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McKenzie’s Top-15 Draft Prospects, ‘Hodgepodge’ After Celebrini

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Credit: Boston University/Rich Gagnon

If the San Jose Sharks don’t get the first-overall selection, who will they pick?

The Sharks will know tomorrow if they’re No. 1 – the Draft Lottery is May 7, starting at 3:30 PM PT on ESPN, before the New York Rangers-Carolina Hurricanes’ second-round tilt.

As the worst team in the NHL, San Jose will not drop any lower than No. 3 in the 2024 Draft. According to Tankathon, the Sharks have a 25.5 percent at No. 1, 18.8 at No. 2, and 55.7 at No. 3.

After sure-fire first-overall pick Macklin Celebrini, the Draft is full of uncertainty, according to TSN Draft guru Bob McKenzie.

“Celebrini is going No. 1, but the next five or six teams [picking after No. 1] might all get the No. 2 prospect on their [respective] lists. There’s that much varied opinion,” an NHL scout told McKenzie.

The long-time Draft observer has never seen anything like it, writing, “I’ve been doing draft rankings like this one for more than 35 years, and I don’t recall a year where the Top 10 is such a hodgepodge of opinion.”

Regardless, McKenzie was able to pull together a top-15 by talking to 10 NHL scouts.

He also added this interesting note: “This draft may simply have a lot of really good prospects with maybe not that much separating them, which may well put an even greater premium than usual on each club’s individual likes, dislikes, preferences and/or needs — big vs. small; offensive vs. defensive; forward vs. defenceman; skilled vs. physical.”

Here’s McKenzie’s top-15 – read the article to see what the scouts are saying about each prospect!

Remember too, the San Jose Sharks are likely to have a shot at two of these top prospects, if they come out with the Pittsburgh Penguins’ top-10 protected first-rounder, acquired in the Erik Karlsson trade. The Pens have a better than 94 percent chance of picking No. 14.

1) Macklin Celebrini, C
2) Ivan Demidov, RW/C
3) Anton Silayev, D
4) Artyom Levshunov, D
5) Cayden Lindstrom, C
6) Sam Dickinson, D
7) Zayne Parekh, D
8) Zeev Buium, D
9) Konsta Helenius, C
10) Tij Iginla, LW
11) Berkly Catton, C
12) Carter Yakemchuk, D
13) Cole Eiserman, LW
14) Beckett Sennecke, RW
15) Trevor Connelly, LW

Relevant note for the San Jose Sharks, if they don’t win the lottery?

“Demidov,” McKenzie wrote, “had nine scouts place him firmly amongst the top five prospects in the draft; Silayev, Levshunov and Lindstrom each had eight votes in the top five.”

McKenzie’s final Draft rankings, which is the industry standard, will be released about a week before the 2024 Draft begins on Jun. 28 in Las Vegas.

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Joseph

Crazy to think that the Sharks could have the opportunity to take Celebrini and Eiserman. I know they probably would prefer a high end defenseman at 14. But that longstanding connection between Celebrini and Eiserman is tantalizing.

Just Steve

I’ve been thinking the same thing too… if (by divine miracle) the Sharks land Celebrini, and Eiserman is there at 14… I’d be really tempted to snag him assuming Buium and Parekh are off the board at that slot (which is practically guaranteed).

Eric Pichette

Sheng, on the last podcast you mentioned a draft lottery surprise. Will you be revealing that in an article prior to the lottery tomorrow or is it a we need to watch the lottery to see for ourselves lol? Thanks again as always 👍

Anthony

My guess is they are sending Jumbo to do it. 1st overall mojo, for luck.

Eric Pichette

Funny, that also crossed my mind but then I was like Jumbo never won with the Sharks so is that bad juju haha

SJShorky

Yeah that isn’t his fault. DW realized too late that teams win with depth.

SJShorky

That’s brilliant!

SJShorky

This is awesome Sheng! Hopefully you’re our good luck charm!

Falco5

Awesome! Looking forward to the story

SJShorky

Still hope that no matter the lottery outcome they package the 14th and some combo of too small forwards, maybe a 2nd + to move into the top 8 to grab one of the higher end D-men. This org needs a #1 D prospect in the worst way to go along with hopefully Celebrini or Lindstrom. I would avoid the Russian players that are in Russia like the plague.

Fin Coe

Why? What Russian players have not come over? The bigger storyline in recent years has been NCAA players leveraging a refusal to sign to force a trade.

SJShorky

Why? Maybe you should check the news. There’s a war and Putin is not letting Russian prospects come over. I can’t even believe this is a question… What, 2 College players out of how many moved on? Pretty easy to see.

Joseph

This has happened once, and even that player is now playing in the NHL.

SJShorky

What are you talking about? They’re forcing high end prospects to sign multi year deals in the KHL. Michkov and now one of the guys from this draft. Plenty to read about Putin not wanting prospects to leave Russia. Not even mentioning the guy who was forced into military duty. Look it up.

Last edited 11 days ago by SJShorky
Joseph

That’s not true, in fact there’s been talk that Michkov is going to be let out of his contract and will be in the NHL as early as next season. Fedotov’s military service was an outlier and even he is now in the NHL.

SJShorky

“There’s talk”? Among who?, local Xbox teens? Pass. Until Russia decides to join the international community and quit being petulant murderous dick bags, I’m skipping adding any of their prospects while building an entertainment product in the US.

Fin Coe

I mean, it’s speculation an not a guarantee or anything, but you can read what the “local Xbox teens” at NBC Sports Philadelphia have to say about it here, among other outlets: https://www.nbcsportsphiladelphia.com/nhl/philadelphia-flyers/could-flyers-prospect-matvei-michkov-come-to-nhl-before-2026-27-season/582023/ And like… there’s plenty of international pressure rightly being leveraged against the Russian government AND its international presence in the hockey program. They’re still barred from IIHF competition, which is a form of pressure against the government. But a bunch of hockey guys are separate from the government and should be treated as such – and any GM that disagrees is going to be giving up an… Read more »

SJShorky

Did you read the article you linked? It says it’s a non starter since he’s under contract with the KHL club. So my point stands. He was likely forced into another contract to keep him in Russia. Wouldn’t put it past them to force him into another one.

Fin Coe

It’s not a “non-starter”, it says that they can’t talk about that yet because both sides are committed to respecting contractual obligations. The REST of the article, including how this came from a Russian outlet and mentions how SKA St Petersburg favours the Flyers org, is what makes it seem like maybe there’ll be movement sooner rather than later – be it granting a release or a loan. Also, KHL contracts have always been a factor, just one part of pick valuation that has typically led to teams leaving value on the table. Kirill Kaprizov had one that kept him… Read more »

Dmitry

Typical poorly educated, brainwashed woke, hyperemotional American liberal who has zero clue regarding the multiple sides of the Russia/Ukraine affair. Funny that ‘dick bag Russia’ is murderous yet the hypocritical Shork is too daft to see how the US viewed in the same fashion by many foreign countries where the US has waged endless wars for decades. Nobody outside the US respects Americans canned and legacy media spoonfed opinions on world affairs. Americans are woefully ill informed, mentally lazy, and easily triggered. If you don’t like my comment, Sheng, because it’s somewhat political in nature, then reprimand the children like… Read more »

Fin Coe

We literally have a D man on our roster right now because he told Anaheim he wouldn’t sign out of college bud.

SJShorky

so… 2 in the last how long? And really only 1 blue chip guy in what a couple decades? I’m happy they got Thrun but he wasn’t some amazing D-man that the Sharks stole. Anaheim has a glut of D prospects and he was pretty far down their list so he was very expendable. How heart broken would you be if Coe didn’t want to sign? I’m going to bet not very. Similar thing. Blue chip college guys that are 1st rounders almost never do what Gauthier did.It’s not something to worry about unless there are mitigating circumstance or the… Read more »

Fin Coe

I mean, here’s a roundup from three years ago, of five NCAA players who refused to sign. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DFAATizx3eI
I’m not saying drafting college commits is bad, but if you’re going to harp on current events, I think GMs have Cutter Gauthier on their mind a lot more right now, versus “the Russian Factor”.
Also dude look at my name, I’d be a LITTLE heart broken if Coe didn’t sign (no relation though).

SJShorky

(Wouldn’t let me edit)
package the 14th and some combo of older prospects that are too small (Bordeleau, Gushin) or Ferraro, maybe a 2nd + to move into the top 8 to grab one of the higher end D-men.

Gotta move some LDs at the draft too if they hope to remake the D-Core into a minimally competent group next season.

Joseph

There are also some really good defensemen projected to be available around 33. If the Sharks could get Yakemchuk at 14 and Emery or Elick at 33, I think I’d rather have that pair than sacrifice a pick and prospect to take Parekh, Silayev or Dickinson instead. Buium and Levshunov would be worth the cost, but will probably be gone after pick 5.

SJShorky

Those are the 2 I would want to try and grab. Rather go quality over quantity in a draft that is universally criticized as being weak. In the end I’m fine with whatever Grier decides to do. I’ve been generally happy with his moves to date.

Last edited 11 days ago by SJShorky
Fin Coe

If you like Levshunov, I have some bad news for you about his country of origin.

SJShorky

You must have failed geography… You do understand the Belarusia is a whole different country right? Also the dude plays in the US for a US college and doesn’t have to get out of a KHL contract. You need to read what I wrote initially.

Fin Coe

You might want to let the IIHF know that “Belarus is a whole different country” because they’re banned right along with Russia from international hockey, for the same reason.
https://www.cbc.ca/sports/hockey/iihf-russia-belarus-bans-hockey-world-championships-1.7112975

pmhunter

I’m really liking Emery for pick #33 as well. Hoping he’s there! Seems like slam dunk GMMG choice

Mark Sanny

Need the 2nd coming of the great Joe Thornton!! Grit an skill hard to come bye!! Mike Grier on the ice not so fun this year this upcoming draft lots of fun!! The best Mike!!

Zeke

May 7, 2024. The most important day of the rebuild.

But only because it wasn’t last year’s lottery. And depending on how it goes, next year’s could be more important.

But since this is the only time Sharks are likely to have the best odds at 1st overall and the difference between Celebrini and the rest of the field seems quite large, tomorrow is a very huge day.

SJShorky

Over exaggeration much? Makar was the 4th pick. Lindstrom or someone else could easily end up the best player from this draff. You never know how 18 year olds will turn out.

Zeke

Nah. Its tough to get great players and yeah, there’s a chance Celebrini isn’t the best in this class. But too many smart hockey people seem to agree he’s substantially better than what follows. Odds are, he’ll be the best in his class. d-men are especially challenging. Posted a while back, out of the 17 drafts (excluded the most recent ones), the top d-man selected was only the best d-man in the draft 4-6 times (4 times, clearly, 2 others debatable). Even Makar wasn’t the first d-man taken on his draft class (Miro Heiskanen was, still a really good player).… Read more »

SJShorky

“Odds are”? That’s a made up fact with no substance or data… A lot of “smart” hockey people missed on Makar as the top player in his draft… there is an endless list of “smart” hockey people completely missing on supposed can’t miss players. Judging 17 and 18 year olds is incredibly difficult. Shit, Datsyuk & Pavs were drafted in what, the 6th round? Point being that not getting Celebrini is likely not near the big deal you make it out to be. It would be nice but you never know with 18 year olds.

Last edited 10 days ago by SJShorky
Zeke

I agree, there’s no certainty. That’s why its an ‘odds’ thing. Duh.

David Gotlieb

It’s not too late for GMMG to trade for Taylor Hall in order to secure the lotto

Just Steve

Or maybe Hasso can rename the team the San Jose Blackhawks 2…

Falco5

Dont you mean the edmonton blackhawks of san jose?

Just Steve

Ha – even better, that would put our odds at winning the lottery to at least 95%

Zeke

YEAH!!!

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