NHL Notebook: San Jose Sharks win draft lottery

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Zach Laing
1 month ago
The San Jose Sharks have won the 2024 NHL Draft Lottery and can now select Macklin Celebrini.
After a season of Slackin’ for Macklin in which the Sharks were the league’s worst team, there was no movement in the draft lottery odds keeping them locked in at first overall. This marked the first time the lottery didn’t fray since 2010, when the Oilers won the right to select Ryan Nugent-Hopkins first overall.
Second overall belongs to the Chicago Blackhawks while the Anaheim Ducks sit third overall.
Celebrini, 17, is a native of Vancouver, B.C., but he spent his youth playing minor hockey in the Sharks’ junior program. He just finished his freshman season at Boston University, where he scored 32 goals and 64 points in 38 games. The consensus first-round pick became the youngest to ever win the Hobey Baker Award as the best male player in college hockey.
This year’s draft has been set to take place on June 28th and 29th at The Sphere in Las Vegas.
It didn’t take long for a mock draft to drop, either, as Daily Faceoff’s Steven Ellis gave 24 players new homes.
Here’s his top five from his mock draft:
1. San Jose Sharks: Macklin Celebrini, C (Boston University, NCAA)
The prized choice. Celebrini will transform the Sharks into a contender one day, even if it’s still a few years down the road. He’s the unanimous top prospect, someone with the potential to become one of the NHL’s top young stars. The youngest Hobey Baker Award winner in NCAA history, Celebrini has drawn comparisons to Sidney Crosby and Jonathan Toews for just how good of a two-way player he is. He’s strong, skilled, has speed and lays it all on the line every shift. San Jose, you’ve got a future superstar.
2. Chicago Blackhawks: Ivan Demidov, RW (St. Petersburg, MHL)
A lower-body injury ended Demidov’s incredible MHL playoff run, where he was averaging two points per game. The skilled playmaker would be a perfect fit alongside Connor Bedard, entering the draft as the forward with the purest skill of anyone. Compared to the same point last year, Demidov’s overall game has taken positive steps forward, especially from a work ethic perspective. I have no doubts whatsoever that he won’t become a game-changing winger in the NHL.
3. Anaheim Ducks: Artyom Levshunov, RHD (Michigan State, NCAA)
Levshunov was an absolute beast this year, especially in the second half of the NCAA campaign. He’s just got everything scouts want in a high-end defender – size, mobility and puck-moving skills, just to name a few quality traits. He led the Spartans in scoring after putting up one of the most impressive Draft+1 seasons by a defenseman in recent USHL history. Levshunov will be a top-pairing defender sooner rather than later, which might help to take off some of the pressure off Olen Zellweger if he does indeed get drafted by the Ducks.
4. Columbus Blue Jackets: Konsta Helenius, C (Jukurit, Liiga)
There’s a realistic chance that Helenius will crack the NHL next year. And having a No. 1-2 center duo of Adam Fantilli and Helenius would make the Blue Jackets incredibly fun to watch. They’re a team with a good young foundation, which includes Kent Johnson, Kirill Marchenko, Luca Del Bel Belluz, Gavin Brindley, and Dmitri Voronkov, among others. But Helenius would bring the reliable two-way center presence that would give the team another desirable matchup option.
5. Montreal Canadiens: Cayden Lindstrom, C (Medicine Hat, WHL)
I’ve got my concerns with Lindstrom. He didn’t look particularly good in the WHL playoffs and scouts didn’t get a good look at him in the second half. There’s too much uncertainty with picking Lindstrom this high. But that being said, there’s so much potential, too. You don’t get creative power forwards at 6-foot-3 and 210 pounds often, and his size would make him a perfect No. 2 center behind Nick Suzuki. This just feels like a pick Montreal would want, although I think Cole Eiserman or Berkly Catton would be better pickups.
Here is the current order for the first round of the 2024 NHL Draft:
1. San Jose Sharks
2. Chicago Blackhawks
3. Anaheim Ducks
4. Columbus Blue Jackets
5. Montreal Canadiens
6. Utah
7. Ottawa Senators
8. Seattle Kraken
9. Calgary Flames
10. New Jersey Devils
11. Buffalo Sabres
12. Philadelphia Flyers
13. Minnesota Wild
14. San Jose Sharks (via PIT)
15. Detroit Red Wings
16. St. Louis Blues
17. Washington Capitals
18. New York Islanders
19. Vegas Golden Knights
20. Chicago Blackhawks (via TBL)
21. Los Angeles Kings
22. Nashville Predators
23. Toronto Maple Leafs
24. Montreal Canadiens (via WPG)

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@thenationnetwork.com.

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