NHL Mock Draft 2024 2.0: Sharks land Macklin Celebrini, Blackhawks pair Connor Bedard with Ivan Demidov

While the Stanley Cup playoffs are still chugging along, for 24 teams, the focus has shifted to the offseason. The first order of business is the NHL Draft Lottery. 

The first 16 picks in this summer’s selection event will be finalized on Tuesday night with the draft lottery set to take place. It’s the chance for teams to move up — or down — in the draft order. 

Macklin Celebrini, the standout Boston University freshman, is the consensus top pick, and while this year’s class isn’t as deep as last year’s, there are a few more top-end talents, including a number of skilled defensemen.

Where will all of these potential future NHLers end up? Here are the latest 2024 NHL Draft projections from The Sporting News.

NHL DRAFT BIG BOARD: Ranking the top 30 prospects for 2024 

NHL Mock Draft 2024

The order for these selections is determined by the standings at the end of the season. This will be updated following the results of Tuesday’s draft lottery. 

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

The 2024 draft class is fairly wide open after the first overall pick, but the first name that is going to be called first on draft night is Macklin Celebrini. The standout freshman for Boston University excelled in his first year in the NCAA, becoming the fourth freshman to win the Hobey Baker. The Sharks are getting a prospect expected to be a No. 1 center — if they win the draft lottery. 

2. Chicago Blackhawks: Ivan Demidov, RW, SKA St. Petersburg (KHL)

The Blackhawks’ outlook is all about building around Connor Bedard, and what better pairing than to give him an elite offensive weapon on the wing like Ivan Demidov? The Russian dominated at the Russian junior level the past two seasons as 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. Demidov would be the perfect linemate for Bedard. 

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

The Ducks have a plethora of young talent in the system, so Anaheim could go either forward or defenseman at No. 3 — but Artyom Levshunov may be too good to pass up. The Belarusian is a phenomenal skater who did it all at Michigan State this season, finishing second on the team in points while playing in all situations for the Spartans. While the Ducks have Olen Zellweger and Pavel Mintyukov on the rise for the back end, neither play the right side, which is where Levshunov comes into play.

4. Columbus Blue Jackets: Cayden Lindstrom, C, Medicine Hat (WHL)

Cayden Lindstrom has a lot of the tools that made Adam Fantilli appealing in the 2023 draft, so, while it may not make a ton of sense for Columbus to take the Medicine Hat center here, the Blue Jackets would set themselves up nicely for the future down the middle. Lindstrom 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. 

5. Montreal Canadiens: Sam Dickinson, D, London (OHL)

Sam Dickinson stood out on a deep London team this year and last, mostly due to his skating. The defenseman uses his legs to be effective both offensively and defensively, and he also has a booming slap shot to pair. 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, and the Canadiens can add to their growing young defensive core by taking Dickinson. 

6. Utah (formerly Arizona Coyotes): Cole Eiserman, LW, USA U18 (NTDP)

Out with Arizona, in with Utah. The newly-located NHL club is set to make its first pick in the state, and let’s go bold here. There is no better scorer in this draft class than Cole Eiserman. There’s a chance he is the best pure goal-scorer ever produced by the U.S. NTDP — an organization that has churned out Jack Hughes and Cole Caufield. The problem with Eiserman is the rest of his game. Outside of scoring, there is work to be done in all areas. It’s a risky move, but if it lands, Eiserman will put butts in seats in Salt Lake City. 

7. Ottawa Senators: Zeev Buium, D, Denver (NCAA)

The Senators have a ton of young forwards, but the back end needs work,  which is why Zeev Buium would be a slam-dunk pick. His draft stock just kept getting higher and higher as the season went on. The Denver defenseman handles the puck with ease, he works a blue line better than most his age, and he is dangerous in one-on-one attacks. Buium’s skating is a big part of why he’s successful, and he’ll add a mobile option for Ottawa. 

8. Seattle Kraken: Anton Silayev, D, Novgorod (KHL)

Every team needs a premier shutdown defenseman who can be deployed on a top pairing — and 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. While the Kraken could consider a forward or a more offensive defenseman, he’s the best player available at No. 8. 

9. Calgary Flames: Zayne Parekh, D, Saginaw (OHL)

The Flames need to generate more offense out of the back end. Enter Zayne Parekh. 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. 

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

Berkley Catton is a weapon with the puck on his stick. 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. The Devils are loaded on defense, but they could use a center to be in the system behind Jack Hughes and Nico Hischier. 

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

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. The Sabres solidified its young D-core with its deadline trade for Bowen Byram, and Helenius provides something different than their recent run of smaller, scoring wings taken in the first round. 

12. Philadelphia Flyers: 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. The Flyers need a franchise center after losing Cutter Gauthier and can take a swing on Hage at No. 12

13. Minnesota Wild: Carter Yakemchuk, D, Calgary (WHL)

Carter Yakemchuk showed this season the ability to do things better than almost 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, but he also can dance around defenders with ease. The Wild have strung together a number of forward picks in the first round and can use their 2024 pick on a defenseman.

14. San Jose Sharks (via Pittsburgh Penguins): Adam Jiricek, D, Plzen (Czech Extraliga)

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 the Sharks can take a bit of a gamble after landing Celebrini, and San Jose is in desperate need of more defensive prospects. 

15. Detroit Red Wings: Michael Brandsegg-Nygard, RW, Mora (HockeyAllsvenskan)

The hockey world has never seen a Norwegian prospect as talented as Michael Brandsegg-Nygard. 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 Red Wings love taking Europeans, and land another in Brandsegg-Nygaard.  

16. St. Louis Blues: Tij Iginla, C, Kelowna (WHL)

Tij Iginla 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. 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. The Blues would be adding a dynamic goal scorer by taking Iginla. 

17. Washington Capitals: Beckett Sennecke, RW, Oshawa (OHL)

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. He loves to go at defenders one-on-one, 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. Washington misses out on the high-end blue liners, so taking Sennecke here at No. 17 is more along the strategy of selecting the best player available. 

18. New York Islanders: Igor Chernyshov, LW, Dynamo Moscow (KHL)

Igor Chernyshov is a big, well-rounded Russian who excels at puck protection, making him a constant headache in one-on-one 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. The Islanders haven’t had a first-round pick since 2019, so Chernyshov provides a bit of a safer option. 

19. Vegas Golden Knights: Liam Greentree, RW, Windsor (OHL)

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. The Golden Knights greatly lack any prospects, so taking Greentree gives them an immediate boost to the group. 

20. Chicago Blackhawks (from Tampa Bay Lightning): Aron Kiviharju, D, HIFK (Liiga)

This may be a reach, but if there’s a team that can gamble, it’s the Blackhawks. Aron Kiviharju was once viewed as a candidate to go first overall, but the Finnish defenseman hasn’t progressed as much as imagined. Injuries this season have also impacted his stock. However, 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. Chicago could take a swing on the mobile, puck-moving Finn. 

21. Los Angeles Kings: Sacha Boisvert, C, Muskegon (USHL)

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 Kings may shy away from a raw talent like Boisvert, but he would be a good get for their future. 

22. Nashville Predators: Cole Hutson, D, USA U18 (NTDP)

There should be 31 teams in the NHL kicking themselves for not taking Lane Hutson in the first round of the 2022 draft. Well, this year, they have a chance at landing another Hutson. Cole, the younger brother of Canadiens prospect Lane, is a similar player to his sibling. Cole may not be as defensively sound as Lane (yet), but the offensive upside jumps off the tape. The Predators are lacking in defensive prospects in general, let alone a future power-play QB like Hutson. 

23. Toronto Maple Leafs: Henry Mews, D, Ottawa (OHL)

The strengths of Henry Mews 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. The Maple Leafs are lacking prospects in general, especially on the back end. Mews would be a solid addition to the cupboard. 

24. Anaheim Ducks (from Edmonton Oilers): Terik Parascak, RW, Prince George Cougars (WHL)

Terik Parascak 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. The Ducks are overflowing with skilled forwards in the prospects pool, but Anaheim would be an excellent spot for Parascak to land given his smarts. 

25: Colorado Avalanche: Ryder Ritchie, RW, Prince Albert (WHL)

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. Colorado needs prospects everywhere, and Ritchie is a good bet to get back to form next year. 

26. Ottawa Senators (from Boston Bruins): Trevor Connelly, LW, Tri-City (WHL)

Trevor 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. A team with just one pick in the first round might shy away, but Ottawa has two and could potentially take the risk, stopping Connelly’s fall in the first round at No. 26. 

27: Montreal Canadiens (from Winnipeg Jets): Andrew Basha, LW, Medicine Hat, (WHL)

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. The Canadiens have their scoring set with younger forwards in Cole Caufield and Juraj Slafkovsky, but Basha would add a different element to the group. 

28. Carolina Hurricanes: Leo Sahlin Wallenius, D, Vaxjo (J20 Nationell)

Leo Sahlin Wallenius is a solid two-way option and one of the smoother skaters in this class. He uses his fluidity to be a one-man breakout, but he can also 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. The Hurricanes are overflowing with high-end prospects on both ends, but he would be the best player still on the board at No. 28, making this an easy choice. 

29. Calgary Flames (from Vancouver Canucks): Jett Luchenko, Guelph (OHL)

Jett 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. He worked his way up draft boards after a strong second year in Guelph. After going with a defenseman at No. 9, the Flames address the forward position at No. 20

30. Philadelphia Flyers (from Florida Panthers): Dominik Badinka, D, Malmo (SHL)

The tape on Dominik Badinka may not jump off the screen, but he has a lot of attributes that teams look for in a defenseman. He has mobility, NHL size, and enough skills to make plays on offense. He defends well in his own zone, bringing a solid two-way game to any lineup. The Flyers went forward with their first pick, and perhaps they should go to defense to end the first round.

31. Dallas Stars: Cole Beaudoin, C, Barrie (OHL)

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 one-on-one battles for pucks. The Barrie forward doesn’t shy away from physical play either. He projects as more of a bottom-six forward, but every team needs those kinds of players. He very likely is the strongest, most athletic kid in the 2024 draft class. The Stars have seemingly hit on skilled forwards in Wyatt Johnston and Logan Stankoven, and Beaudoin brings another skill set to the group. 

32. New York Rangers: E.J. Emery, D, USA U18 (NTDP)

Another 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 Emery knows where his strengths are, and he doesn’t shy away too often from those. The Rangers need defensive prospects and could add a solid projection in Emery. 

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