swing, opting for the versatile Sacha Boisvert. Boisvert is a swiss-army knife who can play up and down any lineup, with two-way acumen and a strong work ethic that allows him to make an impact in his own zone and win pucks in contested areas while also having an advanced skill game with top six upside at the NHL level.

“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

27. Calgary Flames (via VAN) – Alfons Freij, D, Växjö J20 (SWE-J20)

Calgary adds some high-end offensive punch to their future of their blue line with the selection of Alfons Freij with their second first-round pick. Freij is a left-shot defenseman who possesses elite mobility and leverages that ability to push the pace of play and join the attack from the back end. He’s a skilled and creative defenseman who is constantly looking to make a play with the puck on his stick, and has a natural power-play quarterback’s skillset.

“He’s more than willing to insert himself into the offense in all stations, whether it be off the rush acting as a fourth forward or sliding down on lengthier possessions in the opponent’s end, acting as a rover at times. There’s an element of creativity in his game as he senses how plays are going to develop and how he can help facilitate that offense.” – Vickers

28. Philadelphia Flyers (via FLA) – Maxim Masse, RW, Chicoutimi (WHL)

Philadelphia adds another player who fits that classic Flyers identity with their second selection in the energetic Maxim Masse. Masse is a hard-working winger who gets in aggressively on the forecheck to find loose pucks and plays unafraid at the net-front, working his way into dirty areas to find rebounds and deflect pucks on goal. He works well off the cycle and has a lot of pro habits that help generate offense when playing off of his teammates.

“Masse is an energetic forward who always leaves everything on the ice. In the offensive zone, he tends to be close to the net at all times, from where he tips pucks, puts rebounds in, screens the goalie, and reacts to loose pucks in corners.” – Myllymaki

29. Montreal Canadiens (via WPG) – Emil Hemming, RW, TPS (Liiga)

Montreal adds more scoring punch with their second pick of the first round with the selection of Finnish winger Emil Hemming. Hemming is an effective north-south player who plays unafraid of driving to hard, contested areas on the ice. He can find pucks around the goal mouth, create turnovers on the forecheck, and has a heavy shot that allows him to beat netminders from the circles.

“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.” – Myllymaki

30. Carolina Hurricanes – Ryder Ritchie, C/RW, Prince Albert (WHL)

The Carolina Hurricanes select a tenacious and versatile forward who fits their team identity up front with Ryder Ritchie. Ritchie is a player who can play all over a pro lineup, with a high motor that makes him an effective 200-foot option as he’s willing to dig for loose pucks and cause turnovers. He possesses strong tools with good top speed and agility while also showing high-end small area skill on occasion.

“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.” – FCHockey regional scout Joel Henderson

31. Dallas Stars – Dominik Badinka, D, Malmö (SHL)

The Dallas Stars net a defenseman with a well-rounded and blossoming tool kit with the right-shot Dominik Badinka, a rangy Czech blueliner who saw time in Sweden’s top pro league this year. Badinka moves very well for his size and is a very confident player with the puck on his stick, willing to jump in and join the attack from the offensive blue line. He has some work to do on his defensive game, but he’s a physical player who simply needs more experience against pro competition to reach his full potential.

“One of the first things that strike me when I watch him play is how confident he is with the puck. He doesn’t seem to get stressed when he gets pressured, which allows him to make rational decisions and care for the puck once he’s got it.” – Sjolund

32. New York Rangers – Jett Luchanko, RW/C, Guelph (OHL)

The New York Rangers select an intelligent and versatile forward in Jett Luchanko, a mobile, speedy playmaker who can line up at both wing and center. Luchanko makes very strong reads while in the offensive zone, able to find teammates with smart, efficient passes or deliver pucks through tight windows into high-danger scoring areas, while also owning a very underrated shooting game himself.

“His high hockey IQ is evident in his ability to locate open pockets of the ice and high-scoring areas, showcasing a keen understanding of the game. Luchanko, when in possession of the puck in the offensive zone, leverages his strong skating and speed to generate plays and open passing lanes.” – McGuire

More Stories

June 30, 2024

Scout Survey: The biggest hits and misses from the 2024 NHL Draft

June 29, 2024

Here are the top steals on the second day of the 2024 NHL Draft

June 29, 2024

Here are the top prospects not selected at the 2024 NHL Draft

Get insider content and scouting reports you can’t find anywhere else.

Sign up now