Thu. Jul 25th, 2024


The first round of the 2024 NHL Draft is here, and, as expected, Macklin Celebrini was selected by the San Jose Sharks with the first pick.

Follow along here as every pick is announced tonight to see scouting reports of every player and analysis of their selection.

See what scouts really have to say about the best prospects in Pronman’s NHL Draft Confidential and Wheeler’s NHL scouts survey.

Read more: Check out all of our coverage of 2024 NHL Draft.


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

June 13, 2006 | 6′ 0″ | 196 pounds

Tier: Elite NHL player

Player comparable: Sidney Crosby

Analysis: Celebrini was the best player in college hockey this season and a leader for a top team in the country. He checks every box you want in a top prospect, and is one of the few players I’ve scouted where it’s hard to see any noticeable weakness. He skates very well. He has a very powerful stride with a quick twitch in his first few steps and is able to get by a lot of defenders. He’s extremely skilled and creative with high-end offensive sense. Celebrini makes a ton of difficult plays with the puck on the move, in tight areas and from a standstill. He has a bullet shot and projects to run a first power play in the NHL. He’s average-sized, but Celebrini is highly competitive, wins a lot of battles and projects as a two-way center in the NHL. He has all the makings of a potential superstar that you can build a contender around.

Pick grade: B+

Thoughts on the pick: Celebrini is one of the best and most complete prospects I’ve ever seen. He checks every box with emphasis between his skating, skill, hockey sense, compete and scoring ability. He looks like a no doubt two-way first line center one day in the NHL who the Sharks can form their rebuild around. He was the consensus first pick all season for a reason.

2. Chicago Blackhawks: Artyom Levshunov, RHD, Michigan State Univ. (NCAA)

October 28, 2005 | 6′ 2″ | 209 pounds

Tier: Bubble elite NHL player and NHL All-Star

Player comparable: Brent Burns

Analysis: Levshunov was the best defenseman in the Big Ten this season and a big part of Michigan State being a top team. He is extremely skilled and creative, both as a puck-handler and passer. He has the hands of a top offensive defenseman and looks very comfortable with the puck. He skates well and can play an up-tempo style in how he attacks with his skill. He has the offensive sense to potentially run a PP1 in the NHL and has a good point shot, too. His defensive play doesn’t stand out as much, particularly because he tries to attack so much, but he can make stops due to his athleticism and has physicality in his game. He is too aggressive at times, and plays like a forward too much for some scouts’ liking. He makes enough stops to ease most evaluators’ concerns given how much offense he brings. He has the potential to be an impact NHL defenseman who scores at a premium level.

Pick grade: A-

Thoughts on the pick: In Levshunov, Chicago got my second rated player in the draft, but a player who by no means was universally agreed upon at that number. Chicago has some great young defenders in their organization, but Levshunov is a whole other level of talent. He was playing at a level equivalent to pond hockey two years ago, and was one of the best defensemen in college hockey this past season. He’s big, mobile and has a ton of natural skill and offensive sense. He is a budding star who I felt was being unfairly picked apart in the pre-draft process. He is a rare piece with star upside you can build a winner around.

3. Anaheim Ducks: Beckett Sennecke, RW, Oshawa Generals (OHL)

January 28, 2006 | 6′ 2″ | 181 pounds

Tier: Bubble NHL All-Star and top of the lineup player

Player comparable: Kyle Connor

Analysis: Sennecke’s pure point totals on the season don’t jump out at you, but he was very good in the second half and was a top player in the OHL playoffs. He’s 6-foot-2, skates quite well for his size and has game-breaking skill. He’s one of the more creative puckhandlers in the draft, and that he can make those difficult plays at full speed makes him highly intriguing for the NHL level. He sees the ice well and is creative as a passer, although not to the level of his 1v1 abilities. There have been times when I’ve questioned his compete and consistency, but he answered those questions as the season continued. His stock is sharply trending up, and he looks like a player who can be a difference-maker at the next level.

Pick grade: B-

Thoughts on the pick: Sennecke is a dynamic winger who on his best games is one of the most impactful players in the class. Based on how he looked in the closing months of the season, I absolutely get this pick. He has the potential top be a top line wing with star upside if he really hits. I do wonder about the fit on Anaheim, given how many great young forwards they have, although I presume Trevor Zegras is on his way out. There were some great defense prospects on the board they passed up as well. We’ll see how Anaheim makes all the pieces fit, and if they felt too uncomfortable with the Russian variable in Anton Silayev I do understand this move.

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

February 3, 2006 | 6′ 3″ | 214 pounds

Tier: Top of the lineup player

Player comparable: Chris Kreider

Analysis: Lindstrom came out of the gates this season flying for the first few months. He then was hurt for most of the second half though between a hand and back injury. When healthy, he’s an elite athlete. He has the quick twitch feet of a smaller forward, and can get by opposing defenders. He’s a big, powerful center with a ton of physicality in his game. Lindstrom has good offensive skills, and can score goals. His playmaking is something I’ve questioned at times although he’s shown good instances this season. He has the potential to be a true No. 1 center if he hits although I don’t see a lot of NHL centers who play the way he does and I could see him get pushed to the wing.

Pick grade: B-

Thoughts on the pick: Lindstrom projects as the potential second-line center for Columbus between Adam Fantilli and Cole Sillinger. In those three players it’s a lot of meanness and scoring ability down the middle. Lindstrom’s hockey sense and injury history would have given me some pause at fourth overall, but I presume Columbus got the green light from their doctors to make this pick. I don’t know if he’s ever going to be the biggest point producer in the NHL, but Lindstrom brings a unique skill set that coaches will love and has the potential to help create an identity of a Columbus team that people hate to play against.

5. Montréal Canadiens: Ivan Demidov, RW, SKA-1946 St. Petersburg (MHL)

December 10, 2005 | 6′ 0″ | 192 pounds

Tier: NHL All-Star

Player comparable: Lucas Raymond

Analysis: Demidov has been the clear best player in Russia’s junior league over the last two seasons. He is the most purely skilled player in the draft, and is extremely creative in making plays with the puck. He has an excellent motor, attacks the net consistently and competes hard to win pucks. Demidov created scoring chances seemingly every shift this season. While he can run a power play when the game slows down, he makes a lot of plays on the move. He’s a powerful but awkward-looking skater though, who is a bit knock kneed and reliant on his edge work but gets around OK. He’s not the biggest winger as well so there is some question about how his game will translate to higher levels. I see a potential top-line winger who will score a lot and play a style of game that will appeal himself to coaches.

Pick grade: B+

Thoughts on the pick: In Demidov, Montreal gets the most purely skilled player in the draft. He provides a game-breaking element to their system that they haven’t had before. He has the potential to become a star for them down the line. They were one of the few teams that got their decision maker overseas to get live eyes on him, and obviously were very comfortable with the idea of him. He projects to be a top line/top power play winger alongside budding star Juraj Slafkovsky.

6. Utah Hockey Club: Tij Iginla, LW, Kelowna Rockets (WHL)

August 1, 2006 | 6′ 0″ | 192 pounds

Tier: Bubble top and middle of the lineup player

Player comparable: Viktor Arvidsson

Analysis: Iginla was excellent this season in the WHL for Kelowna and at the U18s for Canada, emerging as a top NHL prospect. The son of Jarome Iginla, Tij is a very talented offensive player. His stickhandling displays stand out constantly. He beats defenders one-on-one at a high rate and improvises very well with the puck. He skates well and can make high-skill plays with his feet moving. Iginla has a great shot that gets off the stick quick and can pick corners. He scored a lot of goals this season and projects to beat pro goalies from range. He gets to the inside to score as well and displays a strong effort away from the puck. His pure sense and playmaking don’t stand out like the rest of his game, though. He projects as a strong top-six wing who will score a lot of goals.

Pick grade: B-

Thoughts on the pick: Iginla is a player who kept rising as the season went along, and became an option this high in the draft. He’s a highly competitive goal-scorer with a ton of skill. I had some minor concerns on his hockey sense, and I’m a bit surprised given some of the great defense prospects on the board such as Anton Silayev, Zeev Buium and Zayne Parekh that they didn’t go in that direction. Iginla projects as a top-six forward who brings a lot of elements to a lineup.

(Illustration: Sean Reilly / The Athletic; photos: David Berding, Maksim Konstantinov / SOPA Images / LightRocket, Gregory Shamus / Getty Images)




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