2024 NHL Draft

NHL Player Comparables For Macklin Celebrini, Top 2024 NHL Draft Prospects

NHL Player Comparables For Macklin Celebrini, Top 2024 NHL Draft Prospects

How does Macklin Celebrini compare to Sidney Crosby? Could Artyom Levshunov be the next Drew Doughty? Chris Peters shares his comps for NHL Draft prospects.

Jun 17, 2024 by Chris Peters

Plotting out NHL comparable players for draft prospects is often a tricky exercise. It is also one of the best shorthand ways to explain how a player plays and what role they can potentially play at the NHL level, which is why fans love them so much.

That said, there’s still a lot of projecting going on and in a lot of cases, the NHL comparable is the best possible case for a player. That’s why I try to do my comps a little differently. Instead of trying to say Player X will become the next Player Y, I tend to lean towards “if the player hits, he has a chance to play a role similar to this NHL player.” In some cases, like that of Tij Iginla or Liam Greentree, their draft seasons remind me a lot of those of the players they’ve been compared to, suggesting there’s potentially a similar trajectory for the players.

I’ve long resisted making my player comps public because sometimes they can be a little misleading and people derive what they want to from a comp, which doesn’t always match up with the analyst’s intention. Nevertheless, it's a good shorthand to try to explain how a player plays and the impact they ultimately can have at the NHL level.

Writer’s note: For the purpose of this exercise, I opted to choose only current NHL players – as in player that participated in the 2023-24 NHL season. There may be better historical comparables for players, but I tried to set some parameters to best illustrate my thoughts. Here we go… 

Macklin Celebrini, C, Boston University

NHL Comparable: Sidney Crosby

It’s a lofty comp and the one that I’m more comfortable with is Jonathan Toews, but I tried to keep this to current NHL players. As a result, Celebrini is one of the most complete players to enter a draft and while I think Crosby’s offensive peak is higher than Celebrini’s, the number of things Celebrini is good at reminds me of Crosby, who remains one of the most effective all-around NHL players even as he ages.

Celebrini is going to be a No. 1 center with high-end two-way capabilities and is a dogged competitor with some underrated snarl. While Celebrini he has high-end skill and elite hockey sense, he’ll often choose the more effective play in a more understated way as Crosby often does. The effective plays will outnumber the highlight-reel plays for both.

Artyom Levshunov, D, Michigan State University

NHL Comparable: Drew Doughty

A two-way defenseman with some physicality and good offensive touch, Levshunov profiles like a No. 1 defenseman in the mold of Doughty, who can eat big minutes and produce. Levshunov’s collegiate season production well outpaces Doughty’s own draft season in the OHL in terms of NHL equivalency. 

Ivan Demidov, LW, SKA St. Petersburg

NHL Comparable: Kirill Kaprizov

Demidov's offensive game is high end and while he lacks the skating ability of Kaprizov, the young Russian has the scoring instincts. He can score from anywhere in the offensive zone, is a legitimate shot-pass threat, competes well away from the puck and seems to find ways to impact games consistently.

Anton Silayev, D, Torpedo

NHL Comparable: Colton Parayko

Though Silayev is a left shot and Parayko is a right shot, I see similarities in how they play. Parayko has good mobility and that tremendous reach with his enormous frame. Silayev will need to fill out more to be as effective as Parayko has been on the physical side, but there is a willingness to throw his weight around and his defensive prowess will likely stand above his offensive capabilities. There's some belief Silayev could one day play the game at a level comparable to Zdeno Chara, but I feel like Parayko is the more conservative and still very impactful defenseman to compare him to.

Berkly Catton, C, Spokane Chiefs 

NHL Comparable: Tim Stutzle

A speed game with high-skill and superior ability to process the game at speed, Catton is a transitional nightmare for opponents in much the same way Stutzle was as a prospect and has been in his NHL career.


Zeev Buium, D, University of Denver

NHL Comparable: Kris Letang

Buium’s defensive capabilities improved a ton this season and he also grew a couple of inches while maintaining his dynamic offensive ability. With elite-level hockey sense and high-end execution with his puck-moving capabilities, he’s become more reminiscent of a left-shot version of Letang than some of the previous comps I’ve put forward.

Cayden Lindstrom, C, Medicine Hat

NHL Comparable: Alex Tuch

The debate on whether Lindstrom will be a wing or center continues, but I liken his game to Tuch’s because he plays with pace, aggression and skill in a 6-foot-4 frame. His playmaking ability isn’t high-end, but he is a noted scorer and can be a top-line producer in a similar fashion to Tuch.

Carter Yakemchuk, D, Calgary Hitmen

NHL Comparable: Evan Bouchard

Yakemchuk has said he tries to model his game after Bouchard and you can see the similarities. They make the offensive game look easy at times and while both are competitive, they don’t always play with urgency. While I feel like Bouchard has an especially high level of hockey sense, Yakemchuk’s offensive prowess and goal-scoring ability evokes Bouchard right away for me.

Sam Dickinson, D, London Knights

NHL Comparable: Noah Hanifin

Dickinson is a tremendous athlete with size, defensive ability, excellent skating ability and an offensive game that can still use some refinement. We said a lot of the same things about Hanifin and he’s managed to grow into a legit top-four defenseman in the NHL, who can also play top pairing.

Zayne Parekh, D, Saginaw Spirit

NHL Comparable: Shayne Gostisbehere

Parekh is an offensive dynamo with the puck on his stick and has has such tremendous creativity. He watched a lot of forwards growing up and it shows. Defensively, he’s still getting there, but he is especially dangerous with the puck on his stick. Gostisbehere, who just had another 50-plus point season in the NHL is highly-skilled with the puck on his stick and can score goals in a variety of ways from the back end as Parekh has also shown, with even more proficiency at the junior level.

Beckett Sennecke, RW, Oshawa Generals

NHL Comparable: Jack Quinn

A late-riser on the draft boards, Sennecke has reminded me a bit of Jack Quinn from his draft season. Quinn has dealt with injuries as an NHLer, but he has a high-end scoring ability that I think Sennecke is getting to. Sennecke, however, is a bit taller and has more natural puck skills than the high-scoring Quinn did at the same age.


Tij Iginla, C/W, Kelowna Rockets

NHL Comparable: Lucas Raymond

A dynamic offensive talent with a good release, Iginla’s star play on the wing with hand skills to make defenders miss and the ability to score from distance is quite reminiscent of the ascendent draft season of Raymond.

Konsta Helenius, C, Jukurit

NHL Comparable: Marco Rossi

A 5-11 center with solid two-way capabilities and notable offensive skill, Helenius doesn’t have the statistical profile Rossi did as a draft-eligible, but plays the way that made Rossi an effective NHLer last year. Helenius is unlikely to play at the top of a lineup, but should give a team some talent down the middle.

Cole Eiserman, LW, U.S. National Under-18 Team

NHL Comparable: Frank Vatrano

A volume shooter with an elite shot, Eiserman is a goal scorer whose off-puck play has come into question. His skill and sturdy frame has made him difficult to knock off the puck. As we’ve seen Vatrano increase his offensive touch, he has become a top-line scoring winger that Eiserman could mimc.

Michael Brandsegg-Nygard, RW, Mora

NHL Comparable: Jakob Silfverberg

An aggressive two-way winger with an elite shot, Brandsegg-Nygard shares some similar style of play with Silfverberg who routinely received Selke votes earlier in his career. Brandsegg-Nygard’s best trait is his shot, followed very closely by his competitive nature and aggressiveness off the puck, which harkens to Silfverberg’s hey day. Brandsegg-Nygard does play with more bite, though.

Adam Jiricek, D, Plzen

NHL Comparable: Gustav Forsling

Jiricek has true two-way capabilities and as we’ve seen the maturation in Forsling’s game, he is an impact player at both ends of the ice. Jiricek has good mobility and commitment to playing on both sides of the puck with very capable puck-moving talent.

Michael Hage, C, Chicago Steel

NHL Comparable: Adrian Kempe

Hage is a goal-scoring threat with a solid frame and good speed that gives him an ability to separate in a similar way to Kempe, whose offensive production has taken off in recent years. Hage doesn’t have the same bulk as Kempe does, but they seem to create offense in a very similar way.

Jett Luchanko, C, Guelph Storm

NHL Comparable: Chandler Stephenson

Speed, tenacity, skill and two-way commitment are hallmarks you can find in both Luchanko and Stephenson, the latter of whom is a two-time Stanley Cup champion. Doing the little things well, being committed away from the puck, playing the game with speed and bringing a certain level of skill to the table is why Luchanko has risen up rankings all year.

Sacha Boisvert, C, Muskegon Lumberjacks

NHL Comparable: Brock Nelson

A lanky two-way center with clear goal-scoring talent, Boisvert is actually following in Brock Nelson’s footsteps to the University of North Dakota. Nelson is bigger than Boisvert, but their style of play and reliability at both ends are quite similar.

Igor Chernyshov, LW, Dynamo Moscow

NHL Comparable: Pavel Buchnevich

It took Pavel Buchnevich a few years to really come into his own as an NHL player, but he’s been a reliable source of offense who also provides value away from the puck. Chernyshov is slightly bigger and has a little more bite, but he has refined scoring sense, good puck skills and skill that reminds me of Buchnevich’s last few seasons in St. Louis.

Nikita Artamanov, RW, Torpedo

NHL Comparable: Bryan Rust

Artamanov is an average-sized forward who reads plays well and is able to put himself in good positions to score. He’s probably going to be more secondary scoring in his career, but if you put him in the right positions, he has the hockey sense and work ethic to maximize the chances a play-driving center would help create in the same way Rust has throughout his career with the Penguins.

EJ Emery, D, U.S. National Under-18 Team

NHL Comparable: K’Andre Miller

Emery gets compared to Miller a lot and it’s a player he’s tried to model. The evidence is clear as Emery followed a similar pattern in his development to Miller, though I would say the Rangers defenseman had more evidence of offensive upside. That said, Emery’s mobility, aggressiveness and rapid development as a quality defender is so similar to what we saw from Miller.

Charlie Elick, D, Brandon Wheat Kings

NHL Comparable: Brock Faber

Faber was dogged for a lack of offense in his younger days and that is also true of Elick, who is a shutdown blueliner. The thing that really stands out to me, however, is how good of a skater Elick is, how dedicated he is to his defensive responsibilities and the clear intelligence he plays the game with in his own end.


Trevor Connelly, LW, Tri-City Storm

NHL Comparable: J.T. Miller

Connelly is a bit smaller than Miller, but he plays the game in such a similar way with outright aggressiveness and abrasiveness off the puck and refined skill when he has it. Connelly has higher-end hand skills and is probably a faster skater than Miller, but there’s a borderline recklessness that he plays with that reminds me of Miller in his younger years.

Stian Solberg, D, Valerenga

NHL Comparable: Radko Gudas

A physical shut-down defenseman, Solberg probably has better overall hand skills than Gudas, but he’s a menacing physical presence on the blue line. Solberg is actually bigger than Gudas, but he seems to have that confidence and aggression that Gudas has made a career out of.

Yegor Surin, C/W, Loko Yaroslavl

NHL Comparable: Wyatt Johnston

The way Surin reads plays offensively looks a lot like how Johnston reads plays now at the NHL level. Johnston had a breakout season, playing with tremendous pace and directness to the net. Surin has some clear skills, but I think his vision and ability to spot the right plays so often is particularly exciting and reminiscent of the modern-day Johnston.

Cole Beaudoin, C, Barrie Colts

NHL Comparable: Scott Laughton

Beaudoin’s motor just doesn’t quit. He’s aggressive off the puck, physical and can give some scoring depth as well. The physical nature of Beaudoin’s game, his strength and compete level are reminiscent of the especially aggressive Laughton.

Terik Parascak, RW, Prince George Cougars

NHL Comparable: Cole Perfetti

A below-average sized, higher-skill, high-end offensive sense forward, Parascak has a lot of similarities with Perfetti. The skating ability is fairly close and while I think Perfetti has a higher level of hockey sense, there’s some similarities in how each execute offensively.

Emil Hemming, RW, TPS

NHL Comparable: Dominik Kubalik

Hemming has been maddeningly inconsistent at times and sometimes the motor doesn’t run at a high enough level, but he can absolutely score. The relative lack of consistency with a notable goal-scoring trait, along with the size, reminds me of Dominik Kubalik’s trajectory as an NHLer.

Matvei Gridin, LW, Muskegon Lumberjacks

NHL Comparable: Drake Batherson

Gridin doesn't have the same size that Batherson does, but he creates offense in a similar way. He can score from the outside well or in tight. He doesn't always move with urgency and is below average away from the puck, but when he has it, he's dangerous pretty consistently.

Liam Greentree, RW, Windsor Spitfires

NHL Comparable: Jason Robertson

A lot of the things that raised concerns about Jason Robertson’s game as a prospect – poor skating and not being outwardly competitive with consistency – are being voiced for Greentree. However, Greentree also has clear high-end offensive skill and excellent hockey sense with the puck on his stick to go along with a big frame. As Robertson showed in his career, if you think the game fast enough, the feet concerns can be minimized.

Dean Letourneau, C/W, St. Andrew’s College

NHL Comparable: Tage Thompson

The size and skill are the two things that jump out immediately about Letourneau. The tip-top of his projection would suggest he could be the next Thompson with good hands for a big man and the ability to finish. Also like Thompson, the team selecting Letourneau is going to need a boatload of patience because he's got a lot of rounding out to do.

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