NHL Draft Rankings 2024 From Chris Peters

NHL Draft Rankings 2024: Macklin Celebrini Leads Top 100 Pro...

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

1. Macklin Celebrini, C, Boston University

The most complete player in the draft, Celebrini is a high-producing forward who can take care of the defensive responsibilities of being a center as well as anyone. He’s highly skilled and creative, owns a goal-scorer’s shot and has elite hockey sense. Celebrini also has higher-end skating ability that allows him to separate from opponents and combines that with good quickness and agility to maximize his speed. 

Celebrini became just the fourth freshman to win the Hobey Baker Award as college hockey’s best player, but was the youngest ever winner at 17 years old. He has all the makings of a No. 1 center that can be a franchise cornerstone player.

FloHockey has been covering Celebrini's journey from his rookie USHL season to now, including his first national feature interview. Here's a collection of some of our favorite Celebrini pieces to date.

More Mackin Celebrini On FloHockey

2. Artyom Levshunov, D, Michigan State University

The most complete defenseman in the draft, Levshunov is a physically gifted player with remarkable poise on the ice. He plays a mature, steady game, but also has the offensive skill to make plays in all zones. Levshunov has an easy skating stride with deceptive speed, with the ability to close quickly or skate pucks up ice with ease. Defensively, Levshunov’s skating is an asset and he’s able to play a physical game when he needs to. Of the defensemen in this draft, he checks the most boxes for what it takes to be a top-pairing defenseman in the NHL with his frame, strength, skating, offensive game and ability to defend.

Levshunov had a truly remarkable season in the NCAA with Michigan State. He was the No. 1 defenseman on the No. 4 team in the country, playing major minutes and in all situations. He was an impactful player in their toughest games of the season and was often on the positive side of the ledger when it comes to goals for and against with him on the ice. His 35 points rank second among first-year draft-eligible defensemen in the NCAA in the last 30 years, passing others like Quinn Hughes, Charlie McAvoy, Zach Werenski and Owen Power at the same age.

Artyom Levshunov NHL Draft Scouting Report

3. Ivan Demidov, RW, SKA St. Petersburg

The most dynamic offensive talent in this draft, Demidov averaged over two points per game in Russia’s U20 league. He was a dominant force, but his lack of KHL games and an inability to get live viewings of him against top peers in international competition like his predecessors does create an element of risk with Demidov. To the eye, however, he’s a natural shot-pass threat player who always seems to make the right read and finishes plays with regularity. His skating is closer to average, but he still has the ability to skate with some power and use his strength to get to the interior. He’s hard to knock off pucks, too. In the level he played at, his off-puck play was mostly strong. He plays an aggressive game in puck pursuit and has made that a significant part of his game, which only helps him to get the puck back more.

The Russian factor certainly has some impact on Demidov’s draft stock, but his KHL contract situation is not as worrisome as it is due to end after the 2024-25 season. What scouts are going to have to consider, however, is the lack of views against high-level competition. While the MHL is a decent enough junior league, it does not compare favorably to the leagues in North America. Demidov performed at an extraordinary level, however, even if he was above the competition he faced by a significant margin. To me, the skill factor and his ability to be a scorer at the next level outweighs any perceived risks.

4. Anton Silayev, D, Torpedo

Upside and rarity, combined with clear ability, have fueled Silayev’s status near the top of this class. A 6-foot-7, 207-pound defenseman who can really skate, play physical and produce is something that teams are desperate for at the NHL level. Though Silayev is under contract through the 2025-26 season, teams are going to have a lot of time for a defenseman that has already played significant minutes as a professional at 18 years old. Silayev has a fluid skating stride for such a big player, can change direction with ease and is able to close down on opposing forwards. He handles himself well along the walls, can lower the boom with a good body check and is able to protect the net-front. Offensively, he is capable, with an ability to move pucks and he can make the odd play. There’s enough skill to consider him a two-way defenseman, but I’m still not sold he’s going to be a routine 40-point defenseman at the NHL level.

Silayev’s athletic profile is especially intriguing, but he’s also played more games in a KHL season than any U18 defenseman in the history of the league with 63 appearances for Torpedo. No one else had played more than 25 and only four U20 defensemen have played more than 60 games. If there was a little more noticeable offense from him, there’s a good case for me that Silayev is the top defenseman in the class, but Levshunov's puck skills push him ahead.

5. Berkly Catton, C, Spokane Chiefs

A dynamic talent who scored 54 goals and 116 points this season in the WHL, Catton has the kind of speed and skill that jumps out at you. There are a lot of players that share similar traits to Catton that have excelled in the modern NHL for their ability to create in transition and get behind defenses. He’s one of those players that has quickness with his hands and feet that make him such a difficult player to defend. He has good one-on-one skills, and while he can beat players to the outside, he’s not afraid to cut to the middle and get to a higher-leverage scoring area. Additionally, he has some tenacity to compete away from the puck and win pucks back. There are very few holes to poke in Catton’s game besides the one that most players his age will get and that’s just that he’ll need to get stronger to be a top-of-the-lineup player in the NHL, but he’s shown a lot of the other tools required to be just that.


6. Zeev Buium, D, University of Denver

After one of the most incredible seasons by a freshman defenseman in decades in the NCAA, Buium’s draft stock sky-rocketed over the course of the year. He is the first ever draft-eligible defenseman to pass 50 points in the NCAA and on top of that won World Junior gold and a national championship. Buium is an average-sized, left-shot defenseman. Among defensemen, his hand skills would be considered dynamic. He handles pucks cleanly and can make plays with his feet just as easily with his hands. Buium can create space in the offensive zone, walk the blue line and fit shots through to create rebounds and good looks for his teammates. 

If there’s an area of Buium’s game that dramatically improved year over year, it’s his defense. He got stronger as the year went on and Denver as a whole became a better defensive team on their way to the NCAA title. As we watch Quinn Hughes, Adam Fox and Cale Makar command the league as they have the last few seasons, Buium’s freshman campaign was better than all three of those guys. I still don’t think it’s a safe projection to assume that Buium will automatically follow in their footsteps to the top of an NHL D corps, but he’s got all the makings of that kind of player. Because of his hockey sense and sure-handedness with the puck to go along with high-end skating ability, Buium looks like an easy top-four defenseman in the NHL.

7. Cayden Lindstrom, C, Medicine Hat Tigers

Multiple injuries over the course of the season have impacted Lindstrom’s stock some, but there’s very little questioning the immense upside you can see in his game. As a 6-foot-4 center with good skating ability and hand skills, there’s a lot to like. When you throw in the physical style he plays with, there’s a spot for a player like that on pretty much every NHL team. There are some legitimate concerns about Lindstrom’s hockey sense and ability to drive play as a result. That also hampers his projection as a center. His physical abilities are certainly going to make him dominant in junior, but there’s still concern that he might not be able to complete all the plays he’s making in junior with average hockey sense.

Expectations are also being tempered a bit on Lindstrom because of the injuries he faced. NHL teams are going to be examining him closely especially since injuries at younger ages are particularly concerning for those that play the heavier, physical game that Lindstrom does. That said, the upside, especially as Lindstrom continues to grown and can gain experience to mitigate some of the hockey sense concerns, is going to entice teams away from some of those health concerns. If he hits, they could be looking at a top-of-the-lineup winger or solid No. 2 center.


8. Zayne Parekh, D, Saginaw Spirit

The numbers speak loudly when it comes to Parekh, who scored 96 points for Saginaw. It was the third-highest total for a draft-eligible defenseman in the OHL’s lengthy history. Parekh also averaged a point per game as the Spirit won their first Memorial Cup. Anyone can scout a box score, though. What makes Parekh impressive is how he was able to produce points as a play-driving defenseman with an expert ability to get shots through, jump into plays and create the best opportunities for himself and his teammates. His offensive instincts are a cut above any defenseman in this class and his goal-scoring abilities is another separating trait. Defensively there is plenty of work to be done, but odds are his team is going to have the puck a lot more than they don’t when he is on the ice. Parekh surveys the ice at a high level, has elite vision and executes especially well for a defenseman. He will have to add more detail to his game defensively, but his puck abilities are at such a level it’s hard to ignore. There aren't many defensemen in the game that can score goals like Parekh has shown, which makes him an especially exciting prospect and at least gives him the chance to challenge for a top-pairing role at his peak.

9. Sam Dickinson, D, London Knights

One of the best pure athletes in the draft, Dickinson still has a bit of rawness to his game that should make him an intriguing player for teams’ player development staffs to get to work with. With 70 points this season, Dickinson was uniquely productive for a player at his size and age in the OHL. While he was especially productive, Dickinson still needs to round out his game and while he’s certainly skilled, he may not be a dynamic play-driver at the next level. I’ve heard throughout the year that the only thing that keeps Dickinson from more firmly being in the top-five conversation is that his hockey sense isn’t quite at the same level as some of the other top D in this class. There’s also some belief his stats were inflated by the quality of team he was on. But the athletic toolkit, the size, his competitive drive, the way he executed this year and the way his game grew year over year from his rookie season are major factors in his being part of the elite tier of defensemen in this class. He has a good chance to be a top-four defenseman with solid production and enough of a defensive acumen to be trusted in high leverage situations.

10. Carter Yakemchuk, D, Calgary Hitmen

An easy offensive game with puck skills to go with a 6-foot-3 frame makes Yakemchuk an attractive prospect. Add in that he’s a right-shot defenseman and the stock only grows a little more. There are some legitimate hockey sense concerns, particularly on the defensive side of the game. You can live with the miscues when he produces like he does, but some of the decisions are where I see the risk in his overall projection. Yakemchuk he certainly would not be the first offensive-minded defenseman to overcome those kinds of concerns. He has a fun mix of hand skills and the ability to use his feet to navigate the ice that puts him in position to make a lot of plays. He also has a legitimate goal-scoring touch from the back end that is fairly rare in a defenseman. The dynamic elements of his game, especially in a player of his size make him a little bit of a rarer commodity and with a bit more development, I think the rest of his game smooths out enough for him to challenge for a top-four role.

11. Beckett Sennecke, RW, Oshawa Generals

Perhaps the biggest late-season riser in the draft, Sennecke’s rise is well earned thanks to his impressive second half and even more impressive postseason with Oshawa. It unfortunately ended early due to injury, but Sennecke has truly established himself as part of the upper tier of forwards in this draft. He had a growth spurt to 6-foot-2 and maintained a level of skill and skating ability from when he was a smaller player that keeps him particularly dangerous offensively. He plays aggressive enough off the puck and is an exciting player with it. He’s going to continue building a power game on top of his high-skill game, which will only make him a trickier player to defend. Sennecke’s game is trending very favorably to become a top-six scorer at the next level, especially with his high-end puck skills.

12. Tij Iginla, C/W, Kelowna Rockets

Iginla has elite hands, with quick puck skills and a deadly release. His rise up the draft charts has been fueled by his game improving with each passing month. Iginla has good details off the puck, where he can be disruptive to the opposing team. He has quickness and while there isn’t a ton of a physical edge to him, he engages with his body. Iginla also developed a goal-scorer’s touch, working to get pucks to the interior and scoring from higher-percentage areas. While he has center capabilities, it seems more likely he will be a wing where he can maximize the offensive tools that are so plainly evident in his game.


13. Konsta Helenius, C, Jukurit

A talented two-way forward who lacks height, but not strength, showed that he can perform at a high level against pros. His 36 points were the fourth most ever by a U18 player in Liiga. Internationally, Helenius didn’t always put his best foot forward which I think impacts his stock some. That said, he’s committed to playing aggressive defensively and is an excellent distributor of the puck. He navigates all three zones well with above average skating and is hard to take off the puck. The hockey sense is a high-end trait, which is why some believe Helenius could trend favorably to a quick entry into the NHL. I think he’ll have another year to grow his game in Finland before making the jump, but there’s real maturity to the way he plays and the hockey sense could put him on a top-six track. 

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

The best pure goal scorer in the draft, Eiserman became the NTDP’s all-time leading goal scorer with 127 over two seasons. He averaged better than a goal per game with 58 in 57 appearances for the NTDP this season. Eiserman’s shooting ability, especially with his lethal one-timer, is as good as it gets in this class. His tumble down the draft board, however, is the result of some concerns over his overall hockey sense and lack of value away from the puck. He’s improved elements of his game, but not to the degree to be viewed as anything more than a goal scorer. Because his best skill is his scoring, he’s still likely to be picked in the lottery range as there’s a real chance for him to become a top-six forward who will stack goals in the NHL. However, he will likely need to be paired with a play-driving center or linemate to maximize his scoring capabilities, which is why he's out of the top tier of prospects in this class.

15. Michael Brandsegg-Nygard, RW, Mora

One of the most purely competitive forwards in the draft, Brandsegg-Nygard finds many different ways to impact the game. He’s physical, aggressive on the forecheck and can be a very tricky player to play against. On top of that, he has enough skill and a higher-end shot that should allow him to contribute offensively as well. He likely slots favorably into a middle-six wing role, but there’s the off chance he can push that to second-line scoring winger. Seeing him perform at a high level in the Allsvenskan qualification round and the Men’s World Championship has shown he can more than handle himself against pros already. You’re looking at a high-floor player who will likely impact an NHL lineup sooner than some of his peers.

16. Adam Jiricek, D, HC Plzen

Having missed a chunk of the season due to injury, Jiricek is a tough evaluation. He had one point in 22 games of club play at the pro and U20 level this season, but he played some meaningful minutes as a pro before he was hurt in his first game at the World Juniors. When healthy, Jiricek has shown good mobility and mature puck-moving capabilities. He’s a solid defender who doesn’t back down and can use his 6-foot-2 frame to his advantage, even if he's not as physically strong as his opponents. There’s a lot of projecting here, but I also look at the defensemen available and I see the most upside in Jiricek at this point. There’s a ton of risk in picking a player who missed so much time this early, but teams that have a good book on him will see a player that has a lot to build on and could be a top-four defenseman down the line.

17. Michael Hage, C, Chicago Steel

With good wheels and a nose for the net, Hage put together an especially impressive season in the USHL. It was really his second half, however, that showed Hage at his absolute best.  From Dec. 29 to the end of Chicago’s season, Hage failed to reach the score sheet only four times as Chicago recovered from a slow start to reach the Clark Cup Playoffs. He challenges defenders with his speed, but has the hand skills to beat them one-on-one. His shot is high end and he can get it off in stride. Hage processes the game at speed and can make a lot of high-level plays. There were certainly instances this season where Hage’s compete waned some, which was one of the marks against him in what was an otherwise impressive campaign. He finished fourth among all USHL players with 75 points. At the top of his projection, he could be a middle-six scoring center.


18. Jett Luchanko, C, Guelph Storm

I was really starting to buy into the Luchanko rise late in his OHL season, but found a player that can do a lot more than I thought at the World U18s. He has tremendous versatility in addition to having the skill to be a middle-six scorer. He’s defensively responsible, aggressive off the puck and has a good motor. Luchanko is a quick forward with good skating ability and can close on pucks well. When he has the puck on his stick, Luchanko has good touch and good-enough skill to challenge opposing defenders and make plays. He’s a pass-first player who makes a lot of good decisions with the puck and could fit into a lot of different roles despite being an average-sized forward.

19. Igor Chernyshov, LW, Dynamo Moscow

Chernyshov is a fascinating prospect as he has a power-forward’s mentality with a good motor and nice touch with the puck. He’s 6-foot-2 and closing in on 200 pounds, making him hard to knock off the puck. He has good-enough pace, never quits on pucks and engages physically. Chernyshov has a strong shot with an ability to beat goalies from distance and he can get it off in a variety of ways. Chernyshov has good hands and some creativity to him, but I would not call his hands truly dynamic. He has a chance to be a good scoring winger in a team’s top six, but I feel more comfortable projecting him as a secondary scorer with a chance to be on a team’s power play.

20. Trevor Connelly, LW, Tri-City Storm

On talent alone, Connelly belongs in the top 15 discussion. But talent alone is not going to be the key part of Connelly’s evaluation. Teams continue to do their due diligence on issues from Connelly’s past, and continue to assess his maturity and overall character to see if they're comfortable selecting him.

As a player, he’s an exceptional skater with good one-on-one skills and creativity to beat defenders. On top of the high-end offensive traits, Connelly is aggressive in puck pursuit and expertly dispossesses other players of the puck and can turn that into better opportunities for his team. Because Connelly has such clear offensive capabilities, he can sometimes rely on them a bit too much and force plays that aren’t there and hold onto pucks a little too long when the simpler play makes more sense. Additionally, Connelly has shown some on-ice discipline issues that included multiple game ejections and plays that showed a lack of awareness that could raise concerns about his overall hockey sense. 

There’s a chance Connelly would slip out of the first round, though I think there are a few teams that are willing to take on the risk of drafting him and some outward criticism from fans and media. The reason Connelly is here on this board is that I think the gap between him and the next tier of forwards available is significant enough that a team has to consider the on-ice value because Connelly is a significantly better player than what is on the board.


21. Nikita Artamanov, LW, Torpedo

Artamanov was the second-most productive U19 player in the KHL this season with 23 points in 54 games. That also puts him seventh all time in the KHL among his age peers. Artamanov is not a big player, but he is strong on his skates and was able to stand up to the battles and pressure against pros in the KHL. He has quick hands, makes creative plays and showed quality finishing ability. His ability to read plays and anticipate at the professional level showed an ability beyond his years as well. Head coach Igor Larionov threw Artamanov into the deep end and not only did he swim, he seemed to thrive. The maturity and skill in his game lead me to believe he can be a strong secondary scoring option in the NHL.

22. Sacha Boisvert, C, Muskegon Lumberjacks

A two-way center with good size, Boisvert is steady as they come. He contributes in all facets of the game and has a goal-scorer’s touch. At 6-foot-2, 176, he’s got good length and uses it well in minding his defensive responsibilities. While his puck skills won’t pull you out of your seat, Boisvert handles it effectively. His hockey sense is a real asset, with a good command of the game with an ability to read and anticipate both with and without the puck. Boisvert had 36 goals this season, showcasing a high-end shot with excellent awareness of how to exploit goaltenders from distance. Boisvert also gets into the middle well and will make plays near the net when necessary. He should be a solid middle-six center that contributes his share of goals.

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

The offensive numbers are not good, let's get that out of the way right away. Despite that, there’s so much to like about Emery’s game and his growth as a player. He grew into a shut-down defenseman and played that role excellently in the World U18s for Team USA. That was some of his best hockey of the year and also showcased improved puck play to go with higher-end footwork that allows him to do a little more when he has the puck on his stick. Emery still has a lot of filling out to do, but he’s a 6-foot-3, right-shot defenseman with high-end defensive sense, high-end skating ability and a foundation of skills to build off. He’s headed to the University of North Dakota, which has been a good finishing school for future NHL defensemen in recent years.


24. Charlie Elick, D, Brandon Wheat Kings

A 6-foot-3, right-shot defenseman who can really skate, Elick’s athletic profile is especially enticing to NHL teams. If he had more offensive touch and offensive sense, we’d probably be talking about a top-10 candidate. Elick is a physical defender who takes care of his own end especially well. His skating ability is a stand-out trait, which is why I think he can potentially become a top-four shutdown defenseman for the team that drafts him. He needs to be able to finish offensive plays better with better puck decisions and execution. Points are unlikely to come easy, but the defensive elements of his game are such that he’s going to be able to help an NHL team.

25. Stian Solberg, D, Valerenga

One of the more stunning risers late in the season, Solberg’ incredible performance at the Men’s World Championship put him on a path to being picked in the first round. He’s a 6-foot-2, mobile, physical defenseman who also showed better touch on the puck and an ability to make plays against the toughest competition he faced all season at Men’s Worlds. Solberg ate big minutes, played in all situations and thrived for a team that pulled a few surprises at the tournament. Over the course of the season, he played pro in Norway, which is not a circuit that typically produces draft picks. That lack of precedent adds an element of risk which will certainly be taken into consideration by teams. Where I do have some concern on Solberg is that he moves pucks fairly well, but there’s not a lot of dynamic skill to him that we’d seen over prolonged periods. The physical game, the size and the skating ability, however, are all traits that lend themselves favorably to a higher-minutes defenseman in the league.

26. Yegor Surin, C/W, Loko Yaroslavl

Surin is hard to miss on video as he’s all over the ice and aggressive. He plays with some quickness, though you wouldn’t call him a fast skater. Still, he makes plays and had an incredible postseason run with Yaroslavl in the MHL this season. On top of that, he can throw his weight around and is just as intense off the puck as he is on it. As an August birthday, he’s young for the class and has a frame that he will continue to tack strength onto. There’s a lot to like about this player, including the fact that he had the sixth-most productive season by a U18 player in MHL history in terms of points per game (min. 30 GP). 

27. Cole Beaudoin, C, Barrie Colts

His offensive game is not particularly exciting, but he plays a brand of hockey that helps teams win games. Beaudoin is an extremely aggressive, physical forward whose relentlessness in puck pursuit is truly remarkable. He’s a dogged competitor who never quits on plays, wins a lot of battles and has the physical strength to outmatch many of his age peers currently. I do have some concerns about his overall upside that he’s quite physically developed, but I think his floor is high enough to get him to be a longtime down-the-lineup player who can have an outsized impact on games relative to the minutes he gets.

28. Terik Parascak, RW, Prince George Cougars

Having just turned 18 after a 105-point rookie season in the WHL, it’s hard not to marvel at Parascak’s year. He played a handful of games last season in the WHL, but primarily was skating in U18 prep the year before. Only Berkly Catton had more points as a U18 player in the league this past season. Parascak thinks the game at a high level and that likely played a big role in his transition this season. He has excellent hands with one-on-one skills and the ability to create time and space. As an average-sized player with so-so skating ability, Parascak will have some work to do to make it as a top-six forward in the NHL, but the trajectory he is on now is especially intriguing. 

29. Emil Hemming, RW, TPS

Hemming is a player who can excite you one minute and frustrate you the next, but at his best, there’s some real potential. He’s got an elite shot, especially with his one-timer, that should allow him to become a power-play weapon at any level. Hemming’s skating is closer to average, but I thought it improved as the year went on and I thought he showed some quickness at the U18 Worlds. Where the frustration comes in is in his compete level on the ice and effort level when he doesn’t have the puck. With his size, I’d like to see him develop more physical edge and some more power in his game and battle more for his chances. Still, the offensive awareness, hockey sense and finishing ability lead me to believe he can be a middle-six scorer if he can bear down a bit more and be a more aggressive player off the puck.

30. Matvei Gridin, RW, Muskegon Lumberjacks

It hasn’t been discussed much, but Gridin just had one of the most productive draft-eligible seasons in the USHL since it became a Tier 1 league. Gridin is fourth in the league among draft-eligible players dating back to 2000-01 with 83 points. He’s a gifted scorer with an ability to get his shot off from anywhere. He’s a shot-pass threat with the ability to make the right reads and make the right plays often. Gridin has decent size, but can afford to get stronger. Sometimes he can be a little too perimeter and doesn’t always play the most aggressive style. I think the hockey sense is high-end, however. That combined with his hand skills leads me to believe he can one day challenge for a top-six role, though middle-six is more likely. He’s got more time to grow his skill and build strength as he’s heading to the University of Michigan. RELATED: Is Matvei Gridin The USHL's Biggest NHL Draft Rister?

31. Liam Greentree, RW, Windsor Spitfires

Greentree is a 6-foot-2 forward with clear offensive sense and ability. He lacks pace, however, and sometimes the compete level wanes, which gives me pause regarding his ability to produce at a high level in the NHL. Greentree has tremendous touch on the puck, a good shot and excellent vision. He finishes a lot of the plays he creates, but the skating ability is a clear below-average trait that will make it more challenging for him to create offense at the level he has in junior. On top of that, I want to see more bite in his game and a little more work ethic off the puck for him to reach his full potential. Still, the hockey sense and offensive skill we’ve seen from him all year lead me to believe he can figure it out and potentially be a valuable middle-six scorer at the NHL level.

32. Dean Letourneau, C, St. Andrew’s College

One of the most fascinating prospects in this draft, Letourneau is a real wild card. It is rare to find a 6-foot-7 forward with good hands and some clear offensive know-how, but to find that player in Canadian prep where he absolutely dominated makes it a little harder to get a great feel for what Letourneau can ultimately become. He’s going to be on a long development timeline because there’s still a rawness to his game and it’s harder to gauge hockey sense when the game seemingly comes easy to the player at the level they’re at. Letourneau is slated to go to the USHL next season and head to Boston College after that. His skating ability is concerning, but you look at the ceiling on a player of his size and ability and you see the similarities with Tage Thompson’s late-blooming skill.

33. Adam Kleber, D, Lincoln Stars

At 6-foot-5 and with above-average mobility for a player of his size, Kleber started putting more of his game together this season including some more offensive capabilities. As a result, his draft stock soared. He finished the year with 26 points and quieted some concerns about his overall puck game. It’s still not a huge strength, but a right-shot blueliner with his athletic profile and year-over-year growth is especially enticing as a potential late first or early Day 2 pick.


34. Leo Sahlin Wallenius, D, Vaxjo U20

A high-end skater with a good all-around game, Sahlin Wallenius doesn’t have any one thing that really excites you about his game. He’s steady at both ends of the ice, but lacks a dynamic skill element which limits his upside. He did produce at a high level in various competitions including the Swedish U20 ranks and logged massive minutes internationally. He was reliable in any situation you put him in, which is a credit to his overall hockey sense, which I do believe is one of his better traits. There’s an outside chance at some top-four upside, but I feel like it will be challenging for him as an average-sized defender to carve out a defined role up the lineup. He's just such a steady and predictable-in-a-good-way player, it's hard not to think he'll find his spot and thrive.

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

Hutson is the NTDP’s all-time leading scorer among defensemen, which is a pretty illustrious list. However, he did set that record with a lower point total this season than he had a year ago. Either way, he was excellent at the World Under-18s, especially as that tournament progressed. He’s committed defensively, even if it’s harder for him to be a stopper with his 5-10 frame. He competes, and has the will to defend. But he also has some remarkable playmaking capabilities and even showed a refined goal-scoring touch this season. Hutson gets into plays aggressively and more NHL teams are finding spots for players that play like him. His hockey sense and his distribution skills make me believe he can play a role for an NHL team, contributing points if not massive minutes. 


36. Henry Mews, D, Ottawa 67s

An offensively-gifted right-shot defenseman, Mews can make a ton of plays with the puck on his stick. He’s shifty and has good enough quickness to create more time and space to make the plays he’s capable of making. Defensively, I had a lot of concerns and sometimes wondered about his overall competitive drive. He’s average-sized and while he skates well, it’s not a high-end trait. The offensive know-how and strong puck decisions still will give him a really good chance to make it and be an impactful player, but I would struggle to see him playing big, big minutes at the next level.

37. Ryder Ritchie, RW, Prince Albert Raiders

There’s a lot of skill in Ritchie’s game, but I don’t think he had the level of production many expected out of him after a spectacular rookie season. Either way, he still has the puck skills to beat defenders and make deceptive plays. When he’s at the top of his game, he can create a lot of highlights, but there’s also games were he shrinks into the background a little more. Without a ton of defensive value or forechecking value in those games where he’s a little less engaged, that can become a problem. Still, the offensive elements of his game lead me to believe he'll challenge for a middle-six role.

38. Julius Miettinen, C/W, Everett Silvertips

With good size and a fairly well-rounded game, Miettinen could potentially go in the first round. He scored 31 goals and had over a point per game in his first WHL season after modest production a year ago in Finland’s U20 league. He was left off Finland’s U18 roster this year, which was a bit of a head-scratcher as he probably would have helped. There are times where Miettinen is a little too unnoticeable for a player of his size, but when he’s at his best there’s power in his game that can be hard to come by. He also has some good touch with the puck for a bigger guy, which only enhances his value.

39. John Mustard, C, Waterloo Black Hawks

A speedy goal scorer who can make plays, Mustard made a good first impression in the USHL last season. A hot start really put Mustard on the map, but the offense cooled as the season progressed and tapered some of the overall expectations. The skating ability and how he showed he can finish at various points throughout the season still put Mustard on a path to being a high Day 2 pick.

40. Teddy Stiga, C/W, U.S. National Under-18 Team

A spark-plug player who saw a major uptick in production and a big performance at the U18, Stiga’s stock has been on the rise throughout the year. He’s tenacious off the puck and has shown he can score on his own. Because of his skating ability and compete level, I’m not as concerned Stiga’s size will hinder him significantly, or at all. 

41. Lucas Pettersson, C, MODO

This was a season where I kept feeling like there was always a little more that Pettersson could give, which is why he slipped a bit from our mid-term. He was a high-end offensive performer at the Swedish U20 level, had a productive U18 World Championship, but he lacks the dynamic skillset that would boost his projection. There’s not really any one stand out trait beyond Pettersson being a steady performer with some clear hockey smarts and offensive know-how. 

42. Jesse Pulkkinen, D, JYP

Pulkkinen has a good chance to be the first re-entry player selected. The late 2004 birth date is a 6-foot-6, left-shot blueliner who showed a massive improvement in his overall game. It earned him 29 games at the pro level and a spot on Finland’s World Junior team. He’s big, physical and showed more touch on the puck. His offensive game isn’t such that you can safely project him as a true two-way defender, but the year-over-year growth showed there’s more ceiling for him to reach. 

43. Linus Eriksson, C, Djugarden

A sturdy forward with some good compete in his game, Eriksson managed to appear in 29 games in the Allsvenskan this past season. He had 11 points in the regular season and scored four goals in Djugardens’ qualification playoffs. I don’t know that the offense is quite at the level for him to be more than a bottom-six role player, but he has some good detail to his game that should allow him to be an effective down-the-lineup player who might be able to provide some secondary scoring.

44. Dominik Badinka, D, Malmo

The big right-shot defensemen are seemingly everywhere in this draft, which is a good thing for NHL teams. It’s less good for Badinka because he probably would go higher in other drafts. But he’s got 33 pro games under his belt in Sweden and showed an ability to defend against men. He has good-enough mobility at his size and there’s a little bit more of a puck game for him to pull out. At the U20 level this year, he was able to show an ability to effectively move pucks and play a physical game that made things harder on his opponents.

45. Adam Jecho, C/W, Edmonton Oil Kings

A 6-foot-5 forward with decent hands and some offensive know-how, Jecho is an intriguing prospect. He can also be a bit hard to judge at times because I have concerns about his overall hockey sense and his feet. I’m not sure he processes the game quickly enough and makes plays quickly enough to make up for the lack of pace. Still, he’s got that size and good touch on the puck, which are often difficult to find in combination. You’d just have to wait to see if the rest catches up.

46. Tanner Howe, LW, Regina Pats

A quick, competitive forward, Howe showed he was more than a sidekick to Connor Bedard this season. He’s able to challenge defenders and is aggressive on the forecheck despite not being a bigger player. His skill, however, isn’t as projectable into an NHL top six. You can see him carving out a role with the skating ability and the work ethic, providing some scoring depth down an NHL lineup.

47. Andrew Basha, LW, Medicine Hat Tigers

Basha put up big numbers in the WHL this season and showcased high-end puckhandling ability and some clear playmaking skills. He’s an average-sized winger whose value is pretty much exclusively with the puck on his stick. A lot of the rest of his game is closer to average. That offensive ability and puck sense definitely gives him a chance to be a producer at the next level, but I think he’ll need some more rounding out to challenge for a spot. 

48. Leon Muggli, D, Zug

Playing in 42 games in Switzerland’s top pro league is not exactly a common occurrence for a U18 Swiss defenseman. Nor is putting up 12 points in that league. In fact, the record for most points by a U18 player of any position in that league is 16. At the same age, Roman Josi had eight points in 35 games. So Muggli is in some unique company. He’s a competent defender, plays a mature game and can get involved in the physical game when he needs to. 

49. Sam O’Reilly, C/W, London Knights

By the playoffs, it was hard to remember that O’Reilly was a rookie in the OHL this season. He plays a mature, well-rounded game highlighted by good hockey sense and improving touch on the puck. He has a good work ethic on the ice and wins his share of battles. He’s likely going to be more of a depth player if he makes it, but he really improved over the course of the season and turned himself into a quality draft prospect.

50. Marek Vanacker, LW, Brantford Bulldogs

A dramatic increase in production highlighted a sensational second season in the OHL. Vanacker made Canada’s U18 Worlds team, but played a minor role on the team and didn’t necessarily showcase the full complement of his skills. He has some good strength and can win battles and has good work ethic away from the puck. The numbers were impressive this season, but I didn’t see any stand out skill that suggests he will be more than a middle- to bottom-six forward who can provide some scoring depth.

51. Luca Marelli, D, Oshawa Generals

A rising prospect throughout the season, Marrelli impressed in an elevated role for Oshawa. He had 57 points in 67 games, distributing at a high level and making excellent reads both offensively and defensively. He’s a 6-foot-2, right-shot defenseman with a real command for the game and mobility that allows him to make an impact in all zones. He’s probably not skilled enough to fit comfortably into a top-four role, but he has more than enough versatility to carve out a spot in an NHL lineup one day.

52. Aron Kiviharju, D, HIFK

At one time considered a top prospect for this draft, a knee injury cost Kiviharju his season. He returned for the U18 Worlds, but did not have a great performance and has slipped down draft boards precipitously. He has elite hockey sense and good mobility, but Kiviharju lacks size and doesn’t necessarily have dynamic skill to give him a better chance to make an impact. His body of work is such that I think he still merits a higher selection, but there’s too much risk for him to be picked close to the first round.


53. Carson Wetsch, RW, Calgary Hitmen

The offensive game doesn’t wow you, but Wetsch finds a way to stand out in most of his games thanks to his aggressive forechecking ability, his size, his skating ability and the nastiness he can bring to a shift. I’d like to see a little more touch in his game, but he still scored 25 goals this season and is certainly not inept with the puck. That heavy brand of hockey he can play shift by shift fits in on any NHL roster.

54. Harrison Brunicke, D, Kamloops Blazers

A solid two-way defenseman with some size and good defensive sense, Brunicke probably lacks the overall skill to be a major producer at the next level. As a 6-foot-3, right-shot defenseman with solid athleticism, he is going to be a guy teams take a chance on, probably earlier than here.

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

The U.S. U18 team’s captain, Ziemer is a high-character player who brings work ethic and an honest game to the ice every night. He's flashed some higher-end skill at times, but it's his on-ice work ethic and ability to pursue the puck that I like. He’s average-sized and an average skater. If he makes it, it will be in a down-the-lineup role, but I felt a lot of times this season that there may be more than meets the eye in his game. We'll see if it shows up more in college.

56. Maxim Masse, RW, Chicoutimi Sagueneens

Masse has long looked the part of a future power forward, but he hasn’t really managed to play like it. His game can be a bit too perimeter and while he has good hands and shooting ability, the lack of compete at times makes it harder to see him a high-minutes forward at the NHL level. There’s enough of a foundation to build off of for him to continue to mature and add more elements to his game, but that’s probably not a first-round gamble as was he was projected there earlier in the year.

57. Ben Danford, D, Oshawa Generals

Danford’s stat line won’t jump out, but his game on the ice is especially well rounded. He’s an intelligent defender who has good skating ability to challenge forwards. He’s a 6-foot defenseman, so his lack of offense is something that likely limits his potential, but his willingness and competitiveness on defense is a notable trait and he moves pucks competently enough to ease some concerns about his puck play.

58. Alfons Freij, D, Vaxjo U20

A remarkably mobile blueliner with skating ability that jumps out at you, Freij has some physical tools that are enticing. Hockey sense is probably below average when it comes to defending and his ability to finish off the plays he creates with his mobility and skill. The skating ability is a tool you take a long look at, though.

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

A bit of a thorwback defenseman, Skahan uses his physical strength to his advantage. His offensive game is not close enough to ensure he’d be a top-four defenseman at the next level, but the athletic toolkit and competitiveness he brings leads me to believe he’s going to carve out a role one day as a shutdown defenseman with some physical bite.

60. Lukas Fischer, D, Sarnia Sting

A big two-way defenseman with average offensive capabilities, Fischer is going to be an intriguing one to watch at the draft. You can see some clear NHL traits in his mobility and the size, plus he has the NHL bloodlines as his dad is former Detroit Red Wing Jiri Fischer. Lukas still has a ways to go to tap into his full potential, but he’d be a project I think plenty of teams would be eager to work with.

61. Tomas Galvas, D, Liberec

Despite lacking size, Galvas has confidence on the puck and also has pretty solid physical strength. He doesn’t shirk from his defensive responsibilities, but has a poised puck game that should allow him to produce from the back end. Because he lacks size and isn’t as dynamic as some of the other smaller defensemen in this draft, it’s harder to slot him in as a likely top-four option for teams down the road.

62. Mikhail Yegorov, G, Omaha Lancers

After all this time, we finally get to our first goaltender. There is not a lot to write home about in this goalie class, but there are players like Yegorov who have the athletic toolkit, the size (6-foot-4) and the framework to build a pro goaltender. His numbers were terrible this season on a USHL-worst Omaha team, but the tools suggest something much better than those numbers would lead you to believe.

63. Owen Allard, C, Soo Greyhounds

A third-year draft eligible, Allard is likely to hear his name called in this draft. Offensively, he doesn’t stand out, but there’s a ton of compete in his game and he can bring the physicality. There are spots for players like Allard lower in NHL lineups.

64. Aatos Koivu, C, TPS U20

Koivu has developed quite a bit this season and started showing a two-way ability that should serve him well as a pro. Koivu’s skating continues to improve as he adds a bit more of a speed element, but what really stands out is his work ethic on the ice. He never takes a shift off, which was always a key trait of father Saku Koivu’s in the NHL.


65. Veeti Vaisanen, D, KooKoo

Vaisanen is not a very flashy defenseman, but he is a smart one. A calm puck-mover with fluid mobility, Vaisanen can make the game look easy at times. He’s average sized for a defenseman and lacks a dynamic element, which might make it harder for him to find a role. His work defensively is good, but he lacks bite in his own zone which might make it harder to be a down-the-lineup defenseman in the NHL.

66. Jacob Battaglia, RW, Kingston Frontenacs

Battaglia averaged nearly a point-per-game in his second OHL season, highlighted by the 31 goals he scored. He has good offensive touch and one-on-one skills to make defenders miss and his shot shows why those 31 goals are no fluke.

67. Luke Misa, C, Mississauga Steelheads

A massive 81-point season for Mississauga turned heads regarding Misa, who doesn’t have any one stand out trait that teams are going to be able to point to as a smaller forward. But they can see the way he managed to put up points and lead his team to a better-than-expected season and see why he may be worth giving a chance.

68. Ilya Protas, LW, Des Moines Buccaneers

A massive forward with below-average skating, Protas showed this year that there’s enough hockey sense and offensive touch for him to impact games. If he were quicker, we’d be talking a lot more about him higher in this draft because he is an asset in the hard areas of the ice and has the touch near the net to be a productive player.

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

It was a bit of an up-and-down season for Bednarik who is a 6-foot, two-way center. In the end, he still scored 26 goals and had over 60 points this season for the NTDP. He is a aggressive, space-clearing center that often was doing some heavy lifting on his line. He’s not much a of a play-driver, however, and likely has a spot further down an NHL lineup should he make it. There’s enough skill and work ethic to his game to give him a good chance.

70. Jack Berglund, C, Farjestad U20

A big, disruptive forward, Berglund has pretty good hands and finish for a player of his size. There’s some brute force in his game, which allows him to be more dangerous around the net and he can throw his weight around without the puck. He lacks pace, which could ultimately hold him back, but there’s enough versatility there to see a spot for him down an NHL lineup.

71. Christian Humphreys, C, U.S. National Under-18 Team

An intelligent, creative center, Humphreys lacks size and strength at this point but he has the hockey sense and playmaking ability to one day find his way into the lineup. He’s competitive enough, but probably needs a little more grit to his game to carve out a role. I think his hand skills and passing ability show higher-level offensive skill that will be enhanced by strength and development over time.

72. Simon Zether, C, Rogle

It’s hard not to like a 6-foot-3 center with some two-way value and notable offensive tools. Zether would be higher on this list if I thought the skating was better, but I view that as tougher to overcome. I think the hockey sense and hand skills are good enough for him to impact games, especially with his size.

73. Max Plante, LW, U.S. National Under-18 Team

A heady playmaker who always seemed to have a handle where everyone was on the ice, Plante has great feel for the game. He’s not a big player and the skating isn’t at a level that allows you to outright overlook that. He is a high-end distributor and reads the game at a strong enough level that he has a real chance to make it down the line.

74. Eriks Mateiko, LW, Saint John Sea Dogs

A massive human, at 6-foot-5 and over 200 pounds, Mateiko was close to a point per game in the QMJHL this season. He has some solid offensive tools and plays a heavy game, which gives him a chance with his frame. Sub-par skating, however, could limit his NHL prospects. Still, you take the chance on the skill and size combination here.

75. Colton Roberts, D, Vancouver Giants

A big, right-shot defenseman, Roberts showed improvement in his puck game this season and was able to increase his production some. I think there’s still some raw ability for him to tap into, but I had enough concerns about hockey sense that it was hard to put him any higher despite the athletic toolkit.

76. Eemil Vinni, G, Jokipojat

Over the last few years, Vinni has showed flashes of a higher end ability as a goalie. His numbers haven’t always reflected that and he took his lumps at times in Finland’s second division this season. He has good technical skills, seems to read plays well and plays a fairly predictable game in net. In a year where goalies are hard to come by, he has one of the better overall resumes. 

77. Ondrej Kos, LW, Ilves U20

Losing most of this season due to illness has significantly dropped Kos’s overall projection, which looked like it was trending up coming into the year. He sat out from November to April, returning for the Men’s U18s and we didn’t see the same player as the one that was a top player for Czechia at the Hlinka-Gretzky Cup. At his best, he’s a skilled forward with some size and good skating ability, but there’s a big time risk factor in projecting him out without knowing if he’ll be able to recover the form that put him on a clear NHL track earlier this season.

78. Pavel Moysevich, G, SKA St. Petersburgh

The Belarusian is 6-foot-5 and played significant pro games in Russia this season at both the KHL and VHL level. He put up spectacular numbers, too. The second-year eligible goalie has the athletic tools teams are looking for, but will still need a lot of refinement. Teams are very likely to take a chance on him based on what he showed this season.

79. Alexander Zetterberg, C, Orebro U20

At 5-foot-7, Zetterberg has an uphill battle to prove he can be an NHL player. But he is a brilliant skater, which gives him a chance. He also was one of Sweden’s most productive players in the history of their U18 national team. An injury off of a big hit ended his U18 Worlds early and also served as a reminder of the risk of smaller players. He committed to Boston University, which will allow him time to build strength and give a team a few extra years to assess where he’s at. He’s a super fun player to watch, but the size is a legitimate concern.

80. Maximillian Curran, C, Tri-City Americans

A 6-foot-3 forward with a good motor and compete level, Curran finds ways to impact games when he’s not scoring. His offensive capabilities are somewhat limited in terms of his hand skills, but he can drive the net and be disruptive. I like his chances to find a role one day down an NHL lineup.

81. Spencer Gill, D, Rimouski Oceanic

Gill is a 6-foot-3, right-shot defenseman that had a nice season in the QMJHL. He moves pucks decently well and shows some good offensive instincts and can score goals from the back end. Defensively, He's below average in the defensive end, so there's a lot of work to be done on him by the team that drafts him, but the size and skill combination are going to give teams 

82. Gabriel Eliasson, D, HV71 U20

Eliasson is an enormous 6-foot-6, mean and physical defenseman. He’s a good skater for his size, too. His decision-making is poor and the offensive game is below average. Defensively, he knows what he’s doing and players with his frame and mobility will always be given a chance. He’s heading to Michigan in 2025-26, so this is a player you take a long-term approach with.

83. Justin Poirier, RW, Baie-Comeau Drakkar

One of the most purely skilled players in this class, Poirier is also one of the most fun to watch. At 5-foot-8, there’s certainly limitations to how much teams like him. His postseason run in the QMJHL was incredible, averaging better than a goal per game. He skates well, he can beat defenders one-on-one and he has a tremendous shot, but he also scored a lot from the outside, which is why there’s uncertainty about his ability to translate his game to the NHL.

84. Logan Sawyer, C, Brooks Bandits

One of the top players in Canadian Junior A this season, Sawyer had impressive performances in the AJHL before Brooks transitioned to the BCHL and put together an excellent postseason. He also was a standout performer in the World Junior A Challenge. Sawyer is a skilled, shifty player that has good creativity. As he gets stronger, he’s only going to be more effective in completing the chances he creates when going to the middle of the ice.

85. Hagen Burrows, RW, Minnetonka H.S./Sioux City Musketeers

Minnesota’s Mr. Hockey was a force at Minnetonka High School and performed well while in the USHL before and after his high school season. He lacks speed, but has the frame and strength to protect pucks and reads plays well, showing a playmaker’s vision. There’s no standout trait in his game, but I think there’s enough versatility there to put him on a good track for pro. He is committed to the University of Denver, which has been a good finishing school for forwards like him.

86. Marcus Gidlof, G, Leksands U20

Another massive goalie, Gidlof missed the cutoff for last year’s draft by a few weeks. He took a big step forward this year, performing at a high level in Sweden’s U20 ranks. Gidlof seemed to have some of his best games when he was seeing a lot of shots and really settled into games. He’ll need a lot of time to work on some of his technique and quickness in order to find his way to an NHL team, but a goalie of his size is very likely to be picked and probably earlier than I have him. With a deeper resume, I’d be a little more comfortable bumping him up.

87. Petr Sikora, C, Trinec U20

A two-way forward with some tenacity off the puck, Sikora dominated the Czech U20 ranks this season and got extended looks at the pro level. He was a key player for Czechia internationally, helping them take second at the Hlinka-Gretzky Cup. There’s not a lot of flashy skill, but Sikora has a clear commitment and work ethic off the puck to provide additional value.

88. Ondrej Becher, C, Prince George Cougars

A third-year eligible player, Becher showed in the WHL and at the World Juniors this year that his game has been taken to another level. He has good-enough size, excellent vision and he can make a lot of plays. The refinement in his offensive game suggests he’s on an upward trajectory and could potentially reach for a middle-six role if he continues on this upward trend.

89. Sebastian Soini, D, Ilves U20

Soini is a 6-foot-2, right-shot defenseman with pretty good mobility. What is less evident, however, is if he has enough of a puck game to find a role at the NHL level. You could see small glimpses of it, but I like the athleticism and his ability to defend. He was a late cut from the Finnish U18 team which didn’t have the strongest blue line, so his stock has been a bit on the decline.

90. Carter George, G, Owen Sound Attack

George doesn’t quite have the size teams are looking for, but he has the composure and hockey sense that could help him maximize his ability. He’s a quiet goalie, who doesn’t get too wild in the net, reading plays well. He backstopped Canada to a gold medal at the World U18 Championship.

91. Ethan Procyszyn, C, North Bay Battalion 

One of the younger players in the class with a July birth date, Procyszn has a lot of intriguing tools. He’s got the size factor on his side and has a clear work ethic with or without the puck. He competes and can make some plays. I don’t know if he always sees it well enough and I think his relative lack of production this season showed that a bit.

92. Tomas Lavoie, D, Cape Breton Eagles

A towering defenseman with some clear upside on his athletic tools, Lavoie didn’t necessarily live up to the hype after he was a No. 1 pick in the QMJHL draft. He’s not been especially productive and is average to below average in the ability to move pucks. But he’s physical and dedicated to playing his position. There’s still a rawness to him that I think leaves some upside.

93. Timur Kol, D, Omsk

I’m very intrigued by Kol, who played across four different levels in Russia this past season from U18 to KHL. Some of his late season games where he was playing a bigger role for Omsk’s U20 team showed his quality as a trigger man from the point. He shoots an awful lot and has a higher-end shot from the back end. He’s 6-foot-3 and has solid mobility for a player of his size. 

94. Ollie Josephson, C, Red Deer Rebels

A competitive forward who can pop in some offense, Josephson showed a lot of year-over-year improvement and was on Canada’s winning teams at both the Hlinka-Gretzky Cup and the World U18s. He’s likely a useful down-the-lineup who can fit into a number of roles and give a little extra scoring depth, though likely not in great numbers.

95. Jonathan Morello, C, St. Michael’s Buzzers

With 57 points in 50 OJHL regular-season games and an additional 21 in 11 playoff games, Morello simply got better and better as the year went on. The fact that he’s a higher-end skater in a 6-foot-3 frame with some room to fill out is even better for his overall projection. He’s going to need some time to develop and is currently on the college path, but as a late July birthdate in this class, he’s seemingly only scratching the surface.

96. Will Zellers, LW, Shattuck-St Mary’s

The top scorer for Shattuck-St. Mary’s prep team this season, Zellers produced everywhere he went. He’s a higher-end skater with offensive touch. He is expected to spend a year in the USHL before heading to North Dakota, but he had some spectacular performances throughout the season that suggest there’s plenty of value there.

97. Heikki Ruohonen, C, Kiekko-Espoo U20

A strong performance at the World U18s shed a little more light on Ruohonen, who is a 6-foot-1 two-way center. He put up 1.27 points per game in Finland’s U20 league and showed some scoring ability. Ruohonen was the No. 1 pick in the recent USHL draft as he is slated to join the Dubuque Fighting Saints next season.

98. Colin Ralph, D, Shattuck St. Mary’s 

A big defenseman with some clear athleticism, Ralph put up a lot of points in his 18-year-old season at the prep level. However, there are some legitimate concerns about his skating ability and seemed to thrive more with the time and space afforded him at a level he possibly outgrew. Still, you can see the framework of a player that teams would want to work with and help continue to develop and see if he can round out into a solid depth defenseman down the road.

99. Joona Vaisanen, D, Dubuque Fighting Saints

An average-sized defender, but awfully intelligent player, Vaisanen made the most of his transition to the USHL this past season. He played major minutes for Dubuque, which was the top team in the USHL’s Eastern Conference, and made Finland’s World Junior team. He’s an older player in the class as a re-entry, but I think the hockey sense is a high-end trait that could carry him up the ranks.

100. Mac Swanson, C, Fargo Force

Over two seasons, Swanson over-performed in a league where it can be awfully tough to score, posting 132 points over 112 career games. The North Dakota-bound forward was the best player on the league’s best team and helped Fargo win the Clark Cup. Swanson has higher end skill and a decent motor, but at 5-foot-7, NHL scouts remain skeptical of his ability to make it. I’ve seen enough of Swanson not to bet against him and wanted that reflected in our final list here.

Chris Peters has been covering the NHL Draft and prospects since 2010. Prior to becoming FloSports's senior content creator and draft analyst, Peters produced NHL Draft Rankings for CBS Sports, ESPN, and Daily Faceoff.