NHL Mock Draft 2024: Macklin Celebrini to Sharks as we pick for every lottery team (2024)

After the San Jose Sharks won the first pick in the 2024 NHL Draft and the Chicago Blackhawks won the second overall pick, draft season and mock draft season is now fully underway. With a draft order now known, our collection of NHL writers combined to create a mock draft of the first 16 picks of the draft. This is our writers’ best attempt to predict what will happen on draft day based on their knowledge of the teams they cover and what those teams covet in players.

GO DEEPERHow does Macklin Celebrini compare to recent No. 1 NHL Draft picks? Scouts, execs weigh in

The 2024 NHL Draft will take place in Las Vegas on June 28 and 29.

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

Let it now be known that there can no longer be any complaining about the Sharks never winning a draft lottery. Let it also be known that San Jose can roll out the red, er, teal carpet for Celebrini. This will be a homecoming of sorts for the North Vancouver native as the Celebrini family has maintained a residence in the Bay Area for a few years and the Sharks fan base, which suffered through a wretched 2023-24 season, can rally around a Hobey Baker Award winner who is a true two-way, high-end talent. He’ll be a one-two punch down the middle with Boston College star Will Smith that Mike Grier can build around. — Eric Stephens

See you June 28 @SphereVegas 😎 pic.twitter.com/ZXRoSGxYI8

— San Jose Sharks (@SanJoseSharks) May 7, 2024

2. Chicago Blackhawks: Ivan Demidov, RW, SKA St. Petersburg Jr. (RUSSIA-JR.)

Demidov is the second-best forward in this draft. The Blackhawks are certainly interested in defenseman Artyom Levshunov, but if they can be guaranteed Demidov will come over to North America from Russia after next season, Demidov would make the most sense. A future combination of Connor Bedard and Demidov could be a ton of fun. — Scott Powers

3. Anaheim Ducks: Artyom Levshunov, RHD, Michigan State

As much as Anaheim would want to win the lottery one day, it didn’t particularly have to this year given the amount of young talent that already exists in the organization. Of course, they would have made room for Celebrini, but they’ve got Leo Carlsson and Mason McTavish in place now as their top two centers, along with Trevor Zegras and Cutter Gauthier who can also play the middle. The No. 3 hole is a great place to add Levshunov, an 18-year-old Belarusian who made a terrific transition to college hockey in his freshman season. He’s got the kind of size that GM Pat Verbeek wants on his blue line and is already earning plaudits for a strong two-way game. With him being a right shot, it could give the Ducks a potential terrific top four of Levshunov and Tristan Luneau on the right side across from Pavel Mintyukov and Olen Zellweger on the left. — Eric Stephens

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

The Blue Jackets will have a difficult choice to make at No. 4, especially if both Demidov and Levshunov are gone, because I think their group would be fond of both. They’re also in a unique position with a strong young group of forwards (led by Adam Fantilli and some talented wingers) and pool on defense (led by David Jiricek and Denton Mateychuk). I think Russian D Anton Silayev would make a lot of sense, what with their contingent of Russians on the roster, but the idea of a one-two punch of Fantilli and Lindstrom — who both play similar styles and have desired size and skating ability — down the middle might be too much for them to pass up (their pool is also thinner at center than on the wing). — Scott Wheeler

TRADE: The Canadiens trade the No. 5 pick in the draft to the Calgary Flames for the No. 9 pick and the Vancouver Canucks first-round pick in 2024.

5. Calgary Flames (via trade with Montreal Canadiens): Zeev Buium, LHD, Denver

Flames fans really want Tij Iginla at ninth overall. But there was a golden opportunity to trade into the top five with the Canadiens and come away with an impact defenseman in Buium, who could translate into a game-breaker (and a future No. 1 D-man) that Calgary desperately needs. Buium found himself in the top-10 in scoring among NCAA players as a freshman defenseman and in the top-20 in average points per game. The high-end skill set that makes him effective in all phases of the game should help soften the blow of not drafting their franchise icon’s offspring. — Julian McKenzie

6. Utah: Anton Silayev, LHD, Torpedo (RUSSIA)

Last year, the franchise formerly known as Arizona used two top-12 picks on Russians. This year, they’re running it back again, taking the 6-foot-7 behemoth Silayev, whose 11 points in the KHL this season were the most ever for a U18 skater — forward or defense — in Russia’s top league. There is a case to be made for them to target more of a pure puck mover on the blue line, but adding Silayev to last year’s sixth overall pick, Dmitri Simashev, gives them a hulking core to build around on the back end. — Max Bultman

7. Ottawa Senators: Zayne Parekh, RHD, Saginaw Spirit (OHL)

The Senators have one of the most barren prospect cupboards in the entire NHL, finishing 31st in Scott Wheeler’s most recent organizational prospect ranking. At this point, they simply need to grab the player with the most skill and upside when picking inside the top-10. And if the draft plays out as above, Parekh being available at No. 7 seems like a logical choice for Ottawa. This is where he seems to be slotting in for most draft projections, right in around the seventh overall pick. Parekh is a right-shot defenseman with a tremendous skill set and offensive abilities, who produced a 33-goal, 96-point campaign for Saginaw this season. He has dynamic capabilities in the offensive zone, which could certainly be something the Senators can utilize in the years ahead. — Ian Mendes

8. Seattle Kraken: Sam Dickinson, LHD, London Knights (OHL)

The Kraken have built a strong pool in a short period of time, but the one thing it has missed since its inception is a premium prospect on D. That’s their target in a draft full of them and they’re thrilled to land Dickinson, a potential top-four cornerstone and the best defenseman available at No. 8. — Scott Wheeler

9. Montreal Canadiens: F Tij Iginla, Kelowna Rockets (WHL)

With Ivan Demidov and Cayden Lindstrom gone by the fourth pick, the worst-case scenario presented itself to the Canadiens. A decision needed to be made to either reach for a forward at No. 5, take a right-shot defenseman — Zayne Parekh and Carter Yakemchuk were sitting right there — or trade down, get some additional draft capital and still get the forward they wanted all along. We chose door No. 3, made the trade with Calgary, added a third first-round pick (to go with the Jets first-rounder acquired for Sean Monahan) and drafted Tij Iginla of the Kelowna Rockets, a playoff-style forward who should help complete the Canadiens’ top-six in two years or so. We also tried to package the Jets first-round pick and Canucks first-round pick to jump back into the teens, but the mock GMs of the Flyers, Wild and Sharks each said no at 12, 13 and 14, and once Beckett Sennecke was gone to the Sharks, the pursuit ended. Still, the Canadiens come away with a forward they love plus an additional first-round pick, which they could use to complete a trade on the draft floor or add another prospect. — Arpon Basu

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

The Devils are in a good spot here, with a talented young team that doesn’t have to chase a need. Maybe they trade this pick for help in goal, but if they stay and pick, they’ll have some good options available to them, and this scenario is a perfect example. Catton doesn’t have ideal size, but he projects as a high-impact forward with strong skating and a ton of offense. His draft-year numbers (54 goals, 116 points in 68 games) surpass those of recent high picks out of the WHL, Seth Jarvis (2020) and Zach Benson (2023), both of whom progressed quickly to the NHL. — Max Bultman

11. Buffalo Sabres: Cole Eiserman, W, USNTDP

The Sabres should make this pick available in trade discussions this summer. They need to upgrade their NHL roster in what could be a make-or-break season for general manager Kevyn Adams. Their prospect pool is loaded with talent already, so the Sabres could afford to move the pick for a proven NHL player. That said, there are a couple of attractive options in this scenario. Defenseman Carter Yakemchuk was a strong consideration, but Cole Eiserman’s goal-scoring talent was too much to pass up. The rest of his game needs work, which is why he’s available at this spot, but Eiserman has the type of scoring ability that could make him a top-line NHL winger. That’s a chance worth taking for Buffalo. — Matt Fairburn


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

The Flyers already have some young defensem*n with promise in Jamie Drysdale, Emil Andrae and Oliver Bonk, the last of whom was selected in the first round last year and is having an outstanding season with the London Knights. But Yakemchuk would give that group some much-needed size — he’s six-foot-three, 201 pounds — and snarl, as he was tied for fourth in penalty minutes in the WHL this season. That he’s a right-handed shot (a heavy one) only makes him more appealing. — Kevin Kurz

13. Minnesota Wild: Adam Jiricek, D, Plzen (CZECHIA)

There were a few targets that were chosen right before the Wild’s pick. Cole Eiserman and Carter Yakemchuk. There was an offer to move far down in the round. But for a Wild organization still trying to figure out what they have in their blue-line prospect pool, Jiricek provides another strong option. Injuries could have led him to drop some, but he’s got the size (6-2) and two-way game. — Joe Smith

14. San Jose Sharks: Beckett Sennecke, RW, Oshawa Generals (OHL)

While it might make some sense to go with a defenseman after grabbing Celebrini, the Sharks could continue to flesh out their forward prospect pool by going with a skilled right wing in Sennecke. He’s a tad on the lean side but he skates really well and, at 6-foot-2, already has good length. The 18-year-old Sennecke formed an excellent pairing with Calum Ritchie but his success with Oshawa doesn’t come solely off playing with Colorado’s 2023 first-round pick. Sennecke has terrific hands and can play in tight, either by scoring or setting up teammates. With other prospects like Quentin Musty and Filip Bystedt along with Celebrini and Boston College star Will Smith, the Sharks can soon have the makings of a strong forward pipeline up front. — Eric Stephens

15. Detroit Red Wings: Konsta Helenius, C, Jukurit (Finland)

Detroit has taken centers with its top pick in each of the last two drafts, but ultimately couldn’t pass up Helenius still being on the board. His U18 production in Finland’s Liiga (36 points in 51 games) is right up there with the top draft-eligibles in the league’s history, sandwiched in between Kaapo Kakko and Patrik Laine. Helenius is undersized, though, at 5-foot-11, and while he kept up his production in the Liiga playoffs, he didn’t have as much success in Finland’s biggest games at the U18 World Championship. Forwards with that kind of pro production aren’t easy to find though, so Detroit is willing to overlook the size and bet on Helenius’ smarts. — Max Bultman

16. St. Louis Blues: Michael Brandsegg-Nygard, RW, Mora (SWEDEN-2)

Doug Armstrong’s blueprint is to stay competitive during the retool, and this is the difficult part of that for some fans to swallow: drafting in the murky middle. There were some very talented players who almost lasted to the Blues’ selection, such as defenseman Adam Jiricek. The Blues’ prospect pool is a little more stocked at forward, but Brandsegg-Nygard will still be a nice addition. The Norway native is an Armstrong-type player in that he’s got good hockey sense, a high compete level, and makes good decisions with the puck. — Jeremy Rutherford

Pronman’s audit

The most interesting decision happens very early on in the trade between Montreal and Calgary. Many believe Montreal’s preference is to get a talented forward in this draft. With Demidov and Lindstrom going before their pick it makes sense for them to trade down to No. 9 if Iginla is someone they may covet. Calgary trading up for a defenseman at No. 5 despite three more defensem*n going right after Buium is an interesting decision. Calgary would need to be over the moon about Buium to do so, especially if they feel Montreal is going to take a forward with the fifth overall pick.

My hunch is that when it’s all said and done, Sennecke will go higher than 14. He’s looked excellent in the OHL playoffs for Oshawa. I think Helenius goes higher than 15 too. But there is a run on defensem*n in the middle of this mock. Six defensem*n go in nine selections to organizations that need premium defensem*n, so maybe there is a chance one of the top forwards in this draft could get all the way to Detroit at 15.

(Illustration: John Bradford / The Athletic. Photos: Maksim Konstantinov / SOPA Images / LightRocket, Richard T Gagnon, Michael Miller / ISI Photos / Getty Images)

NHL Mock Draft 2024: Macklin Celebrini to Sharks as we pick for every lottery team (2024)


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