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The Leafs Nation’s 2024 NHL Mock Draft: Picks 22-32

EJ Emery (Steven Ellis/Daily Faceoff)
Photo credit:EJ Emery (Steven Ellis/Daily Faceoff)
Alex Hobson
15 days ago
Welcome to the third rendition of The Leafs Nation’s full first-round mock draft. We’ve tackled picks 1-21 so far, and the last piece began with the Buffalo Sabres’ selection of Konsta Helenius at 11th overall. It ended with the Los Angeles Kings selecting Stian Solberg at 21st overall.
Today we’re going to dive right back into things and take a look at the next and final 11 picks between 22nd and 32nd overall. And, to kick off this piece, we turn our attention to the Nashville Predators, who are selecting at 22nd overall.

22. Nashville Predators – Trevor Connelly (LW, Tri-City Storm, USHL, 6-foot-1, 161 pounds)

The Predators double-dipped in the first round of last year’s draft, selecting power forward Matthew Wood with their first pick and defenceman Tanner Molendyk with their second pick. This year, I have them tapping back into the dynamic forward department with the selection of Trevor Connelly.
Connelly’s off-ice issues have dropped him on certain scouts’ rankings, but he’s a first-round talent, and there’s no doubt about that. If teams feel he’s done enough to rebuild his image, I could see a small market team taking a chance on him in the first round. He’s an excellent skater and had 31 goals and 79 points in 52 games, with plans to play for Providence College next season.

23. Toronto Maple Leafs – E.J. Emery (D, USNTDP, USHL, 6-foot-3, 185 pounds)

If you’re one of those Leafs fans who’s been clamouring for a shutdown defenceman since the dawn of time, you’ll be happy if the Leafs select Emery. Our resident prospect guru Steven Ellis did a whole profile on him if you want a deeper look into his game, but for now, I’ll leave you with this. Size, speed, physicality, defensive instincts. What’s not to like?
Emery is a bit of a project pick and probably won’t be in the NHL for a couple of years, but he’ll be worth the wait if his development goes off without a hitch. He didn’t score a goal all year, but he’s not known for that. He’s known for shutting down the opposition and eating penalty kill minutes, with speed that complements his size. Oh, and did I mention he’s right-handed?

24. Colorado Avalanche – Andrew Basha (LW, Medicine Hat Tigers, WHL, 6-foot-0, 187 pounds)

The Avalanche, like Nashville, double-dipped in last year’s first round, which was probably necessary after only having a sixth and a seventh-round pick the year before. They added up front and out back with the selections of forward Calum Ritchie and defenceman Mikhail Gulyalev, and with their top two centres seemingly set in stone for the future in Nathan MacKinnon and Casey Mittelstadt, I have them adding a dynamic winger in Basha.
He has a healthy mix of playmaking and goal-scoring to his game and uses his plus-skating ability at all ends of the ice. They have drafted several centres and defencemen in recent years, so a pivot to a skilled winger to complement their other forwards seems like a good play here.

25. Boston Bruins – Charlie Elick (D, Brandon Wheat Kings, WHL, 6-foot-4, 203 pounds)

Some players just feel like they should be drafted by certain teams, and I feel that way about Elick and the Bruins. He’s the definition of a punishing defensive defenceman who will happily eat minutes and try to inflict pain on his opponents along the way.
Similar to E.J. Emery, my projected pick for the Leafs, his offence is hard to come by. He had only four goals and 27 points in 65 games for the Wheat Kings, but that’s not where he earns his money. The Bruins last had a first round pick in 2021 and went with a skilled forward in Fabian Lysell, so it feels like they’re bound for someone who excels on the other side of the puck here.

26. Montreal Canadiens – Cole Beaudoin (C, Barrie Colts, OHL, 6-foot-2, 209 pounds)

It’s not just because the name sounds French, trust me. The Canadiens have a pair of promising young defencemen in Lane Hutson and David Reinbacher coming up in the system, so it feels like they’re heavily going to prioritize forwards in this year’s draft. They already selected one with goal-scoring ability (in this mock draft, anyway) in Cayden Lindstrom, so why not go right back into that pot?
Beaudoin wore a letter on his jersey for the Colts this season and scored 28 goals for 62 points in 67 games. He’s hard to play against in all three zones and could be a solid middle-six forward at the NHL level with potential to shoot even higher. Though not as dynamic as Lindstrom, he can bring similar value in a different way.

27. Carolina Hurricanes – Nikita Artamonov (RW, Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod, KHL, 5-foot-11, 187 pounds)

The Hurricanes have been known to dabble into the KHL market on occasion, drafting six of their 17 players between the last two classes from Russia. If Artamonov is available for them at 27th overall, it could be a decent value pick for a team that has a good development track record.
Artamov produced well against grown men this season with 23 points in 54 KHL games, which are impressive totals for somebody his age that won’t be getting a ton of looks in terms of ice time. He plays bigger than his size and should take on a more prominent role for his KHL team next season.

28. Calgary Flames – Teddy Stiga (LW, USNTDP, USHL, 5-foot-10, 179 pounds)

If the Flames do indeed end up taking Tij Iginla at ninth overall as I predicted, the second of Calgary’s two first-round picks won’t be getting much of the spotlight, which could be a good thing or a bad thing depending on where you stand. Either way, Teddy Stiga would be an excellent value pick at the end of the first round.
In 88 games with the U.S. National Team Development Program, he tallied 116 points in total and is set to play for Boston College next season. He also had six goals and 11 points in seven games for Team U.S.A. at the U18 World Championships. He has strong hockey IQ and it shows in the way he plays, making it a pristine combination with his skating ability.

29. Dallas Stars – Ryder Ritchie (RW, Prince Albert Raiders, WHL, 6-foot-0, 176 pounds)

The youth movement was alive and well for the Dallas Stars in these past playoffs, with the likes of Wyatt Johnston, Logan Stankoven, and Thomas Harley running the show. They could add another piece to the puzzle with the selection of Ryder Ritchie at 29th overall. Although he didn’t take much of a step forward in his second season, there’s enough upside there to justify taking him in the first round.
He had 44 points in 47 games for the Raiders this season and had four goals and four assists in 8 games for Team Canada at the U18 Worlds. The dual Canadian/Swedish citizen is an east-west player when things are going well and is a constant shooting threat.

30. New York Rangers – Sacha Boisvert (C, Muskegon Lumberjacks, USHL, 6-foot-2, 183 pounds)

The Rangers have had some insane draft luck over the past few years, shooting up into the top-3 not once, but twice in a row. While the selection of Kaapo Kakko second overall five years ago hasn’t quite worked out to date, they’ve made out pretty well on some of their other first round picks, and Boisvert could be the next example of the latter.
The Trois-Rivieres, Quebec native took a less-common route to the draft, playing in the USHL for the Muskegon Lumberjacks where he tallied 68 points in 61 games. He’s committed to the University of North Dakota next year and could be a solid middle-six option for the Rangers down the road.

31. Anaheim Ducks – Jett Luchanko (C, Guelph Storm, OHL, 5-foot-11, 187 pounds)

If the Ducks do indeed go with a big, strong defenceman third overall, they might as well go for the polar opposite in Jett Luchanko. He’s one of the better playmakers in the draft class and has the speed to go with it, making him an intriguing complementary piece for them down the line.
He had 20 goals and 54 assists in 60 games this season, and his speed works both on the defensive side of things and in the O-zone. He also had seven points in seven games for Team Canada at the U18 Worlds.

32. Philadelphia Flyers – Dean Letourneau (C, St. Andrew’s College, U18 AAA, 6-foot-7, 214 pounds)

Remember what I said earlier about the Bruins taking somebody who just “felt” like a Bruin? I’m using the same logic here. The Flyers may not be the Broad Street Bullies they were back in the 1970s, but there’s still a level of blue-collar mentality that comes with being a Flyer, and Letourneau fits that mentality.
It’s not often you see somebody drafted to the NHL out of U18 Triple-A, but that’s where he spent most of his season and he posted video game numbers there with 61 goals and 127 points in 56 games. He’s committed to Boston College next season, and it should be interesting to see how he adapts.

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