2024 NHL Draft Rankings From Chris Peters

2024 NHL Draft Rankings At The Mid-Term: Macklin Celebrini L...

Chris Peters ranks the top prospects for the 2024 NHL Draft.

1. Macklin Celebrini, C, Boston University (Hockey East)

An all-around center with commitment to defensive play and playing on the interior, Celebrini has skill, competitiveness, work ethic and hockey sense that is consistent with a top-line center in the NHL. Despite the opposition’s constant focus and physicality on him, Celebrini simply goes about his business and makes play after play. A high-end shot with a goal-scorer’s sense makes him deadly from anywhere on the ice. He has one-on-one puck skills to confuse and beat defenders, while also showcasing an unrelenting motor that allows him to get inside the dots and make plays in traffic. He projects as a top-line center and will be a foundational piece for a rebuilding team.

2. Artyom Levshunov, D, Michigan State University (Big Ten)

A two-way defenseman with size, mobility and hockey sense, Levshunov has an easiness to his game that allows him to make plays and absorb pressure well. He has averaged nearly a point per game as a freshman on a contending team, playing significant minutes in all situations. At 6-foot-2 and 198 pounds, Levshunov can be physical when he needs to be and can make stops in his own end. He knows how to jump into plays and pick his spots for offense, while also possessing solid vision to get pucks up ice with good decisions and reads. He shoots to score and gets pucks through an awful lot. His numbers have already dwarfed those of Owen Power from his own draft season in the NCAA when he went first overall. Over the last two seasons, including last year with the USHL’s Green Bay Gamblers, Levshunov has excelled at both ends of the ice and makes his team better every time he steps out. He looks like he could be a top-pairing defenseman.

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

There’s so much to like about Lindstrom’s game, his development and the potential he has. A big center with hands, excellent skating ability especially for his size and a nose for the net, Lindstrom is the kind of prospect teams are always looking for. When you add in that he engages in a thorough physical game on top of the offensive capabilities Lindstrom has, a lot of teams would likely break down the doors to draft him. Though not as big as he was listed at the beginning of the season, he’s still a (nearly) 6-foot-4, 215-pound center who can fire the puck and get after it in the corners or at the net front. A recent injury has kept him out of the lineup for a bit, but the progression he’s shown and the physical tools he brings to the table are going to make him highly coveted. There is just so much upside in a player that plays like Lindstrom does at the size he has.

4. Anton Silayev, D, Nizhny Novgorod (KHL)

At a listed 6-foot-7, Silayev’s mobility and touch on the puck make him a rare commodity. He’s played all season against pros and is already tied for fifth all-time in points by a U20 defenseman in the KHL as a U18 player. He’s also the only U18 defenseman to have scored more than two points in a season in the KHL. Initially I had some doubts about his overall hockey sense, but there’s a confidence in his game and the pure athletic tools he possesses that give you a player every team should be dying to work with and help develop. He won’t turn 18 until April and has already shown that he can throw his weight around against men. The upside on a player of this nature is seemingly unlimited. I think the hockey sense is still average, but I do think there’s so much to like about what he has shown to this point and the clear year-over-year acceleration in his development to believe he’s got a ton of great hockey in him. If he hits his projection, Silayev could be a long-term top-pairing defenseman.

5. Ivan Demidov, C, SKA-1946 St. Petersburg (MHL)

A tantalizing prospect with skill and creativity in his game, Demidov is currently scoring at a rate of more than two points per game, surpassing Nikita Kucherov and Matvei Michkov by a significant margin at the same age. After being injured earlier this season, he’s been on an absolute tear and has been held off the score sheet in just one game so far since coming back. He only seems to be getting better. Demidov is a confident puck carrier who can find multiple ways around defenses and is dangerous shooting from anywhere. Despite not having the biggest frame, he’s sturdy and is hard to knock off the puck. There’s some power in his game and a willingness to take pucks inside for better scoring opportunities. The offensive instincts and competitiveness on or off the puck make him a tough player to play against.

6. Sam Dickinson, D, London Knights (OHL)

One of the more gifted athletes in this draft, Dickinson has a big frame and excellent mobility. He’s averaging a point per game for the London Knights and scoring goals at a decently high rate as well. Defensively Dickinson is going to need polish, but it’s not so much of a concern that many, or possibly any, teams would shy away from him in this range. There are times where you can look at his decisions and question his hockey sense, but that also isn’t such a regular occurrence that he’s getting downgraded in any meaningful way. He’s around the puck a ton and at his size, the skill he possesses is a major commodity. Per the EliteProspects database, among U18 defensemen in OHL history, only two that were 6-foot-3 or taller averaged a point per game that season. One was Bryan Fogarty who went ninth overall in 1987 and the other is Dickinson.

7. Berkly Catton, C, Spokane Chiefs (WHL)

Catton plays an active, pacey game that is difficult to slow down. He has higher-end hand skills, combined with speed and tenacity. He is the top scoring U18 player in the WHL by a comfortable margin and has been a top performer in the league over the last two seasons. The body of work Catton has put together is among the best in this class with outstanding performances internationally in addition to his league play. Catton is a legitimate shot-pass threat with a desire to get to the interior and make plays from the inside. He has the one-on-one skill to make defenders miss and the speed to take it wide and still be dangerous. His competitive edge is especially strong for such a skilled player as he gives the same effort off the puck as he does on it. Meanwhile, he has a goal-scorer’s touch and a playmaker’s eye, which puts him on track to be a top-six center.

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

The top goal-scorer in the class, Eiserman is chasing the NTDP’s single-season goals record of 72 currently held by Cole Caufield and still has a chance to beat Caufield’s career goals record of 126. Eiserman’s ability to score from seemingly anywhere with an elite release and deadly accuracy makes his best tool one of the most important. He has good hands, too, and can make defenders miss or extend a play to find the best option. Where Eiserman trails and why his draft stock has dipped is that his off-puck play is below average and there are concerns about how he can impact the game without scoring. As he moves up to the professional ranks, he’ll need to add more dimensions and become a more consistent play driver to be a top-of-the-lineup scorer. At the top of his projection, he’s a top-line wing, but could settle more comfortably into a middle-six scoring role.

9. Konsta Helenius, C, Jukurit (Liiga)

A solid two-way center with a higher-end competitive drive and good skill to go on top of it, Helenius is scoring at a high rate for a U18 player in Finland’s top pro league. As a U18 player, he’s in the same ballpark as Patrik Laine in his own draft season in terms of points per game and is currently top 10 all-time in his age group when it comes to scoring rate. While not big, Helenius plays with strength and is hard on pucks. He can make tough plays in traffic and can create some additional time and space. There’s not any one thing that Helenius does that jumps out at you in terms of his skills, but there’s a completeness and well-roundedness to his game, which is probably why Finland had him as a top-six center on their World Junior team.

10. Carter Yakemchuk, D, Calgary Hitmen (WHL)

Yakemchuk’s draft status has been on a rapid rise over the course of the season along with his point total. He is a legitimate goal-scoring threat from the blue line with a lethal shot, while also showcasing higher-end hand skills that allow him to open up shooting lanes and make plays from the offensive blue line. He moves pucks fine, can play a physical game and has size to go with all of that. Yakemchuk is closer to average defensively and can lack attention to detail, while also sometimes getting himself out of position and getting into trouble. His skating does not stand out as a notable trait in his game, but he has adequate enough feet to get where he needs to go and also can defend with the length that comes with his 6-foot-3 frame. 

11. Zeev Buium, D, University of Denver (NCHC)

A dynamic, offensive defenseman putting up historic numbers as a draft-eligible freshman at Denver, Buium has been on the rise throughout the season. Buium has high-end hands, good feet and can make a lot of plays in the offensive zone. While he lacks physical strength to keep opposing forwards at bay, he’s competitive and has a good stick. Buium is a play-driver from the back end, allowing his teammates to find spaces for him to distribute the puck to. He can extend plays and filters a lot of pucks toward the net front. Defensively, there are still some questions, but Buium has shown a commitment to defend and to compete in his own zone, and he’s able to get pucks out of trouble in a hurry with his feet or with a good pass. At times his puck decisions need to be better and he is not immune to the big turnover. That said, he has the puck so much that you live with the mistake because more times he’s going to make a positive play. 

12. Zayne Parekh, D, Saginaw Spirit (OHL)

An exceptional offensive defenseman, Parekh is in the midst of a truly stunning season in terms of his production. Among the top five scorers in the OHL from the back end, Parekh has surpassed 20 goals in each of his two seasons with Saginaw. He is an expert in reading and jumping into plays to make himself a dangerous option in the offensive zone. He can extend plays at the offensive blue line with good hands and footwork. His instincts with the puck on his stick are at an especially high level. While Parekh’s defensive game has a ways to go to be trusted at the next level, his puck game is going to be a weapon. As defensemen continue to evolve in how they play the game, Parekh’s ability to score and to make plays is going to help the team that selects him win games. He likely would not command major minutes at the next level, but he projects as a top-four blueliner with elite power play potential.

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

With one of the USHL’s highest per-game scoring rates, 10- and 11-point performances at the Hlinka-Gretzky Cup and World Junior A Challenge, respectively, Connelly has continually staked his claim as a top prospect in this class. Among players in this class, few are around the puck as much as Connelly seems to be as a hard-driving forward with scoring pop. He is an expert at separating players from the puck and instantly turning those opportunities into offensive chances. When Connelly is at the top of his game and his motor is running, he makes his presence felt on every shift. There are times where the intensity wanes and he’s not as effective, but his top gear puts him firmly among the top prospects in the draft.

Despite the on-ice success, teams are continuing to do due diligence on Connelly who has had incidents from his past called into question including a social media post that displayed a swastika, which ultimately led to his being kicked off his club team prior to the USA Hockey national tournament as a 15-year-old. Some teams still feel there is too much risk to select him, however Connelly has said he’s been putting in work to learn from his mistakes in his past. 

14. Michael Brandsegg-Nygard, RW, Mora (HockeyAllsvenskan)

Among the most competitive overall forwards in the class, Brandsegg-Nygard battles for pucks in all zones, makes plays off the wall and can get to the interior. While he has a high-end shot with a quick release, he doesn’t have the natural skill of some of the forwards ahead of him on this list and at times he fails to finish off the plays he starts to create. With a good physical game and on-ice work ethic, he’s going to be a pain to play against. Currently in the Allsvenskan in Sweden, Brandsegg-Nygard can more than handle himself against men and should be expected to be a bigger producer as he gains experience.

15. Adam Jiricek, D, HC Plzen (Czechia)

Injuries, unfortunately, will be the story of Adam Jiricek’s season, much like it was for his older brother, David. He missed time earlier in the year after taking a big hit in the Czech pro league, then sustained a knee injury in the first game of the World Juniors that cost him the remainder of his season. When Jiricek has been healthy, he’s looked like a good all-around defenseman with decent touch on the puck and excellent mobility. It’s been harder to assess his offensive game as he’s played primarily pro. That said, Jiricek was getting a regular-shift, sometimes playing top-four minutes in a pro league at 17. In the U20 ranks last season, he showed an ability to move pucks at a high level and could find the net with a powerful shot. The questions about his health, however, will cloud his projection. Before he got hurt, there was plenty of talk about him being a top-10 caliber player in this draft loaded with defensemen.

16. Tij Iginla, LW, Kelowna Rockets (WHL)

Iginla has come into his own this season with Kelowna, developing into a legit goal-scoring threat with only Berkly Catton scoring more goals than him among U18 players in the WHL this season. Iginla’s pedigree is well known as the son of longtime NHLer Jarome Iginla. While that buys him credibility and recognition, Tij is clearly earning the loftier projections placed upon him this season all on his own. His hand skills are high end and allow him to make threatening plays all over the offensive zone. He has a goal-scorer’s shot with a quick and deceptive release. If he can add another gear to his skating, he’ll maximize his potential as a top-six scorer.

17. Emil Hemming, RW, TPS (Liiga)

A big forward with some power to his game, Hemming checks in at 6-foot-2, 194 pounds. While his skating needs work, he’s strong on the puck and is able to hold his own in pursuit. Hemming has good offensive instincts and an ability to score goals. He averaged a goal-per-game in the U20 ranks this year and has proven he can score goals at the pro level with TPS. The hockey sense is there, the size and the hands are there. I still have some concern about his quickness, particularly in short-distance situations and his ability to separate. Beyond that, however, there are enough traits to suggest Hemming has power-forward potential.

18. Igor Chernyshov, LW, Moscow (KHL)

A 6-foot-2 winger with a notable power game, Chernyshov mixes skill with physical strength. He’s been such a dominant force at the U20 level, that he’s spent much of this season in the KHL. While his minutes are limited, he holds his own against men and has managed to score some goals at that level. He’s one of those players you’d hope to have seen against his age peers internationally this season to get a couple of different looks at him, but there are clear NHL tools when it comes to how he processes the game and the power he can play with.

19. Sacha Boisvert, C, Muskegon Lumberjacks (USHL)

Progression has been part of Boisvert’s story this season. He just keeps getting better and rounds out his game more and more. Boisvert is 6-foot-2, plays a heady two-way game and he can score. He is a good skater who has a fluid, smooth game as a result of his mobility. Boisvert can shoot from anywhere and be dangerous, while also showcasing enough hand skills to make defenders miss and deceive goaltenders. He’s on pace for 40 goals in the USHL, which is a fairly rare figure to hit – especially for a draft-eligible player.

20. Liam Greentree, RW, Windsor Spitfires (OHL)

Possessing one of the better shots in this draft, Greentree has the size and scoring ability that is going to make teams take a long look at him early in the draft. If he were a better skater, he’d probably go a lot higher but the pace of the game can challenge him. Greentree thinks and processes the game well enough to keep up, but as the NHL speeds up it can be harder for players like Greentree to match it. Despite that, the hands, size and Greentree’s ability to get to the interior to make plays is going to make him a weapon as a potential middle-six scorer.

21. Beckett Sennecke, RW, Oshawa Generals (OHL)

Another skilled winger with some size, Sennecke has a playmaker’s touch, good vision and quick hands. The fact that comes in a 6-foot-2 player with room to grow into his frame only enhances his value. While Sennecke doesn’t flash a true power game, he’s excellent with the puck on his stick and can make plays in a variety of ways. His size does allow him to take pucks to the middle frequently to be a bigger threat in the offensive zone. He’s not as big of a goal-scoring threat, though he has proven over the last two years that he can put pucks in the net. It’s just that his ability to distribute pucks, create time and space and challenge defenders with hand skills are much more notable attributes and likely the traits that allow him to be in the conversation as a potential top-six winger.

22. Nikita Artamonov, LW, Nizhny Novgorod (KHL)

Among U19 players in the KHL, Artamonov is second. All of the other players in his range have already been drafted. The skill level is undeniable as Artamonov has been able to make incredible plays against men in the KHL. He has such a mature, poised game despite playing in a league where it’s typically difficult for younger players to have such an impact. Artamonov is currently in the top-10 in points-per-game by a U19 player in KHL history and is not terribly far off from Kirill Kaprizov’s average in his own U19 season.

23. Michael Hage, C, Chicago Steel (USHL)

A powerful skater with a nose for the net, Hage can make plays off the rush and does a nice job of getting to the interior to create offense. His speed allows him to drive to the outside, but he always works to get pucks to the middle and battle to get to the higher-danger areas of the ice. After losing almost all of last season to injury, Hage’s development seemingly did not suffer. He’s become a stronger player who is difficult to slow down. He has a good stick, doesn’t shy away from the physical game and then has the hand skills to finish off what he starts. Hage has a quick release, with the ability to shoot in stride and make plays without breaking speed. Though he likes to play the game at a faster pace, he’s able to slow things down and find better options. His hockey sense and pace both look like strong NHL traits.

24. Aaron Kiviharju, D, HIFK (Liiga)

At one time touted among the top players in this draft class, Kiviharju has battled a knee injury that is expected to keep him out until the spring. It’s been hard for him to gain a stronger foothold, but there are a few things that Kiviharju has shown when healthy that give him a chance to be a first-rounder. He’s a highly-intelligent puck mover who doesn’t make a ton of mistakes with the puck on his stick. He can stretch the ice with a good pass and has the ability to extend plays with his feet and superior hands. He doesn’t have that dynamic streak as some of the other defensemen in this class, but he’s efficient and effective with the puck. There’s still more to learn about how he will come back from his injury and teams may not be willing to take on some of the risk of the unknown here. On top of that, Kiviharju is an undersized defenseman who skates well, but not exceptionally so. It wouldn’t be shocking to see him slip out of the first round, but if he can come back from injury and play in some meaningful games, it could ease concerns.

25. E.J. Emery, D, U.S. National Under-18 Team 

Though Emery has had a tougher season to read based on results, the tools and upside he seems to possess are tantalizing. Emery has a 6-foot-3 frame that he’s still growing into, but moves effortlessly and has some power to him. Defensively, he’s tough to get around and can make good, physical stops thanks to solid gap control and angling ability. Offensively is where his projection is tougher to make. You can see some elements of hand skills and the ability to move pucks up ice, but his numbers have been poor in terms of production. Committed to the University of North Dakota, Emery is one of those players you take in this range and stay patient. He’s growing into his game and the immense athletic tools he has.

26. Matvei Gridin, LW, Muskegon Lumberjacks (USHL)

Coming a bit out of nowhere this year, Gridin has taken such a big step that you almost want to hedge a little bit on the year he’s having. That said, it’s hard to deny the offensive capabilities he brings to the table. Gridin has a deadly shot that he can get off from anywhere, hand skills to beat defenders and he’s also shown the vision to make second-level plays that lead to more dangerous chances. He consistently produces and is consistently noticeable in games. His skating is where there’s some concern.

27. Charlie Elick, D, Brandon Wheat Kings (WHL)

Elick was a player I saw a few times last season and he continually stood out because of his skating ability. His footwork, his ability to keep opposing forwards in front of him or push them to the outside and his awareness all seemed to be ahead of many of his peers. Where Elick’s projection gets a little murkier is that his offensive game has not taken a big step. He moves pucks adequately, but it is an area that will need to improve before he makes it to the next level. I do think his defensive game, the ability to close, his willingness to battle, to stick with plays, be physical and challenge opposing forwards projects quite comfortably into the NHL.  

28. Cole Hutson, D, U.S. National Under-18 Team

A skilled blueliner who competes off the puck and can make a lot of smart plays with it on his stick, Cole Hutson is cut from largely the same cloth as older brother and Montreal prospect Lane. Cole checks in at 5-foot-10, which is bigger than his brother was in his draft year, but Cole has a few other elements that differ. He is about to become the NTDP’s all-time leading scorer among defensemen, which is a major feat considering who has come through there. Hutson is an aggressive player with dogged competitiveness. Despite lacking size for a defenseman, he still defends at a good level and can make a ton of plays in all three zones. 

29. Tanner Howe, LW, Regina Pats (WHL)

Quick and tenacious, Howe has shown he can produce at a high level without Connor Bedard even if he’s slightly off his pace from the previous season. He does enough away from the puck to impact the game, but he has the skill with the puck on his stick to be an offensive weapon. There’s some griminess to his game, too, as he’ll get to the hard areas and make some plays and get under opponents’ skin. He keeps his motor running the whole game and doesn’t allow his size to be as much of a factor.

30. Lucas Pettersson, C, Modo U20 (Sweden U20)

A crafty, creative player, Pettersson makes a lot of clever plays with the puck on his stick. He lacks a standout trait, but has shown good vision and an ability to extend plays to make his linemates more available. He has been a dominant player in the Swedish U20 league this year, especially of late, and the hockey sense is there for him to be an impactful offensive player as he progresses.

31. Henry Mews, D, Ottawa 67s (OHL)

Coming into the year, I thought Mews could challenge to be among the top defensemen in this draft. He still has plenty of time to round out his game, but there are definitely some concerning elements that have crept in, mostly to deal with his defensive game. Mews is an exceptional puck-mover who sees the ice at a high level. He is able to process the game and make plays pretty easily. However, with that ability to see the ice as he does, his defensive game has not come around the way I would have hoped. In fact, he took a couple of turns at forward this year with Ottawa. I still see Mews’s ability to distribute and get pucks up ice as a high-end trait with the rest of his game something that will take time to develop.

32. Terik Parascak, RW, Prince George Cougars (WHL)

It’s hard to argue with the production we’ve seen from Parascak this year. He is among the top scorers in the WHL, which is especially incredible considering he was still playing U18 hockey in the CSSHL last season. There aren’t a ton of standout traits in his game, but he does have a good shot and has shown patience and some cleverness in his offensive game which allows him to make a lot of plays. The goal scoring has been particularly notable, which I think comes as a result of his ability to read plays and put himself in good areas of the ice to find offense. I don’t think there’s a ton of consensus around his projection at this point, but he’s on a rapidly upward trajectory with just one season of junior hockey under his belt.

33. Leo Sahlin Wallenius, D, Vaxjo U20 (Sweden U20)

A 5-foot-11 defenseman with strong skating ability and poise, Sahlin Wallenius does not wow you in any certain way. He simply plays a steady, patient game and can use his feet to make plays or get himself out of trouble. He’s around the puck a lot and is very steady when he has it on his stick. He can make plays, but is not someone who is a game-breaker or you’d expect to take over a shift. He still may have some top-four potential, but it’s certainly not a comfortable projection at this point.

34. Adam Kleber, D, Lincoln Stars (USHL)

A 6-foot-5, right-shot defenseman that’s just coming into his own, Kleber has some serious potential. While his numbers are not particularly impressive offensively, he has shown some significant improvement year-over-year in his puck play. His shot has become more effective and he moves pucks much more accurately than he had in the previous season. Big defensemen are at a premium in the NHL, especially ones with solid mobility and a willingness to be physical. Kleber checks a lot of boxes and the offense is starting to come a bit more.

35. Ryder Ritchie, C/W, Prince Albert Raiders (WHL)

An exceptionally skilled forward who was the WHL’s rookie of the year last year, Ritchie has had an up-and-down draft year. His hands and shooting ability are not much in question, but there have been some concerns about his off-puck play and ability to impact the game at a high enough level to play up an NHL lineup. More likely, he’s scoring depth with a chance to be a power-play guy. Injuries may be playing a role in his overall projection, but there’s enough of a body of work to believe there’s NHL attributes in Ritchie’s game.

36. John Mustard, C, Waterloo Black Hawks (USHL)

A season ago, Mustard was playing 16U hockey in New Jersey, but the Canadian-born forward has taken the USHL by storm this season. He has good size, good strength and he can absolutely score. He’s one of the top goal scorers in the USHL as a 17-year-old rookie and has seen his stock soar.

37. Jesse Pulkkinen, D, JYP U20 (Finland U20)

A second-year draft eligible as a late 2004 birth year, Pulkkinen is a 6-foot-6 defenseman with clear defensive prowess and flashes of more offense than you might expect. Currently playing top-four minutes in Liiga in what has been a spectacular breakout season including massive production at the U20 level before his promotion to pro, Pulkkinen has come out of nowhere. He was on Finland’s WJC team after never making a national team previously.

38. Andrew Basha, LW, Medicine Hat Tigers (WHL)

A highly-skilled, creative playmaker with big numbers this season, Basha has a lot of traits that jump off the screen when watching him. There are also some really bad habits and some questions about his overall compete level. He has shown flashes of electric skill, a solid release and good vision. A lot of plays he makes, however, are junior hockey plays or things that will work at the level he’s at, but probably not at the NHL. The fact he has the skill to do what he does is enticing, which is why I still think he’s at worst an early day-two pick.

39. Maxim Massé, Chicoutimi Sangueneens (QMJHL)

The CHL Rookie of the Year last season, Massé has continued his productive ways in the QMJHL this season. He has a tremendous shot and can get to the net. Massé also has pretty good hands which aid him in his offensive game. Sometimes his game can lack detail, especially off the puck. His offensive sense is good enough, though his skating will need to improve for him to threaten to be a top-six forward.

40. Jett Luchanko, C, Guelph Storm (OHL)

Luchanko has been a rising prospect this season as he’s been among the most productive U18 players in the OHL this season. He has tremendous hand skills that have allowed him to score some pretty goals this season, but he also has the ability to spot the right play and make it decisively. His skating is OK and at his size, it will need to improve for him to play effectively at the next level. Despite his lack of physical prowess, he just makes a heck of a lot of plays, is around the puck a lot and has taken a gigantic leap in his development year-over-year.

41. Adam Jecho, RW, Edmonton Oil Kings (WHL)

A big man with the ability to produce always catches attention and Jecho will be no different. The 6-foot-5 winger is a little under a point per game in the WHL and has enough puck skills to believe there could be some more offense in there. That said, he has a heavier stride and the lack of foot speed could become a problem as it does not seem he processes the game at a pro level, not yet at least. 

42. Dean Letourneau, C, St. Andrew’s Prep

A 6-foot-7 forward with good hands, Letourneau has the physical tools NHL teams covet. He’s been a dominant presence in the prep school ranks and there’s no question he is dangerous around the net. Concerns creep in when it comes to hockey sense and his ability to process the game at the speed necessary to be an effective pro. There is a lot of risk in this player, but the ceiling is sky high. Someone is probably taking on that risk in the first round, but I’m not there yet.

43. Matvei Shuravin, D, Moskow (MHL)

A 17-year-old defenseman getting KHL time is certainly notable. One that can really hold his own is even more of a rarity, but that’s what we’re seeing about Shuravin. He can handle pro forwards and in reasonably good minutes for a younger defenseman, he doesn’t get overwhelmed. Shuravin has the size profile and the feet to be an effective defenseman. The only thing we really haven’t seen yet is if his puck play is at a strong enough level to effectively move pucks at the NHL level. He seems to think the game well, though, and there’s enough of a glimmer in his skill level to suggest there’s more to unlock there yet.

44. Cole Beaudoin, C, Barrie Colts (OHL)

A true two-way center with an energetic, physical game, Beaudoin plays with tremendous effort. He’s currently a point-per-game player in the OHL on top of that and has the size and work ethic to be solid in matchups. While he certainly is skilled and has shown an ability to score at the junior level, he may be more of a secondary piece as he progresses.

45. Brodie Ziemer, RW, U.S. National Under-18 Team 

A highly-skilled playmaker who can make defenders miss and find his best options, Ziemer has a lot of interesting tools that should only be enhanced as he gets stronger. A point-per-game player at the NTDP this season, he is overshadowed a bit by bigger names, but every game you watch him, he makes something happen.

46. Alfons Freij, D, Vaxjo U20 (Sweden U20)

A high-end skater and offensive-minded defenseman, Freij brings a lot of intrigue. His feet allow him to make a lot of plays, jump into the rush and take pucks up the ice. He can get out of trouble or recover with a few good strides. Freij has a sturdier build and can defend adequately. There are some questions about how he sees the game, but there are some physical tools that suggests there’s more for him to unlock in his game yet.

47. Kamil Bednarik, C, U.S. National Under-18 Team 

A center with size and discipline, Bednarik handles his job well at both ends of the ice. He creates room for his linemates and can also make plays. He’s over a point per game this season while playing a second-line role and does a lot of little things well to help his team win. On top of that, he’s produced over a point per game this season.

48. Dominik Badinka, D, Malmo (SHL)

A 6-foot-3 right-shot defenseman playing a regular shift in the SHL at 18 is notable. Badinka has a real maturity in his game, with the mobility to defend at a higher level and enough puck-moving capability to hold his own. He’s not going to produce at a high level, but there’s a steadiness to him that NHL teams should feel comfortable about, even if they’d probably like to see him add more of a physical element to his game.

49. Stian Solberg, D, Oslo (Norway)

A heavy, physical defenseman who has some old-school in him, Solberg is a sturdy player who makes his presence felt in games. There are some questions about his overall hockey sense, but he’s been a top-four defenseman all year in Norway’s top pro league. He also played a boatload of minutes for Norway at the World Juniors and perhaps had his best showing of the event against a loaded U.S. squad. Solberg’s limited offensive upside stems his projection, but in a league that still puts a premium on physical defenseman, he’s got a spot.

50. Will Skahan, D, U.S. National Under-18 Team

A big, nasty defender with a pro-ready frame and some snarl, Skahan has played a punishing brand of hockey this season. He has good mobility, closes gaps well and battles for pucks. He has the ability to take opposing forwards off their feet. The question with Skahan will be if he ever develops enough of an offensive, puck-moving game to be a more effective pro, but there are teams that are looking at his size and athleticism and seeing the NHL potential with ease.