NHL Draft prospects 2024: Updated big board of top 30 players, ranked from Macklin Celebrini to E.J. Emery

With the Draft Lottery set for Tuesday, the first 16 picks of the 2024 NHL Draft are about to be finalized.  

Tuesday night will decide the winner of the Macklin Celebrini sweepstakes. The Boston University product has long been viewed as the No. 1 pick in the draft class, and he’s a near-lock to hear his name called first on draft night. 

However, after him, there are plenty of names that fans should get to know. Prospects have been moving up and down in mock drafts and scouts’ final rankings all year. It’s no different at The Sporting News. 

Let’s dive right into the top 30 prospects for the 2024 NHL Draft. 

NHL MOCK DRAFT: Sharks land Macklin Celebrini, Blackhawks pair Connor Bedard with Ivan Demidov

NHL Draft prospects 2024: Big board of top 30 players

1. Macklin Celebrini, Boston University (NCAA)

  • Position: C
  • Height: 6-0
  • Weight: 190 lbs

Macklin Celebrini may not be the kind of generational prospect Connor Bedard was last year, but he was viewed as the consensus No. 1 pick entering the 2023-24 season, and all he did was solidify himself ahead of the rest of the pack. The BU center became just the fourth freshman ever to win the Hobey Baker Award as the top player in college hockey, finishing third in the nation in points and second in goals. 

He’s a goal scorer, he’s a playmaker, and he also brings it on both ends of the ice. Celebrini has all the makings of a top-line center in the NHL, and he’ll be a slam-dunk pick for whoever wins the lottery. 

2. Ivan Demidov, SKA St. Petersburg (MHL)

  • Position: RW
  • Height: 5-11
  • Weight: 181 lbs

For the second consecutive year, Ivan Demidov dominated at the junior level in Russia. He put up better numbers than Nikita Kucherov did when he was Demidov’s age, averaging 2.0 points per game in the regular season. 

A crafty playmaker, the winger carries a high motor and is a pain to play against in one-on-one battles due to his immense skill. The biggest knock on the Russian winger is that he is far from a smooth skater, drawing comparisons to Jeff Skinner, but Demidov undoubtedly possesses elite offensive talent. 

3. Artyom Levshunov, Michigan State (NCAA)

  • Position: D
  • Height: 6-2
  • Weight: 208 lbs

Simply put, Artyom Levshunov is a force on the ice at both ends. In his first season at Michigan State, the Belarussian native finished second on the Spartans in points. His skating is phenomenal, which is a key component as to why he’s so good at getting the puck out of his own zone.

Levshunov’s biggest knock entering college was his work on defense, but he has progressed extremely well in that category. The fact that he’s a right-handed defenseman, a novelty in today’s NHL, also can’t be overlooked.

4. Zeev Buium, Denver (NCAA)

  • Position: D
  • Height: 6-0
  • Weight: 183 lbs

The longer the season progressed, the better Zeev Buium got. He was viewed as a potential late first-round pick entering this season, but now, he very well could end up being the first defenseman selected in an incredibly deep class at the position. He handles the puck with ease, he works a blue line better than most his age, and he is dangerous in 1-on-1 attacks. Buium’s skating is a big part of why he’s successful.

There’s a reason why USA won gold at World Juniors and why Denver won the NCAA championship, and Buium was a key cog for both squads. 

5. Anton Silayev, Torpedo (KHL)

  • Position: C
  • Height:
  • Weight:

Teams simply do not find players of Silayev’s size at his age. At 6-7, he’s a monster on the ice, and he spent the entirety of the season playing in the KHL. He skates incredibly well for a defenseman his size and handles the puck well, but there isn’t much that suggests he’ll provide a ton of offensive output in the NHL. Still, he’s shaping up to be a shutdown option in the pros. 

6. Cayden Lindstrom, Medicine Hat (WHL)

  • Position: C
  • Height: 6-3
  • Weight: 210 lbs

Cayden Lindstrom has a lot of the tools that made Adam Fantilli appealing in the 2023 draft. The Medicine Hat center owns a lethal shot and can play on the edge, using his size and strength to muscle defenders off the puck or get in front of the net to cause havoc. Injuries caused a bit of a decline for Lindstrom to end the season, but he projects to be one of the safer picks at forward in this class. 

7. Berkly Catton, Spokane (WHL)

  • Position: C
  • Height: 5-10
  • Weight: 170 lbs

When the puck is on his stick, Berkley Catton is a weapon. He can toy with defenders, baiting them to get in close before either using his edge work to cut around them or his playmaking ability to pass it off to a teammate. He was fourth in the WHL in scoring, showcasing a balanced ability to make an impact on offense. Catton is pesky defensively with stick lifts, but he can use some more work in his own zone. Teams shouldn’t shy away from taking Catton due to his smaller stature, either. 

8. Sam Dickinson, London (OHL)

  • Position: D
  • Height: 6-2
  • Weight: 199 lbs

One of the best skaters in the draft, Sam Dickinson stood out on a deep London team this year and last. The defenseman uses his legs to be effective both offensively and defensively, and he also has a thunderous slap shot. His defensive work is levels above the rest of prospects at his age, as he’s positionally sound in his own zone and uses an active stick to break up plays. Dickinson is as well-rounded of a defenseman as you can ask for in a prospect. 

9. Cole Eiserman, USA U18 (NTDP)

  • Position: C
  • Height: 6-0
  • Weight: 195 lbs

Cole Eiserman is an elite goal scorer in every sense of the term. He just has that “it” factor when he’s around the net, and his team has a chance to capitalize. He’s capable of scoring from any angle, any distance, and in any situation, and his pair of silky mitts makes him even more dangerous. The biggest concern with Eiserman is … everything else. Outside of scoring, there is work to be done in all areas, including his skating, his defensive work, and his play off the puck. But again, you simply can’t teach his ability to score at a high level. 

10. Zayne Parekh, Saginaw (OHL)

  • Position: D
  • Height: 6-0
  • Weight: 179 lbs

Zayne Parekh is an intriguing case. He started his OHL career as an all-offensive blue liner who was a negative player in his own zone. While there is still work to be done defensively at some point, what Parekh brings offensively has to outweigh his defensive deficiencies. The Saginaw defenseman lit up the OHL this year, showcasing an elite ability to create with the puck on his stick. He plays with aggression and confidence, and any team that needs offense generated from the back end would love to have a player like Parekh on their team. 

11. Carter Yakemchuk, Calgary (WHL)

  • Position: D
  • Height: 6-3
  • Weight: 201 lbs

Carter Yakemchuk showed this season the ability to do things better than most everyone else at his position. He can score goals aplenty as a defenseman, and he also takes a ton of penalties. Yakemchuk’s shot is without a doubt his best weapon, using it to light the lamp more than 30 times this season for Calgary. He can dance around defenders with ease, making him a constant threat with the puck.

12. Michael Brandsegg-Nygaard, Mora (HockeyAllsvenskan)

  • Position: RW
  • Height: 6-1
  • Weight: 198 lbs

Norway has never produced a prospect like Michael Brandsegg-Nygaard. The right winger is incredibly well-rounded with few holes in his game. He does a lot of things well, including scoring from range and handling the puck. While he may not possess that one elite-level skill, there is so much to like about Brandsegg-Nygard’s all-around game. The fact that he’s been as effective as he has while playing against older competition bodes well for his NHL projection. 

13. Konsta Helenius, Jukurit (Liiga)

  • Position: C
  • Height: 6-1
  • Weight: 198 lbs

Konsta Helenius is undoubtedly one of the smartest players in the 2024 draft class. The Finnish center creates a ton of offense for himself and his teammates thanks to his elite passing ability and awareness in all zones. He isn’t the most dynamic center, but he plays an intelligent two-way game. Helenius also has shown versatility in his ability to play both wing and center. Like Brandsegg-Nygaard, the fact that Helenius has excelled against players older than him should help raise his draft stock. 

14. Tig Iginla, Kelowna, (WHL)

  • Position: C
  • Height: 6-0
  • Weight: 182 lbs

Before getting into the player, yes, Tig is related to that Iginla. The center prospect is the son of former NHL star Jarome Iginla, hailing from a hockey family. Iginla catapulted up the draft rankings thanks to a breakout season with Kelowna, and he has a chance to potentially sneak into the top 10. He is a superb skater with standout puck skills that make him dangerous in transition. Iginla never shies away from getting in on the forecheck, and his snap shot has developed into arguably his best weapon. 

15. Michael Hage, Chicago (USHL)

  • Position: C
  • Height: 6-1
  • Weight: 187 lbs

Injuries last season hurt Hage’s draft stock heading into this season, and an inconsistent 2023-24 with Chicago may not help. However, the tools are there with Michael Hage. He’s a true center who can make defenses pay with his shot and his passing ability. When Hage is on, he’s on, and it’s hard for the opposition to contain him thanks to his skating and hands. 

16. Liam Greentree, Windsor, (OHL)

  • Position: RW
  • Height: 6-2
  • Weight: 207 lbs

Liam Greentree may not be fleet of foot, but he’s a strong prospect who gets into the gritty areas. The Windsor forward is poised under pressure and makes the right decisions, finding his teammates and escaping tricky situations. He also carries an above-average shot that can finish from mid-range. Greentree doesn’t have the dynamic offensive toolset to be a high first-round pick, but his makeup screams potential. 

17. Beckett Sennecke, Oshawa (OHL)

  • Position: RW
  • Height: 6-2
  • Weight: 177 lbs

Beckett Sennecke is a bigger winger who possesses a ton of skill. He brings a really smart game to the ice, which helps him create offense with his teammates. His point totals in the regular season with Oshawa didn’t necessarily correlate with his play, but Sennecke finished with a strong showing in the OHL playoffs. He loves to go at defenders 1 on 1, which likely needs to be toned down for the pros  — and his defense/backchecking needs improvement — but his talent with the puck makes him stand out. 

18. Adam Jiricek, Plzen (Czech Extraliga)

  • Position: D
  • Height: 6-2
  • Weight: 178 lbs

The younger brother of Blue Jackets prospect David Jiricek, Adam Jiricek is right-shot defenseman with strong skating that makes him effective on puck retrievals. Like his older brother did in his draft, Jiricek suffered a major injury at the World Juniors, knocking him out of the rest of the season. There is certainly some concern with taking the defenseman given the injury history, but he has a lot of tools that scouts like, including his mobility and his aggressiveness on both ends of the ice. Jiricek’s talent is raw, but he can be unlocked in the right setting. 

19. Trevor Connelly, Tri-City (WHL)

  • Position: LW
  • Height: 6-1
  • Weight: 156 lbs

Connelly is the most polarizing prospect in this draft class. He excels in transition, as his nifty pair of mitts helps him weave through defenders with grace, and his superb skating gets him to accelerate around his opposition. His offensive ability is dynamic, but Connelly comes with multiple red flags about his character, including issues with teammates and an alleged incident with racial slurs. From a hockey standpoint, he’s a sure first-rounder who could go in the top 15, but his extra baggage may drop him far down the round. 

20. Igor Chernyshov, Dynamo Moscow (KHL)

  • Position: LW
  • Height: 6-2
  • Weight: 191 lbs

Igor Chernyshov is a big, well-rounded Russian who excels at puck protection, making him a constant headache in 1-on-1 situations for defenders. He carries a variety of tools in his arsenal, although there may not be one that stands out among the rest. The winger competes hard and uses his size to his advantage. Chernyshov has the build for a prototypical power forward in the NHL, and he’ll get the time to hone his skills for a couple more years in the KHL. 

21. Aron Kiviharju, HIFK (Liiga)

  • Position: D
  • Height: 5-9
  • Weight: 170 lbs

It feels like there has been no name in the 2024 draft class discussed for as long as Aron Kiviharju has. Once viewed as a candidate to go first overall, the Finnish defenseman hasn’t progressed as much as imagined, and injuries this season have also impacted his stock. Still, the 5-9 defenseman is an incredibly smart distributor who has a knack for finding his teammates, no matter how difficult the pass, and he’s most noticeable on the ice breaking the puck out of his own zone. 

22. Sacha Boisvert, Muskegon (USHL)

  • Position: LW
  • Height: 6-2
  • Weight: 176 lbs

Sacha Boisvert may be more of a project, but the tools are there with the Muskegon center. His shot stands out above all of his other skills, but he also has a strong touch with the puck and can get creative when needed. At 6-2, he has the height NHL teams are looking for, but he needs to fill out a bit more if he’s going to find success in the pros. The North Dakota commit scored 36 goals in the USHL this season, which is no easy task. 

23. Terik Parascak, Prince George Cougars (WHL)

  • Position: RW
  • Height: 6-0
  • Weight: 173 lbs

There is no doubt that Parascak benefitted this season from playing with Ondrej Becher and Zac Funk, two of the WHL’s older and more dominant players. With that said, the Prince George winger showed immense intelligence on the ice, getting into open spaces for his linemates. That kind of hockey IQ is hard to teach. That’s not the only positive with Parascak, as he has a great wrist shot, reads plays well both on offense and defense, and just knows where to be at the right time. 

24. Henry Meows, Ottawa (OHL)

  • Position: D
  • Height: 6-0
  • Weight: 181 lbs

Henry Mews’ strengths can be found in his offensive skill set. He’s an agile skater who loves to jump up in the rush to join the play. He also is a strong distributor on the breakout. Mews’ defense is a work in progress, but he has taken steps this year in Ottawa to round out his game. He may be all over draft boards, but there is enough intrigue to warrant a first-round pick.  

25. Ryder Ritchie, RW, Prince Albert (WHL)

  • Position: RW
  • Height: 6-0
  • Weight: 175 lbs

Ryder Ritchie was the WHL’s best rookie last year, but he didn’t take the expected step forward this year. Still, he’s shifty and finds ways to elude defenders with ease. He’s not a high-end offensive talent, but he has a solid motor and plays with a ton of smarts. Ritchie finds ways to get out of trouble when defenders close in on him, as well. 

26. Leo Sahlin Wallenius, Vaxjo (J20 Nationell)

  • Position: D
  • Height: 6-0
  • Weight: 176 lbs

Leo Sahlin Wallenius is a solid two-way option who is one of the smoother skaters in this class. He uses his fluidity to be a one-man breakout but also can utilize his feet to get back and close gaps on defense. The Swede has a lot of traits that should translate well to the NHL, as he isn’t afraid to jump up in the rush to provide offense. 

27. Andrew Basha, Medicine Hat, (WHL)

  • Position: LW
  • Height: 5-11
  • Weight: 174 lbs

There is no lack of competitiveness when it comes to Andrew Basha’s game. He is relentless on the forecheck and in the gritty areas. He has excellent hands, but he doesn’t force it when it doesn’t need to be. Basha’s patience with the puck is also one of his stronger traits. He’s another player who doesn’t have the elite, high-end offensive talent for a forward, but he is a consistent player that every team needs. 

28. Jett Luchenko, Guelph (OHL)

  • Position: C
  • Height: 5-11
  • Weight: 180 lbs

Last year, Jett Luchenko struggled to adjust to the OHL, and he was viewed as a mid-round prospect. Now, he has worked his way up draft boards after a strong second year with the Storm. Luchenko is a smart player who always finds his way into good spots by reading plays and how they are expected to develop. His skating doesn’t necessarily pop, but it can stand out when you watch him individually. 

29. Cole Beaudoin, Barrie (OHL)

  • Position: C
  • Height: 6-2
  • Weight: 209 lbs

Cole Beaudoin is a competitor. He isn’t the greatest skater and may not flash immense skill, but the center gets in on the forecheck, constantly winning 1-on-1 battles for pucks. The Barrie forward doesn’t shy away from physical play either, and he very likely is the strongest, most athletic kid in the 2024 draft class. 

30. E.J. Emery, D, USA U18 (NTDP)

  • Position: D
  • Height: 6-3
  • Weight: 185 lbs

A top defenseman out of the U.S. NTDP, E.J. Emery is a talented blue liner who is efficient in his own zone. He skates well, which helps when making gaps on the rush and retrieving pucks. There isn’t a ton in his offensive game, but he plays smart and is willing to join the rush from time to time. Emery knows where his strengths are, and he doesn’t shy away too often from those. 

Source

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *