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Button’s Mock Draft: Who goes after Celebrini?


For the first time since 2010, the NHL Draft order went unchanged at the lottery and the San Jose Sharks are the beneficiaries, winning the right to choose first overall at the 2024 NHL Draft in June.

In his post lottery mock draft, TSN Director of Scouting Craig Button has the Sharks selecting Boston University centre Macklin Celebrini with the No. 1 pick.

Celebrini, 17, had 32 goals and 64 points in 38 games last season in the NCAA as a freshman, becoming the youngest-ever winner of the Hobey Baker Award as the top men’s player in Division I college hockey.

Hailing from North Vancouver, B.C., Celebrini has ties to the Bay Area with his father Rick the director of sports medicine and performance for the NBA’s Golden State Warriors. Celebrini also spent time playing youth hockey in California with the Jr. Sharks program.

“Macklin Celebrini is the best player in this draft,” said Button. “And then we can start talking about everybody after that. But there is nobody [else] in consideration to be the first overall pick. The gap is big. It’s Celebrini, there’s nobody in his category.”

The Chicago Blackhawks won the draft lottery last year where they picked a generational talent in Connor Bedard but this time Button has the franchise looking towards defence with Michigan State’s Artyom Levshunov at No. 2.

In his first NCAA season, Levshunov had nine goals and 35 points in 38 games this past season.

To complete the top five, Button has SKA St. Petersburg winger Ivan Demidov going No. 3 to the Anaheim Ducks, Torpedo defenceman Anton Silayev off to the Columbus Blue Jackets at No. 4 before the Montreal Canadiens taking Medicine Hat Tigers forward Cayden Lindstrom at No. 5.

The Canadiens will be the first Canadian team to pick in the 2024 draft and hold the fifth overall pick for the second year in a row after choosing Austrian defenceman David Reinbacher at No. 5 in 2023. This time around, Button has Montreal addressing their forward corps with Lindstrom, who missed significant time with injuries this season but managed 27 goals and 46 points in 32 games.

“I believe that Cayden might have as much upside as any player in this draft,” said Button. “He’s big, strong, aggressive. He’s got real significant initiative in his game, he drives play, he’s got a great shot and I really believe that he’s only starting to tap into the potential that he has.”

Button has Kelowna Rockets forward and son of Hockey Hall of Famer Jarome, Tij Iginla, going No. 6 to the new Utah franchise. After years of tumultuous ownership and issues securing a permanent home, the Arizona Coyotes are no longer but Iginla is another promising piece to add to a team that looks for a brighter future.

Iginla had 47 goals and 84 points in 64 games this year and is fresh off helping Canada win gold at the U18s.

“Tij Iginla has had such an impressive progression in his game,” said Button. “And you think about where he was at watching him as a 16-year-old, didn’t get a lot of prime playing time in Seattle but he was around a team that went all the way to the Memorial Cup, was a really good team.

“Now he ends up in Kelowna and from the beginning of this season right through the U18 tournament, you just continuously see this player that asserts himself. Exceptionally smart and competitive. Everything he does, he wants to take to the net, he plays what I call inside hockey.”

For the other two Canadian clubs drafting in the top 16, Button has the Ottawa Senators taking London Knights defenceman Sam Dickinson and Calgary Flames selecting Jukurit centre Konsta Helenius at No. 9.

Craig Button's Lottery Edition Mock Draft

No. Team Player Team Pos HT WT GP G P
1 SJ Macklin Celebrini  Boston U (NCAA) C 6'0 190 38 32 64
2 Chi Artyom Levshunov Michigan State (NCAA) D 6'2 209 38 9 35
3 Ana Ivan Demidov St. Petersburg (MHL) RW/C 5'11 181 30 23 60
4 CBJ Anton Silayev Nizhny Novgorod (KHL) D 6'7 211 63 3 11
5 Mtl Cayden Lindstrom Medicine Hat (WHL) C 6'4 216 32 27 46
6 Uta Tij Iginla Kelowna (WHL) LW 6'0 185 64 47 84
7 Ott* Sam Dickinson London (OHL) D 6'3 194 68 18 70
8 Sea Zayne Parekh Saginaw (OHL) D 6'0 181 66 33 96
9 Cgy Konsta Helenius Jukurit (SM Liiga) C 5'11 181 51 14 36
10 NJ Zeev Buium Denver (NCAA) D 6'0 183 42 11 50
11 Buf Carter Yakemchuk Calgary (WHL) D 6'3 194 66 30 71
12 Phi Jett Luchanko Guelph (OHL) C 5'11 183 68 20 74
13 Min Cole Eiserman USA NTDP (USHL) LW 6'0 196 56 57 88
14 SJ Terik Parascak Prince George (WHL) RW 5'11 ½ 173 68 43 105
15 Det Michael Brandsegg-Nygård Mora (SWE J20) RW 6'1 198 41 8 18
16 StL Beckett Sennecke Oshawa (OHL) RW 6'2 181 63 27 68