The experts split after Celebrini, Levshunov, and Silayev went top 3


1 pick of the 2023 NHL Draft, the Blackhawks now can focus on finding a game-changer on defense.
Morreale — Anton Silayev: He had 11 points (three goals, eight assists), 74 blocked shots and 98 hits in 63 regular-season games in the KHL.
He had 60 points (23 goals, 37 assists) in 30 regular-season games and 28 points (11 goals, 17 assists) in 17 playoff games in Russia’s junior league.
The 18-year-old right-handed shot also had 34 power-play points (10 goals, 24 assists) and two short-handed goals.
He had 12 points (six goals, six assists) in seven games for gold medal-winning Canada at the 2024 IIHF World Under-18 Championship.
The 18-year-old was the third WHL player since 2000 with at least 115 points in his NHL draft season, joining Bedard (143 points, 2022-23) and Nic Petan (120 points, 2012-13).
The 18-year-old had 18 points (eight goals, 10 assists) in 41 regular-season games, and 10 points (four goals, six assists) in 12 playoff games.
He would be the first player born in Norway to be selected in the first round of the NHL draft.


2. The Chicago Blackhawks.

Kimelman — Artyom Levshunov, D, Michigan State (NCAA): Following the selection of Connor Bedard, a center who could change a franchise, with the No. With the No. 1 pick in the 2023 NHL Draft, the Blackhawks can now concentrate on locating a defensive game-changer. Celebrini aside, Levshunov’s size (6-2, 208) and skill set allowed him to score 35 points (six goals, 26 assists) in 38 games as a freshman in college, making him perhaps the most NHL-ready player selected in the 2024 draft.

In Morreale, Artyom Levshunov, a right-handed shooter from Belarus, tied for tenth place in scoring among all defensemen and was the third-youngest player in the NCAA. Levshunov is the future cornerstone of defense that the Blackhawks need.

3. Anaheim Ducks.

Kimelman — Nizhny Novgorod (RUS)’s Anton Silayev, D: Due to his size (6-7, 211) and growing offensive skill set, the left-handed defenseman is one of the draft’s most intriguing players. Tristan Luneau, Olen Zellweger, and Pavel Mintyukov are just a few of the young, offensive-minded defensemen that the Ducks have stacked up. Silayev could make a fantastic complementary player on a top defensive duo.

Anton Silayev of Morreale had a record of 11 points (eight goals, eight assists), 74 blocked shots, and 98 hits in 63 KHL regular-season games. The Florida Panthers forward Vladimir Tarasenko is second in the KHL with 10 points for Novosibirsk in 2008–09, behind Silayev, who played this season as a 17-year-old (he turned 18 on April 11).

4. The Columbus Blue Jackets.

Kimelman – Cayden Lindstrom, C, Medicine Hat (WHL): Due to injuries, Lindstrom’s season was somewhat lost, but he still managed to score 27 goals in 32 games. The Blue Jackets selected Adam Fantilli (6-2, 194) with the number one overall pick. 3 pick in 2023, Lindstrom’s (6-3, 210) arrival would soon produce a formidable 1-2 punch at center.

Ivan Demidov, RW, SKA St., Morreale. Petersburg Junior. Among the most naturally gifted players in the 2024 draft class is the 18-year-old left-handed shooter, Russell Udo-Jr. With a hockey IQ of 61, Demidov (5-11, 181) is a quick learner. In 30 regular-season games (23 goals, 37 assists), he scored 60 points; in 17 playoff games in Russia’s junior league, he scored 28 points (11 goals, 17 assists).

5. The Montreal Hockey Team.

Kimelman — Ivan Demidov: Showing off his explosive offensive skill set and excellent skating, he dominated the Russian junior league. Next season, he’ll probably get the chance to put those skills to the test in the KHL. He has an agreement with SKA St. Petersburg through the 2024–2025 campaign, so the Canadiens may reap significant benefits by exercising a little patience.

Despite missing thirty-six games during the regular season, Morreale — Cayden Lindstrom: He is still a top forward option in this draft. After recuperating from surgery to fix an upper-body injury, the 18-year-old made a comeback on March 29. In 32 regular-season games, he recorded 46 points (27 goals, 19 assists), and in four Western Hockey League playoff games, he registered two points (one goal, one assist) and 17 shots on goal.

6. Utah.

Kimelman — London (OHL)’s Sam Dickinson, D: He has a high hockey IQ, which helps him judge when to enter the offensive zone. His skill level at skating allows him to initiate a breakout or find teammates with a deft, precisely placed pass to start a rush. Utah has been successful in creating a defense corps of note, led by Dmitriy Simashev (6-4, 198), the No. 6 pick in the 2023 draft, and Maveric Lamoureux (6-6, 196), the No. 29th selection in the NHL Draft of 2022. That group would be well suited for Dickinson (6-2, 199).

Zeev Buium, D, University of Denver (NCAA): With 50 points (11 goals, 39 assists) in 42 games for the NCAA champions, the second-youngest player in men’s hockey led college defensemen and ranked fifth overall among freshmen. At the 2024 IIHF World Junior Championship, the 18-year-old contributed five points (two goals, one assist) and a tournament-best plus-11 rating in seven games to help the United States win the gold.

7. Senators from Ottawa.

Kimelman — Zeev Buium: The Senators select Buium, who possesses an exceptional skill set and a smooth, laid-back approach, with their first first-round selection since 2021. The left-handed shooter is an amazing skater who displayed no fear in his big-stage performances in the NCAA Tournament or at the 2024 World Junior Championship.

Zayne Parekh, a defenseman for Morreale — Saginaw (OHL): In 66 regular-season games, he set Saginaw records for goals (33) and points (96). The right-handed shooter, who is 18 years old, also scored two short-handed goals and had 34 power-play points (10 goals, 24 assists). The most goals ever scored by a 16-year-old defenseman in the Ontario Hockey League was 21 goals by Parekh (6-foot, 179) during his rookie season.

8. Seattle Kraken.

Kimelman — Carter Yakemchuk, D, Calgary (WHL): Yakemchuk led all WHL defensemen in goals scored this season with 30, and his deftness with the puck and skating skills enable him to locate openings and produce plays in the offensive zone. Furthermore, the right-handed shooter is of NHL caliber at 6-3 and 201 pounds. Finding young forward prospects who might serve as future building blocks has been a good move by the Kraken. They would get a huge boost in the back end if they added Yakemchuk.

Sam Dickinson, who was the quarterback on London’s OHL-best power play (32 points/6 percent) and finished with 28 power-play points (11 goals, 17 assists), is a strong and elusive skater who can play significant minutes and generate offensive output. Dickinson is from Morreale. In the on-ice testing during the CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game on January, he came in second. 23, taking first place in the 30-meter puck forward and 30-meter backward skates and second in the transition ability.

9. Flames of Calgary.

Kimelman — Berkly Catton, C, Spokane (WHL): Catton (5-10, 170) finished fourth in the WHL this season with 116 points (54 goals, 62 assists) thanks to his elite offensive skill set and pull-away speed. With forwards Connor Zary and Matt Coronato taking on bigger roles, and backup players Jakob Pelletier and Samuel Honzek, the Flames have done a good job of becoming younger and more athletic. 16th pick in the 2023 draft, following closely behind. If Catton is selected, he may be the most talented and best player among the group.

Morreale — Tij Iginla, C, Kelowna (WHL):A dynamic offensive talent with speed, quickness, and instincts you can’t teach, 17-year-old Tij Iginla is the son of Hockey Hall of Fame forward Jarome Iginla. Throughout 64 regular-season games, Iginla (6-foot, 182) led Kelowna with 47 goals and finished second with 84 points and 11 power-play goals. At the 2024 IIHF World Under-18 Championship, he scored 12 points (six goals, six assists) in seven games for Canada, the gold medalists.

10. Devils from New Jersey.

Kimelman — Konsta Helenius, C, Jukurit (FIN): Helenius bolsters his already potent offensive arsenal with a puck-handling strength that is a surprise for a player his size (5-11, 180). He seems like a nice blend of Nico Hischier’s tenacity and competitiveness and Jack Hughes’ offensive prowess. Additionally, he has already demonstrated his ability to compete with and against more experienced players, as evidenced by his 36 points (14 goals, 22 assists) in 51 games played in Finland’s top professional league, Liiga.

Berkly Catton, who plays a hard-driving style of hockey and is a relentless puck-chaser, is a player that Morreale can’t afford to overlook. Along with Bedard (143 points, 2022-23) and Nic Petan (120 points, 2012–13), the 18-year-old was the third WHL player with at least 115 points in his NHL draft season since 2000. In addition, Catton was third on Spokane with 30 power-play points (13 goals, 17 assists), led the WHL with seven short-handed goals, and won 53.4% of his face-offs.

11. The Buffalo Sabres.

Kimelman: Cole Eiserman, left wing, USA U-18 (NTDP): Eiserman has the best shot in the draft, having scored 58 goals in 57 games so far this year. His 127 goals also mark the highest total for any player in the history of the USA Hockey National Team Development Program. Scouts seem divided on whether he’s just a sensational shot or more. Some think he can improve his offensive instincts, complete his game, and become a more formidable playmaker. He’ll try to improve his game by playing at Boston University for at least one season. Eiserman (6-foot, 195 pounds) has a chance to be among the best players in the 2024 draft class if he can achieve it.

Konsta Helenius—Morreale: He’s fast, agile, and highly competitive. With 36 points, the right-hander tied for fourth place among under-18 players in a Liiga season. In addition, he averaged 16:57 minutes of ice time in 51 games, went 50 points 2 percent in face-offs, and scored five goals during the power play.

12. Philadelphia Flyers.

Kimelman—Tij Iginla: After trading forward Cutter Gauthier, the No. 1 pick in the draft, the Flyers need to acquire more talent, particularly at center. 5. defenseman Jamie Drysdale to the Anaheim Ducks on January 5th, 2022 draft selection. 8. Iginla answers yes to both questions. Even though he lacks the thrilling talent that gets fans excited, his playmaking prowess, hockey acumen, and vision make him a unique player.

Morreale — Carter Yakemchuk: At eighteen, the player is adept at positioning himself to be available, has a long reach, and excels in battles across the board. With 71 points in 66 regular-season games, the right-handed shooter ranked fifth among WHL defensemen.

13. Minnesota Wild.

Zayne Parekh plays a similar style of play to Erik Karlsson of the Pittsburgh Penguins and is an offensive force for Kimelman. Parekh has the skills to be a top playmaker, but he needs to gain strength in order to compete in the NHL.

Morreale — Adam Jiricek, D, Plzen (CZE): On December 1, 2024, Jiricek (6-2, 182) made his Czech team debut when he suffered a season-ending injury to his right knee. 26. The right-handed shooter, who is the younger brother of Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman David Jiricek, had one assist in 19 games in the top professional league in the Czech Republic, the Czech Extraliga.

14. Sharks of San Jose (from the Pittsburgh Penguins).

Kimelman— Beckett Sennecke, RW, Oshawa (OHL): The Sharks find a big (6-2, 177), skilled option to play with him after drafting a dynamic center in Celebrini. Sennecke is a skillful skater who can make plays in tight spaces and extract pucks from traffic. Sennecke can join the growing group of talented Sharks forward prospects, which already includes Will Smith, William Eklund, Quentin Musty, and Filip Bystedt. However, it will take time for Sennecke to fill out his frame.

Cole Eiserman, who plays for Morreale, is a player who doesn’t hesitate to use his shot, which is a valuable asset, during any offensive possession. At Shattuck-St., the 17-year-old played with Celebrini for two seasons. This season, Mary’s Prep in Minnesota led the NTDP Under-18 team in both goals and power-play goals (25).

15. The Detroit Red Wings.

Michael Hage, a 6-foot-1, 287-pound center for Chicago (USHL), is a standout player who possesses a strong physical presence and has the ability to dominate games in the latter part of the season. With 75 points (34 goals, 42 assists) in 54 games, including 27 points (10 goals, 17 assists) in his final 14 games, he was fourth in the USHL. Hage’s progress will be closely monitored by the Red Wings once he enrolls at the University of Michigan in the fall.

Michael Brandsegg-Nygard, RW, Mora (SWE-2) — Michael Brandsegg-Nygard, born in Norway, is a hard-working two-way player with good first-step quickness, decision-making, and vision. Brandsegg-Nygard is a player in the Allsvenskan, Sweden’s second division. The 18-year-old scored 10 goals and six assists in 12 playoff games, and he finished with 18 points (eight goals and 10 assists) in 41 regular-season games. In five games at the 2024 WJC, he averaged 17:22 of ice time and tied for the lead in points with Norway (three goals, two assists).

16. Saint. Blues Louis.

Michael Brandsegg-Nygard — Kimelman: The Blues return to Sweden following their three first-round selections from the nation in the 2023 draft. Good at forechecking and creating offensive opportunities from between the .s low in the offensive zone, Brandsegg-Nygard is a skilled skater. In the NHL draft’s opening round, he would become the first player born in Norway to be chosen.

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