The beginning of a brand new NHL season is the right alternative to reply some questions on what to anticipate within the upcoming season from 2024 draft prospects, prospects on the NHL bubble and a lot extra.
I gathered up your questions on Twitter (X?) and did my greatest to reply them to the very best of my skill. Thanks all for the questions, and I sit up for extra dialogue concerning the NHL draft, prospects and extra all through the brand new hockey season.
Logan asks: Who do you might have larger, Sam Dickinson or Artyom Levshunov, and why?
I like this query as a result of the hype Artyom Levshunov generated over the summer time was attention-grabbing. The defender shoots a ton from the purpose, which generates factors on the junior and faculty degree, however he has numerous areas which might be regarding. He is an effective skater in a straight line however struggles at occasions skating backward when defending in transition, particularly when he has to alter course to trace opposing attackers.
He has so much to scrub up and refine in his sport in terms of offensive and defensive particulars. The NCAA is an effective place for him to develop, and he has had a stable begin with the Michigan State Spartans. Levshunov has proven off the uncooked passing and massive shot from the purpose, however he nonetheless lacked the refinement you’d wish to see from a top-five choose.
On the flip aspect, Sam Dickinson took his sport to the following degree in numerous methods. His defensive sport stays stable, utilizing his mobility to trace and defer attackers to the surface whereas utilizing his power and stick work to dislodge possession. Offensively, he has gained a degree of confidence and poise that made him a difference-maker this season within the OHL.
Dickinson’s begin to the 12 months has made him the clear-cut defenseman within the 2024 NHL draft in the intervening time, in my view. His skill to be a optimistic participant in all three zones, his intelligence and poise, and the dynamism that is emerged in his sport are all large positives. Different defenders, resembling Zayne Parekh, Henry Mews, Anton Silayev and Levshunov, nonetheless have an opportunity to complete the 12 months as the highest defenseman eligible for this 12 months’s draft.
Jason asks: Macklin Celebrini, Cole Eiserman and Ivan Demidov… in the event that they had been within the 2023 class, the place would they rank? You might be my favourite bald draft analyst, by the best way.
Let’s begin with my rating on the finish of final season.
1. Connor Bedard
2. Adam Fantilli
3. Leo Carlsson
4. Matvei Michkov
5. Will Smith
6. Oliver Moore
7. Zach Benson
8. Axel Sandin Pellikka
Bedard was in a tier all on his personal. A borderline generational expertise who will likely be a star from Day 1. Fantilli was nearer to Bedard than most had been keen to offer him credit score for, in my view. He was the extra full participant, he has the dimensions and velocity combo that thrives within the NHL, and the offensive ability was by means of the roof.
Each of them had been a transparent reduce higher than what we’re getting in Macklin Celebrini, the possible No. 1 within the 2024 NHL draft, however he slots in proper there with Carlsson as a 3A/3B. He has time to point out he deserves that third spot all on his personal, and an amazing season with Boston College would go a good distance.
This brings us to the following two gamers on the 2024 checklist you offered, Ivan Demidov and Cole Eiserman. The younger Russian is a dynamic offensive expertise who can break a sport open when he desires to. Eiserman is a goal-scorer at a degree we haven’t seen in recent times. The issue is each have main flaws of their video games that stop them from being in that higher echelon.
Demidov hasn’t had an amazing begin, going pointless in seven video games throughout the KHL (4), VHL (one) and MHL (two). His sport hasn’t appeared proper all season, and now, he’s set to overlook eight to 10 weeks with a knee damage. His gradual begin and the unsure season make him troublesome to fee. Based mostly on what we’ve seen prior to now, he would slot in round Michkov, perhaps simply barely behind. Probably barely behind Smith.
Eiserman is the actual head-scratcher. What do you do with a participant who has the possibility to be among the best goal-scorers we’ve seen within the draft since Auston Matthews? With a sport so incomplete, you query whether or not he’ll ever have the ability to make the most of the really particular skill he has.
Eiserman is a floater for big stretches of time, and he could be a little bit of a lackluster distributor. He’s the sort of participant who places his head down and appears to shoot at each likelihood. He must diversify his ability set in a serious manner. He’d most likely slot in behind Michkov as properly. Smith versus Eiserman is a sound dialog as properly.
Simply don’t ask me who’s forward between Eiserman and Demidov as a result of I really can’t reply that in the intervening time.
Rene asks: Please clarify what the Ottawa Senators and Anaheim Geese had been doing with/to Lassi Thomson like I am seven years outdated.
Actually, although, it is a bizarre state of affairs that has layers.
Very first thing’s first, the Senators’ cap state of affairs is a little bit of a multitude in the intervening time for a number of causes. They had been one in all a handful of groups that ran a skater brief of their opening sport resulting from an damage and cap causes, and so they had been unable to roster a full 23 gamers – working with a 20-man roster. Their cap state of affairs can be a multitude as a result of the wage cap has been flat for a number of years now. In the event that they had been capable of roster a full 23, they could have had Thomson on their roster.
The opposite purpose this whole state of affairs occurred is that the group that initially claimed Thomson on waivers, the Geese, had a plethora of younger defenders in their very own proper. Olen Zellweger, Pavel Mintyukov, Jackson LaCombe and Jamie Drysdale had been all in camp, with Zellweger being despatched right down to the minors. It’s secure to say all 4 of these gamers are higher than Thomson, so he ended up being a little bit of a superfluous waiver declare.
So to elucidate it as in case you had been a seven-year-old, the Sens had no cash or area, in order that they needed to danger sending him down. The Geese claimed him but additionally had no area, both. Within the NHL, the “no take-backs” rule that youngsters stay by doesn’t exist, so the Sens had been capable of declare him and ship him right down to the AHL as a result of no different NHL group additionally claimed him.
On the finish of the day, Thomson basically acquired a tryout with the Geese in pre-season however went again to the Sens when the Geese determined he wasn’t ok.
Associated: 4 Gamers Claimed Off Waivers on NHL Roster Cutdown Day
Jake asks: What number of video games do you assume Olen Zellweger performs this 12 months for the Geese?
Sticking with the Geese, as talked about, Zellweger was the odd man out on the NHL degree in the meanwhile. The extremely expert offensive defender has been probably the most thrilling prospects in hockey for the final couple of years. He’s undersized, although, which was evident at occasions within the pre-season. With that stated, the ability and offensive prowess had been apparent.
The Geese definitely aren’t in win-now mode, which is nice for all younger gamers on the Geese blueline, Zellweger included. There could possibly be a ton of blending and matching all through the season. With that stated, I believe Zellweger performs many of the 12 months within the AHL. He possible will not get a full-time NHL function by any means, however I may see him getting 10 to fifteen video games if there’s an damage or they only wish to get him video games late within the season.
Ralph asks: How do you see the tiers on this draft, and the way do you’re feeling the standard of these tiers compares to the 2023 draft?
Personally, Celebrini is in a tier of his personal in the intervening time. After that, I really feel it’s extra vast open than most individuals assume.
Eiserman is an elite goal-scorer, however I have to see him do extra exterior of being an elite shooter. Demidov is injured however as dynamic as anybody when wholesome. Dickinson has asserted himself as a top-flight defender. Silayev is racking up factors. Berkly Catton deserves far more love than he’s at present getting. Adam Jiricek isn’t receiving the hype some anticipated regardless of some stable play within the Czech professional league.
Total, this draft is way extra vast open than 2023. Celebrini is Tier 1, after which I’ve a gaggle that features Catton, Demidov, Eiserman, Dickinson and Jiricek behind him. One other group is correct on their heels and contains about 18 gamers, together with some hyped names in Konsta Helenius and Michael Brandsegg-Nygard, and a few names haven’t been almost as hyped, like Noel Fransen and Liam Greentree.
This draft doesn’t actually examine to 2023. Some names on the high would slot in the third or fourth tier of final 12 months’s draft, however the high finish was higher final 12 months. We’ve got an extended option to go for this 12 months’s draft, so gamers will possible fall down the board and stand up the rankings.
Frederik asks: Ideas on Marco Rossi and the way he’ll do that season?
I do know the love for Minnesota Wild ahead Marco Rossi has died down over the previous couple of years, however I’m nonetheless a large fan of the previous Ottawa 67’s heart.
He handled an excessive case of COVID-19 that had him fearing for his life. It took him a very long time to get better, however when he did, he hit the bottom working within the AHL. Rossi has excelled in worldwide competitors, being a driving pressure for Austria each time given the possibility. Merely put, the one place Rossi hasn’t been a difference-maker is the NHL to date, and this season, he could lastly get a official alternative to take action.
His mixture of intelligence and ability are so intriguing, together with his dimension being the most important perceived challenge thus far. He’s feisty and understands the right way to use his body to leverage himself in board battles, getting below opponents and securing the puck as a rule. If he can set up these traits on the NHL degree as he has in all places else, from males’s worldwide play to the AHL, he needs to be a stellar participant within the NHL sooner quite than later.
Don asks: What ought to Detroit have a look at including to their prospect pool?
Excessive-end expertise. It sounds foolish and simplistic, however the Purple Wings have opted for secure, projectable expertise within the final couple of drafts with Marco Kasper and Nate Danielson, two gamers who appear like stable middle-six heart choices.
The issue is that each had been high 10 picks. They should swing for the fences. They netted Moritz Seider and Lucas Raymond, two of their most essential pillars for the long run, after they did swing for prime upside.
Associated: 2023-24 NHL Prospect Pool Overview: Detroit Purple Wings
With the loaded Atlantic, Detroit very properly may end close to the underside of the NHL as soon as once more with a choose just like the place they chose in June – ninth total. If they’re round that very same spot subsequent summer time, they need to determine the right way to shoot for upside. Take the Zach Benson as a substitute of Nate Danielson. Take the Frank Nazar or Matthew Savoie over Marco Kasper. They want high-end expertise.
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