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NHL Notebook: An early look at the 2024 NHL Draft, Detroit Red Wings’ Filip Zadina clears waivers, and more

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Photo credit:Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
Zach Laing
2 months ago
It’s never too early to take a look at next year’s draft class.
The Edmonton Oilers — at least right now — hold onto their first-round pick that will surely be in late 20’s. They also have their own second, fifth and sixth-round pick, as well as an additional sixth-round pick the team acquired in the Mattias Ekholm trade.
I’d think the chances of the Oilers holding onto that first-round pick are slim given they’re firmly in “win now mode.” Nonetheless, here are Daily Faceoff’s Steven Ellis’ top five prospects for the 2024 draft:

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

Dynamic. Dangerous. Deceptive. Take your buzzword of choice. He’s not Connor Bedard, but Celebrini is one hell of a prize for whoever snags the first overall pick. Celebrini had one of the most remarkable rookie seasons we’ve ever seen in the USHL, recording 46 goals and 86 points to lead the league. He won the league’s player and rookie of the year awards and then capped off the season by scoring the game-winning overtime goal for Canada at the U-18 World Championship. Shoulder surgery will keep him out of action with Boston University to start the year, but the 17-year-old center will obliterate the college ranks once he’s ready. Expect him to compete for a spot on Canada’s world junior roster, too.

2. Cole Eiserman, LW (USNTDP)

Easily the most lethal shooter in the class, Eiserman stood out at the U-18 World Championship against older competition. His chemistry with top 2025 prospect James Hagens was remarkable, with Eiserman finishing the year with 69 goals and 104 points in 62 games. That’s good for third in team scoring this year and second behind Jack Hughes’s 116-point season among U-17 USNTDP skaters ever. Eiserman is as pure of a goal-scorer as it gets, with the American star drawing comparisons to Auston Matthews and Alex Ovechkin thanks to his unstoppable release.

3. Artyom Levshunov, D (Green Bay, USHL)

From discussions during the NHL Draft, a few scouts I talked to said Levshunov would be the first defenseman taken in 2023 had he been available. That’s how confident some people are about the dominant USHL defenseman. He put up 42 points last year, which is remarkable for a Draft+1 defender. He’s an excellent two-way defenseman with good hands and hockey IQ. He’s a modern-day blueliner that can punish you both physically and on the scoresheet. We know NCAA schools are courting him for the 2023-24 season, which could spice things up.

4. Ivan Demidov, RW (SKA-1946 St. Petersburg, MHL)

Whoever drafts Demidov won’t have to wait as long as Philly will for Michkov. Demidov plays for the same SKA St. Petersburg team and has a deal until 2025, so just one year after getting drafted. Demidov obliterated the top Russian junior league with 62 points in 41 games, earning MVP honors. He also made his KHL debut while getting into a game with Russia’s U-18 team. The skilled winger

5. Berkly Catton, C (Spokane, WHL)

After putting up some truly dominant numbers at a young age, Catton hit the ice at full attack as a rookie with Spokane this past year. He had 55 points in the WHL, and was among the best players at the U-17 World Hockey Challenge in November. He had a quiet, yet effective U-18 World Championship to cap the season off, showing a good mix of speed and skill. Catton is a hard worker with a solid payoff often due to his skill around the net. He might be the smartest prospect in the draft class.

2018 6th overall pick clears waivers

The Detroit Red Wings placed 2018 6th overall draft pick Filip Zadina on waivers Monday morning, and the winger cleared on Tuesday morning.
The draft pick, taken by Ken Holland while at the helm of the team, has had far from a great NHL career. Here’s some of what Daily Faceoff’s Mike Gould wrote about things:
The Red Wings elected to waive Zadina on Monday after they had been unable to find a suitable trade partner for the Czech forward. Red Wings general manager Steve Yzerman said Zadina and his representatives had requested a trade earlier in the off-season.
Zadina, 23, collected just seven points (three goals, four assists) in 30 games with the Red Wings during the 2022–23 regular season. He also appeared in two games with the American Hockey League’s Grand Rapids Griffins, picking up a goal.
Under former general manager Ken Holland, the Red Wings originally selected Zadina in the first round (No. 6 overall) of the 2018 NHL Draft — one spot before University of Michigan defenseman Quinn Hughes went to the Vancouver Canucks.
After being drafted by the Red Wings in 2018, Zadina immediately left the QMJHL’s Halifax Mooseheads to join the Griffins in the AHL. He put up 35 points in 59 AHL games as an 18-year-old and also appeared in nine NHL games with the Red Wings in 2018–19, picking up a goal and two assists.
Zadina emerged as a regular with the Red Wings in 2020–21, scoring six goals and 19 points in 49 games. The next year, he collected 10 goals and 24 points in 74 contests but finished with a minus-24 rating.
Through 190 career games over parts of five NHL regular seasons with the Red Wings, Zadina has accumulated 28 goals and 68 points. He has yet to appear in a Stanley Cup Playoff game.

Who had their fantasy value boosted?

Daily Faceoff’s Nick Alberga took a dive into who some of the top sleepers could be heading into next years fantasy drafts with new Edmonton Oilers winger Connor Brown atop the list.
Connor Brown – Edmonton Oilers – RW
The worst kept secret in the NHL finally came to fruition on Canada Day when Brown signed a deal with the Oilers to reunite with old Erie Otters teammate and friend Connor McDavid. Due to a torn ACL, the 29-year-old was limited to just four games last season with the Washington Capitals following an offseason trade from the Ottawa Senators. Rest assured, he’ll be a very hungry hockey player in Edmonton. Most importantly, he should get a good shot to ride with McDavid on the top-line. Talk about value.
Tyler Bertuzzi – Toronto Maple Leafs – LW/RW
In many ways, Bertuzzi will fill the role left behind by Michael Bunting, who departed for Carolina. Somewhat surprisingly, the power forward elected to take a one-year deal instead of securing term elsewhere. And it makes perfect sense, especially when you take into account that he’ll likely skate on a line with Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner next season. Following a trade from Detroit to Boston at the deadline, the 28-year-old tallied nine goals and 26 points in 28 total games with the Bruins. He’s betting on himself in Toronto.
Max Pacioretty – Washington Capitals – LW
From a health standpoint, it’s been a whirlwind past couple of seasons for the former Montreal Canadiens captain. Two Achilles tears later, the 34-year-old sniper now finds himself in D.C. on a one-year deal. In five games with the Canes this past season, he still managed to pot three goals. Provided he can stay healthy, Pacioretty will have a chance to cook in Washington not only in the top-six but also on the first power play unit. For what it’s worth, it doesn’t sound like the veteran will be ready to go until November.

Zach Laing is the Nation Network’s news director and senior columnist. He can be followed on Twitter at @zjlaing, or reached by email at zach@oilersnation.com.

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