NHL draft tracker: Following all seven rounds

The 2024 NHL draft is taking place this weekend. Watch a replay of Round 1 here and tune in Saturday (11:30 a.m. ET, ESPN+) for Rounds 2-7.

From the first round all the way to pick No. 225 in Round 7, this page is your home for every selection, including scouting notes from Rachel Doerrie, and team fit analysis for the 32 players taken in the first round from Ryan S. Clark and Greg Wyshynski.

More: Final mockProspect rankingsProfiles: CelebriniTij Iginla

Team: Boston University (H-EAST) | Rank: 1DOB: 06/13/06 | Ht: 6-0 | Wt: 190 | Shot: L2023-24 stats: GP: 38 | G: 32 | A: 32 | P: 64

Scouting notes: There is no area of the game where legitimate concerns exist. Simply put, he does not have a weak point. He excels as a length of the ice player, making significant contributions on both ends.

Offensively, he navigates the middle of the ice, disrupts defensive schemes and finds passing lanes that others cannot. His puck protection skills, willingness to play through contact, spin off defenders and maintain play are qualities that will translate well to the NHL. Even without the puck, he remains a scoring threat due to his ability to find open spaces, keeps his stick away from defenders and releases the puck quickly. — Doerrie

Team fit: Rebuilds require cornerstone players. Celebrini appears to be just that, considering this year’s draft was commonly referred to as “The Celebrini Draft.” Finishing with the NHL’s worst record meant the Sharks had a number of areas that needed to be addressed. Among them: top-six forward help. Enter Celebrini.

While the possibility exists that Celebrini could return to BU for his sophomore year, he could step right in to the Sharks’ lineup. Since 2005, the forwards who were selected with the No. 1 pick played the next season. It’s a list that includes Sidney Crosby, Nathan MacKinnon, Auston Matthews, Connor McDavid and last year’s No. 1 pick, Connor Bedard. Furthermore, Celebrini now officially becomes the face of a promising rebuild that already had Thomas Bordeleau, William Eklund, Mario Ferraro, Quinten Musty and the team’s 2023 first-round pick in Will Smith, who is leaving Boston College after one season after signing his entry-level contract with the Sharks. — Clark

Team: Michigan State (BIG10) | Rank: 3DOB: 10/28/05 | Ht: 6-2 | Wt: 208 | Shot: R2023-24 stats: GP: 38 | G: 9 | A: 26 | P: 35

Scouting notes: The Belarusian is widely regarded as the best defender in the draft class, impressing scouts in many areas. A right-shot defenseman, he imposes himself physically and dictates offensive play. His rapid development has led scouts to believe he could quickly become an impactful two-way defenseman in the NHL. He excels at making good first passes, finding shooting lanes and taking control of the game from the blue line.

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Though still raw defensively, he has tremendous upside due to his physical attributes, excellent skating ability and high puck battle success rate. Consistently engaged and a play driver at both ends of the ice, he has the potential to shift momentum. Levshunov could become a top-pairing defenseman who dictates play in transition and tilts the ice in his team’s favor. — Doerrie

Team fit: The Blackhawks found their next foundational player atop last year’s draft in forward Connor Bedard, who won the Calder Trophy as the NHL’s Rookie of the Year on Thursday. But they also had to strip down their team to the foundations to get him. The duration of the rebuild around Bedard is entirely contingent on the players with whom they surround him. To that end, Levshunov is a huge addition, literally and figuratively.

The Blackhawks have some intriguing young defenseman in their system, but not enough of them. Kevin Korchinski played 76 games as a rookie last season and has some upside. Wyatt Kaiser split time between the Blackhawks and AHL Rockford. Sam Rinzel, selected 25th overall in 2022, had an outstanding first season with the University of Minnesota. But what they have in Levshunov is, for lack of a better label, “The Guy.” The giant blueliner who could be their Victor Hedman. Those dynastic Lightning teams were built on offensive stars such as Steven Stamkos and Nikita Kucherov, but they won Cups thanks to the efforts of Hedman on the back end. This draft could be looked back on as an essential moment of the Bedard era in Chicago. — Wyshynski


Artyom Levshunov’s NHL draft profile

Check out the plays that helped make Michigan State’s Artyom Levshunov one of the top prospects in the NHL draft.

Team: Oshawa (OHL) | Rank: 13DOB: 01/28/06 | Ht: 6-2.25 | Wt: 177 | Shot: R2023-24 stats: GP: 63 | G: 27 | A: 41 | P: 68

Scouting notes: Offensively, it is difficult to find a weakness. He is a dual-threat menace in the offensive zone and dropped more jaws in one-on-one play than any other draft-eligible player in the OHL this season. His ability to force defenders into bad spots and manipulate his way around them is terrifying. Not only is he a threat in tight situations, but he’s also a threat in transition. The puck follows him around the ice, and he slices defensive coverage with ease through excellent reads, decisive passing and a quality shot.

Off the puck, he uses his awareness to win pucks back. As the season progressed, he became a nightmare on the forecheck, routinely hemming players in and winning pucks back. For lack of a better word, he’s a gamer. If he wants the puck, he’s more than likely going to end up with it. He’s not an elite skater, but he gets to where he needs to go, plays two steps ahead of his peers and makes his teammates better. There are teams that have him in their top five, and while that is a little high for me, it is easy to understand why scouts believe Sennecke could be a top-line player. — Doerrie

Team fit: Once again, Ducks general manager Pat Verbeek went in a bit of an unexpected direction by taking Sennecke. The Ducks were in a bit of a tricky situation when it came to adding to their rebuild. Not that they couldn’t have used more forwards, but they already have quite a bit of youth with Leo Carlsson, Cutter Gauthier, Mason McTavish, Troy Terry and Trevor Zegras. The same holds true with defensemen of course, with Jackson LaCombe and Pavel Mintyukov playing as rookies last season and another defenseman, Olen Zellweger, getting nine points in 26 games with the Ducks after spending the majority of the year in the AHL with the San Diego Gulls.

Now that they’ve added Sennecke, the Ducks have another top-six forward with size as the 6-foot-2 Sennecke will be a player who gives the Ducks another option in their attack. — Clark


Beckett Sennecke has amazing reaction to being drafted No. 3 by the Ducks

Beckett Sennecke is chosen by the Anaheim Ducks with the No. 3 pick in the 2024 NHL draft.

Team: Medicine Hat (WHL) | Rank: 4DOB: 02/03/06 | Ht: 6-3.25 | Wt: 210 | Shot: L2023-24 stats: GP: 32 | G: 27 | A: 19 | P: 46

Scouting notes: Lindstrom combines speed, size and skill, making him a dominant force at the junior level. He effectively uses his frame to protect the puck, wins battles and plays through contact in challenging areas of the ice. His physical package and skating ability make him a formidable opponent on the rush and in puck battles. If he continues to develop his ability to play through contact, he has the tools to be an excellent power forward at the NHL level. His speed in transition keeps defensemen on their heels and he changes gears to create space.

Without the puck, he reads off his linemates well and finds open pockets of space. As a versatile offensive player, he knows when to use his physicality to create scoring chances or hold the puck to set up plays in the offensive zone. Although his injury history is a concern, projections indicate that Lindstrom could become a second-line center with the potential to score 70 points over a long period. He may take longer to develop, but a player with his toolbox is intriguing to many teams. — Doerrie

Team fit: This is the first Blue Jackets draft since 2012 that didn’t have Jarmo Kekalainen running the table. He was dismissed as general manager earlier this season, creating an opening for one of the NHL’s most interesting jobs. Columbus is a place where the bar for success is low and the talent in the prospect pool is high.

It just got higher. New GM Don Waddell, who took over the Blue Jackets after leaving the Carolina Hurricanes, had a number of options after the Ducks shocked the draft by taking Beckett Sennecke third overall. They fought some temptation and added Lindstrom. The Medicine Hat center joins center Adam Fantilli, the third overall pick in 2023 who had 27 points in 49 games this season; Kent Johnson, another Michigan alum, who is entering his fourth NHL season; and the big body and booming shot of defenseman David Jiricek as the next generation of the Blue Jackets. With Cole Sillinger also up the middle, the days of the Blue Jackets being the NHL’s donut — nothing in the middle — appear over. — Wyshynski

Team: SKA St. Petersburg Jr. (RUSSIA-JR.) | Rank: 2DOB: 12/10/05 | Ht: 5-11 | Wt: 181 | Shot: L2023-24 stats: GP: 30 | G: 23 | A: 37 | P: 60

Scouting notes: Offensively, he’s the complete package and is projected to be a top-six difference-maker in the NHL. His dynamic ability to create offense combines an outstanding release, elite vision and elite puckhandling skills, perhaps the best in this draft class. He’s bigger and more physically mature than originally thought, which drew attention at the Florida showcase. Capable of driving play offensively, Demidov consistently took over games in the playoffs, earning the MVP award.

He ranks in the top 5% for shooting and passing metrics and is a transition threat. He drives the middle from the outside and consistently gets himself to the dangerous scoring areas. As a versatile offensive player, Demidov has the potential to be a 40-goal, 40-assist producer and is the only player with a ceiling close to Celebrini’s. — Doerrie

Team fit: Prior to the draft, it appeared that getting a forward was going to be the move for the Canadiens. And they fulfilled that in taking Demidov. They were in a position to take a forward last year but passed on Matvei Michkov before taking defenseman David Reinbacher. With Reinbacher being the pick last season, he added to a defensive setup that already included Kaiden Guhle, Logan Mailloux and Jayden Struble.

Concentrating on defensemen the last few years created that opening to take a forward for the second time in three years, having selected Juraj Slafkovsky with the No. 1 pick in 2022. Now the Canadiens have another top-six forward in Demidov, who at some point will make the trek to North America. And when he does, he’ll join Slafkovsky and Cole Caufield as another homegrown player who’s looking to take the Habs back to prominence in the Eastern Conference. — Clark


Celine Dion announces Canadiens’ No. 5 pick in NHL draft

Celine Dion announces the Montreal Canadiens’ fifth overall pick, Ivan Demidov.

Team: Kelowna (WHL) | Rank: 7DOB: 08/04/06 | Ht: 5-11.75 | Wt: 182 | Shot: L2023-24 stats: GP: 64 | G: 47 | A: 37 | P: 84

Scouting notes: His offensive instincts and lethal wrist shot make him a serious goal-scoring threat with and without the puck. His puck skill steadily improved this season, and he became a serious offensive threat. When he has possession, Iginla displays excellent puckhandling, strong protection and a release that surprises goaltenders. He has a unique understanding of how to blend competitive physicality with elite skill, a dangerous combination.

Without the puck, he finds open spaces, forechecks tenaciously and exhibits the competitiveness his father Jarome was known for. Although he needs to improve defensively, his combination of skating, puck skills, tenacity and shooting ability should enable him to contribute consistently in a top-six role, with a ceiling of a top-line winger. — Doerrie

Team fit: When the Arizona Coyotes were sold to Smith Entertainment Group and relocated to Utah, their history didn’t come with them. So this is the first pick ever made by this franchise.

But their hockey operations staff was imported along with the players. That included GM Bill Armstrong, whose calling card has always been his work in scouting and drafting. That’s enabled Utah to have players such as forward Logan Cooley and Dylan Guenther, who made an impact at the NHL level, as well as center Conor Geekie, defenseman Maveric Lamoureux and KHL defensemen Dmitry Simashev and Daniil But.

Armstrong told me that Utah doesn’t feel pressure to add a “poster on the side of the arena” level star for its first season in Salt Lake City, because there might be some in the organization who could fit that role. It might have another in Tij Iginla. He’s got the hockey legacy of his Hall of Fame father and his own high-end talent. Iginla is an ideal selection given the club’s needs on offense, and as someone who can eventually help sell hockey to a new fan base. — Wyshynski


Tij Iginla’s NHL draft profile

Take a look at the highlights that make Tij Iginla a compelling NHL draft prospect.

Team: Calgary (WHL) | Rank: 14DOB: 09/29/05 | Ht: 6-2.75 | Wt: 201 | Shot: R2023-24 stats: GP: 66 | G: 30 | A: 41 | P: 71

Scouting notes: Yakemchuk is an offensive difference-maker at the junior level and showed glimpses of excellent puck distribution. He dictates the power play from the point, but he needs to develop the ability to facilitate offense to take advantage of his shot in the NHL. He manipulates defenders with excellent hands, fakes and sheer power. The lack of an explosive skating stride makes him easier to defend than a more elusive skater.

Defensively, he’s a work in progress. His skating mobility needs to improve to be an effective transition defender in the NHL. Scouts and executives love his mean streak, as he hits to leave a mark. He gets caught puck-watching or stepping out of position to be physical. He lacks the skating step to catch opponents when they beat him in those situations, an area he needs to develop before making the jump. — Doerrie

Team fit: Drafting Yakemchuk could prove to be an intriguing move for a few reasons. The first is that this was the first time in two years the Senators used a first-round pick. It’s a bit of a bizarre dynamic for a franchise that’s been trying to shed the title of rebuild and transition into a playoff team, only to miss the postseason for the past seven campaigns.

That said, Yakemchuk gives it a young defenseman who adds to a group that already has Thomas Chabot, Jakob Chychrun, Jake Sanderson and Jacob Bernard-Docker, among others. But that also comes with the understanding that Chychrun’s future with the club is in question. He has a year left on his contract before hitting free agency. He could either sign a new deal or the Sens could trade him. Either way, they’ll have options, and getting Yakemchuk will now play a big role in that dynamic. — Clark

Team: Spokane (WHL) | Rank: 10DOB: 01/14/06 | Ht: 5-10 | Wt: 170 | Shot: L2023-24 stats: GP: 68 | G: 54 | A: 62 | P: 116

Scouting notes: Catton is one of those “get you out of your seats” players. He’s dynamic with the puck, reads defensive structures, slices through coverage and is a nightmare to defend in one-on-one situations. His ability to manipulate defenders with his speed and skill is pure brilliance. He’s one of the most dangerous transition players in the draft, and even at 5-10, he’s shown an ability to execute high-skill plays in traffic.

As is the case with any player of this skill set, he needs to pick his spots a little better to improve his offensive efficiency. The turnovers are not going to fly at the NHL level, and he’ll need to develop his ability to create offense when he’s not in transition. The same manipulation, stick skill and deception he uses on the rush needs to be applied in smaller areas. If he can take pucks off the wall and get to the middle, there is a better chance he hits his ceiling of a top-six, point producer.

He’s already a dual threat with a promising arsenal of releases and shot types. Given that he understands how to put defenders in vulnerable postures, it is not a stretch to believe his offensive game will continue to improve. I’m not sure he’s a center in the NHL, but the dynamic dual threat should be an entertaining player to watch for years. — Doerrie

Team fit: Entering the draft, the narrative surrounding the Kraken was that they needed to draft a defenseman. Namely, a puck mover who could help facilitate possession for a team that’s struggled to score goals in two of their first three seasons. Although the argument could be had that they already have that with Ryker Evans.

It still amounted to the Kraken needing prospects who can score or create goals and it led to them choosing Berkly Catton. He addresses their scoring needs provided he scored 54 goals and 116 points for the Spokane Chiefs last season. If the Kraken opt to keep Catton at center, he will join their spine of the future that includes Matty Beniers and Shane Wright. But there’s a chance he could be moved to the wing, with the expectation that he could someday play alongside Beniers on one of the Kraken’s top two lines and on their power play. — Clark

Team: Saginaw (OHL) | Rank: 5DOB: 02/15/06 | Ht: 6-0 | Wt: 179 | Shot: R2023-24 stats: GP: 66 | G: 33 | A: 63 | P: 96

Scouting notes: Parekh is the top offensive defenseman in the draft, without question. He has all the makings of a game-breaker on the blue line. His statistics and model projections stand out, surpassing every other defenseman except Levshunov. He is clearly in the top tier, projected as a top-four offensive catalyst with an over 80% chance of playing 200-plus NHL games.

Right-handed offensive dynamos are rare and seldom available via trade. Parekh has all the qualities of a top-notch power-play quarterback and even-strength play driver, capable of scoring upward of 60 points per season in the NHL. He had one of the best draft-eligible seasons in CHL history, which should not be overlooked. His elite four-way mobility allows him to evade opponents and create space effortlessly.

His defensive game improved throughout the OHL season, and while it’s not as robust as some might prefer, his skating and hockey sense equip him to defend effectively at the NHL level. His offensive instincts are innate and form the foundation of his play-driving offense. Combine his offensive instincts with demonstrated ability to move pucks to dangerous areas, create shooting opportunities and get pucks through, and Parekh presents an intriguing package. His ceiling is the highest among defensemen in the draft, confidently projecting him as an impactful top-four defenseman over a lengthy NHL career. — Doerrie

Team fit: The pick wasn’t Tij Iginla and that’s going to be a bummer for a lot of Flames fans. But Zayne Parekh is a solid choice and a player who will certainly help with Calgary’s rebuild … retool … whatever it is that GM Craig Conroy is doing with this franchise, which is content to ship out some veterans (Jacob Markstrom, Andrew Mangiapane), while holding onto others (like reportedly, Nazem Kadri). They have some quality young players up front such as winger Matt Coronato, who played 35 games in the NHL; center Connor Zary, who had a strong rookie season with 34 points in 63 games; and a big forward in Samuel Honzek.

Now they add Parekh, a player who has electrifying offensive upside. Parekh is the first defenseman the Flames selected in the first round since Juuso Valimaki at No. 16 in 2017. They simply didn’t have a player with his skill set in their pipeline, and this pick is a great one for Calgary. — Wyshynski

Team: Nizhny Novgorod (RUSSIA) | Rank: 8DOB: 04/11/06 | Ht: 6-7 | Wt: 211 | Shot: L2023-24 stats: GP: 63 | G: 3 | A: 8 | P: 11

Scouting notes: At 6-7, this hulking defender played significant minutes for one of the KHL’s better teams, a rarity at age 17, and this greatly enhances his projection. While he isn’t expected to be dynamic in the NHL, his developing offensive skills suggest he could become a 35- to 40-point producer.

He skates very well, with good edgework and agility, which is evident in his defensive transitions and his movement along the offensive blue line. If he can add strength without losing mobility, he could become a high-minute defenseman in the NHL, capable of shutting down the opposition’s best players.

His floor is higher than other top defensive prospects due to his proven ability to succeed in the KHL. Scouts are high on his skating ability, physicality and transition defense. There are concerns about his ability to read the play and make good puck decisions. He will need time to enhance his ability to facilitate breakouts, transition offense and read pressure. —Doerrie

Team fit: There was plenty of speculation that the Devils would move this pick — it was certainly in play in the hours leading up to the draft. But New Jersey kept it and added to the deepest part of its prospect pool: the blue line.

Anton Silayev is a 6-7 mountain, a defensive defenseman who has tremendous skating ability and a fantastic reach. They moved 24-year-old Kevin Bahl, who is 6-6, for goalie Jacob Markstrom. Silayev more than fits in as an eventual replacement. He joins Calder Trophy finalist Luke Hughes, Simon Nemec and eventually Seamus Casey as the defensive foundations for years to come. — Wyshynski

Team: London (OHL) | Rank: 11DOB: 06/07/06 | Ht: 6-2.5 | Wt: 199 | Shot: L2023-24 stats: GP: 68 | G: 18 | A: 52 | P: 70

Scouting notes: Dickinson is one of the best all-around skating defensemen in the draft, and it is particularly evident in transition. Offensively, he carries the puck with ease, evades defenders, cuts to the middle and creates scoring chances.

Defensively, he maintains a good gap, matches opponent’s speed and finishes his checks. His shot is above average, but he is unlikely to overpower goalies at the NHL level. His skating and defensive abilities will carry him in the NHL. These are all attributes scouts and coaches love. It is easy to see why the model projects him to be a top-four defender with a puncher’s chance of being a top-pairing guy.

The big question with Dickinson is decision-making on both sides of the puck. At the junior level, he’s so evasive and above his peers in the skating department, that it masks some awareness issues. On the rush, he can skate himself into trouble and make life more complicated when a simpler play exists. In the defensive zone, he gets caught on the wrong side of players and makes questionable decisions with the puck after he wins a battle. He’s a solid athlete who will play in the NHL, but time will tell if he can develop his awareness and reads to take advantage of his skills and become a difference-maker. — Doerrie

Team fit: When the Sharks traded up to No. 11 on Thursday, it came with the expectation that they were going to use that pick to get a defenseman, especially considering they already had Celebrini, in addition to forwards such as Bordeleau, Eklund, Musty and Smith. And that’s not including who they took in 2022, center Filip Bystedt.

That belief only intensified by the time the Sharks picked at 11, as defensemen such as Zeev Buium and Sam Dickinson were still available when it came time for their second pick of the first round. They chose Dickinson, who gives them a sizable defenseman who can not only serve in a top-pairing role but can also be at the controls of a power play. A power play that in the coming years could be led by Celebrini, Smith, Dickinson and Eklund. — Clark

Team: Denver (NCHC) | Rank: 6DOB: 12/07/05 | Ht: 6-0 | Wt: 183 | Shot: L2023-24 stats: GP: 42 | G: 11 | A: 39 | P: 50

Scouting notes: One of the best defensemen in college hockey this season, Buium is confidently projected as a top-four defenseman in the NHL. He consistently stands out by joining the rush, defending well in transition and excelling in man-to-man defense in his own zone. He’s an elite two-way defenseman at the college level and is likely the most efficient puck mover in this draft class. He shows elite hockey sense and seems to be two to three plays ahead, allowing him to make plays that other players can’t.

Defensively, he maintains a tight gap, adapts to changes in pace and uses excellent edgework to avoid getting beaten in tight situations. His puck skills, combined with various head and shoulder fakes, enable him to create space and passing lanes. If there is a better one-on-one defenseman in this draft, I’ve yet to see him.

Buium elevates his play as games intensify and was one of Team USA’s best players at the World Juniors as an underage player, in addition to being a crucial part of the NCAA champion Denver blue line. With all the qualities of a play-driving, momentum-shifting defenseman, Buium could be ready for the NHL by the end of the 2024-25 college season. — Doerrie

Team fit: GM Bill Guerin got aggressive here to select Zeev Buium, and rightfully so. Buium has a high hockey IQ and can be someone that can run an NHL power play, leading all NCAA defenseman in points last season (50). Denver depended on him big time in winning the national title this season — he played 31 minutes against Boston University in the semifinal and more than 29 minutes against Boston College for the title.

He’s an impact player and the highest defenseman the Wild have taken since Matt Dumba at seventh overall in 2012. — Wyshynski

Team: Guelph (OHL) | Rank: 26DOB: 08/21/06 | Ht: 5-11 | Wt: 180 | Shot: R2023-24 stats: GP: 68 | G: 20 | A: 54 | P: 74

Scouting notes: Luchanko has all the makings of a dream bottom-six role. Given the offensive instincts and abilities he has shown this season, Luchanko has a better ability to drive play than many believe. He’s an excellent two-way player, a rare feat for a very young player in a draft class. The combination of production, development and a later birthday give Luchanko a projection closer to middle six than bottom six.

Luchanko was the main beneficiary of Matthew Poitras‘ move to the Bruins, allowing him to become the primary driver on both sides of the puck. His skating takes the pace of the game to another level, forcing his opponents to play at speeds in which they are uncomfortable. His ability to dictate the play is eye-opening, beating defenders clean with his speed while being a royal pain to deal with on the forecheck and backcheck. He is in the middle of everything that happens, showing off a detail-oriented game that includes awareness, shiftiness and skill that scouts love. — Doerrie

Team fit: Trading down to No. 13 earned some extra draft capital. But they also landed a center in Jett Luchanko that adds to a future that already includes Noah Cates, Joel Farabee, Tyson Foerster and Matvei Michkov. Even with that many forwards, the Flyers were still in need of a center. That made Luchanko or Konsta Helenius an option.

The last time they drafted a center in the first round was in 2018 when they took Jay O’Brien, who they did not sign (and earned a compensatory pick this year for it). Prior to that, It was 2017 when they took Nolan Patrick with the second pick and Morgan Frost at 27. Patrick was traded, while Frost remains with the club. Luchanko gives the Flyers someone who projects as a two-way option who could be anchoring one of the lines of a rebuild that took a significant step forward in 2023-24. — Clark


Legendary ring announcer Michael Buffer calls 13th pick for Flyers

Philadelphia native Michael Buffer announces that Jett Luchanko is headed to the Flyers.

Team: Jukurit (FINLAND) | Rank: 12DOB: 05/11/06 | Ht: 5-10.75 | Wt: 180 | Shot: R2023-24 stats: GP: 51 | G: 14 | A: 22 | P: 36

Scouting notes: Helenius is excellent defensively, and his play is immediately projectable to the NHL. Offensively, he is effective, not flashy. He retrieves pucks, enters the zone with possession, creates space with effective body positioning and relies on his elite hockey sense to make sound decisions offensively. The combination of his competitiveness, hockey sense and puck management make him a highly effective and reliable player in all three zones.

He lacks dynamic attributes that other players in the draft class possess, but he makes up for that his in his ability to be the engine of his line. He consistently drives play and showed flashes of offensive creativity, but Helenius does not have a standout offensive attribute. He’s a well-rounded, length-of-the-ice player who will be impactful on both sides of the puck at the NHL level. Scouts see some Mikael Backlund in him, which is high praise for the young Finn.

A second-line center/top penalty killer who can drive play at even strength is something every contender needs. That is Helenius. If his offense develops, there’s a chance he fits the mold of a Joel Eriksson Ek or Elias Lindholm type of player. — Doerrie

Team fit: The Sabres traded down this week, acquiring the Devils’ No. 42 overall pick in their flip-flop with the Sharks. Helenius is a solid two-way center who joins a depth chart that includes Tage Thompson, Dylan Cozens, Peyton Krebs, Matthew Savoie, Jiri Kulich and Noah Ostlund.

Obviously, some of them could shift to the wing, but the bottom line is that the Sabres have a ton of talent on the way up front, to go along with the foundational defensemen in Rasmus Dahlin and Owen Power. — Wyshynski

Team: Mora (SWEDEN-2) | Rank: 19DOB: 10/05/05 | Ht: 6-1 | Wt: 198 | Shot: R2023-24 stats: GP: 41 | G: 8 | A: 10 | P: 18

Scouting notes: The Norwegian forward is one of the most well-rounded players in the draft. The blend of grit, skill and in-tight scoring ability has scouts believing he is a Swiss Army knife at the NHL level. There is belief that he could be the best two-way forward in the draft not named Celebrini.

Defensively, he may be the best forward in the draft. He is consistently in the right positions, makes excellent reads in defensive transition and reads off his teammates well to support the puck. His ability to retrieve pucks, win puck battles and position his body in ways that make it nearly impossible to knock him off the puck will only improve has he physically matures and adds strength. He’s unafraid to deliver a board-shaking body check to shift momentum, but does not put himself out of position to do so. He separates opponents from the puck, drives forward and uses his powerful frame to cut to the middle or the net. If there is a weakness in his defensive game, I have yet to find it.

The drawback with Brandsegg-Nygard is that he isn’t dynamic. His ceiling isn’t as high as other players, but his floor is higher than nearly every forward outside of the top five. There is little doubt he will be a middle-six power forward who will be deployed to shut down opponent’s best players and finish offensive opportunities in tight. As one scout put it, “He isn’t the guy you build around, but certainly the type of player that every contender wants in the middle of their lineup.” — Doerrie

Team fit: What’s this? The Red Wings went into Europe and drafted a player?

In all seriousness, Brandsegg-Nygard was thought to be a player who could have gone in this range, so it wasn’t like the Red Wings reached.

Detroit has used two of its most recent first-round picks to get centers. It’s just that Brandsegg-Nygard gives it another potential top-six winger. And given how the Wings are currently set up with their forward depth, Brandsegg-Nygard has a good chance to break onto the scene in the near future. — Clark

Team: Plzen (CZECHIA) | Rank: 17DOB: 06/28/06 | Ht: 6-2.5 | Wt: 182 | Shot: R2023-24 stats: GP: 19 | G: 0 | A: 1 | P: 1

Scouting notes: The 6-2, right-handed defenseman has been on scouting radars for years, allowing for his game to be put under the microscope. He’s competitive, makes good puck decisions and activates in the play.

Losing nearly a full season of development during the most crucial years makes for a more difficult evaluation and model projection. Jiricek’s numbers are very volatile, and the draft year sample is not large enough for a confident projection. The tools to be an impactful defenseman are there, with good reads, aggressive defensive posture, strong puck retrieval skills and physicality. He needs the skating, which obviously took a developmental hit when he tore an ACL, to improve by a step and half or two to take advantage of his other skills. His stride lacks the explosive and aggressive attributes to complement the rest of his game and will hinder his ability to utilize other skills if he can’t keep pace.

He has a longer runway to develop because he’s inexperienced and lost nearly a year of development to his injury. There is a real chance he becomes a second-pairing defenseman and an outside shot at the top pair. — Doerrie

Team fit: The Blues really needed to add some talent to their defense prospects — they hadn’t drafted a defenseman in the first round since Jordan Schmaltz in 2012 — and Jiricek is a terrific choice. He gained great experience playing in the Czech league, and as a right-shot defenseman he’s a valuable commodity.

Jiricek might not have the ceiling of his brother, David, who went sixth overall to the Blue Jackets in 2022, but he’s certainly got some upside. — Wyshynski

Team: Prince George (WHL) | Rank: 30DOB: 05/28/06 | Ht: 5-11.5 | Wt: 173 | Shot: R2023-24 stats: GP: 68 | G: 43 | A: 62 | P: 105

Scouting notes: His production is reminiscent of a player who should be selected in top half of the first round. His skating, like Jason Robertson‘s in 2017, worries scouts. He doesn’t have the physical package of Robertson, but his production is much better. Parascak has all the capabilities to be a dual threat at the NHL level if his skating improves.

Parascak’s instincts on and off the puck are high-end. He understands defensive schemes and how to penetrate them, but his skating holds him back from driving play. This is evident in transition, where he lacks the pace to attack the middle and relies on his instincts to find open space and arrive at the perfect time. When he gets the puck in space, he’s terrifying. His catch and release shot, one-timer and ability to shoot opposite his momentum make him challenging for goalies to stop.

A team taking Parascak is getting a player with an elite hockey sense and many shots in his arsenal. If he can add strength and more power to his skating, there is a real chance he’s a top-six, difference-maker in the NHL. He’s unlikely to be a true play driver, but a complementary player who can ignite a power play. — Doerrie

Team fit: Using their first-round picks to select top-six forwards they believe can provide a sense of offensive consistency going forward has been the plan for the Caps the past few years. The decision to take Parascak fits within that dynamic. Parascak was one of a few forwards who could have been picked at this spot.

When the time comes, he’ll be the latest prospect to come through a farm system that has watched its AHL affiliate, the Hershey Bears, win Calder Cups while continuing to send the organization’s homegrown talents to the NHL. — Clark

Team: Muskegon (USHL) | Rank: 24DOB: 03/17/06 | Ht: 6-2 | Wt: 176 | Shot: L2023-24 stats: GP: 61 | G: 36 | A: 32 | P: 68

Scouting notes: Boisvert can really shoot the puck, and regardless of where he receives it, he is a threat. He gets pucks through layers with accuracy and has excellent hands to finish plays at the net front. There is reason to believe his deceptive release will transfer to the NHL level, but if it does not, his ability to finish plays in tight will surely make him worthy of attention.

Without the puck, Boisvert is still impactful. He tracks back well, disrupts transition play and delivers hard hits to separate players from the puck. There’s a noticeable edge to his game that will only improve as he gets stronger. His skating posture is off balance, and he lacks the explosiveness required to create more space offensively. An improved skating stride with more power and better ability to read defensive coverage will allow Boisvert to take advantage of his NHL-ready shot and two-way game. — Doerrie

Team fit: The assumption was that the Blackhawks would go with a forward here after taking Levshunov at second overall. Boisvert offers a great contrast to the way Connor Bedard plays at center — a two-way game with some physicality. He aspires to be an Evgeni Malkin-like player in the NHL. Not a bad gamble for the Blackhawks to take, considering they already have their Sidney Crosby. — Wyshynski

Team: Tri-City (USHL) | Rank: 15DOB: 02/28/06 | Ht: 6-0.25 | Wt: 156 | Shot: L2023-24 stats: GP: 52 | G: 31 | A: 47 | P: 78

Scouting notes: On talent and talent alone, the model projects him to be a top-six forward with a fair chance at a top-line role. There are only a few players with better offensive attributes than Connelly, and they will go in the top 10. He leaves a lot to be desired defensively but should get a healthy dose of development at Providence College. He is unlikely to be a two-way player, and that’s not his style. His style is flash, dash and pizzazz — a player with a true wow factor.

Connelly has a lot of maturing to do on and off the ice. The selfish major and misconduct at the under-18 championship kick-started the collapse against Canada in the gold medal game. Quite a few teams have designated him as “do not draft” due the information revealed in a story from The Athletic. As one NHL head scout put it, “top-10 talent, bottom-10 character. Can’t do it.”

The definition of high-risk, high-reward for all the wrong reasons. — Doerrie

Team fit: There’s a possibility that the Golden Knights have reached the point that they could start to incorporate prospects as they continue to challenge for the Stanley Cup. It’s possible that drafting Connolly could work out one of two ways for the Golden Knights. He could be a player who works his way into the lineup as a productive winger on a team-friendly deal to help offset some of their salary cap issues. Or he could be used in a potential trade to help the Golden Knights get a player they covet.

Whatever path the Golden Knights take, it’ll come with the win-at-all costs mentality that’s continued to define them. — Clark

Team: USA U-18 (NTDP) | Rank: 9DOB: 08/29/06 | Ht: 6-0 | Wt: 195 | Shot: L2023-24 stats: GP: 49 | G: 49 | A: 27 | P: 76

Scouting notes: Eiserman is considered the best pure scorer in the draft, though opinions about him vary widely.

His impressive goal totals with the national team development program are hard to ignore, yet he often leaves scouts wanting more. With the best shot in the draft, his projection suggests he could score 35 to 40 goals per season if he reaches his ceiling. As a young player in the draft, he has more runway to improve his decision-making and develop a well-rounded offensive game. While habits can be fixed and skating will continue to improve, scoring instincts and the ability to catch and release the puck from awkward positions are innate, and Eiserman excels in both areas.

There are times he tries to do too much with the puck, leading to turnovers and forced shots — habits that can frustrate scouts and coaches. Despite this, his potential as a 40-goal scorer is undeniable if developed with patience. The model is confident he will produce at the NHL level in a top-six role. Eiserman has the talent to be an even-strength scorer, power-play asset and most importantly, a difference-maker. — Doerrie

Team fit: Leave it to Lou Lamoriello to punch consensus in the face. Cole Eiserman is one of the best goal-scorers in the draft, whose stock had fallen due to criticisms of his defensive game. The Islanders certainly needed an infusion of high-end offensive talent in their prospect pool. Eiserman is the embodiment of the “you can’t teach offense” mindset. — Wyshynski

Team: Chicago (USHL) | Rank: 18DOB: 04/14/06 | Ht: 6-0.5 | Wt: 187 | Shot: R2023-24 stats: GP: 54 | G: 33 | A: 42 | P: 75

Scouting notes: A big, right-handed center who is a dual threat in the offensive zone and showed one of the most promising development curves of the season? Check. Check. Check. A dynamic transitioner of the puck, Hage is a cerebral player who picks apart defensive schemes in transition with ease. He gets the puck off the wall to the dangerous areas of the ice better than most players in the draft.

The deceptiveness of his shot and the array of shots in his arsenal makes him equally dangerous with and without the puck. He can pull the puck and fire it through defenders as easily as he receives the puck and releases in a single motion. A heady player, Hage understands how to manipulate defenders and open up shooting lanes. If he can add a step to his pace, he will be able to take advantage of the compromising positions he puts defenders in.

There are many parts of Hage’s game that scouts love outside of his physical gifts. He wins puck battles, gets to the net front and makes his teammates better. He will develop hard skill by improving his ability to take contact and use it to his advantage. The details of his game are a strong point. He supports the puck well, and his ability to impact the game will only improve as his skating takes a step. The model sees him as a middle-six player with an outside chance at hitting his second-line ceiling. — Doerrie

Team fit: After taking Demidov at No. 5, the Canadiens used their second first-round pick to take another forward in Hage. The expectation with Hage is that he could give them a two-way center for the future.

Hypothetically speaking, the Canadiens might not be in any rush, as they’re set up with Nick Suzuki and Alex Newhook down the middle for at least three more years. Hage will spend next season playing at the University of Michigan which has recently developed a number of centers such as Matty Beniers, Thomas Bordeleau and Brendan Brisson, among others. — Clark

Team: Yaroslavl Jr. (RUSSIA-JR.) | Rank: 44DOB: 08/01/06 | Ht: 6-1 | Wt: 192 | Shot: L2023-24 stats: GP: 43 | G: 23 | A: 30 | P: 53

Team fit: Barry Trotz goes forward first again, after selecting Matthew Wood at No. 15 last season. Yegor Surin’s stock reportedly shot up after participating in agent Dan Milstein’s camp in Fort Lauderdale during the Stanley Cup Final.

He certainly fits the Predators’ identity under Trotz and head coach Andrew Brunette of compete level up front. — Wyshynski

Team: Valerenga (NORWAY) | Rank: 36DOB: 12/29/05 | Ht: 6-2 | Wt: 194 | Shot: L2023-24 stats: GP: 42 | G: 5 | A: 10 | P: 15

Team fit: Solberg gives the Ducks another defensemen for the future in a farm system in which blueliners are in excess. They already have Jackson LaCombe, Pavel Mintyukov and Olen Zellweger, plus Tristan Luneau. But they also have a pair of defenseman older than 32 in Cam Fowler and Radko Gudas.

In short order, the Ducks could potentially have five homegrown defensemen, or they could look to move one of them in the future if it can help them swing a deal to address another area of the roster. — Clark

Team: Barrie (OHL) | Rank: 32DOB: 04/24/06 | Ht: 6-2 | Wt: 209 | Shot: L2023-24 stats: GP: 67 | G: 28 | A: 34 | P: 62

Scouting notes: Combine an elite motor, good two-way play and a healthy dose of compete, Cole Beaudoin is simply a gamer. If I were giving each draft-eligible a superlative or vibe, Beaudoin’s would be “gamer.” The model is lower on him than this ranking, but the belief that he should become a bottom-six player that checks well, kills penalties and bring energy to the lineup.

A big, strong player who may be most effective on the wing at the NHL level, Beaudoin reads the play well, gets into traffic, wins nearly every puck battle and grinds opponents down. There is no OHL player who enjoys going into the corner with him — and more than a few came out worse for wear. He’s got the strength and desire to be an impactful physical player in the NHL. If his skating continues to improve, there is reason to believe he has a higher ceiling than current projections indicate. Utah will need a more patient approach with him, but added pace could see him jump into a third-line role as a player coaches trust implicitly. — Doerrie

Team fit: GM Bill Armstrong had a treasure trove of draft picks and decided to dip into them swap with Colorado, sending the 38th, 71st and the Rangers’ 2025 second-rounder to the Avalanche. That’s because it was widely expected that the Bruins were going to select Beaudoin with the next selection.

Utah gets a strong center who plays with physical tenacity, a puck-swarming forward that fits in well on the UHC depth chart. — Wyshynski

Team: St. Andrews College (HIGH-ON) | Rank: 34DOB: 02/21/06 | Ht: 6-6 | Wt: 210 | Shot: R2023-24 stats: GP: 56 | G: 61 | A: 66 | P: 127

Team fit: Letourneau gives the Bruins extreme size down the middle. The fact he scored more than 60 goals and 127 points proves there is offensive upside, too.

He’ll attend Boston College starting in 2025, so the Bruins can keep a close eye on his development. Perhaps the most fascinating part is that the Bruins are hoping to strike it rich with Letourneau given they’ve only had four draft picks since 2018 who have reached the NHL. — Clark

Team: Windsor (OHL) | Rank: 16DOB: 01/01/06 | Ht: 6-2.25 | Wt: 207 | Shot: L2023-24 stats: GP: 64 | G: 36 | A: 54 | P: 90

Scouting notes: Greentree has many attributes that scouts love — he plays in the middle of the ice, sees the ice very well, is an adept playmaker and a throwback build in the style of a power forward. He ranks highly across the board from his physical game to his hockey sense to his high-end playmaking. He lacks in the most important, yet most easily improvable, area: skating. Were Greentree an average or slightly above average skater, he likely would’ve been a top-10 pick because he’s that good in the other areas of his game.

Greentree was effectively a one-man show on a rebuilding Windsor team. His production is likely 20% better on a team that doesn’t finish near the bottom of the OHL standings. Not only is he a quality offensive driver, but he is also reliable defensively. He gets himself in good positions, wins puck battles and routinely outmuscles opponents all over the ice. He’s fun to watch because you wonder how he is as effective as he is with his skating deficiencies.

Scouts and executives have expressed an admiration for his game. His puckhandling, vision and shot make him a problem to deal with in the offensive zone. There are a lot of tools to work with and wouldn’t be the first prospect to improve his skating after being drafted. The problem with Greentree’s skating is that it is enough of a concern in today’s league that if it doesn’t improve, he may not be able to keep up. Functionally big and skilled power wingers are hard to find nowadays, and Greentree is exactly that. If he does add a step or two to his game, there’s a good chance he’s a top-six point producer at the NHL level. — Doerrie

Team fit: The Kings picked up this pick when Montreal traded up to No. 21 to select center Michael Hage. Greentree was captain of the Windsor Spitfires, and has a big body and a smart offensive game.

He joins a group of young forwards with the Kings that includes burgeoning star Quinton Byfield, Alex Laferriere and hopefully Alex Turcotte, who hasn’t developed as quickly as the others. Most importantly, Liam Greentree wore No. 66 in the OHL and would automatically become our favorite player if he had the audacity of wearing Mario Lemieux’s sacred digits in the NHL. — Wyshynski

Team: Brantford (OHL) | Rank: HMDOB: 04/12/06 | Ht: 6-0.5 | Wt: 174 | Shot: L2023-24 stats: GP: 68 | G: 36 | A: 46 | P: 82

Team fit: It simply wasn’t enough to draft Levshunov and Boisvert in the first round. Blackhawks GM Kyle Davidson traded up to get the 27th pick to take Mark Vanacker, a decision that adds to what they believe is a bright future.

Vanacker gives the Blackhawks a winger they could potentially see at the NHL level in a few years. While their rebuild starts and ends with Bedard, getting Vanacker means the Blackhawks have used seven first-round picks to draft forwards since 2020. — Clark

Team: Muskegon (USHL) | Rank: HMDOB: 03/01/06 | Ht: 6-1.25 | Wt: 182 | Shot: L2023-24 stats: GP: 60 | G: 38 | A: 45 | P: 83

Team fit: The Flames acquired this pick in the Elias Lindholm trade with the Canucks. Lose a forward, gain a forward. Gridin led the USHL in points with 83 in 60 games, giving the rebuilding-and-or-retooling Flames another strong offensive winger.

Another Russian player who was spotlighted at the Dan Milstein camp during the Stanley Cup Final, he has a big frame for an agile skater. He’s University of Michigan-bound, and the Flames will gladly wait for his skills to sharpen in the NCAA. — Wyshynski

Team: TPS (FINLAND) | Rank: 25DOB: 06/27/06 | Ht: 6-0.75 | Wt: 201 | Shot: R2023-24 stats: GP: 40 | G: 7 | A: 4 | P: 11

Scouting notes: Hemming is a fun topic of discussion among scouts. He’s considered to have a very high floor and lower offensive ceiling. The model sees him fitting in quite well as a third-line forward who can contribute offensively. Hemming is one of the few players who the model predicts he has more than an 80% chance of playing 200 NHL games with less than a 10% chance of becoming a star — true “safe” vibes.

He’s a strong two-way player with a quality release that borders on being a separating skill. He can shoot off both legs, off balance and in many catch-and-release positions. He’s a threat to score from distance, gets pucks through defenders and can score when he drives the net. He understands how to use contact to his advantage, wins puck battles, is in excellent spots off the puck and never cheats defensively. Those hard skills should easily translate into a bottom-six role, and he’s likely ready for the AHL next season.

Offensively, there have been flashes of good puck distribution and hockey sense. However, he is reliant on his shooting ability and two-way play. If he can add a step to his skating, there is legitimate upside as a power forward who contributes 40 to 50 points per season, playing on a top penalty-killing unit and secondary power-play unit. The ceiling isn’t as high as that of other players, but he is far more likely to play meaningful games. — Doerrie

Team fit: No matter who the Stars selected at No. 29, the pick was going to be met with the expectation that they would be the latest success story in Dallas’ prospect pipeline. So the fact they took Emil Hemming only adds to the belief that he could be the next prospect who might be able to contribute quickly.

He had 11 goals and 18 points in 13 games while playing against under-20 competition in Finland, while scoring seven goals and 11 points in 40 points against older competition in Liiga, the highest level of hockey in the nation. — Clark

Team: USA U-18 (NTDP) | Rank: 28DOB: 03/30/06 | Ht: 6-3 | Wt: 185 | Shot: R2023-24 stats: GP: 53 | G: 0 | A: 11 | P: 11

Scouting notes: Emery has the makings of an impactful defenseman who can anchor a second pairing. Emery is a perfect complementary piece to an elite offensive defenseman who needs a reliable partner to augment their game.

Emery is a top transition defenseman, whose one-on-one defensive play stands out. He maintains excellent posture, effectively uses his stick to guide opponents, takes away passes and pokes pucks off opponent’s sticks. In transition, he maintains good gap control, doesn’t allow attackers to beat him to the outside and forces them to relinquish the puck. When the game needs a calming presence, the opponent’s best players kept off the scoresheet and a quality defensive play, Emery is that player. From that perspective, he is a coach’s dream. His defensive development this season has me believing he will continue to improve and likely become one of the best defenders in the draft class.

Offensively, there is not a lot there. That isn’t Emery’s calling card. That is likely why the model doesn’t project him to be more than a second-pairing defenseman. He makes simple breakout passes and doesn’t get caught up ice. While that is generally concerning, as a lack of offense at the junior level leads to a less confident statistical projection, his ability to defend in all three zones, skate well and win physical battles should make him a top-four defenseman in the NHL. — Doerrie

Team fit: There was a sense ahead of the draft that if the Rangers kept this pick, they were going defense. They selected a solid one here.

Emery is a right-handed shot who skates well and has a strong physical game without chasing hits. He projects to be a top-four defenseman. It’s not difficult to see Emery as a protégé for Rangers standout K’Andre Miller at the NHL level, and a part of that blue line with younger Rangers like Miller and Braden Schneider. — Wyshynski

Team: Oshawa (OHL) | Rank: HMDOB: 02/06/06 | Ht: 6-1 | Wt: 188 | Shot: R2023-24 stats: GP: 64 | G: 1 | A: 32 | P: 33

Team fit: Trading down created questions about what the Leafs would do with the second-to-last pick of the first round. They answered by drafting defenseman Danford.

He provides them with a player who could help strengthen the blue line in the Leafs’ farm system. As a team pushing for titles, the Leafs are up against the salary cap each year, so having a player who can help in the near future on an entry-level deal is a boost. — Clark

Team: London (OHL) | Rank: HMDOB: 03/30/06 | Ht: 6-1 | Wt: 178 | Shot: R2023-24 stats: GP: 68 | G: 20 | A: 36 | P: 56

Team fit: The Oilers acquired this pick from the Flyers, who acquired it from the Panthers in the Claude Giroux trade, so it’s good to see Edmonton finally take something that belonged to Florida.

Edmonton was willing to mortgage a first-rounder in either 2025 or 2026 for O’Reilly, who earned his stripes as a tremendous defender but had 56 points in 68 games for the London Knights last season. And that’s really the key here: O’Reilly went through the Hunter brothers system in London, meaning he’s prepped to be an NHL player.

Edmonton CEO Jeff Jackson, running the hockey operations show now that Ken Holland parted ways, has always been a fan of London GM Mark Hunter. Suppose we’ll find out how big that fandom is now that the Oilers need a general manager. Stay tuned. — Wyshynski

Round 2

33. San Jose Sharks: Igor Chernyshov, LW, Dynamo Moscow (RUSSIA)34. Carolina Hurricanes: Dominik Badinka, D, Malmo (SWEDEN)35. Anaheim Ducks: Lucas Pettersson, C, Modo Jr. (SWEDEN-JR.)36. Columbus Blue Jackets: Charlie Elick, D, Brandon (WHL)37. Winnipeg Jets: Alfons Freij, D, Vaxjo Jr. (SWEDEN-JR.)38. Colorado Avalanche: Ilya Nabokov, G, Magnitogorsk (RUSSIA)39. Ottawa Senators: Gabriel Eliasson, D, HV71 Jr. (SWEDEN-JR.)40. Seattle Kraken: Julius Miettinen, C, Everett (WHL)41. Calgary Flames: Andrew Basha, LW, Medicine Hat (WHL)42. Buffalo Sabres: Adam Kleber, D, Lincoln (USHL)


Updated: Juni 29, 2024 — 6:15 pm

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