The Leafs Nation’s 2024 NHL Draft live blog: Maple Leafs trade down to 31st overall with Ducks

Photo credit:Twitter/Chris Johnston
Eric Cruikshank
15 days ago
After a summer full of anticipation, the 2024 NHL Draft is finally set to get underway. The Leafs Nation will keep you posted on everything that emerges before, after and during the draft.
It’s shaping up to be an eventful night for the Toronto Maple Leafs. General manager Brad Treliving told assembled reporters Wednesday in Las Vegas that it’s ‘more than likely’ the Maple Leafs will use the No. 23 pick, rather than trading the selection. Last year, Toronto selected Easton Cowan from the OHL’s London Knights with the No. 28 selection, going against consensus draft rankings. One year later, Cowan looks to be a home run pick and he’ll be competing for an NHL roster spot this fall after falling one game short of a junior hockey triple crown.
In many respects, this is Treliving’s first draft with the Maple Leafs. As per the provisions of accepting the Maple Leafs’ job, Treliving was barred from the draft floor until the Calgary Flames made their first-round selection in 2023. Calgary used the No. 16 pick to select forward Samuel Honzek from the WHL’s Vancouver Giants.
Daily Faceoff’s Steven Ellis provided comprehensive coverage of this year’s draft and made the case for EJ Emery, Aron Kiviharju, Stian Solberg, Liam Greentree and Charlie Elick to join the Maple Leafs. It appears likely Toronto will use its first-round pick on a defenceman and if it does, it will be the first time since selecting Rasmus Sandin in 2018. Cowan’s OHL teammate, Sam O’Reilly, should also be in consideration for the No. 23 pick, coming off a strong Memorial Cup performance.
Here’s how Ellis projects the Maple Leafs’ draft unfolding over the weekend. Ellis also provided his final draft rankings, with comprehensive summaries of the top 120 players in this year’s class.
Let’s get right into it!

News and rumours: 

1:15 PM: We have our first major move of the day as the Los Angeles Kings have received the No. 26, No. 57 and No. 198 selections in this year’s event from the Montreal Canadiens in exchange for the No. 21 pick. It seems like a consensus win for the Kings, who stockpiled a ton of draft capital to move five slots down, during a draft where you can find exceptional value after the top eight picks.
1:53 PM: Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman joined the Pat McAfee Show ahead of the draft and spoke about a potential eight-year, $64-million extension coming to fruition between Jake Guentzel and the Carolina Hurricanes. While nothing is set in stone, Friedman noted that he believes general manager Eric Tulsky and the Hurricanes are willing to move forward with those terms. This would be a huge win for Carolina, who acquired Guentzel at this year’s deadline and became a perfect fit within their lineup. Not to mention that most believed he would command upwards of $9.5-10 million on the open market.
2:11 PM: According to David Pagnotta of The Fourth Period, the Calgary Flames are exploring trade options for Nazem Kadri. Despite a forgetful season from the Flames, the 33-year-old led the team with 75 points and scored 29 goals. He still has a full no-move clause for the four seasons remaining on his contract, and with a $7 million cap hit, it could be a difficult contract for Calgary to move on from.
2:39 PM: Further to rumours reported earlier in the week, Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli says that the New Jersey Devils are looking to potentially move their 10th overall selection as well as right-handed defensemen John Marino. After missing out on a Wild Card spot this season despite their star-studded roster, it shouldn’t be surprising that the Devils are looking to upgrade their immediate roster with higher ambitions for success next year.
2:45 PM: Vancouver Canucks GM Patrik Allvin spoke with the media for his pre-draft press conference and revealed that contract negotiations with Nikita Zadorov are now complete, and he will test the open market on July 1. It’s been a busy offseason so far for the Canucks, who have re-signed Tyler Myers and Dakota Joshua and sent off Sam Lafferty and Ilya Mikheyev to the Chicago Blackhawks. After a strong showing in his time with the Canucks, Zadorov will undoubtedly be one of the most sought after free agents this summer.
3:14 PM: First reported by Kevin Weekes, the Edmonton Oilers have extended goaltender Calvin Pickard to a two-year, $2 million extension. Pickard suited up for 23 regular season games, putting together a .909 SV% and a 2.45 GAA. However, it’s likely that Pickard’s performance in the playoffs is what earned him this extension, suiting up five times for the Oilers and carrying a .915 SV% along with a 2.21 GAA. While Stuart Skinner is still the number one option, Pickard has proven to be a solid secondary option during his time with the Oilers, and provides them with a layer of stability in the crease if Skinner can’t replicate the same success he found this year.
3:40 PM: The St. Louis Blues started their draft day off by acquiring Alexandre Texier from the Columbus Blue Jackets in exchange for a 4th-round pick. According to TSN’s Chris Johnston, The Blues have also extended Texier to a two-year, $4.2 million extension. This is a solid move for the Blues given the small price they paid to acquire the 24-year-old, and adding a two-year extension solidifies him as a potential replacement on their third line if they decide to let pending UFA Kasperi Kapanen walk. St. Louis is projected to have just over $14 million in cap space this summer, and this will likely be just the start of a re-tool for GM Doug Armstrong and company.
4:12 PM: Following the announcement earlier this morning about a extension being in place for Nashville Predators goaltender Juuse Saros, TSN’s Pierre LeBrun has reported that multiple teams have checked in on the availability of Predators goaltending prospect Yaroslav Askarov. The 22-year-old was selected 10th overall in the 2020 draft and has since played just three NHL games, and with this extension looming for Saros, it’s likely that Askarov will be headed elsewhere.
4:29 PM: It’s been a short celebration for Bill Zito and the Stanley Cup Champion Florida Panthers as management heads to Las Vegas for the draft, but Andy Strickland of Bally Sports Midwest has reported that two huge extensions will be made with Sam Reinhart and Carter Verhaeghe. Strickland is projecting Reinhart to get a max extension similarly structured to captain Alexander Barkov and Matthew Tkachuk, which would be a massive win for the Panthers.
5:56 PM: Further to the shocking reveal earlier this morning that Steven Stamkos will enter the free agent market on July 1, Tampa Bay Lightning head coach Jon Cooper spoke with the media ahead of the draft, with Sportsnet’s Luke Fox quoting him saying, “I know this is a big weekend for management.” Cooper declined to comment beyond that statement and asked that questions related to Stamkos were left for GM Julien BriseBois and Tampa Bay’s management team.

1st-round selections

1. San Jose Sharks – Macklin Celebrini, C, Boston University
To nobody’s surprise, Macklin Celebrini is heading to the Bay Area to help change the fortunes of the San Jose Sharks. Celebrini is the total package, bringing high-end playmaking, scoring, and compete level at both ends of the ice. He dominated the NCAA in his first and potentially final season with Boston University, putting up 32 goals and 64 points in 37 games played. He was second in league scoring behind his future teammate Will Smith of Boston College, who was selected fourth overall by the Sharks in 2023. While he may not have the impossible standards of hype that Connor Bedard had in 2023, Celebrini is a franchise-altering talent that will be an elite top line center for years to come.
2. Chicago Blackhawks – Artyom Levshunov, D, Michigan State University
With so much intrigue surrounding the second overall pick, the Blackhawks elect to bolster their blueline by selecting Artyom Levshunov, who becomes the highest drafted Belarusian player in NHL history. Joining a prospect pool of defensemen headlined by Kevin Korchinski, Sam Rinzel and Adam Vlasic, Levshunov immediately enters the organization as their top prospect on their back end. His defensive play hasn’t been as much of a highlight this season because of his willingness to engage offensively so often, but Levshunov’s size and athleticism allow him to make stops and close off defenders with ease. He still needs to work on his consistency when it comes to puck management in his own zone, but that’s to be expected from a freshman defenseman adjusting to the college level. His ceiling is incredibly high, and has the potential to become a staple on the Blackhawks’ back end.
3. Anaheim Ducks – Beckett Sennecke, RW, Oshawa Generals
The first shocking pick of the draft, Beckett Sennecke skyrocketed to the top of the draft by being selected by the Anaheim Ducks at third overall. Sennecke’s stock has shot up throughout the year and especially after an incredible playoff run where he recorded 22 points in 16 games, but third overall was not anticipated by anyone. Sennecke had a huge growth spurt heading into this season, and at 6-foot-3, it was very easy to tell earlier on that he was adjusting to his size. However, the advantages that have come from adapting his playmaking ability to a larger frame made him a great contributor for the Generals. Sennecke is a very good skater for his size, and his stickhandling compliments his ability to accelerate through the neutral zone and create transition offense. In the offensive zone, he has great vision and leaves his body open all the time to threaten as a passer or shooter.
4. Columbus Blue Jackets – Cayden Lindstrom, C, Medicine Hat Tigers
The Blue Jackets now have a scary look down the middle for years to come with Adam Fantilli and Cayden Lindstrom as their potential top two centers of the future. Lindstrom is one of the most complete players in the draft not named Macklin Celebrini. It’s hard to believe that he’s able to move as quickly as he does given his 6-foot-3, 210lb frame, but he’s a remarkably good skater. He creates separation effortlessly and his explosiveness really stands out among his teammates. Lindstrom has also developed a pretty solid defensive game since shifting to center with Medicine Hat this season. He’s able to match the footwork of some of the most dangerous forwards and actively supports his defensemen below the goal line, while his physical dominance adds another layer to his ability to kill plays. Lindstrom is a relentless competitor, treating every play as a game-changing moment and consistently showing a high level of intensity. Combining this with his size and skill, don’t be surprised if he’s in the NHL a lot sooner than some of the other prospects on this list.
5. Montreal Canadiens – Ivan Demidov, RW, SKA St. Petersburg
With a plethora of young talent down the middle of the ice, the Montreal Canadiens get the most gifted winger in the 2024 class in Ivan Demidov. To make things even more special, GM Kent Hughes and the Canadiens welcomed Celine Dion to join them on stage to announce the pick. Drawing comparisons to Kirill Kaprizov, Demidov has the chance to develop into the most dynamic offensive talent to come out of this group. He’s the most creative and skilled stickhandler in the draft, has a powerful shot, and has an incredible work rate in all three zones of the ice. If there weren’t the concerns that many teams have related to Russian players and the time it takes before they can join the NHL, it’s possible that Demidov could’ve been taken just behind Celebrini.
6. Utah HC – Tij Iginla, C, Kelowna Rockets
Utah spoiled the Calgary Flames’ hopes from drafting the next member of the Iginla family by selecting Tij sixth overall. Iginla’s biggest asset is his hockey sense. He’s able to make smart decisions under pressure at a consistent rate and is always creating space for his teammates with and without the puck. He anticipates plays at an elite level and his willingness to engage physically causes disruptions for the opposition. Iginla also does a great job of putting defenders in uncomfortable positions using his skating and handling. He beats defenders one-on-one at a high rate and is a great improviser with the puck. While Iginla doesn’t overwhelm with speed, his strong spatial awareness allows him to leverage every inch of ice he is given. While there are improvements needed in his defensive game, Iginla is undoubtedly one of the most intelligent players and one of the best goal scorers in this class. His progression over this past year has shown the potential for him to grow into a solid offensive contributor at the NHL-level someday.
7. Ottawa Senators – Carter Yakemchuk, D, Calgary Hitmen
Carter Yakemchuk is going to be a fun project for the Ottawa Senators. He’s got game-breaking offensive potential with his size and stickhandling ability, but still has a ton of work to do in order to become a reliable two-way defensemen in the NHL. Yakemchuk’s offensive game is where he shines the most. He’s a high-end stickhandler and is great at manipulating defenders with his large frame, regularly deking through players in one-on-one engagements. To see how easy it is for him to toe-drag through tight spaces despite his size is truly remarkable, and he could easily quarterback a power play in the NHL with the right development.
8. Seattle Kraken – Berkly Catton, C, Spokane Chiefs
The Seattle Kraken get an incredibly dynamic playmaker in Berkly Catton. At 5-foot-10, 170 lbs, Catton is a little undersized for his position, but that doesn’t mean his on-ice presence isn’t felt by his opponents. His skating ability is extremely fun to watch. While he may not have the break-neck speed to blow by opponents, he’s very efficient with his strides and watching him accelerate through the neutral zone looks effortless. While he put up 54 goals in the WHL this season, Catton’s playmaking ability is still his best asset. His puck handling and passing abilities are nearly flawless, and he can do it to either push the pace in transition or set up a teammate in the offensive zone. He doesn’t just create great scoring chances, he attempts plays that most skaters would never try or even see, and makes them at a high rate. Based on his size it’s unlikely that Catton will remain as a center, but there’s no doubt that he has the potential to become an elite top-line forward in the NHL.
9. Calgary Flames – Zayne Parekh, D, Saginaw Spirit
With Zayne Parekh, the Calgary Flames get a player with one of, if not, the highest offensive ceilings out of all the defenders in this class. That’s because of how translatable his offense is to the NHL level. He’s not breaking down defenders one-on-one or skating end-to-end, even though he’s more than capable of both of those things. Instead, most of the time Parekh creates pockets of space for himself to open up shooting lanes or set up teammates in the offensive zone. He’s an elite long-range shooter with a knack for finding the back of the net through high-traffic areas. This makes it even more impressive to see that he put up 33 goals in the regular season before winning the Memorial Cup with Saginaw this season. To be his best, Parekh needs an environment where he can drive plays offensively and have the puck a lot, and that makes him a perfect fit in Calgary.
10. New Jersey Devils – Anton Silayev, D, Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod
While rumours all week suggested that the New Jersey Devils would be moving on from their first round pick, they instead bolster their core of young defencemen by taking Anton Silayev. At 6-foot-7, Silayev would already enter the NHL as one of the biggest players in the league, and he’s an incredibly gifted skater for his size. He’s got great mechanics combined with some impressive footwork, and he’s able to use both to close gaps quickly. Because of the tools and physical advantages Silayev possesses, he’s able to overcome a lot of mistakes that other players can’t. At 17-years-old, he’s shown the potential to become an elite defensive-defenceman in the NHL. To excel in all of these areas in the KHL at such a young age, while also getting penalty kill and power play time, reinforces how reliable and composed he is at both ends of the ice.
11. San Jose Sharks (via BUF) – Sam Dickinson, D, London Knights
After drafting their cornerstone center with Macklin Celebrini, the Sharks get a foundation on their blue line by taking Sam Dickinson. Everything that Dickinson does is, at minimum, above average. His ability to create transition offense with his skating is one of his standout attributes, as he’s able to easily separate himself from forecheckers to create space for a rush or a breakout pass. Dickinson may not be the most creative offensive player in the draft, but 70 points as a defencemen is definitely noteworthy. He’s got an elite shot and consistently makes the proven and effective plays that will work at the NHL level, which is exactly what the Sharks need.
12. Minnesota Wild (via PHI) – Zeev Buium, D, University of Denver
There was some drama leading up to this pick as Minnesota Wild GM Bill Guerin made the first trade of the draft with Philadelphia to move up one spot. As a result, they took the highest scoring defenceman in the NCAA this season in Zeev Buium. He’s one of this class’ most intelligent defensemen, and you can see it in every area of the ice. The way he processes breakout plays after retrieving the puck is extremely impressive, and he’s able to constantly outsmart forecheckers with smart passes and an arsenal of quick moves. Buium also has great defensive instincts. He’s able to quickly identify when opponents are flat-footed or are on the verge of losing a handle, and knows when to pounce on them with a sweeping pokecheck or a thunderous hit. Those instincts translate to Buium’s offensive game as well. He sees when defenders are off their angle and knows what manipulations he needs to make in order to maximize space, making him a threat off the rush and on cycle plays. While Buium may not project to be an elite offensive producer at the NHL level, his hockey sense alone will make him a strong top-pairing defenceman on any team that he’s drafted to.
13. Philadelphia Flyers (via MIN) – Jett Luchanko, C, Guelph Storm
The Philadelphia Flyers desperately needed to build up their depth down the middle, and they get a huge boost with Jett Luchanko. He doesn’t necessarily have the offensive tools to project as a top-six centre, but teams adore two-way players, and Luchanko is exactly that. His motor and attention to detail in all three zones will make him a reliable player for John Tortorella’s group in the future.
14. Buffalo Sabres (via SJ) – Konsta Helenius, C, Jukurit
The Buffalo Sabres are filled to the brim with high-end prospects at forward and at defence, and they get a centermen who will shoot up their pipeline in terms of NHL-readiness with Konsta Helenius. While he may not be the most creative forward in this draft, there are few players in this class with a better work ethic than Helenius. He’s playing against much older competition in Liiga and he’s finding ways to win battles and overcome his physical disadvantages on a consistent basis. His defensive game is very advanced for his age, and a lot of scouts believe that he could slot in as a third line player on most NHL rosters right now.
15. Detroit Red Wings – Michael Brandsegg-Nygard, RW, Mora IK
The Detroit Red Wings get the best prospect to ever come out of Norway in Michael Brandsegg-Nygard. His standout trait is his shot, with a release that makes him a lethal threat from distance. He doesn’t possess the speed or creativity to create many high-end scoring chances for himself, but his tenacious forechecking will make him a great complimentary player on most teams at the next level. Brandsegg-Nygard is a very north-south offensive player. He challenges defenders head on and doesn’t bring many flashy elements to his game, but he has professional habits in all three zones and his game has become very refined over the course of the season. There aren’t a lot of holes in his game, but there also aren’t any game-breaking elements that warrant him being put above anyone on this list. Based on how mature of a game he plays, he could easily slide in as a third line player on most NHL rosters with special teams upside within the next two years.
16. St. Louis Blues – Adam Jiricek, D, HC Skoda Pilzen
Daily Faceoff’s Steven Ellis’s scouting report:
Jiricek was injured at the world juniors and missed the rest of the year after and still hasn’t skated yet. His draft stock is going to take a huge blow, especially after just a so-so run with HC Plzen in the top Czech league. However, the fact he was playing against men at a young age can’t be understated, and if he’s anything like his brother, David, he could still emerge as a great value pickup. The 6-foot-2 defender had one assist in 19 pro games but was a key part of the Czechs’ national junior program, playing nearly 20 games between the U-18 and U-20 teams.
17. Washington Capitals – Terik Parascak, F, Prince George Cougars 
Steven Ellis’ scouting report:
From playing prep hockey a year ago to finishing eighth in WHL scoring this year, Parascak was a revelation this season. He finished with 43 goals and 105 points while producing a two-point per-game pace throughout large portions of the season. Parascak kicked off the postseason with a hat trick in Game 1 – his second of the year after scoring four in just his third game of the season – and ended up with 14 points in 12 playoff games. Some scouts are worried his game isn’t rounded enough and that playing on an offensively dominant team has helped him significantly, and his skating is a real problem.
18. Chicago Blackhawks (via NYI) – Sacha Boisvert, C, Muskegon Lumberjacks 
Steven Ellis’ scouting report:
Boisvert is relied on heavily to do a bit of everything in Muskegon. So it’s impressive that he managed to put up 36 goals and 68 points in 61 games while still being the team’s best two-way forward with great defensive awareness. Boisvert has good skill, competitiveness and reads plays as well as any center in the draft. I don’t think he’ll be a high-end scorer in the NHL, but 50 points would be an attainable goal.
19. Vegas Golden Knights – Trevor Connelly, LW, Tri-City Storm 
Steven Ellis’ scouting report:
From an on-ice perspective, Connelly has so much going for him. He’s been the best player on the ice every time he represented the United States and lit up the USHL all season long. He almost cracked 80 points this year, making him one of the most productive wingers in the draft class. It’s too bad his U-18s ended with a bad penalty because he looked like a star out there on USA’s third line. Defensively, Connelly needs work but I do appreciate how well he controls the game with the puck on his stick. One of my concerns about his play was how little it felt like he utilized the talent around him in Tri-City, but that wasn’t as big of an issue when paired alongside LJ Mooney at the U-18s. Off the ice, though, is what teams are concerned about, so it’s up to the teams to decide whether they think the work he has put in over the past few years was adequate enough.
20. New York Islanders (via TBL) – Cole Eiserman, LW, U.S. National Development Team Program
Steven Ellis’ scouting report:
There isn’t a prospect with a better shot in the draft, and he’s now the all-time leading goal-scorer in USA Hockey National Team Development history. I thought he had an up-and-down U-18 World Championship, but he really showed how much energy and violence he can bring at times. Defensively, Eiserman can be invisible, though. I think the upside is still huge but at this point, you’re going to need a more defensively responsible center to take the pressure off him. The right usage will allow Eiserman to be a star, and I truly believe in him.
21. Montreal Canadiens (via LAK) – Michael Hage, C, Chicago Steel
Steven Ellis’ scouting report:
Hage had a huge first full season with the Steel, scoring 33 goals and 75 points in 54 games. It’s exactly what we expected from him after his great U-16 season with the Toronto Jr. Canadiens, and it helped him solidify his status as a first-round pick. Hage was one of the NHL’s best pure forwards with a combination of size, great skating, and tremendous puckhandling. As far as pure centers go, Hage is one of the best available this year. I’d like to see him add more muscle mass, but I think he’s going to end up being one of the best prospects taken in the second half of the first round. 
22. Nashville Predators – Egor Surin, C, Yaroslavl
Steven Ellis’ scouting report:
Surin was a man on a mission throughout the MHL playoffs, only getting outpaced by Ivan Demidov. He played great during the second half, where it seemed like he was more in control of his own body and not trying to hit guys for the sake of throwing a hit. Discipline can still be an issue at points, but he’s so skilled with a great shot and quick hands. If Surin can put everything together consistently without trying to get too cute with the puck, he’ll be a steal. The upside is real here, but he’s got to play smarter.
23. Anaheim Ducks (via TOR) – Stian Solberg, D, Valerenga 
Steven Ellis’ scouting report:
Scouts really have come around on Solberg – so much so that he looks like a lock for the first round after starting outside of the second. He’s 6-foot-2 and 201 pounds, something that has helped him play against men for the better part of the past three years. His best play, though, was at the IIHF World Championship, where he was Norway’s best defenseman by a longshot. He took some dumb penalties, but Solberg isn’t afraid to play on the edge and I like him for that. I’m excited to see what he can do in the NHL in a few years.
24. Colorado Avalanche – Cole Beaudoin, C, Barrie Colts 
Steven Ellis’ scouting report:
Beaudoin was excellent at the U-18 World Championship, looking great as a bottom-six threat who did just about everything. Beaudoin projects to be more of a third-line center in the NHL, but someone who’ll bring results. He scores, hits, block shots and defends – everything you’re hoping for out of a reliable two-way center. Beaudoin lacks the upside of many others in this draft class, but he does enough things well to earn a long NHL career. Part of that is thanks to his great work ethic, but he’s built like a human tank. Beaudoin’s pure strength and athleticism will keep him in the NHL for a long time.
25. Boston Bruins – Dean Letourneau, C, St. Andrew’s College
Steven Ellis’ scouting report:
It’s hard to not notice the Boston College commit – he’s 6-foot-7. Letourneau had a great year with St. Andrew’s College, registering 61 goals and 127 points to push himself into first-round territory. Putting up points in prep school is one thing, but the USHL-bound forward is just so physically dominant while still skating and moving the puck like a smaller center. When he gets in front of the net, things happen. I have full belief he’ll be able to adjust to the college game once he gets there, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s a one-and-done in 2024-25 given how physically mature he is.
26. Los Angeles Kings (via MTL) – Liam Greentree, RW, Windsor Spitfires
Steven Ellis’ scouting report:
Man, if it wasn’t for the lackluster skating, I’d be all in on Greentree. He’s such a great shooter, passer and thinks the game at such a high level. From a skill perspective with the puck, Greentree reminds me a bit of USNTDP-aged Matt Boldy – he just makes things happen. Greentree’s vision is excellent, and he carried a bad Spitfires team in a big way this year. He was quiet at the U-18s, but he showed throughout the year that he can produce and play with just about anyone.
27. Chicago Blackhawks (via CAR) – Marek Vanacker, F, Brantford Bulldogs 
Steven Ellis’ scouting report:
There’s a lot to like about Vanacker’s game. He’s not great defensively, for sure, but he moves so well with the puck and creates quality scoring chances on a consistent basis. He was just a depth forward a year ago, but now he’s the one doing so much of the heavy lifting for Brantford. While I’m projecting him as a second-rounder, some teams like him as a top-32 pick. If there’s one thing he’s good at, it’s working until he’s got nothing left in the tank. He’ll start the 2024-25 season dealing with a shoulder injury, but that shouldn’t hurt his draft stock.
28. Calgary Flames (via VAN) – Matvei Gridin, LW, Muskegon Lumberjacks
Steven Ellis’ scouting report:
Gridin captured the USHL scoring crown for 2023-24. The University of Michigan product had the most multi-point efforts in the league this season, too. His two-way game needs some work, but he’s been more engaged without the puck the final few viewings I had compared to, say, the Fall Showcase. His offensive upside is interesting as long as he can keep putting up similar numbers in the NCAA, and I do think he’ll be a top-six threat with the Wolverines. Maybe he’ll be a nice pickup for someone in the second round
29. Dallas Stars – Emil Hemming, RW, HC TPS 
Steven Ellis’ scouting report:
Despite not producing much at the World Juniors, I liked what I saw from Hemming. He’s capable of getting creative offensively, but I feel like he’s a future bottom-six forward who can outmuscle players while staying disciplined and grinding it out all game long. His defensive game is nice, too. If he improves his skating, I can see Hemming playing a more prominent role in the NHL, but at a minimum, I think he works hard enough to earn himself a spot deeper down.
30. New York Rangers – EJ Emery, D, U.S. National Development Team Program
Steven Ellis’ scouting report:
Emery has the size and strength to make himself useful in the NHL one day. I thought his performance at the U-18s only helped his stock in a big way – by all accounts, I thought he was the best defenseman. He skates well for a 6-foot-3 defender and does a tremendous job of cutting off angles, even on the bigger ice in international tournaments. In terms of pure defensive play, I don’t know if there’s a better option in this draft, and someone I could see a team trading up or down to get just because he has the makings of a rocksteady, top-four option. The North Dakota commit isn’t too active on the scoresheet, but you can pair him with someone who is and he’ll be the rock that keeps things calm.
31. Toronto Maple Leafs (via ANA) – Ben Danford, D, Oshawa Generals 
Steven Ellis’ scouting report:
For a defenseman with Danford’s offensive abilities, it’s crazy he had just one goal during the regular season with Oshawa. But he’s a guy his teammates like to rely on because he’s rarely caught making a mistake distributing the puck. I’ve seen Danford play both sides on the blueline this year but I think he’s got something going on the left side – it fits his shot better.
32. Edmonton Oilers (via PHI) – Sam O’Reilly, F, London Knights
Steven Ellis’ scouting report:
O’Reilly has been one of the biggest movers in the draft rankings due to his play as a smart, two-way center. He had a solid playoff run, too, playing a great secondary role. O’Reilly was playing Jr. B with the London Nationals last year, but it didn’t take him long to get acquainted to the speed and tenacity of the OHL. He put up better numbers than Easton Cowan did last year and just below Denver Barkey, so that’s a good sign. O’Reilly is toolsy, which is important for a player his age.
The Leafs Nation is bringing you all the action from the 2024 Draft in Las Vegas from June 26th to the 28th! We’ve got wall-to-wall coverage, exclusive interviews, and expert analysis from your favorite hosts. Whether you’re at home, at work, or on the go, stay connected with our live updates and in-depth reports. Don’t miss a moment of the excitement as the future stars of the game take center stage. Tune in to The Leafs Nation – your ultimate destination for the 2024 Draft! Catch the latest episode on the The Leafs Nation YouTube channel, or wherever you get your podcasts.

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