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2024 NHL Mock Draft 1.0: Macklin Celebrini heads top 16 picks before May 7 lottery

NCAA Hockey: Frozen Four
Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

The 62nd NHL Draft will take place June 28-29 at the Sphere in Las Vegas. It is expected to be the last in-person draft, with the NHL planning a remote draft beginning in 2025.

Boston University center Macklin Celebrini is the consensus choice to be the No. 1 pick in 2024.

However, who will have the opportunity to select Celebrini is still up in the air since the NHL Draft Lottery takes place May 7.

So, the teams’ draft order won’t be known until the lottery. But that doesn’t mean we can’t roll out our initial 2024 NHL Mock Draft.

In our 1.0 Mock, we will select the top 16 players by order of finish in the 2023-24 NHL standings, including each of the teams that failed to qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs. We will update our update our NHL Mock Draft with a 2.0 version following the draft lottery.

Related: 2024 NHL Draft order: NHL Draft Lottery, odds, top prospects, date, more

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Macklin Celebrini — John Mersits / USA TODAY NETWORK Credit: John Mersits / USA TODAY NETWORK

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

The Sharks have used all five of their first round picks since 2020 on forwards, but that shouldn’t stop them from making the obvious choice should they win the draft lottery. Macklin Celebrini is the consensus No. 1 overall pick, and won the Hobey Baker Award during his freshman season at Boston University, becoming the youngest player to do so. Celebrini was also named the Hockey East Player of the Year, Hockey East Rookie of the Year, and Hockey East Scoring Champion, putting up a stat line of 32 goals and 32 assists for 64 points in 38 games. A complete two-way player with offensive talent and a strong defensive work ethic. 

2. Chicago Blackhawks: Ivan Demidov, Right Wing, SKA-1946 (MHL)

The Blackhawks got their franchise center and sniper last year in Connor Bedard, who will amass big point totals when given talent around him. Demidov is a player who can keep up with Bedard’s creativity. The skilled winger regularly draws pressure to create passing lanes via his puck skills and competitiveness. In 30 games in the MHL this season, he recorded 23 goals and 37 assists for 60 points before adding another 11 goals and 17 assists during 15 playoff games. Pairing him with Bedard could lead to great success for Chicago for the next decade.

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

Anaheim has been building up its prospect pool in recent years. The addition of Cutter Gauthier gives them a one-two punch down the middle with Leo Carlsson to be flanked with talented wingers. Mason McTavish can also play center or on the wing. Levshunov could fill a need on the blue line as a big, physically gifted right-shot defender who is considered a top prospect in this year’s draft due to his passing and puck handling. As long as he is taken with one of the first eight picks, Levshunov will become the highest-drafted player to come out of Belarus. Turning 19 in October, Levshunov is older than some of the top prospects in the 2024 class, which could help him get to the NHL in less time, though he is expected to return to the Spartans for his sophomore season. 

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

Columbus has a bit of a need down the middle despite having Adam Fantilli and Cole Silinger. Cayden Lindstrom projects as a special player and power center who could be taken early in the draft. He engages defensively, wins puck battles, transports the puck well, and displays a solid shot. Lindstrom is a big center who uses his strength and 6-foot-3 frame to bully opponents at the junior level. An excellent skater who can get around or through defenders regularly. He scored 27 goals and 19 assists for 46 points in 32 games played with the Tigers this season. 

5. Montreal Canadiens: Berkley Catton, Center, Spokane Chiefs (WHL) 

Montreal has a solid group of defensemen coming up in its organization with Lane Hutson, Kaiden Guhle, Jayden Struble, and Logan Mailoux. The Canadiens need to build their forward depth, especially down the middle. Berkly Catton is considered to be one of the best players in the Western Hockey League (WHL). His skating, passing, and puck-handling skills make him a well-rounded player who appears to be a lock to be taken in the top 10 of the draft. Catton possesses the edgework and all-around game to be a top-six center. Catton scored 54 goals and 62 assists for 116 points in 68 games this season.

6. Utah: Zane Parekh, Defenseman, Saginaw Spirit (OHL) 

Defense is an area the Utah franchise will want to upgrade its prospect pool, especially on the right side. High-scoring right-shot defenseman Zane Parekh from the Saginaw Spirit of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) has a boatload of offensive talent, and could be an exciting choice as the first selection in Utah’s NHL history. He opens up opportunities with his hockey sense and standout shot. A strong skater who is capable of changing direction almost instantaneously, Parekh has high end puck handling skills while eluding forechecks and avoiding pressure. Parekh is a goal scorer, who had 33 goals and 63 assists for 96 points in 66 games played this season.

Related: Stanley Cup Playoffs: Predictions for all 8 first-round series

7. Ottawa Senators: Anton Silayev, Defenseman, Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod (KHL)

Anton Silayev is one of the top defensemen in the draft with imposing size (6-foot-7) and who plays a physical style. A good stabilizing presence on the blue line. with the size, mobility, and reach to shut down opponents. Silayev is signed through the 2025-2026 season in Russia, which gives him time to develop his offensive game as he finished this season with only three goals and eight assists in 63 games for Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod in the KHL. 

8. Seattle Kraken: Carter Yakemchuk, Defenseman, Calgary Hitmen (WHL)

Yakemchuk is a big defender who scored 30 goals in the WHL this past season with the Calgary Hitmen, becoming the first draft eligible defender to do so in 22 years. The right-shot defenseman is a top player who impresses with his competitiveness and shot power. 

9. Calgary Flames: Tij Iginla, Right Wing, Kelowna Rockets (WHL) 

Son of Hockey Hall of Famer Jerome Iginla, Tij became a top prospect in the WHL thanks to his shot, which will scare NHL goalies for years to come. His puck skills can beat defenders one-on-one. Tij is a player who will outwork everyone around him, and does a lot of the little things which make pros successful. Being drafted by the same team his father played for would make for a feel-good story.  

10. New Jersey Devils: Zeev Buium, Defenseman, Dever University (NCAA)

Zeev Buium has been impressive all year with the Pioneers on their way to capturing the national championship, scoring 50 points in 42 games. His performance in the Frozen Four, along with winning gold with the United States in both the Under-18 World Championships in 2023 and 2024 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships, has seen his stock rise. A complete defender with a two-way game capable of playing big minutes on an NHL team’s top four. Zeev excels as a passer and puck handler, and is a defensively responsible player who has shown he is worth a high pick. 

11. Buffalo Sabres: Adam Jiricek, Defenseman, HC Skoda Plzen (Czech Extraliga)

Adam Jiricek will be an interesting prospect to watch at the draft, as he was looking to be a top-10 pick until suffering a season-ending injury at the World Junior Championships. He is a big body skater who moves the puck efficiently. The Sabres won’t rush Jiricek onto their roster, but if he falls to them due to injury, he could bolster the right side of their blue line with potential partners on the left in Owen Power, Rasmus Dahlin or Bowen Byram. 

12. Philadelphia Flyers: Konsta Helenius, Center/Right Wing, Jukurit (Liiga) 

Konsta Helenius was a standout player on Finland’s U-20 team. A strong two-way forward who could play center and has good playmaking skills which project well on the power play. His skating creates space in the offensive zone. The Flyers are continuing their rebuild and need to add talent. There is a need for young forwards in the pipeline after trading Cutter Gauthier to Anaheim. Helenius is a good, versatile forward who could fit what Philadelphia is trying to do. 

13. Minnesota Wild: Sam Dickinson, Defenseman, London Knights (OHL)

Dickinson projects as a dependable, two-way player who moves incredibly well. The left-shot defenseman is a standout player with a strong slap shot and high motor. Some believe Dickinson can be the best defenseman in this draft class. He scored 18 goals and 52 assists for 70 points in 68 games played with London in the Ontario Hockey League this season. 

Related: Mentally Weak, Out of Shape Filip Gustavsson Enters Offseason on Wild Trade Block

14. San Jose Sharks (via Pittsburgh Penguins): Michael Brandsegg-Nygard, Forward, Mora IK (HockeyAllsvenskan) 

A Norwegian forward who appeared for Mora IK of the HockeyAllsvenskan in Sweden. Michael Brandsegg-Nygard might be the most NHL-ready player in the 2024 draft. He outworked his opponents on a nightly basis in Sweden’s second-tier professional league, winning many puck battles with his high motor. A versatile winger who plays a pro-style game and is on the right side of the puck for most of his ice time. Brandsegg-Nygard was a force for Norway at the World Juniors, and showed he can play up and down the lineup. His 200-foot game can ease the defensive burden down the line for an offensive-minded center such as Will Smith. 

15. Detroit Red Wings: Cole Eiserman. Left Wing, USNTDP (USHL)

Cole Eiserman is a strong skater and high-end scorer. Though his stock has fallen a bit this year, Eiserman is considered to be one of the better pure scores in this draft class. His skill in getting off shots from unlikely angles make him a true sniper, having scored 25 goals in 24 games during USHL play this season. He excels on the power play. He was a member of the gold medal-winning 2023 IIHF World U18 Championships team. Eiserman is committed to Boston University, where many scouts hope he can round out the completeness of his game. 

16. St. Louis Blues: Liam Greentree, Right Wing, Windsor Spitfires (OHL) 

Liam Greentree is a big winger with below-average skating speed, though he does most things well, such as fighting hard to win puck battles, making smart passes and handling defensive responsibilities. His skill with the puck is noteworthy, while his greatest strength is his NHL quality shot. Greentree deals with defenders leaning on him as well as any player in the draft class. He has size, excellent vision, and good hands. With the Windsor Spitfires this season, Greentree scored 36 goals and 54 assists for 90 points in 64 games. He needs to improve his acceleration, as the biggest barrier to NHL success right now is skating.  

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