McKenzie’s Top-15 Draft Prospects, ‘Hodgepodge’ After Celebrini
Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

If the San Jose Sharks don’t get the first-overall selection, who will they pick?

The Sharks will know tomorrow if they’re No. 1 – the Draft Lottery is May 7, starting at 3:30 PM PT on ESPN, before the New York Rangers-Carolina Hurricanes’ second-round tilt.

As the worst team in the NHL, San Jose will not drop any lower than No. 3 in the 2024 Draft. According to Tankathon, the Sharks have a 25.5 percent at No. 1, 18.8 at No. 2, and 55.7 at No. 3.

After sure-fire first-overall pick Macklin Celebrini, the Draft is full of uncertainty, according to TSN Draft guru Bob McKenzie.

“Celebrini is going No. 1, but the next five or six teams [picking after No. 1] might all get the No. 2 prospect on their [respective] lists. There’s that much varied opinion,” an NHL scout told McKenzie.

The long-time Draft observer has never seen anything like it, writing, “I’ve been doing draft rankings like this one for more than 35 years, and I don’t recall a year where the Top 10 is such a hodgepodge of opinion.”

Regardless, McKenzie was able to pull together a top-15 by talking to 10 NHL scouts.

He also added this interesting note: “This draft may simply have a lot of really good prospects with maybe not that much separating them, which may well put an even greater premium than usual on each club’s individual likes, dislikes, preferences and/or needs — big vs. small; offensive vs. defensive; forward vs. defenceman; skilled vs. physical.”

Here’s McKenzie’s top-15 – read the article to see what the scouts are saying about each prospect!

Remember too, the San Jose Sharks are likely to have a shot at two of these top prospects, if they come out with the Pittsburgh Penguins’ top-10 protected first-rounder, acquired in the Erik Karlsson trade. The Pens have a better than 94 percent chance of picking No. 14.

1) Macklin Celebrini, C
2) Ivan Demidov, RW/C
3) Anton Silayev, D
4) Artyom Levshunov, D
5) Cayden Lindstrom, C
6) Sam Dickinson, D
7) Zayne Parekh, D
8) Zeev Buium, D
9) Konsta Helenius, C
10) Tij Iginla, LW
11) Berkly Catton, C
12) Carter Yakemchuk, D
13) Cole Eiserman, LW
14) Beckett Sennecke, RW
15) Trevor Connelly, LW

Relevant note for the San Jose Sharks, if they don’t win the lottery?

“Demidov,” McKenzie wrote, “had nine scouts place him firmly amongst the top five prospects in the draft; Silayev, Levshunov and Lindstrom each had eight votes in the top five.”

McKenzie’s final Draft rankings, which is the industry standard, will be released about a week before the 2024 Draft begins on Jun. 28 in Las Vegas.

This article first appeared on San Jose Hockey Now and was syndicated with permission.

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