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2024 NHL Mock Draft – Predicting Picks At The 2024 Draft (Part 1)

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Mock NHL Entry Draft: picks 1 to 4

Now that we know the order in which the first 16 teams will be picking at the 2024 NHL Entry Draft, on June 28, the door is opened for many weeks of speculation, and that means it’s time for mock drafts.

Let’s have some fun, shall we?

In the build-up to the draft festivities, we will publish a series of articles that will build a mock draft for the first 16 players picked at the upcoming Entry Draft.

The first article will include picks one to four but don’t worry, the next article is just around the corner, so you won’t have to wait long to see who the Montreal Canadiens will end up with.

1. San Jose Sharks: Macklin Celebrini, C

Sometimes, when teams have the number one pick, they try not to tip their hand, and keep a touch of mystery on who they’ll select at the upcoming NHL Entry Draft.

That wasn’t the case for Sharks general manager Mike Grier- and rightfully so.

Macklin Celebrini is the clear-cut, best player for grabs and will be the star centrepiece of their rebuild. Having picked Will Smith in last year’s draft, they will have a wicked one-two punch in the middle, for years to come.


It’s still going to take a long time before San Jose has an exciting team that can win games consistently, but Celebrini is the kind of building block that gets you there faster.

2. Chicago Blackhawks: Ivan Demidov, RW

The Hawks could be tempted to go for a defenceman, but the idea of a Bedard-Demidov duo is simply too good to pass up.

Having a winger who can process the game at elite speed and have the skills to anticipate and finish Connor Bedard’s plays would be lethal. Demidov’s silky mitts, wicked shot, and incredible edges will dazzle Hawks fans for years, and he could be joining the team as early as the 25-26 season.


Even if Chicago drafted other small-ish forwards in previous drafts (and they’re starting to add up), none of them possess abilities close to Demidov’s and it shouldn’t prevent them from drafting him.

That said, they will have to start building that blue line and add some size at some point down the road. But the rebuild is far from over in Chicago – there’s plenty of time to address that.

3. Anaheim Ducks: Artyom Levshunov, RD

Since the departure of Jamie Drysdale – creating a hole on the right side – GM Pat Verbeek has been vocal about the fact that he is looking to fill positional needs in this NHL Entry Draft by getting a right-shot winger or defenceman.

So, it is with great relief and joy he takes the podium to select a big, mobile, right-handed defenceman to round up his D squad, in Artyom Levshunov – arguably the highest ranked defencemen of this draft.

With left-handed defencemen like Owen Zellewger and Pavel Mintyukov in the system, the Ducks now have a balanced “Big Three” that can generate offence from the backend. Levshunov brings a more physical, two-way game than the other two, providing a stabilizing presence, and should supersede Tristan Luneau on the right side, allowing him to be in the “right chair”.


Watch out, Anaheim is starting to look dangerous!

4. Columbus Blue Jackets: Anton Silayev, LD

There’s a new GM in Columbus! What identity or direction will newly appointed big honcho Don Waddell want to give his freshly inherited team?

It appears cleaning up the defence and finding elite scoring talent are on his shopping list.


While he’s still projected as having limited offensive upside, 6’7 behemoth defender Anton Silayev wouldn’t be relied on to provide scoring, as Jiricek, and Mateychuk would be better suited for that. So the fit for him in Columbus could be ideal – a true match.

Akin to Anaheim, Colombus would stabilize their “Big Three”, with a smooth-skating player bringing a complementary skill set.

Bad news for the other 31 teams: a Silayev-Jiricek pair would be monstrous.


Join us tomorrow, as we continue with selections five to eight of our 2024 NHL Mock Draft, including the player we picked for the Montreal Canadiens at fifth overall. In the meantime, don’t forget to vote for which player you’d like the Canadiens to draft.

Graphics made by Annik Lemire.

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Mike Barnes

What a tease! Have to wait until tomorrow for your MOCK Habs pick! 🙂

Jon

Better be Iginla

Eric J

Didn’t Waddel say that it is easier to fix the D than to find pure goal scoring ?
Hinting that he wouldn’t be looking to “Cleaning up [his] defensive zone”.

Eric J

In the interview, right after mentionning that finding goal scoring is harder, he goes on to say the it should be their focus from the start… I really read that the exact opposite as you do. I think they go with Lindstrom too, same as mikeysl.

Last edited 13 days ago by Eric J
Alex

Last time wadell said something like that…. They drafted Hanifin!

Pierre B.

The top-4 prospects of this mock draft corresponds to McKenzie’s top-4 (2024-05-06). The next one on his list would be Cayden Lindstrom at #5; a real possibility for the Canadiens. Lindstrom would be the next pick the CH list is similar to the rankings of the following: Tankathon, Dayton Reimer, Ryan Kennedy, Rachel Doerrie, Hockey Prospect, Dobber, Grant McCagg, Elite Prospect and a few more; if one rule out a LHD, then a few more could be added such as Peter Baracchini, Logan Horn, McKeen and Mike Morreales. Berkly Catton would be for Andrew Forbes, Tony Ferrari, Smaht, Chris Peters, Keegan McNally and Will Scouch. Eiserman would be the choice of a few older rankings. Surprisingly, Iginla does not appear as the next best in any ranking; the closest being Craig Button in which he’s ranked #4, but Helenius is still available and he’s ranked #3. Final rankings are not all in yet, so one should expect rankings to still change a bit.

Tyrone

I think Button has Iginla the highest because of his relationship with Tij’s Dad. Looks a lot like nepotism to me. Pump the tires of his friend‘S kid. Nothing wrong with that.

Dana

Here’s the thing. If you take any of their final lists from previous years and see how flawed they are with which players should have been taken,( mock redraft) it becomes obvious that the BPA is a fallacy as it seldom works out that way. Therefore, take the guy that fits the organizational needs the best.( well within reason, don’t take Kotkeniami at 3 lol) I still look at all their lists anyway and read the free scouting reports on the potential draft targets and watch some video.

Do you know how many of the top 5 point producers in the NHL this season were over 6’ and 200pounds? Zero. Interesting stat. I’m not saying don’t draft size, I’m just saying that since the best guys between 5’11” and 6’1” are statistically the best in nhl history (but don’t tell Mario and Ovie etc.) don’t be afraid to draft talent in that size range, just not helanius imo.

Catton or Demidov or Iginla are all excellent fits. I am more concerned about Lindstrom with the injuries and also that he shot way way up in the last year and a bit despite the injuries and that he was never considered a top player in his age group, I think he was a third rounder, around 50th overall pick into the W. I could be wrong but he’s got more red flags than the others. Catton was taken first overall in the same bantam draft and scored over 50 goals and 110 points this year. Catton is thin, risky like Elias petterson was is my only issue there. Demidov, I don’t have any reservations, but he won’t be available at 5.

So that leaves Iginla as my target at 5. Fast and quick, great on the wall, real nice release, wins pucks and he is very young in this draft. His Dad scored over 600 in the nhl as part of his 1200 points and he wss tough to play against. He’s not his Dad but he sure looks close to me.

Tyrone

I don’t know if Waddell will select Silayev. He got burned pretty bad drafting 6’7” LD Boris Valabik in Atlanta in 2004. Perhaps he doesn’t want to repeat his mistake. I bet it will at least give him some pause for thought.

Marc Dumont

The thing will ultra tall players is that they tend to be horrible, historically speaking. Think of it, how many players above 6’4″ were actually good? There’s a handful in the history of the league.

Chara, Hedman… uhm, I think Burns is 6’5″. I’m sure I’m forgetting a few, but let’s just say it doesn’t happen very often.

But there’s been some push back on that trend lately. Big guys are learning to skate earlier. Plus Silayev can cover the rink pretty quickly.

Tyrone

I don’t have anything against Silayev. I love huge players. I’m still bummed that Jason Missiaen never panned out for us in net. 😂
I just think Waddell might be a little gun shy considering what happened with Valabik.

Marc Dumont

Wouldn’t surprise me. I’d probably actively avoid him in the top 5 because he’s ultra-tall, and I know he’s a good player.

It’s a bias I have, but until the ultra-tall players start showing value post-draft, the bust risk, not to mention the health issues associated with huge bodies, would be enough to keep me at bay.

If the entire scouting team said he’s the guy you need, or he fell low enough, then you pull the trigger. But I don’t like the risk factor in the top 5.

Tyrone

It’s interesting that the stars you mentioned were all Dmen. Maybe they have a better chance of panning out than a forward like Tage Thompson. Although, we are living in the age of the huge goalie. Bishop was 6’7”, Markstrom & Rinne are 6’6”. Most of the top goalies today are 6’4”. Perhaps that’s why we signed Hughes today. 😁

mikeysl

not a betting man but I dont think Chi take demidov and they take a RHD while CBJ will jump all over lindstrom to fit in the same window as Fantilli.
Then we have to chose from tiny-midov , eiserman, of some of the other smoke and mirrors players. BPA will be Demidov and he kind of fits the bill..inspite of his size..

Eric J

I would love what Pronman has predicted, and McCaggg is also hearing a D for CHI & ANA:

1- Celibrini
2 – Levshunov 
3 – Silayev 
4 – Lindstrom
5 – Demidov

mikeysl

If we could find the right package for NJD/Sea and then grab eiserman as well…could be sweet…of course all these guys are a few years away…

John

Looks more and more like the Hawks will be drafting that RHD… I’m hoping Demidov slides to 5 😉

Thor

Hoping Detroit grabs Jiricek at 15. Top D is harder to find even if its Detroits Strength. But if not Nygard, Sennecke and if they are not available trade back for another second.