DobberProspects’ April Top-96 for the 2024 NHL Draft

Sebastian High


It’s that time of year once again. The NHL regular season has come to a close, and 16 NHL teams’ and fanbases’ focus is shifting toward the 2024 NHL Draft. With the U18 Men’s World Championships just on the horizon, this marks our penultimate rankings of the season at DobberProspects, with our Final Top 128 scheduled for early June. These rankings are a Top 96 and will include 15 honorable mentions! At this stage, we feel like we’ve gained a decent pulse on the draft class, which may lack the level of elite talent that 2023 provided, but has impressive depth in the top-end of the class, with at least 15 players contending for our Top 10 spots. That depth extends to our 2nd round tier stretching well into our 3rd round, as well. NHL teams will have the opportunity to add B-level prospects well through the mid-rounds of the draft.

Before we jump into our rankings, let me introduce our team of scouts, whose dedicated work and constant curiosity about the players in and outside their regions has made this scouting cycle as fun as it has been educational!

The Team:

Sebastian High: Head Scout & Director of European Scouting

Hadi Kalakeche: Director of North American Scouting

Jordan Harris: OHL Regional Scout

Sasha Lagarde: QMJHL Regional Scout

Luke Sweeney: WHL Regional Scout

David Saad: USA Regional Scout

Wade Messier: North American Crossover Scout

Colin Hunter: Goaltending Scout

Anni Karvinen: Finnish Regional Scout

Graham Montgomery: Russian Regional Scout

Seth Ditchfield: Swedish Regional and European Crossover Scout

Alexa Potack: European Crossover Scout and Graphic Designer

Charlie Maher: USA Crossover Scout and Data Scientist

With our team introduced, let’s get right into it — starting off with this year’s unanimous first-overall pick:

April Top 96

1. Macklin Celebrini, C — Boston University (NCAA)

Hadi Kalakeche – A well-deserved Hobey-Baker award in his freshman year was just the icing on the cake for Celebrini, who carried Boston University on most nights as they finished top four in the nation. The electrifying center has done nothing but further widen the gap between him and the rest of his class, and it’ll take a miracle to dislodge him from the top of the ladder.

As far as transition creators go, no one from the past five drafts holds a candle to where Celebrini stands at this point in his progression. Gear shifts, quick inside moves, bait-and-switch dangles, give-and-gos, off-puck net drives to open passing lanes, and far more — Celebrini has everything to create chances in spades off the rush in the NHL. And when it comes to converting on the chances he creates, whether that’s drawing a screen and rifling the puck through him or delaying and finding a passing lane, Celebrini is just as polished, refined and lethal.

The electrifying center has also rounded out his game on both ends of the ice. Defensively, a lot of his offensive sequences start with intelligent back-checks, second efforts on loose pucks, and constant support of his defensemen down low. Offensively, Celebrini has become an even bigger threat off the cycle, taking the concepts that helped him create so efficiently off the rush and applying them to his cycle play. Celebrini has all the tools to become a first-line center on a contender — perhaps not a McDavid-level talent, but a tier right below that alongside the likes of Draisaitl, Pettersson, and more. Whichever team picks first on Draft Day is getting a no-brainer, plug-and-play talent who can turn the tides on a rebuild. 

2. Ivan Demidov, RW — SKA St. Petersburg (KHL/MHL)

Sebastian High Ivan Demidov has been almost as close to a lock for the #2 spot on our rankings all year long as Celebrini has been at #1. He is the most dynamic, versatile, and creative handler we’ve seen come through the draft in recent years, in large part due to his mind and hands consistently functioning at the same pace, whether he ups the pace or shifts down the gears to make use of the space he creates for himself. The Russian winger has an intuitive understanding of how to create openings in defensive structures and to make the very most of them. He can take on entire defenses on his own and squeeze out one or multiple high-danger scoring chances from his incursions.

While he will still need to learn to calibrate his risk-assessment gauge when he makes the leap to professional competition, he has already begun to integrate increased give-and-go’s and use of his linemates as the MHL season has progressed. Elements of his on-puck decision-making remain raw, but his upside as a 100-point top-line winger is supported by decent off-puck and defensive engagement and lightning-quick processing of the game. Some areas of his game that will require refinement before he can fully unlock that upside include his footspeed, use of his outside edges, lower body explosiveness, and rooting himself when engaged in puck battles. His elite-level of on-puck intelligence and his trifecta of dynamic handling, playmaking, and goalscoring tools give him the foundation to become an electrifying creative force and offensive driver.

3. Cayden Lindstrom, C/LW — Medicine Hat Tigers (WHL)

Luke Sweeney – Cayden Lindstrom has the makeup of the kind of top-six centre that NHL teams covet, and for good reason. Lindstrom is a towering 6’4 pivot with high-end athletic tools and defensive upside, but his game is in no way defined by these attributes. Lindstrom’s skills are best showcased on the offensive side of the puck and in the attacking zone. Lindstrom is highly effective in transition where he can build a head of steam to create entries and quality rush chances.

In-zone is where Lindstrom’s tools really shine, getting off the boards into the middle of the ice frequently, using excellent body positioning and puck protection, winning pucks back deep in-zone, and showing small-area puckhandling and awareness that would be the envy of many smaller players. He also has a hard shot but makes a living playing the game “the right way”, getting to the dirty areas of the ice, playing through checks, utilizing smart off-puck routes, taking high-quality shots, setting up his teammates, and finishing his checks hard. While Lindstrom has a high floor of a physical, two-way centre with a strong possession game, it is easy to envision him using his offensive pop to turn into a high-end top six forward, especially if he can stay healthy.

4. Zeev Buium, LD — University of Denver (NCAA)

Hadi Kalakeche – Buium lands at fourth as our top-ranked defenseman in the 2024 NHL Draft due to his combination of poise, skill, intelligence, defensive value and pure clutch factor. The constant upwards trajectory doesn’t harm, either — he forced his way onto Team USA’s World Juniors roster (a roster that, mind you, had more than enough options on defense to avoid dressing a draft-eligible) and ended up scoring the insurance goal in their gold medal game. He also forced his way into Denver University’s top four, and ended up almost single-handedly creating the insurance goal in the National Championship final.  That assist he earned against Boston College showed exactly what makes Buium so special — the quick feet and skill to get past one man, the confidence, awareness and poise to draw two more to him on the zone entry, and the creativity to pull off a behind-the-back spin pass to find his teammate in the slot. The tools he displayed on that goal have been there all year — showing he could do it against the best team in the NCAA in the most important game of the season certainly helped, though. 

Buium’s defensive game is also polished. Off the rush, he surfs with the puck-carrier, playing to his strengths by defending while skating forward. He closes gaps with great timing and accuracy, and this also extends to his in-zone defending. For a freshman blue-liner with 50 points in 42 games, the defensive game being that strong is certainly unique. There is considerable upside with Buium as a number 2 defenseman and top power-play quarterback, but the defensive soundness and pure skill also give him a safe floor as a reliable bottom-pair guy. That combination of high floor and high ceiling is what makes him our top blue-liner in the class.

5. Zayne Parekh, RD — Saginaw Spirit (OHL)

Jordan Harris – Zayne Parekh had a monster year on the scoresheet putting up 33 goals and 63 assists, good enough to finish in the top 10 in OHL scoring. He’s the most dynamic blueline offensive creator in the draft and can put up points in a multitude of ways. Parekh has a wicked shot with a quick and deceptive release. In addition to his shot, Parekh is a fearless player with the puck on his stick. He attempts passes others do not and he converts on a lot of them too. His entire game is built on deception, and he creates space for himself using impressive four-way mobility, edge work, head fakes, and look-offs. Parekh can play with too much confidence and try to stickhandle his way out of sticky situations. He could afford to show more urgency and dish the puck off to a teammate or simply make a clearing attempt.

There’s almost no physical game with Parekh and his difficulties defending are real. He’s used to playing in a free-flowing system which gives him a lot of autonomy, but he’ll need to play more structured and compete harder in the NHL. The offensive upside with Parekh is undeniable. He should easily become a PP1 player who puts up a bunch of points, even if he plays down in the lineup at even strength.

6. Berkly Catton, LW/C — Spokane Chiefs (WHL)

Luke Sweeney – We were more bullish with our projection of Berkly Catton at our last meeting, but his slip in our ranking should not indicate that we are less optimistic about his upside. Catton is one of the most dynamic players in the draft, with a well-rounded and versatile offensive toolkit, evidenced by the fact that he was the highest-scoring draft-eligible in the entire CHL this season. Catton’s most projectable skills lie in his transition game where he can be both an individual transporter and an entry target. Catton opens up the neutral zone, taking creative puck routes that frequently lead him laterally through the zone, using his combination of balance, agility and speed to slip around defenders, as well as a deft puckhandle to create highlight-reel rush chances. Though Catton has an effective three-level shooting arsenal with a dangerous snapper, wrister and one-timer (not to mention the fourth-most goals in the CHL), his most impactful skill is his playmaking.

Catton has the patience and headiness to slow down play to find seams, and the creativity and IQ to identify dangerous options, an area that he could find more success in with better support. Catton’s shooting and passing are complemented by his aforementioned puckhandling that he uses to get off the boards and turn defenders inside-out. While his defensive game lacks strength and awareness, Catton’s ceiling is a high-end transporter and offensive weapon with PP1 upside.

10. Sam Dickinson, LD — London Knights (OHL)

Jordan Harris – Every team needs a defenseman like London’s Sam Dickinson, a player with impressive physical gifts who can defend at a high level. He has an explosive first few strides and can reach a top speed that’s rivalled by few in this draft class. Dickinson defends well and can eliminate rush opportunities completely using his unfair combination of length, skating, and gap control. Because of his physical tools, Dickinson can maintain wider gaps as he knows he’ll be able to close in on the puck carrier with ease. Dickinson is physical and competes really well, something that bodes well for him when defending in his own zone.

He’s not the highly cerebral playmaker like others in this class, but he generates offense in other ways thanks to a booming shot. Dickinson gets pucks through and on net and can shoot to score or generate rebounds. Dickinson also jumps up in the play as a trailer and can finish at a high rate. The biggest weakness in Dickinson’s game is his hockey sense. He can misread plays in both ends and make questionable decisions. Still, Dickinson’s physical tools, skating, and competitiveness will allow him to succeed even if the hockey sense is lacking. Expect Dickinson to go in the top 10 and be a heavy minutes eater who can also chip in about 30-40 points while he’s at it.

11. Liam Greentree, RW — Windsor Spitfires (OHL)

Hadi Kalakeche – Greentree has continued to showcase his high-end hockey sense since our last rankings, while adding another gem to his highlight reel seemingly every week. The trifecta of puck skills — shooting, handling and passing — is rock-solid. Greentree consistently finds corners with his shots, breaks defensive structures with cross-ice passes, and creates so much chaos with his massive arsenal of dekes. While he does have a penchant for the spectacular, Greentree’s ability to build play incrementally, to make the possession-extending pass that leads to three scoring chances rather than the dangerous pass that leads to just one, is what makes him our 11th-ranked prospect. Every decision he makes serves to improve the condition of the puck.

However, Greentree’s heavy skating stride really limits him. He lacks fluidity in his skating mechanics, stemming from poor posture. This leads to more energy wasted with each stride and, inevitably, more gliding and corner-cutting. If the skating improves, so will the defense — Greentree is more than smart enough to make the right plays off the puck when he isn’t out of gas. The right NHL team with the right tools to improve skating mechanics could turn him into a top-six, triple-threat forward — possibly at center, but more likely on the wing.

12. Michael Brandsegg-Nygård, RW — Mora IK (Allsvenskan)

Seth Ditchfield – Brandsegg-Nygård is arguably the most NHL-ready player in this class, except, of course, for Celebrini. He embodies the essence of a Swiss army knife forward who can immediately jump in and impact your penalty kill. His defensive instincts are among the most refined in the class; combined with his intensity and proactive efforts off the puck, he poses a threat in nearly every facet of the game. Brandsegg-Nygård took the label of “defensive forward” rather personally, setting a new record for points by a draft-eligible player in the HockeyAllsvenskan Playoffs with 10 points through 12 games. His shot is powerful and swiftly released, his nose for the net is keen, and he fluidly creates opportunities on the rush.

He uses his robust stride and powerful puck protection skills to drive those challenging areas. His adaptability and puck confidence are impressive, displaying all the hallmarks of an invaluable support forechecker on any line. He can almost immediately boost an NHL roster, and his versatility should prove to be very exciting for NHL franchises, as he’s capable of adapting seamlessly through any line or any situation his team may need him in.

13. Igor Chernyshov, LW — Dynamo Moscow (KHL/MHL)

Graham Montgomery –  Chernyshov has been a steady riser throughout the season. He is now our top ranked Russian outside of Ivan Demidov, although that says just as much about Anton Silayev as it does Chernyshov. The Russian winger is the prototype of what NHL general managers look for. He has the soft skills one might expect from a smaller player on a mature, 6’2” frame. His toolkit is highlighted first by his shot, which is good enough to beat KHL goaltenders on clean looks, and his stickhandling, which is best put to use when he’s changing the angle on defenders. He did not have the luxury of playing in a junior league in his first-time draft eligible season. Rather, he was forced to develop his game against grown men in a declining, but still competitive KHL. Even when he wasn’t scoring he was making physical plays along the boards, going to the right areas of the ice, and generating looks at a decent rate. His defensive and transition games become key strengths in his on-ice impact this season against strong competition, and have established a high floor to go along with the ceiling his high-end puck skills provide. He projects as a potential top-six two-way winger, but if his playmaking game doesn’t make the jump it needs to in order to unlike that potential, his middle-six fallback game is a strong one.

14. Trevor Connelly, LW — Tri-City Storm (USHL)

David Saad – Connelly continues to establish himself as one of the most dynamic offensive threats in this year’s draft. His ability to string together improbable routes through multiple defensive layers is matched by few. He also showed some progressing maturity at the WJAC, where he was involving his teammates a lot more, and playing effective playmaking hockey without losing a step. Tri-City definitely lets him run a lot wilder, and when Connelly gets his engine revved it’s something to behold. He’s a monster in transition and is one of the fastest, most mobile skaters the draft has to offer. On regular occasion you can find him taking laps in the offensive zone simply because nobody can catch him. As far as raw speed and skill goes Connelly is arguably a top 5 option in this year’s draft.

That said, he comes with his fair share of cons. Connelly can at times go too wild and skate himself into disaster, or he will look off his options too quickly and turn the puck over with a bad pass/poor shot. He will never be a two-way forward either and there’s plenty of reason to suspect the defensive end of his game. You will almost definitely have to take the good with the bad with Connelly, but there’s first line potential here.

15. Cole Eiserman, LW — USNTDP (USHL)

Hadi Kalakeche – We’ve been hoping all year to see more from Eiserman. The shot is truly game-breaking — the mechanics, the power, the accuracy, the speed, the variety of releases… no notes there. It’s the best shot in the draft, and it’s not even close. Eiserman doesn’t need a clean pass, either — we’ve seen him take a puck in his feet and rifle it into the top corner with one fluid, downforce-laden jolt. The off-puck movement in the offensive zone to find space and exploit his biggest strength is also a treat to watch. He’ll weave in and out of pockets until his opponents forget him, and when he’s sharing the ice with high-end distributors like Teddy Stiga, Max Plante, James Hagens, and Cole Hutson, he gets a chance the moment he loses his check.

However, there’s a considerable lack of defensive and buildup involvement and playmaking will that continues to plague Eiserman’s game. It goes beyond the shooter’s mindset: there are more shots to be had if Eiserman would just play a give and go on the zone entry, or drop down six feet in his own zone to cut off a telegraphed pass. The lack of polished habits and decisions, combined with the lack of a standout physical trait — he isn’t the strongest nor the fastest — make it difficult to project Eiserman in any other role than a top-six sharpshooter. That lack of versatility, combined with how frustrating he’s been to watch even on his best nights, is why we’re not as sold on Eiserman’s top-10 value.

16. Alfons Freij, LD — Växjö Lakers (J20 Nationell)

Sebastian High – Freij has been a riser on our board all season long, due to his combination of three elite elements: his reading of the game (especially with play in front of him), his mobility, and his playmaking ability. He is a dynamic creator from the blueline in all three zones. In the breakout, he takes charge – wanting the puck on his stick – and is as much a threat to carry the puck up the ice, integrating liberal lateral and gear shifts into his rushes, as he is to spring the attack with a seeing-eye stretch pass. In the offensive zone, he frequently activates up the boards, creating lanes through defensive structures with both his feet and hands, and placing accurate passes onto the tapes of teammates in high-danger areas: he’s one of the draft’s premier playmaking defensemen.

His defensive game is characterized by a tight gap, calculated stickwork, and a lack of physicality, which will be one of the main elements needing progression before his jump to the NHL. While he’s exclusively played J20 competition this season and the lack of experience against adult competition will hurt his eventual draft stock, the creativity, intelligence, high-end tools, and promising development curve make him the first European blueliner I’d select on draft day. He could be an incredibly high-value add on Day 2 of the draft in Vegas.

17. Anton Silayev, LD — Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod (KHL)

Graham Montgomery – Silayev has one thing you can’t teach, incredible size. The blueliner stands at 6’7” and skates well for his size. He continues to trend in the wrong direction this season though. He uses his size and reach well to command the ice around him, making him effective at shutting down opposing rush attempts entirely or limiting their effectiveness by forcing plays to the outside. However, the situational awareness and decision making remain question marks. It has been obvious at times that he is a teenager playing against grown men for this exact reason and he hasn’t shown much improvement in this area over the game. His offensive game is quite limited. He makes a good first pass, particularly in break outs which can get the puck moving in the right direction but once the puck is in the offensive zone, his abilities are relatively limited. This and his limitations as a puck carrier limit his upside. He projects as a number 3 or 4 defensive defenseman.

18. Carter Yakemchuk, RD — Calgary Hitmen (WHL)

Luke Sweeney – Carter Yakemchuk’s game can be a headache, but his combination of physical assets and standout offensive game are difficult to ignore. Yakemchuk immediately jumps off the page as a 6’3, RHD with a booming point shot and dynamic puckhandling. Yakemchuk possesses a level of supreme confidence with the puck that allows him to create difficult zone-entries, dangle through pressure at the attacking blueline, and fire dangerous shots on net. As a result, Yakemchuk was second among CHL defensemen in goals, behind only Zayne Parekh. While his IQ is not a strength, Yakemchuk is a capable playmaker, though not a quarterback.

In transition, Yakemchuk’s hands are his best asset as he is not a particularly adept skater or transition playmaker. He is fast for his size, but his mechanics are poor and he lacks explosive acceleration. His difficulty in making timely decisions also prevents Yakemchuk from being a strong breakout or entry creator. Most glaring are Yakemchuk’s issues on defence, stemming from a combination of mentality and awareness. Yakemchuk is physical and overly aggressive, leading to hit-chasing, getting burned and failed entry denials. Yakemchuk also frequently loses his checks, misses coverage, and forgets his responsibilities. The verdict? Yakemchuk has top-pair offensive upside though it will require time, patience and a long leash.

19. Andrew Basha, LW — Medicine Hat Tigers (WHL)

Luke Sweeney – Andrew Basha is a lot of fun. Basha is first and foremost an offensive catalyst, leading to a successful season where he was third among WHL eligibles in points. Basha is an entry machine. He’s equal parts quick and agile with a burning top speed to blow by neutral zone checkers. This quickness, along with a tight puckhandle, allows him to slip through the offensive zone to avoid pressure and create lanes for himself. Basha’s tendency to constantly funnel to and arrive at the net also lets him make use of his swift, hard and accurate snapshot or to slap home rebounds and tap-ins.

Outside of his skating, Basha’s best attribute is his playmaking. No matter how fast he’s chugging along, Basha’s head is always up, maintaining his keen awareness for where his teammates are to make deceptive and timely slot passes. Especially with his speed, Basha has some checking upside, but at the moment he is not much of a defensive stalwart. His defensive game isn’t porous, and his checking game isn’t uninvolved, but Basha is clearly an offensively-focused player and will require a mentality shift to unlock defensive upside. Overall, Basha projects as a high-end top-nine transporter and playmaker, with a strong checking game to fall back on if the skill doesn’t carry him to his offensive upside.

20. Michael Hage, C — Chicago Steel (USHL)

Sebastian HighHage is another riser on many boards, as he has found more and more consistency in leveraging his elite tools to create sustained offense at the USHL level as the season has progressed. His powerful and agile skating paired with high-end handling skill and on-puk composure make allow him to dominate junior competition in transition. Offensively, too, he can turn nothing into something in the blink of an eye; unpredictable and adaptable on-puck, and riding defenders’ blind spots adeptly to get himself to high-danger positions in and around the slot.

He refined his defensive work-rate and reads early this season, and while his high-end projection hinges on the offensive skill, the defensive game is no longer the liability it once was. He can still fall victim to trying to do too much on his own, and a few years with the University of Michigan will certainly help him round out his game in needed ways, but beyond the Top 10 of the draft, few players can match his dynamic on-puck game and offensive upside.

21. Nikita Artamonov, RW — Torpedo Nizhny  Novgorod (KHL)

Graham Montgomery – Artamonov ended his season on a strong note moving down to the MHL after spending the season playing a legit role for Torpedo in the KHL. Unsurprisingly, he was more successful creating offense at that level, particularly with his own finishing, potting six goals in 11 games. The highlight of his game remains his dogged work ethic. Similarly, he uses inside body positioning and determined stick checks to outwork and strip opponents along the boards. He processes the game at a high speed, recognizing where and when to take advantage of open space in the offensive zone, making him a consistent threat off the puck. He showed some flashes of marginal improvements to his skating late in the season, but that remains an area where he could stand to make more improvements. His projection remains similar but other players have passed him with stronger end-of-season performances in this range.

22. Terik Parascak, RW/C — Prince George Cougars (WHL)

Hadi Kalakeche – Parascak continues to be one of the smartest prospects in the 2024 NHL Draft, and his skillset has only given more promise in recent viewings. He’s stepping up his game in the playoffs with Prince George at the moment, and hasn’t shown any signs of slowing down after a 105-point regular season. Parascak’s impressive positional awareness and anticipation continue to be the cornerstones of his game; he almost always gets to loose pucks first and almost always beats defensemen to the net, which makes no sense given his lack of acceleration and agility. His top speed has improved, though — once he gets going, Parascak is difficult to catch.

The top-line upside with Parascak is slim but not absent — especially if a team with a track record of improving skating mechanics gets a hold of him. More likely than not, however, we’re looking at a middle-six cycle offense and penalty-killing specialist — a forward who can defend, can score dirty goals but can also surprise opponents with the occasional pinpoint pass through the smallest seam.

23. Beckett Sennecke, RW — Oshawa Generals (OHL)

Jordan Harris – When watching Sennecke this season, the flashes of high-end offensive potential popped out at you. The problem was that these were just flashes and not the norm. As the season went along, the flashes became more frequent as Sennecke found more consistency in his game. By season’s end, he was playing his best hockey. Sennecke is a supremely talented player who’ll try anything to gain an advantage or generate offence. He might not always succeed with the things he attempts, but he’s really testing out what works and doesn’t all while expanding his creativity. Sennecke can make game breaking plays splitting the defenders en route to the net where he’ll deke a goalie and bury it for a highlight reel goal.

The main issue with Sennecke is consistency and his play off the puck. When in pursuit of the puck, he competes well and has shown impressive forecheck ability. Unfortunately, if he’s not in pursuit of the puck, he doesn’t seem to impact the play. He’s not that effective in his own end, which can lead to extended offensive zone time for his opponents. There is some awkwardness to his game, sometimes the way he stickhandles and the way he skates, but this could be a product of being a late bloomer who’s had a recent growth spurt he might not be fully used to yet.

24. Teddy Stiga, LW — USNTDP (USHL)

David Saad – It’s getting harder and harder to deny Teddy Stiga’s ability to take over a hockey game, the NTDP-ATV may not always blow up on the scoresheet, but his two-way play cannot go unnoticed. After some time apart, Stiga was recently re-united with NTDP leading scorer James Hagens and the two have been near unstoppable at the USHL level combining for 31 points in 10 games. Stiga’s absurd intelligence and speed make sure he’s never too far from the action and his ability to create turnovers with good body positioning and simple puck plays make sure the puck is always going his direction. Even when things get tough, his ability to adapt, to both recognize and play with what the opponent gives him makes his NHL translatability very real. All the cards point to him being a very interesting prospect come the U18s; he’s going to see a lot of ice-time with a lot of eyes on him. He may not ever be a headliner but Stiga is that middle 6 winger you want stapled on to your star player, the perfect enabler. Don’t be surprised if he skyrockets up end of season boards, he’s legit.

25. Sacha Boisvert, C — Muskegon Lumberjacks (USHL)

David Saad – Boisvert is quite the case study. There’s little denying how easy it is to see Boisvert play an NHL role. He’s got the size, IQ and shot to be an NHL center to some capacity. There are amazing moments of skill too, Boisvert loves to abuse his long reach and will make nice slip passes, or booming cuts to get his shot off. Those moments are great and if they’re enough to convince one of Boisvert’s upside, that’d be fair. There are just as many moments where Boisvert can leave you wanting. This player that is being laid out: the big, skilled, intelligent center with serious offensive skill should look more active then Boisvert is. That lack of “oomph” or dynamism keeps Boisvert away from the “top-6” center upside he should be garnering but we still believe he could be a very good matchup-focused middle 6 centerman and at his current range, that’s a very respectable pick to make, but you can’t help but wonder how much more might be beneath the surface.

26. Dominik Badinka, RD — Malmö Redhawks (SHL)

Seth Ditchfield – Badinka is emerging as the dark horse of this draft class, with a profile that NHL teams tend to keep an eye on. His mobility and composure under pressure are crucial for his success as a transition defender. Badinka is an aggressive defenseman who often showcases positional awareness and physical power, helping him effectively defend the rush and block the slot in the SHL. Though stickhandling still requires work, this area shows promise as he can fluidly navigate through all 3 zones. Badinka’s intelligence, combined with his ability to take risks effectively, highlights his maturity and game-reading capabilities. As these offensive tools get built, he’s poised to become a solid top-4, no-nonsense shutdown defender.

27. Adam Jiříček, RD — HC Plzeň (Czech Extraliga)

Sebastian High – The younger Jiricek brother is a true wild card in the 2024 class. The 6’2″, 168 lbs RD is an elite skater with excellent stride mechanics, agility, edgework, and 4-way mobility. Despite his lanky frame, he plays with violent aggression defensively, and could grow into the role of a mobile and painful defenseman to play against. His on-puck game has shown flashes of impressive skill and creativity against junior competition, but he struggled mightily with possession under pressure in the professional ranks this season before an injury at the WJC ended his DY before 2024 even arrived. His inconsistency, struggles with composure, erratic on-puck decision making, and the ugly knee injury have led to him slipping down our board, but his upside could have us thinking about swinging on him as early as the mid-teens. We’re very curious to see where he ends up being selected and how his D+1 development unfolds.

28. Miguel Marques, C — Lethbridge Hurricanes (WHL)

Hadi Kalakeche – Marques’ production slowed down near the end of the season, but he still ended the 2023-24 campaign with 28 goals and a team-leading tally of 74 points in 67 games for the middling Lethbridge Hurricanes. Despite the slight dip in points, there were some interesting developments in Marques’ game. Most notably, he upped the ante engagement-wise, rarely took shifts off (a big concern of ours earlier in the year) and made himself available very consistently as a breakout option in his own zone. The skillset and motor combine so well with Marques when he’s on — he’ll hunt a defenceman down and quickly turn a takeaway into a slot pass, he always gets off the wall, and he can power through checks well despite his average size (5’11, 172 pounds). The upside as a middle-six playmaking winger would be made even clearer with further improvements in his skating mechanics and even more of the consistent effort we’ve seen from Marques as of late

29. Jesse Pulkkinen, LD — JYP (Liiga)

Sebastian High – Perhaps the most unique player available in this draft class and the top overager on our board once again, Jesse Pulkkinen is a hulking 6’6″, 216 lbs defenseman with strong edgework, handling skill, and reach. His unicorn status will possibly scare teams off from swinging on him on Day 1, as his NHL projection is a bit theoretical in multiple elements such as his tendency to hold on to pucks too long when pressured and struggles with on-puck consistency, but the foundation of raw tools, skill, creativity, and composure make him a worthwhile swing in the 25-40 range in our eyes. If he hits, he could become a 2nd pairing two-way puck-mover with upside on the man advantage, but if he doesn’t, he may not become a consistent NHLer at all.

30. Emil Hemming, RW — TPS (U20 SM-sarja)

Anni Karvinen – At 30th overall we have our second Finnish forward off the board, Emil Hemming. The right-shot power forward ended up playing the majority of the season with the TPS Liiga team which only few saw coming before the season started. Playing mostly limited 4th line minutes, Hemming molded his game into a more mature and defensively responsible style. We expect Hemming to have a big role with team Finland in the upcoming U18 Worlds, where he should be able to showcase more of his offensive talents. While his shot is definitely the most impressive puck skill of his, he has shown flashes of playmaking and puck handling that could help him evolve his game into the next level if applied to his play more consistently.

31. Harrison Brunicke, RD — Kamloops Blazers (WHL)

Luke Sweeney – Harrison Brunicke is a heady, smooth-skating, 6’3 RHD, qualities that show up in every area of his game. In the offensive zone, Brunicke scans well and makes quick decisions while also showing a willingness to get off the boards and evade pressure through creativity and confident puckhandling. While Brunicke has the skill and inclination to activate as the weakside defenceman, Brunicke’s transition abilities are more frequently demonstrated through his zone exits.

Brunicke is poised in his own end and makes a lot of smart reads to use his mobility and passing to create clean breakouts. This mobility and awareness also show up in his defensive game. Brunicke is quick to close gaps off the rush and, thanks to strong body positioning, physicality and stickwork, frequently separates players from the puck, both off the rush and off the cycle. Brunicke’s offensive game could blossom with better help around him (his Kamloops Blazers were the worst team in the WHL, without either a point-per-game or 20 goal scorer), but even if it doesn’t, he still projects as a well-rounded, utility defender who makes his teammates better on both sides of the puck.

32. Luke Misa, C — Mississauga Steelheads (OHL)

Jordan Harris – Luke Misa is a small, feisty forward who is one of the best skaters in the draft. Misa doesn’t just fly, he also handles the puck and makes plays at his top speed, something many prospects struggle with when they get up to top speed. He’s an excellent playmaker and distributor of the puck as well. He has a tendency to over skate plays away from the puck, but that could be reigned in a bit. At the very least, the effort and tenacity he plays with will be a very welcomed positive in his game. Misa isn’t the biggest player, but players who skate and compete like him find a role in the NHL, even if it’s a little different than the role he plays in Mississauga.

33. Jett Luchanko, C — Guelph Storm (OHL)

Hadi Kalakeche – After having them 32 slots apart in our mid-season rankings, there was a legitimate conversation between Misa and Luchanko for our final pick of the first round this time around. All credit to Luchanko — his recent performances quelled a lot of our doubts about his projection. The defensive game, athleticism, intelligence and skating ability were there from the jump, but the offensive upside was the big limiting factor in his game. As we’ve continued to track his progress, however, there have been brighter and more frequent flashes of high-end playmaking in Luchanko’s game, setting the table for a meteoric rise on our board. His comfort on the backhand, his ability to make slip passes under a stick while being leaned on, and his increasingly consistent seam passes on the power play have made him a bit easier to project in a middle six, while the floor for Luchanko is clear as a highly-efficient fourth-liner.

34. Aron Kiviharju, LD — TPS (Liiga)

Anni Karvinen – It’d been almost six months since the last time Kiviharju saw a game action before today (Apr. 18th, 2024) as he played a U18 exhibition game against the Swiss. Recording 1G + 1A he was back to playing his own strengths, passing the puck extremely well while maintaining composure. The upside with Kiviharju is clear, he’s one of the best passers and smartest hockey minds in this year’s draft. The concerns we had before his injury are still present. His game lacks physicality and he doesn’t possess as offensively high-end tools as some of his puck-moving defenseman peers. Nonetheless, his upside keeps him on the brink of our first round.

35. Henry Mews, RD — Ottawa 67’s (OHL)

Jordan Harris – Mews is an interesting case study. He’s very clearly an offensively tilted defenseman playing in a very conservative defensive structure in Ottawa. Despite the system, Mews produced at nearly a point per game pace this season, mainly due to effective puck movement and passing. The big question with Mews will be how much offense there actually is in his game, and can he extract that offensive potential in the higher leagues ahead? If he can, then he’s likely worthy of a 1st round pick. If he can’t, then his path to the NHL is a bit cloudier as he has just okay size and compete level but struggles defensively. If he hits, expect a power play contributor and a puck moving type of player.

36. Charlie Elick, RD — Brandon Wheat Kings (WHL)

Luke Sweeney – Charlie Elick is a type of defenseman who seems easy to project into a future NHL lineup. While Elick has been relatively productive, the interest for him stems more from his dependable transition game and effective (and physical) defensive game. Elick has an excellent first pass out of the defensive zone and—complimented by strong four-way mobility—makes him one of the best defensive zone transition defensemen in the WHL. Elick’s skating and strong 6’3 frame also lend themselves well towards his robust defensive game. Elick closes gaps and defends the line well, wins pucks and netfront battles, and easily transitions retrievals into offence. He also is also very physical and can level punishing body checks without chasing hits. Elick shows a lot of promise as a second pair, matchup defenceman at the next level.

37. Tanner Howe, LW/C — Regina Pats (WHL)

Luke Sweeney – Tanner Howe’s Regina Pats were one of the worst teams in the WHL in 2024. Yet Howe still managed to have a productive season, though perhaps not giving him much room to showcase the upside that had him so highly ranked earlier in the year. Howe’s best—and most projectable—qualities are his abilities to play through contact as a smaller player, create offensive zone entries, play a possession game along the boards, and funnel to the net to bang in greasy goals. Howe’s showed flashes of dynamic playmaking and puckhandling upside, but even without these, Howe still projects as a dependable, tenacious middle-six winger with scoring upside.

38. Cole Beaudoin, C — Barrie Colts (OHL)

Hadi KalakecheBeaudoin is the ultimate contender’s pick. Defensively capable and athletic, his board game is his bread and butter. He hunts loose pucks down on the forecheck and, with his top-of-the-class puck protection mechanics, extends offensive zone sequences on his own. Although Beaudoin’s puck skills aren’t much to write home about, his small-area playmaking gels extremely well with his defensive engagement and forechecking tools. There aren’t many better prospects at turning 50/50 battles into lengthy possessions in this draft, and that’s usually more than enough for contending teams to give him a long, hard look in the late first round, despite the chances of seeing Beaudoin in an NHL top six being incredibly slim.

39. John Mustard, LW — Waterloo Black Hawks (USHL)

David Saad – Mustard had definitely hit a bit of a wall as his USHL season came to a close. The dynamic winger has already done everything to prove he can carry pucks and score off of them, but as he started playing more of a team-game Mustard’s flaws came into focus. Primarily, how raw of a talent he truly is and how lacking his playmaking game currently is. To facilitate his passing, Mustard’s trademark speed had to be taken several notches down and he was tunneling in picks and drop passes then he was at saucers through the slot. He struggled to adapt, and he struggled to score, but his intensity didn’t waver. An encouraging sign, that Mustard is able to put in the effort to diversify his game without getting discouraged at the growing pains. Mustard is still very raw and really needs to get a handle on diversifying his offence and being a full 200-ft player, but the reward for a patient team could be tantalizing, there’s a lot to be excited about in the speed, skill and combativeness that Mustard already brings.

40. Stian Solberg, LD — Vålerenga (Norway)

Seth Ditchfield – Solberg flew onto almost everyone’s radar after his standout performance at the World Juniors, where he played essentially half the game for Norway. Solberg is a defender who has a pure joy of physicality. He loves putting people through the boards and being a pain in front of the net, which often sees players avoiding him altogether. His toolkit with the puck continues to show room for refinement, however, Solberg shows a promising blend of offensive risk-taking, and sharp-shooting skills, suggesting there may be some hidden potential lying around. As these skills and his reactivity improve, there may be a diamond in the rough that any team would love to ice on their roster.

41. Justin Poirier, RW — Baie-Comeau Drakkar (QMJHL)

Sasha Lagarde – Justin Poirier is quickly becoming the most intriguing prospect coming out of the QMJHL this season, leading the way in goals (51 regular season and 10 in the playoffs). He has an elite shot and rarely backs away from physicality in the corners or in front of the net. Poirier has improved in his playmaking abilities by using the middle of the ice more to open up lanes for himself. Poirier has enough pace to keep up with better players and can score in a multitude of ways which is the most translatable element of his game. As he matures, his defensive game should improve and his hockey sense will allow him to grasp concepts at the pro level. Poirier could be a sneaky gamble for teams looking for secondary scoring threats in the second round.

42. Raoul Boilard, C — Baie-Comeau Drakkar (QMJHL)

Sasha Lagarde – Boilard continues to be one of the more complete centers coming out of QMJHL, as he provides the Drakkar with consistent offensive creativity while being an absolute magician at the faceoff circle. There are parts of his game that need immediate attention (defensive positioning, initiating physical contact and his skating stride) but in general, Boilard projects as a bottom to middle 6 center with offensive upside. He is capable of playing with better players and thrives in high pressure situations. His ability to work his way out of tight spaces and his net front skills highlight a diverse offensive toolkit. Boilard will need the attention of a skills coach to refine his abilities but I am confident Boilard has what it takes to be an NHLer at center ice.

43. Tomáš Galvas, LD — Bílí Tygři Liberec (Czech Extraliga)

Sebastian HighThe undersized Czech defenseman’s game runs through his mobility, passing ability, and offensive activation. He is aggressive with the puck on his stick, probing professional defensive corps to create openings and attacking them with pace. His playmaking game is slot-focused despite his tendency to get physically restricted to the perimeter. The on-puck game shows off interesting potential as a 2nd or 3rd pairing puck-mover and offensive creator. Defensively, he leverages his mobility to patrol a fairly large radius, and his stickwork is already quite refined. The flip side would be his struggle to keep up physically against big and violent opponents, routinely being outmuscled in the slot and losing body positioning. He will need a few years of – mainly physical – development, and he’s not a guaranteed NHLer, but a patient organization with a deliberate development plan could foster him into a dynamic puck-moving NHL role.

44. Luke Osburn, LD — Youngstown Phantoms (USHL)

David Saad – Osburn may not be filling up the scoresheet yet, but make not mistake, he’s been indispensable for Youngstown as they chase the Clark Cup. A regular top-4 fixture on a very competitive blue-line, Osburn hasn’t been filling up the scoresheet, but been remarkable at pushing play the other way. He’s gotten remarkably more confident and has started calling his own number and diving deep into the offensive zone or taking on more pressure knowing he can shake it off. Put simply, Osburn’s game is one of pressure. Offensively, he knows how to apply it by effectively distributing the puck and making the plays that put his opponents in the most disadvantageous position possible. Defensively, it’s all about suppressing and taking pressure away with good anticipation and removing options before they exist. He’s not yet athletic or defensively developed enough for it to work all the time but he thinks the game at a high level. He’s going to be a very interesting one to follow.

45. Ryder Ritchie, RW — Prince Albert Raiders (WHL)

Luke Sweeney – Ryder Ritchie is a conundrum. He’s a dynamic, high-energy forward, with plenty of raw skill, but never seemed able to fully put it together. Ritchie is a highly effective puck carrier with space and a head of steam but can get shut down trying to do it all himself. He’s a slippery puckhandler but often bobbles pucks off the first touch. He’s got a cannon of a shot but settles for long-distance chances. He makes smart reads and puts the puck in dangerous areas but can take his time doing so and telegraphs his intentions. He shows great energy on the forecheck but gets overzealous and allows an escape. Ritchie’s floor is high as a middle-six transition target with energy, but there’s also plenty of reason to believe that with a patient approach and a return to basics that there is some untapped upside.

46. Noel Fransen, LD — Färjestad BK (J20-Nationell)

Sebastian HighStylistically similar to Alfons Freij, Noel Fransen has impressed us with his refined sense of space and timing on-puck, which in tandem with his plus-level mobility, handling, and passing gives him intriguing upside as a puck-moving defenseman. Offensively, he is a play-connector on the blueline and has shown – with increasing regularity – flashes of deceptive playmaking. These strengths would have him even higher on our board were it not for some of the off-puck growing pains. He has a tendency of crowding his puck-carrying teammates rather than stretching defensive structures, and his defensive game is more reactionary than it is controlled or prepared, with inconsistent defensive scanning and a fiction on the puck-carrier holding him back. The foundation for a creative puck-moving defenseman is here, but he will need to progress his off-puck habits and defensive consistency in order to threaten hitting his NHL upside.

47. Leon Muggli, LD — EV Zug (NLA)

Seth Ditchfield – Muggli has rapidly ascended as a prospect, starting as a player without a spot on Zug, and ultimately surpassing Roman Josi’s draft-year production. He’s a highly mobile and intelligent defender who thrives under pressure. Muggli uses his intelligence along with his stickwork, balance, and agility to manage more physically intimidating opponents. Although he’s much more conservative offensively, his adept passing and situational awareness enable him to generate plays effectively, almost as if he has an aerial view of the ice. As his offensive toolkit and physical engagement improve, Muggli is seemingly poised to thrive in any role on an NHL team

48. Daniil Ustinkov, LD — Zürich SC (NLA)

Seth Ditchfield – Ustinkov is carving out an intriguing niche as a 200ft transition defender in the NL/SL, demonstrating his talent on one of the league’s strongest teams. He balances impressive foundational skills with an above-average sense of game dynamics, beginning transitions effectively and engaging offensively. He does a great job of pinching, using a combination of edgework, stickhandling, and physical strength. His defensive play thrives due to strength, edgework, and quick thinking to keep the puck in motion and drive plays forward. As he learns when to take risks and read the flow of the game better, he has the potential to become a versatile bottom-4 defender in the NHL.

49. Leo Sahlin Wallenius, LD — Växjö Lakers (J20 Nationell)

Seth Ditchfield – Leo Sahlin Wallenius is quickly making a name for himself as a dynamic offensive defenseman, adept at channelling pucks into critical areas and displaying considerable playmaking flair. Wallenius combines rapid footwork and an above-average 4-way skating ability with strategic play, navigating defensive challenges with agility and quick recoveries. While still developing, his defensive game shows promise through proactive stickwork and physical engagement. As he enhances his positional awareness, decision-making, and offensive assertiveness, Wallenius can secure a role as a transition-focused, playmaking defender in the NHL.

50. Lucas Pettersson, C — MoDo J20 (J20-Nationell)

Seth Ditchfield –  Lucas Pettersson has emerged as one of the top centers in the J20 this season, embodying the essence of a 200-foot player with his high motor and skating talents. His constant scanning of the ice and ability to manage the puck in tight situations allow him to make smart, tactical decisions in split seconds. Pettersson thrives in high-pressure situations and kills a lot of penalties for his club, thanks to his reliability, faceoff talent, and a unique trick in which he flips his stick backwards to win draws. His combination of speed, intelligence, and passing creates a seamless and dominant presence in transition, though far too inconsistently. As Pettersson works to improve his physical strength and become more consistent offensively, he’ll have a chance to assert himself as a 200-foot force.

51. Clarke Caswell, LW/C — Swift Current Broncos (WHL)

Luke Sweeney – Clarke Caswell makes his living as a slippery setup man, and, in terms of pure playmaking, may be one of the best in the class. Caswell is intelligent and always has an idea of where his teammates are on the ice, allowing him to funnel pucks to the slot. He’s even quarterbacked the Broncos’ powerplay at times. While not a poor shooter, Caswell is selective to a fault, and really only attempts from high-danger areas. His transition game is hit-or-miss, but when its working, Caswell can create entries with his skating or passing, find targets early in rush sequences, hold onto pucks through checks, and display an expert delay game. While it may be difficult to translate his offence to higher levels, the upside of a middle-six playmaker is within reach. 

52. Cole Hutson, LD — USNTDP (USHL)

David Saad – Plain to say, Cole Hutson has not hit the strides many predicted he would, but there’s little doubt to what he brings to the table. Hutson’s all about skating into the offensive zone, assessing his options and making a quick pass or finding an open lane to get the puck somewhere dangerous. It’s been a bit of a mixed bag, early in the season he was known try a bit too much and get himself into hot water; that’s gotten better as the season’s gone on but at the cost of some of his on-puck dare. Lately, Hutson’s been keeping it simple and he’s been finding reasonable success with it. He’s slowly getting his swagger back too, but the concerns are evergreen. The defensive game, where he’s a revolving door on the rush and along the boards. There’s a tinge of worry for how often he’s been spotted with his head down in open-ice and there’s some questions to the validity of an NHL defenseman of his caliber without high-end dynamism. Hutson has fought back by limiting the amount of opportunities opponents have to expose his flaws by playing a more possession oriented game. He’s not as boom/bust as he’s made out to be, but there may be a lower ceiling than was initially hoped.

53. Maxim Massé, RW — Chicoutimi Saguenéens (QMJHL)

Sasha Lagarde – Massé was named the Top Prospect in the QMJHL (Mike Bossy Trophy) but we believe he has not shown his complete potential this season as he has struggled after putting up great numbers in his rookie season. Massé thrives below the faceoff circles in the offensive zone, especially around the net and along the boards. He leverages his body well and will find teammates in open space off a cycle. His shot hasn’t been the same weapon as it was last year and his skating has not improved enough to make a difference. There are questions surrounding his hockey IQ but I truly believe there is a spot in the NHL for Massé’s player profile. He projects as a useful secondary winger with untapped offensive potential but without improvements in his spatial awareness and skating, he will be more of a project than initially thought.

54. Julius Miettinen, LW — Everett Silvertips (WHL)

Luke Sweeney – Julius Miettinen is a 6’3″ two-way forward who stands out for his forechecking, playmaking, and net-front positioning. Miettinen’s strong stick-work and body positioning make him adept in winning back pucks off dump-ins and extended in-zone sequences. Miettinen is always looking to move pucks across the slot, complemented by his smooth rush game and his slick hands. Without the puck on his stick, Miettinen funnels to the slot and demonstrates a solid blend of power and soft skill to get high-quality shots and deflections, or to make dangerous passes. Miettinen projects as a high-end, dependable bottom-six piece.

55. Simon Zether, C — Rögle (SHL)

Seth Ditchfield – Simon Zether is a calm and mature forward in the SHL, demonstrating solid defensive intelligence with effectiveness in puck battles and positional awareness. Despite needing to heavily improve his intensity, Zether has shown unexpected offensive tools, particularly in transition. His composure under pressure stands out; however, a more aggressive, risk taking approach could unlock new heights for his potential. If Zether can improve his footspeed and agility, he has the potential to transform from a defensive specialist to a third-line producer.

56. Marek Vanacker, LW — Brantford Bulldogs (OHL)

Jordan Harris – Vanacker is another player who took major strides over the course of the season. Vanacker is a good skater and projects as an above average skater at the NHL level. He has a good shot, good hands, and plays a decent two-way game as well. I’m not sure there’s enough high-end hockey sense or playmaking for him to find his way into a top 6 or PP1 at the NHL level, but his ability to score and play off the puck suggest he could be a solid 3rd line option on the wing.

57. Tarin Smith, LD — Everett Silvertips (WHL)

Luke Sweeney – Tarin Smith is an offensive defenseman who is dynamic with the puck and creates off the rush using his feet and creative puckhandling to slip through defenders in highlight-reel fashion. He’s an intelligent passer but loves to take a volume of shots from the point. His defensive game is solid, though he’s prone to gaffes. Smith can work his way into an NHL lineup as long as he remains committed to defence, works on his lateral movement, and continues find offence as a weak-side activator.

58. Kamil Bednarik, C — USNTDP (USHL)

David Saad – Bednarik at this point in the year is a rare case of “same as we left him”. We did get to see his power game start to take over though. Bednarik has this great understanding of creating space for his teammates to operate and making smart effective plays while never being afraid to get greasy. What really sells me on Bednarik is the little things: he goes to net, he chases rebounds, he causes turnovers, he creates breakouts (primarily for Cole Eiserman). Bednarik is not the fastest player, but he’s got a strong engine, and the push to get those second chances he wouldn’t otherwise get if he wasn’t as athletic or smart as he is. I don’t know whether he’s a skilled grinder (currently leaning here) or a grinding skill player but I’d bet it lands him an NHL job in some capacity.

59. EJ Emery, RD — USNTDP (USHL)

Hadi Kalakeche – Unfortunately, the offensive improvements just aren’t coming with Emery and, as a result, he continues to drop in our rankings. It’s truly unfortunate, because Emery’s rush defending might be the best in this draft. His ability to close gaps with the right timing, to stifle opposing rushes with strong stick-and-body layering, and to toe the line between aggression and composure when deciding on a pinch are astoundingly polished.. Even if Emery never figures out his play with the puck, specialists like him usually make the NHL in some capacity. The floor as a number 6 rush defense specialist keeps him in our second round.

60. Ben Danford, RD — Oshawa Generals (OHL)

Jordan Harris – Danford is a steady and effective defenseman on a strong Oshawa team. He logs big minutes and is a strong defender. He shows poise under pressure and can get pucks out of his own end and up the ice. He’s got a bit of a physical game as well and plays (and looks) bigger than he’s listed. There isn’t much offensively with Danford, but he still put-up decent point totals as a draft eligible defenseman. Danford plays a predictable game that coaches will appreciate as they know what they’re getting out of him every night. He could become a reliable penalty killer and bottom pairing defenseman at the NHL level.

61. Yegor Surin, C/RW — Loko Yaroslavl (MHL)

Graham Montgomery – Surin is most certainly a junior player. Playing in the Russian junior system has not done him any favors in that regard. The mental side of his game holds him back as he often loses focus, motivation, and very frequently takes unnecessary penalties. He is very raw but has some intriguing tools. If he can put it all together and perhaps develop a better mentality and more consistent motor, he has everything else to be an effective and pesty bottom six play driver; and if his handling and goalscoring hit their ceilings, they could even unlock 2nd line upside.

62. Ollie Josephson, C/LW — Red Deer (WHL)

Luke Sweeney – Ollie Josephson is a bet on a guy who does a lot of things right. He plays with pace and is a strong forechecker and in-zone defender, an effective transition player, a solid playmaker, and takes high-quality shots. Even if the production doesn’t come, its not unrealistic to expect Josephson to develop into an effective, high-energy bottom-six driver at higher levels

63. Dean Letourneau, C — St. Andrew’s College (PHC)

David Saad – Letourneau is a simple, puck controlling center with just enough soft skill in his passing and shot to be a threat of his own. The PHC has been a bit disingenuous to his offensive upside, but there’s still reason to believe there’s a good offensive player here. Letourneau has a great understanding of positioning his body in transition to protect the puck and is able to find lanes other’s can’t by just muscling people. I am a little concerned he’s reliant on his size as Letourneau doesn’t seem to have an answer to strong defenders who plant their feet and challenge him head on. I don’t know if he’s a reliable puck carrier at higher levels either, due to his very floaty stride, Letourneau may find himself struggling against backcheckers in the future and he doesn’t yet have the mobility to react and get himself second chances like others his size do. Letourneau’s strength comes from playing simple, mistake-free hockey, and at his size that’s enough to warrant a tangible NHL future; I’d just bet it’s in a more limited role. To play the comparison game, I see a lot of Nick Bjugstad in Letourneau. I imagine for Dean to see success, he will need to take a lot of the same cues in his development.

64. Adam Kleber, RD — Lincoln (USHL)

David Saad – Adam Kleber profiles as yet another one of the big, rangy defensemen in this year’s draft, but he comes with a lot of added benefits. He’s a good skater, has some very surprising small area handling skills, he’s a good breakout passer, remarkably accurate in the offensive zone, and good at defending the rush, and that’s just the start. Kleber’s defensively intelligent and generally plays with that strength, but is no slouch offensively and is willing to get aggressive when the situation calls for it. The overall lack of speed and really high-end skills might limit him going forward, but there’s a lot to like in Kleber as the top 6 defenseman he projects as now and he has a very real path to some second pairing upside.

65. Linus Eriksson, C — Djurgårdens IF (HockeyAllsvenskan)

Sebastian High – Eriksson is a highly-intelligent centerman who could easily jump a dozen or more spots by the time our final rankings roll around. His tools aren’t particularly difference-making factors, but his level of composure, reading of the game, and 200-foot off-puck habits have enabled him to play really reliable minutes in HockeyAllsvenskan this season and make him quite a projectable bottom-six NHLer. His motor is high and consistent, and his off-puck positioning has consistently created advantages on both sides of the pick against professional competition. He is a capable system player who applies a ton of defensive pressure, whether it be on the forecheck or against the cycle.

66. Adam Jecho, RW — Edmonton Oil Kings (WHL)

Luke Sweeney – Adam Jecho is a tough read. He’s a 6’5 pivot but doesn’t dominate the game in the way you’d like. He has a hard shot that he uses to create quality looks, good puck protection, and a solid transition game for his size, but his lack of vision, dynamism, and ability to create for his teammates severely impacts his offensive ceiling. He has the tools for it, but he doesn’t break up plays, win on the forecheck, or have the speed on pucks to be considered a defensive centre. A selection in the first two rounds is a bet on his physical tools coming together to form a more cohesive, two-way game.

67. Matvei Gridin, LW — Muskegon Lumberjacks (USHL)

David Saad – Continually frustrating, Gridin’s not really shaken things up much this year. Still the ever impressive playmaker, Gridin’s passing game is deep and complex, with a wide repertoire of playmaking tools to support for his strong sense of timing. He’s got the skill to make it look really pretty too. And he’s got a quick release to mix in as a changeup, diversifying the ways he can beat you. But the issues are nagging, he’s still not really creating his own chances or active in his own end, or taking advantage of his large frame to battle for pucks. Too often, Gridin will skate into people expecting the turnover to materialize just to get blown past. I really want to believe in Gridin’s skill, as there’s a lot to like, but he’s got to be even if just a little more engaged shift-to-shift and at 5v5. You can trust the numbers and you can trust the profile, but there’s significant risk with this specific player nonetheless.

68. Veeti Väisänen, LD — KooKoo (Liiga)

Anni Karvinen – Väisänen has slipped a bit from our last rankings (48th), as there’s risen a slight concern regarding his puck handling and decision making under pressure, though his strengths have remained evident. Väisänen relies on his hockey sense as he positions himself proactively to shut down the opponent. He has a great mobility that has allowed him to beat opponents in races to 50/50 pucks. He likes to engage physically and is effective at closing in on the boards, even against the pro competition.

69. Carter George, G — Owen Sound Attack (OHL)

Colin Hunter – Despite his relative struggles in the last third of the OHL season, George still comes in as our #1 ranked goalie. He plays a very mature game for his age – his mechanics and movement are refined, his technique remains sharp in scrambles, and he anticipates play and shooters relatively well. He’s also effective in using his size despite not being a huge goalie at 6’1, playing with his shoulders upright and appropriate hand/shoulder positioning. In situations where it’s needed, he does have adequate athletic ability to bail his team out.

70. Ryerson Leenders, G — Mississauga Steelheads (OHL)

Colin Hunter – Once again coming in directly behind George, Leenders also faltered a little as the season went on. He does still remain a legitimate prospect however, with his hallmark abilities being his play reading/anticipation, athleticism, and rebound control. Leenders also has a clear competitive nature and is very rarely significantly off his game. The size concerns will continue with him, but his abilities indicate that he should be able to overcome it at the professional level.

71. Matvei Shuravin, LD — Krasnaya Armiya Moscow (MHL)

Graham Montgomery – A well-rounded mobile defenseman with good size. He is calm under pressure, handling junior competition with ease. He makes a good breakout pass and can carry the puck himself in transition as well. Rarely makes poor decisions, managing the puck somewhat conservatively, but managing the game well. His offensive upside is very limited, but he does have some upside as a playmaker, highlighted by his plus passing. He’s split time between the various levels of the Russian system this year, and has handled himself reasonably well against professionals at the VHL and KHL levels. The declining quality of these leagues is an increasingly notable factor when assessing players like Shuravin though.

72. Topias Hynninen, C/LW — Jukurit (Liiga)

Anni Karvinen – At 72nd overall we have a versatile Finnish forward, Topias Hynninen. He spent the season playing mostly with the Liiga team in a forechecking, bottom six role. Hynninen is a great skater with a relentless motor that fits the bottom six mold extremely well. He’s been able to showcase some intriguing playmaking abilities in the U20 level where he’s been deployed in a more offensive role. We see that Hynninen’s ability to play along the boards and recover pucks could translate very effectively into North American ice.

73. Sam O’Reilly, C — London Knights (OHL)

Hadi Kalakeche – O’Reilly’s role for London this year is most likely the role he’ll be limited to in the NHL: a bottom-six penalty-killer who chips in on a second line from time to time. However, few in the OHL do it as well as he does. O’Reilly is incredibly intelligent, down to the minute details; when approaching a puck-carrier from behind, he taps them on the right shin with his stick to force a move to their left, then wraps around and stick-lifts them. On the penalty kill, he keeps his head on a swivel and his stick in the right lanes. This attention to detail is sure to draw NHL teams’ interest in the mid-rounds at the very least.

74. Ondřej Kos, LW — KOOVEE (Mestis)

Sebastian High – Koš has been out with injury since November, but his reliable defensive game, suffocating motor, and flashes of playmaking skill keep him inside our Top 75. His intelligent defensive game, consistent engagement, and play-connecting skill in the neutral and offensive zones could elevate him to a valuable bottom-six role in the NHL. His skating and handling also grade as about average NHL tools, and could provide the foundation for exploring greater offensive implication in the coming seasons.

75. Max Plante, C — USNTDP (USHL)

Hadi KalakecheSpeed and skill is the name of the game for Plante. A pace-pusher who seems to improve as he turns on the jets, Plante loves to connect with teammates in high-danger areas. His passing is a clear standout trait — both in terms of versatility and accuracy. Constantly throwing pucks at the slot has its limits, though, and Plante doesn’t necessarily have the defensive or physical tools to win pucks back after those passes don’t work out. Still, the dynamism in Plante’s game gives him a boom-or-bust element. Top six or nothing.

76. Brodie Ziemer, RW — USNTDP (USHL)

David Saad – Ziemer’s a guy that just always seems to be at the right place at the right time. Pause a frame of any game and he’s in or getting in position. He’s got a great mental map of the ice and pairs very well with intelligent players. He’s quick to respond to changes in play and is able to recognize and act on his options really quickly. To the camera, he can feel omnipresent. Ziemer’s also got really fast hands that lend to a quick release and a tough to avoid forecheck. His individual skill isn’t over the moon, but there’s something to be said for a player as instinctively calculated as Ziemer carving out some real top 9 upside. He just gets it.

77. Heikki Ruohonen, C — Kiekko-Espoo (U20 SM-Sarja)

Sebastian HighRuohonen is a 2-way center who gets involved defensively, doesn’t shy aways from initiating contact on either side of the puck, and has shown increasingly regular flashes of playmaking skill. He’s diversified his playmaking game by integrating hook and area passes as the season has progressed. While he makes for a relatively straightforward 4C NHL projection, steps like these taken in his offensive and on-puck game could unlock middle-six upside.

78. Brendan McMorrow, LW — USNTDP (USHL)

Hadi KalakecheAt this stage in the draft, you start looking for prospects who have one clear standout trait around which you can build an interesting toolkit. With McMorrow, it’s the hand-eye coordination. Excellent at tipping pucks and batting them out of mid-air, the bet is that McMorrow could be turned into a true net-front specialist with some polish to his skating stride and physical mechanics. He’s quite easy to tie up as he stands. If that doesn’t work, then betting on his solid habits and decision-making is still worthwhile.

79. Herman Träff, RW — HV71 (J20 Nationell)

Seth Ditchfield – Herman Träff brings a compelling blend of physicality and subtlety in his hockey style. He takes advantage of a deep toolkit effectively, especially in the neutral zone, where his timing and spatial awareness shine. His patient puck handling teases a dangerous game built on creativity, robust strength, and a strong drive toward the net. Although occasionally inconsistent, Träff’s smooth skating, skilled passing, and willingness to engage physically suggest a versatile player intriguing to NHL scouts. Moving forward, he’ll need to address his tendency for panic-driven turnovers to fully realize his potential.

80. Ilya Nabokov, G — Magnitogorsk (KHL)

Colin Hunter – It’s not often that you see a 21-year-old selected in the NHL draft, but it’s not often that you have the opportunity to draft a goaltender of Nabokov’s quality either. After a strong start to the KHL season, Nabokov has shown great in-season development, and his regular season and playoff statistics reflect that. He is an extremely strong skater, able to move effectively and quickly into positions. He consistently takes the correct lines, and is excellent at anticipating play and adjusting his depth based on the situation. His rebound control and tracking in and around the net may need some refining but by all measures this is an excellent professional goaltender available to be drafted.

81. Aatos Koivu, C — TPS (U20 SM-Sarja)

Anni Karvinen – Aatos Koivu is a strong-skating center that has had a steep development curve during the season. He is physically quite raw which partly explains why he flew under the radar for so long. Koivu possesses a plus tool in his shot that he likes to fire frequently, especially from the half-wall. He also has a quite good hockey sense especially in the offensive zone where he is good at
making himself available as an option to pass the puck to. He can play responsible two-way hockey and he’s already developed some mature habits like good scanning.

82. Tomas Mrsic, C — Medicine Hat (WHL)

Luke Sweeney – Tomas Mrsic was hidden in the background early in the season, but after Cayden Lindstrom’s injury, he had a strong run. Mrsic has little to offer defensively but is well-rounded offensively, functioning as a complementary spark-plug. His speed and routes make him an effective transition target. He is particularly adept in arriving as a trailer to make smart passes into the middle of the ice or to post up for high-quality one-timers.

83. Daniel Nieminen, LD — Lahti (U20 SM-Sarja)

Anni Karvinen – Daniel Nieminen is a left-handed two-way defenseman with a great skating technique and mobility that forms the foundation of his game. He’s got an active defensive stick that he utilizes effectively when defending both in the zone or the rush. He contributes offensively by creating space in the zone with his well-timed movement and participating eagerly in creating rush offense. His puck handling could end up limiting his offensive upside.

84. Javon Moore, LW — Minnetonka High (USHS-MN)

David Saad – Javon Moore is a tough one to pin down for a lot of reasons. He’s a really booming athlete with a lot of immediate appeal. He skates hard, he fights hard, he shoots hard all of that is great; but the hockey sense is really up in the air. Moore has not really been challenged to adapt at the high school level and he’s been able to get by so far on just simply being more athletic then his competition. His commitment to the University of Minnesota means he may bypass the USHL all together, resulting in a monumental jump in competition. Few players available this year can match his combination of speed, size and skill, and he may have top 6 upside if it all works out; but this is definitely a swing for the fences.

85. Jack Pridham, RW — West Kelowna (BCHL)

David Saad – The headliner from the BCHL, Pridham draws his appeal by being this big, mobile neutral zone menace. He’s got great spatial awareness and uses it to forecheck at crucial moments, such as just before an opposing defender can create a breakout pass, so he can turn it the other way. Combine this opportunistic style with some good finishing and you have Pridham. He doesn’t have the best hands or passing yet and is more of a skate and shoot type of guy as a result, but his willingness to play a 200-ft game gives a bit of balance to his stock. If he can develop a more multi-dimensional offensive game then there’s some good grounds to believe in his NHL upside.

86. Lukas Fischer, LD — Sarnia (OHL)

Jordan Harris – Lukas Fischer is a tall, lengthy defender who is still developing his game. He’s a good skater, especially for his size, and could really leverage that to defend really well at the next level if properly developed. This past season the defensive results haven’t been there, but much of that is due to playing on a rebuilding Sarnia team. Fischer has had more success in the offensive zone, but we project him more as a large, mobile, defensive defenseman at the NHL level.

87. Sebastian Soini, RD — Ilves (Liiga)

Anni Karvinen – Sebastian Soini is a defensive defenseman with a profile that NHL organizations tend to appreciate. The mobile, right-handed defender has proved this season that he can play composed and mature hockey amongst the men. Soini uses his size to his advantage when clearing opponents from the net. He has good gap control that allows him to defend the rush effectively.

88. Alexander Zetterberg, C/RW — Örebro (J20 Nationell)

Seth Ditchfield – Alexander Zetterberg has stood out as one of the Swedish U18’s best players for the last three seasons and as a top performer on his Örebro club. He showcases sharp two-way play, above-average puck skills, and excellent hockey sense. Despite lacking the size and speed to win puck battles, his intelligent play and dangerous one-timer compensate effectively. His playoff performance highlighted his engagement away from the puck and massive playmaking potential. The challenge for Zetterberg remains: Can he improve his physical strength to elevate his game to the next level?

89. Spencer Gill, RD — Rimouski (QMJHL)

Sasha Lagarde – Spencer Gill is one of the more improved players in the QMJHL this season playing big minutes as a right-handed defenseman for Rimouski this season. There were a lot of red flags surrounding his defensive abilities as a whole but he has really improved in his gap control and positioning this season. Furthermore, Gill has taken a big step offensive by refining his breakout/transition game while using his large frame to shield defenders during his activations. Also, he has improved his break passes both on his forehand and backhand. Still seen as a project, Gill has officially arrived as an intriguing RHD with efficient transition tools.

90. Melvin Fernström, RW — Örebro (J20 Nationell)

Seth Ditchfield –  Melvin Fernström is a dangerous support player with a very potent shot, and he continued to showcase his resilience when promoted for a must-win Örebro match. Fernström excels at the J20 level due to his skill with the puck and high-octane presence on the ice. Although his skating is not a strength and his transition game is lacking, his work ethic and improvement over the season highlight his promising potential. Enhancing his physical strength, defensive contributions, and transition engagement will be crucial in helping him become a valuable NHL forward.

91. Eemil Vinni, G — JoKP (Mestis)

Colin Hunter – Coming into the year, Vinni was regarded as likely the top goaltending prospect for the draft. Since then, he has fallen on many boards due to an apparently difficult year playing against men in Mestis. When watching him, however, it is clear that this was more of a function of the team infront of him than the abilites of Vinni himself. The outlook on him remains the same as mid-season: great upside with strong skating, agressiveness, and athleticism, but needs to find some consistency in technique and tracking.

92. Marcus Kearsey, LD — Charlottetown (QMJHL)

Sasha Lagarde – Marcus Kearsey has stepped up as the primary offensive threat on the back end for the Charlottetown Islanders. Although he isn’t the biggest guy on the ice (5’11, 172 lbs), Kearsey is an excellent skater and has learned how to be an effective transporter of the puck. He effortlessly transitions out of danger in the defensive zone and gains a lot of speed through the neutral zone, making zone entries part of his strengths. Due to his mobility, he is able to quarterback a powerplay in the QMJHL but projects as a bottom-2 pairing, puck-moving defenseman at the pro ranks. He needs to clean up his defensive positioning and learn how to leverage his body more against bigger players but there is a bright future ahead for a team looking to add depth to their backend.

93. Fyodor Avramov, LW — Kapitan Stupino (MHL)

Sebastian High – Avramov is a raw but skilled hulking winger who uses his physicality liberally to make the lives of MHL defenses rather unpleasant. His handling skill is the gem of his puck-skills trifecta, featuring an unlocked top hand, and it works very nicely in tandem with his physicality and puck-protection ability. He will need a few years and is far from a slam-dunk NHLer, but the raw tools are intriguing.

94. Anthony Romani, C/RW — North Bay (OHL)

Hadi Kalakeche – Passed over in the 2023 NHL Draft due to his defensive and physical games failing to move the needle, Romani has come back this season like a man on a mission, scoring 58 goals and adding 53 assists for 111 points in only 68 games with the North Bay Battalion. The offensive tools themselves haven’t improved much, but Romani has surrounded them with translatable tools that allow him to get more puck touches in more dangerous areas. He’s definitely worth a pick-up this time around.

95. Pavel Moysevich, G — SKA St. Petersburg (VHL)

Colin Hunter – Another overage goaltender playing in the KHL, Moysevich is a 6’5 D+1 who got some playing time with SKA St. Petersburg this year. While his KHL numbers should be taken with a grain of salt – his deployment was odd, often only playing part of a game – he looked up to the part as a professional level goalie. Moysevich’s strengths come in his positioning and ability to use his frame to minimize the threat of opportunities. He has relatively strong hands and is very difficult to beat cleanly. At the KHL level, his skating and lateral movement was occasionally prone to breakdown, but the ceiling is clearly there.

96. Jiri Tichacek, LD — Kladno (Czech Extraliga)

Sebastian High – I pushed for Tichacek to crack our rankings as an undersized D+3 defenseman, as he’s been on my radar since his DY and has finally broken out offensively in Czechia’s top pro division. He’s an intelligent, supremely agile, puck-moving defenseman who took the reigns of a weak Kladno team that nearly got demoted at season’s end, racking up 43 points through 52 games, best among all blueliners in the country. He’s added many small details to his defensive game to shut down much bigger and stronger opponents and could be a depth puck-mover on an NHL 3rd pair as soon as a year from now.

Honorable mentions:

Sebastian High: Tory Pitner, RD – Youngstown (USHL)

Pitner is a very intelligent defenseman with subpar tools who reads and studies the game at a level that few USHLers can match. While his upside is a bit limited, I like his chances of carving out a bottom-pairing NHL role with his high work rate and consistently calculated reads.

Sebastian High: Gabriel Eliasson, LD – HV71 (J20 Nationell)

Eliasson has played a mistake-riddled game all season long, but his foundation of violent physicality, size, and mobility give him a foundation that an NHL team will surely like to swing on and mould into a potential shutdown defender.

Hadi Kalakeche: Tomas Lavoie, RD – Cape Breton (QMJHL)

A smooth-skating defensive specialist who is showing signs of growing on-puck confidence, Lavoie displays crisp but oftentimes simplistic breakout passing. He’s got limited offensive upside, but could top out as a number 4 penalty-killing blue-liner.

Hadi Kalakeche: Félix Lacerte, C – Shawinigan (QMJHL)

Lacerte is an undersized winger with great rush patterns, good vision and an accurate shot. He is fairly limited physically, but puts in second and third efforts on the back-check. Third-line upside.

Anni Karvinen: Kasper Pikkarainen, RW – TPS (U20 SM-Sarja)

Kasper Pikkarainen is a big winger with some interesting tools that haven’t come together quite yet. Pikkarainen is at his best when playing in the offensive zone as he can snap a shot or pass the puck efficiently in tighter spaces.

Anni Karvinen: Mitja Jokinen, LD – TPS (U20 SM-Sarja)

Mitja Jokinen is a modern, mobile puck-moving defenseman that bases his game on his great skating. He’s got solid puck skills, especially with his passing, but he needs to work on his physicality if he wants to see NHL ice.

Seth Ditchfield: Charlie Forslund, LW – Falu IF (HockeyEttan)

Charlie Forslund has chosen an unconventional development path, sticking with his hometown team, Falu IF, in HockeyEttan. Tied for 11th all-time in points for a U18 skater with 19, his physical prowess is notable as he can drive to the net with ease. His shot from the left circle is incredibly dangerous, but his off-puck retrievals and engagement will require work.

Seth Ditchfield: Tommaso De Luca, C – HC Ambrí-Piotta (NL)

Tommaso De Luca jumped to the NL as a rookie in his DY+1 season and immediately earned the trust of his coaches. Second in points among U23 skaters in the NL, De Luca thrives as a rover due to his above-average skating abilities and quick hands. His defensive game needs refinement, as he cheats too early, but his intelligence with the puck has proven to be a notable asset.

Jordan Harris: Luca Marrelli, RD – Oshawa (OHL)

Marrelli is a player who looks the part with good size, athleticism, and movement skills. He thinks the game well and has makes the right decisions even if it means making the easy play. Marrelli’s production was great, but I don’t think he’s as dynamic offensively as the points would suggest. He’s a decent defender, but if he hopes to make the NHL you would want him to improve in that area if he already isn’t the most dynamic offensive player. Still, right shot defensemen with his size and athleticism are coveted by NHL front offices and if he can take major strides he could break into the NHL in time.

David Saad: Noah Powell, LW – Dubuque (USHL)

In his second year of eligibility, Powell has made substantial progress, scoring a USHL leading 43 goals, a more than five-fold improvement over his total last year. Powell has added noticeable muscle and incorporated a power forward’s game to become one of the deadliest rush attackers the USHL has to offer. He’s also remarkably effective down low and has shown a knack for getting pucks to the middle, hell or high water. His defensive game is still lacking, but Powell should draw NHL eyes with his combative, salt-of-the-earth style of play.

David Saad: Ilya Protas, LW – Des Moines (USHL)

Protas has fallen under the radar for a number of reasons: it’s his first season in North America, his USHL team isn’t very good and he doesn’t have a booming offensive game. But he’s been one of the most improved players as the season’s gone on and has defined himself as a real offensive threat. His combination of size and effective passing makes him really hard to force into errors. He won’t knock your socks off, but he plays a simple, effective and possession-focused game that makes it easy to see him as a bottom-six option. If he adds to his repertoire and gets more creative, there may be some real top 6 potential here. This is not without precedent either, his brother Aliaksei, has seen a similar path and success as a member of the Washington Capitals. Considering this is his first year in North America, and having played in Belarus for the majority of his career, how quickly Protas has adapted may mean we are just scratching his surface.

Luke Sweeney: Josh Fluker, RD – Wenatchee (WHL)

It’s not often that you get a 5’11 defensive specialist, but that’s exactly what Wenatchee Wild defenceman Josh Fluker brings. Poised an efficient in transition, calm and composed under pressure, and energy, physicality and an active stick on defence, Fluker is a gamble that his strengths can overcome his stature.

Luke Sweeney: Luke Mistelbacher, RW – Swift Current (WHL)

With solid forechecking and puck protection, coupled with habits of funnelling to the net off-puck and centering pucks off the perimeter, Luke Mistelbacher is a complimentary player who blends well with more skilled linemates.

Wade Messier: Will Skahan, LD – USNTDP (USHL)

Skahan is a big, physical, defense-first defenseman who is very effective at defending the rush. While the NHL appeal is clear, consistency issues have put some question marks around his long-term NHL effectiveness.

Wade Messier: Alexander Siryatsky, LD – Magnitogorsk (MHL)

An aggressive two-way defenseman with good hockey IQ and a strong defensive game, Siryatsky makes for an intriguing option outside of the top 100. He’ll need a couple of years to fill out his frame before making the jump to North America.


Name Fantasy Upside NHL Certainty
Fabian Lysell 8.5 9.0
Jakub Lauko 6.0 6.0
Matthew Poitras 7.5 7.5
Alexander Nikishin 9.0 9.3
Alexander Rykov 7.0 7.5
Justin Robidas 5.5 4.5
Zion Nybeck 8.0 3.0
David Kase 4.0 6.0
Jacob Julien 6.5 6.0
Anton Johannesson 3.0 3.0