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NHL mock draft 2024: Predicting all 65 picks of the first two rounds with Pronman and Wheeler

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Today The Athletic’s two NHL prospect writers, Corey Pronman and Scott Wheeler, project the first two rounds of the 2024 NHL Draft. After a coin flip, Wheeler was awarded the first pick and they alternated picks for the first 65 selections.

No trades were allowed, and there were no discussions between Pronman and Wheeler about who they were going to pick. This mock draft was completed prior to Monday’s Game 7 between Edmonton and Vancouver, so there will be the odd instance where a writer picks twice in a row due to how the result affected the draft order. These are meant to be each writer’s predictions for how things will actually play out on draft day, based on their own understanding of the consensus as well as specific team needs, preferences and tendencies.

Round 1

1. San Jose Sharks (Pick by Scott Wheeler): Macklin Celebrini, C, Boston University

No complications or hypotheticals at the top.

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2. Chicago Blackhawks (Pick by Corey Pronman): Artyom Levshunov, RHD, Michigan State

Feels like the winds are blowing in the direction of Ivan Demidov but my gut instinct is that if it’s close between the two, an NHL team will prefer the big, impactful defenseman they’ve seen in person for two years.

3. Anaheim Ducks (Pick by Wheeler): Anton Silayev, LHD, Torpedo

There’s some real appeal to pairing a winger like Ivan Demidov with a center like Leo Carlsson or Mason McTavish. All things being equal, I think the Ducks would rather add the righty in Levshunov here, too, if only because they already have two of the better young left-handed D in the sport in Pavel Mintyukov and Olen Zellweger. But Silayev gives them a dimension none of their other D have and defensive upside to offset the offensive quality of Mintyukov and Zellweger.

4. Columbus Blue Jackets (Pick by Pronman): Sam Dickinson, LHD, London

Ivan Demidov is tempting here for Columbus but they have a ton of recent draft capital invested in skill and forwards and have a pressing need to get a big, mobile puck-mover like Dickinson into their top four.

5. Montreal Canadiens (Pick by Wheeler): Ivan Demidov, RW, SKA St. Petersburg

With a young group of D coming, and a year after taking one at No. 5, the Habs jump on the second-best forward in the class and grab the potential game-breaker they need.

6. Utah (Pick by Pronman): Cayden Lindstrom, C, Medicine Hat

Utah adds a dynamic skating forward with size and bite in Lindstrom who can score goals as well. He could make a great complement one day to Logan Cooley down the middle.

7. Ottawa Senators (Pick by Wheeler): Zeev Buium, LHD, University of Denver

Jake Sanderson, Thomas Chabot and Jakob Chychrun are all signed on the left side, but the latter’s only got one year left on his deal and his future was already in question. Would the Sens prefer a righty? Sure. But they don’t pass on another high-end lefty from the NTDP-to-NCAA pipeline, adding a second young stud D of Sanderson’s quality to build around.

8. Seattle Kraken (Pick by Pronman): Zayne Parekh, RHD, Saginaw

Seattle has added a ton to their forward depth in recent drafts and uses this 8th pick to add arguably the most skilled defenseman in a loaded defense class. Parekh instantly becomes their best D prospect by a large margin.

9. Calgary Flames (Pick by Wheeler): Tij Iginla, C/LW, Kelowna

The Flames strongly consider Carter Yakemchuk from their backyard with the Hitmen, as well as centers Berkly Catton and Konsta Helenius, but take Iginla, not because it’s a feel-good story but because he belongs in the range and fits with the player type they’ve targeted in the past.

10. New Jersey Devils (Pick by Pronman): Beckett Sennecke, RW, Oshawa

Sennecke is a dynamic 6-2 wing who has vaulted up lists in the second half. He is an ideal wing to play alongside Jack Hughes or Nico Hischier and has major offensive upside as a pro.

11. Buffalo Sabres (Pick by Wheeler): Carter Yakemchuk, RHD, Calgary Hitmen

The Sabres have drafted a lot of smaller, skilled forwards like Catton and Helenius, and while they’d surely still consider both here and their NHL roster has a strong (and young) nucleus with Owen Power, Rasmus Dahlin, Mattias Samuelsson and Bowen Byram, their pool does lack a premium D prospect and they go get it with Yakemchuk. Sennecke would make some sense and offer something a little different here as well.

12. Philadelphia Flyers (Pick by Pronman): Berkly Catton, C, Spokane

The Flyers take a swing on the dynamic playmaking center in Catton. Ideally they’d add a bit more size after picking Matvei Michkov last year but like with Michkov, Catton’s talent is too much to pass up at 12.

13. Minnesota Wild (Pick by Wheeler): Cole Eiserman, LW, U.S. NTDP

The Wild would likely strongly consider the natural center in Konsta Helenius here, but they already have a similar player in Marco Rossi and elect to swing on Eiserman’s one-shot scoring talent instead.

14. San Jose Sharks (Pick by Pronman): Stian Solberg, LHD, Valerenga

Sharks step up to take the 6-2, mobile defenseman who had a great World Championships for Norway and is a killer with his physical play, adding some much-needed talent to their upcoming blue line.

15. Detroit Red Wings (Pick by Wheeler): Konsta Helenius, C, Tappara

There are others available who they could and should consider in this range (a forward like Michael Brandsegg-Nygard fits their mold, and defenders like Adam Jiricek and EJ Emery would be appealing). But with Helenius available, they grab one of the draft’s top centers yet again (of a slightly higher grade at this stage than Nate Danielson and Marco Kasper, probably, too).

16. St. Louis Blues (Pick by Pronman): Adam Jiricek, RHD, Plzen

Jiricek’s lost season lowers him a bit from where he would have gone if the draft were in January, but he will still be highly sought after. He’s a big right-shot who can skate and displayed excellent two-way play at the Hlinka Gretzky last summer.

17. Washington Capitals (Pick by Scott Wheeler): Michael Brandsegg-Nygard, RW, Mora IK

The Capitals took one of the most competitive, pro-built, projectable forwards in the draft a year ago when they drafted Ryan Leonard and they double down here with Brandsegg-Nygard. They consider the available centers and defensemen here but MBN’s type, fit and availability aren’t worth passing up on.

18. New York Islanders (Pick by Pronman): Jett Luchanko, C, Guelph

Luchanko’s stock is on the rise especially after a great U18s for Canada. The Islanders have very little coming up the middle, and Luchanko’s speed, compete and hockey sense would make him a potential second or third-line center for them one day.

19. Vegas Golden Knights (Pick by Wheeler): EJ Emery, RHD, U.S. NTDP

In their seven drafts in franchise history, the Golden Knights have used just one of their seven first-round picks on a defenseman. You’ve got to go all the way back to their inaugural draft to find their short-lived Erik Brannstrom selection, too. That changes here with the selection of Emery, whose stock is on the rise and who will be ready when Alex Pietrangelo, Alec Martinez, Shea Theodore, Brayden McNabb, Zach Whitecloud and Noah Hanifin are all on the wrong side of 30 or not re-signed at the end of their current deals.

20. Chicago Blackhawks (Pick by Pronman): Igor Chernyshov, RW Dynamo Moscow

Chernyshov is a big, skilled winger who can fly and would be a great fit on Chicago’s top six alongside many of the other speedsters they’ve picked in recent years.

21. Los Angeles Kings (Pick by Wheeler): Trevor Connelly, LW, Tri-City Storm

The Kings have turned over a lot of their prospect pool in the last few years, and it could use a re-injection of talent. They take a chance on Connelly, the most purely skilled player left.

22. Nashville Predators (Pick by Pronman): Cole Beaudoin, C, Barrie

Nashville takes one of the hardest-working players in the class with size who can project as a matchup center in the NHL. If he really hits you’re hoping for the next Boone Jenner.

23. Toronto Maple Leafs (Pick by Wheeler): Michael Hage, C, Chicago

Outside of Fraser Minten, the Leafs have very little coming down the middle in their pool. For that reason, the Steel’s Hage and the Muskegon Lumberjacks’ Sacha Boisvert both make a lot of sense, and fit with how their group has drafted in the past. Hage’s blend of skating, length, and playmaking make him the choice (it doesn’t hurt that he’s a local boy, either).

24. Colorado Avalanche (Pick by Wheeler): Sacha Boisvert, C, Muskegon

Boisvert is really well-liked by scouts and folks from around the USHL, with top-15 chatter around him at points this season because of his mix of size, skill, competitiveness and a developing power game that still has more room to grow. He and Calum Ritchie suddenly give the Avs two well-rounded forward prospects to work with.

25. Ottawa Senators (Pick by Pronman): Liam Greentree, LW, Windsor

Greentree has some detractors due to his skating and so-so compete at times but he’s a big winger with high-end offensive traits and 26 is low enough for Ottawa to take a shot at him.

26. Montreal Canadiens (Pick by Wheeler): Lucas Pettersson, C, Modo

After taking a winger with their first pick, the Habs grab the well-liked Swedish center with their second pick. C’s like Beaudoin, Hage, and Boisvert would make some sense here if one of them is available as well.

27. Carolina Hurricanes (Pick by Pronman): Yegor Surin, C, Yaroslavl

Carolina never shies away from taking Russians and they take a shot here on the hyper-competitive Surin, who was a leading scorer in the MHL playoffs.

28. Calgary Flames (Pick by Wheeler): Leo Sahlin Wallenius, LHD, Vaxjo

After taking Iginla with their first pick, the Flames nab the smooth-skating Swedish D with their second pick. WHL defensemen like Charlie Elick and Harrison Brunicke could also be a consideration here.

29. Anaheim Ducks (Pick by Pronman): Dean Letourneau, C, St. Andrew’s College

Anaheim wants to get big and it doesn’t get much bigger than Letourneau. He’s 6-6, can skate and has offensive tools. With their second first-round pick it’s a major swing on a tantalizing skill set.

30. Philadelphia Flyers (Pick by Pronman): Dominik Badinka, RHD, Malmo

The Flyers add a blueliner late in the first like they did last season with Oliver Bonk. Badinka is tall, mobile and has decent offensive skills as well.

31. Dallas Stars (Pick by Wheeler): Ryder Ritchie, RW, Prince Albert

The Stars have had a lot of success in the CHL in recent years and they go back there to take Ritchie, a crafty, skilled winger who can skate. After taking D with six of their last seven picks in the draft’s top four rounds, adding to the forward pool following the graduations of Wyatt Johnston and Logan Stankoven makes a lot of sense.

32. New York Rangers (Pick by Pronman): Charlie Elick, RHD, Brandon

The Rangers like to have a big, physical, mobile blue line and Elick checks all those boxes with emphasis even if he’s not the most natural puck mover.

Round 2

33. San Jose Sharks (Pick by Wheeler): Emil Hemming, RW, TPS

The Sharks took a big, scoring, once-regarded-as-a-first-round-pick Finnish winger early in the second round last year and they go back to that well with Hemming.

34. Chicago Blackhawks (Pick by Pronman): Julius Miettinen, C, Everett

Miettinen is a big center who skates well and has solid offensive traits. He helps Chicago continue to build out their young center depth.

35. Anaheim Ducks (Pick by Wheeler) Henry Mews, RHD, Ottawa

If there’s one team that knows how to swing and make contact on CHL defensemen, it’s the Ducks.

36. Philadelphia Flyers (Pick by Pronman): Linus Eriksson, C, Djurgarden

The captain of Sweden’s 2006 age group, Eriksson is a well-rounded center who has been productive versus men in Sweden.

37. Winnipeg Jets (Pick by Wheeler): Ben Danford, RHD, Oshawa

The Jets have used a lot of high draft picks on forwards in recent years. With their first pick in 2024, they add the well-rounded and well-liked Gens blueliner.

38. Utah (Pick by Pronman): Adam Kleber, RHD, Lincoln

Utah adds the big right-shot defenseman in Kleber who makes a lot of stops and put up decent production in the USHL this season as well.

39. Ottawa Senators (Pick by Wheeler): Marek Vanacker, LW, Brantford

Nobody knows Vanacker better than Staios and after taking him in the first round of the OHL draft he takes him in the second round of the NHL Draft — not just because he’s familiar with the player but because he belongs in this range!

40. Seattle Kraken (Pick by Pronman): Nikita Artamonov, RW, Torpedo

Seattle takes the highly skilled Artamonov, who was quite good versus KHL opponents this season although he isn’t the biggest winger.

41. Calgary Flames (Pick by Wheeler): Harrison Brunicke, RHD, Kamloops

The Flames continue to build out their pool on D and add a local boy in Brunicke, whose stock rose in the second half of this season.

42. San Jose Sharks (Picky by Pronman): Marcus Gidlof, G, Leksands

The Sharks use their fourth pick of the draft to take a potential goalie of the future. Gidlof is 6-6, moves well for his size and had a great statistical season in Sweden.

43. Buffalo Sabres (Pick by Wheeler): Aron Kiviharju, LHD, HIFK

Once viewed as one of the top D prospects in the class, Kiviharju’s lost draft year to a knee injury, smaller stature and fine-but-unspectacular U18 worlds push him into the second round. With the Sabres blue line well-positioned, they can afford to play the long game with him and make sure he gets lots of game action before coming over.

44. Pittsburgh Penguins (Pick by Pronman): Terik Parascak, RW, Prince George

The Penguins target the highly skilled and intelligent Parascak who just had a massive rookie season in the WHL but his skating concerns some scouts.

45. Minnesota Wild (Pick by Wheeler): Andrew Basha, LW, Medicine Hat

The Wild went to the WHL in the second round when they drafted Riley Heidt last year and they go back there to grab the competitive and skilled Basha.

46. Pittsburgh Penguins (Pick by Pronman): Sam O’Reilly, C London

O’Reilly is a smart, competitive center who has speed and skill and can project to be a solid all-around pro in a few years.

47. Detroit Red Wings (Pick by Wheeler): Tanner Howe, LW, Regina Pats

Howe’s a true competitor who fits the Red Wings’ DNA.

48. St. Louis Blues (Pick by Pronman): Jesse Pulkkinen, LHD, JYP

Pulkkinen had a great draft+1 season. He’s a mobile defenseman with a lot of size and bite and his puck play displayed notable progress.

49. Utah (Pick by Wheeler): Matvei Gridin, RW, Muskegon
Utah gets to add to its fraternity of Russians and this time by adding one who spent the last two seasons in North America, led the USHL in scoring and is committed to the University of Michigan.

50. New York Islanders (Pick by Pronman): Adam Jecho, RW, Edmonton

Jecho is a huge forward who can skate, has good hands and can rip a puck. He’s been inconsistent over the years but there is a lot of pro upside in his game.

51. Philadelphia Flyers (Pick by Wheeler): Maxim Masse, RW, Chicoutimi

Viewed as a potential first-rounder heading into this season, concerns about Masse’s skating and pace of play make him available in the late-second for the Flyers. Masse’s a well-rounded forward who was the CHL’s rookie of the year last season and led Chicoutimi in scoring with 36 goals and 75 points in 67 games this year.

52. Washington Capitals (Pick by Pronman): Matvei Shuravin, LHD, CSKA
Washington picks a 6-3 mobile defenseman in Shuravin who showed very well at the KHL level this season and has the potential to be a 4/5 defenseman in the NHL.

53. Nashville Predators (Pick by Wheeler): Teddy Stiga, LW, U.S. NTDP

One of the NTDP’s most improved players over the last two years, Stiga’s combination of above-average skill, skating and competitiveness earns him a second-round selection after a standout U18 worlds.

54. Chicago Blackhawks (Pick by Pronman): Carson Wetsch, RW, Calgary

Calgary’s pure skill level won’t blow you away, but he’s a tremendous competitor who skates well and has enough playmaking to potentially be an NHL player.

55. Nashville Predators (Pick by Wheeler): Leon Muggli, LHD, Zug

After taking forwards with their first two picks, the Preds add a defenseman with pro experience. The top Swiss prospect in the draft gets to join countryman Roman Josi in Nashville.

56. St. Louis Blues (Pick by Pronman): Luca Marrelli, RHD, Oshawa

Marrelli is a very smart defenseman who played a big role on a great Oshawa team this season and skates like an NHL defenseman too.

57. Montreal Canadiens (Pick by Pronman): Simon Zether, C, Rogle

Zether is a big center with good offensive skills and competitiveness who held his own at the SHL level this season although his skating is just OK.

58. Anaheim Ducks (Pick by Wheeler): John Mustard, LW, Waterloo

Mustard really made a name for himself as a rookie in the USHL this year. He’s a Providence commit and one of the fastest players in the draft.

59. Nashville Predators (Pick by Pronman): Cole Hutson, LHD, U.S. NTDP

Hutson is an excellent puck-moving defenseman with high-end mobility and IQ, but his 5-foot-10 frame ends up getting him to the late second round where Nashville rolls the dice.

60. Carolina Hurricanes (Pick by Wheeler): Justin Poirier, RW, Baie-Comeau

The Canes were going to be all over Hutson because they don’t shy away from picking small, skilled players (Bradly Nadeau, Jayden Perron, Timur Mukhanov, Justin Robidas, Zion Nybeck, Dom Fensore) but they’ll take another in Justin Poirier, who scored 69 goals between the Q regular season and playoffs this season.

61. Chicago Blackhawks (Pick by Pronman): Jacob Battaglia, RW, Kingston

Battaglia is a decent-sized winger with the speed and offensive skills to potentially score at higher levels and was quite productive in the OHL this season.

62. Edmonton Oilers (Pick by Wheeler): Luke Misa, C, Mississauga

The Oilers successfully turned Ryan McLeod and his speed game into an NHLer after they drafted him in the second round out of the Mississauga Steelheads. They go back to the Steelheads in the second round and take one of the best skaters in the draft again in Misa.

63. Utah (Pick by Wheeler): Lukas Fischer, LHD, Sarnia

Fischer’s a big, athletic defenseman who folks around the OHL are high on. He’s also one of the youngest players in the draft and fits with what Utah’s scouting department has prioritized.

64. Calgary Flames (Pick by Pronman): Mikhail Yegorov, G, Omaha

Yegorov is the most purely talented goalie in the class from an athleticism standpoint and has a lot of upside. He’ll need 4-5 more years likely to develop so Calgary can see what they have in Dustin Wolf or others.

65. Seattle Kraken (Pick by Wheeler): Alfons Freij, LHD, Vaxjo
The Kraken continue to fill out their pool on D with Freij, a confident, attacking, highly involved defenseman who has been a big part of the Swedish national team with the 2006 age group.

(Illustration: Dan Goldfarb / The Athletic. Photos: Maksim Konstantinov / SOPA Images / LightRocket, Michael Miller / ISI Photos, Dale Preston / Getty Images)

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