2024 NHL Draft grades for every team: Best fits, analysis and what to know (2024)

With the 2024 NHL Draft in the books, we conclude our coverage of this draft by way of draft grades. These grades are based on how I think the clubs did, based on my knowledge of the players selected.

The only way I can fairly and reasonably go about this exercise is to assign grades based on which team added the most by way of draft picks to the organization. I don’t account for players acquired by trade, how well a player fits into the organization, or whether I think a team reached or got potential value on a pick. This is a ranking showing who got the most talent in the draft, divided by tiers represented by a letter grade. Teams are listed by their grade, but teams with the same grade are listed alphabetically. I realize this basically becomes highly correlated to draft slot and amount of picks. Your method may vary, and I realize there are other ways to analyze a draft performance. This is how I do it.

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This file has a brief synopsis of the draft classes, but there are individual team files for all 32 clubs linked in this article for a more detailed breakdown of each draft haul.

Read more: The Athletic’s complete coverage of the 2024 NHL Draft.

San Jose Sharks: A+

San Jose got a lot accomplished this weekend for the future of their franchise. Obviously, they took the consensus No. 1 pick in Macklin Celebrini, who is a projected star No. 1 center. After Celebrini, though, they went to work. Dickinson, at 11, is a projected great NHL defenseman. On Day 2, they snagged up Igor Chernyshov and Leo Sahlin Wallenius in the second round; I think they can be legit NHL players on the wing and defense, respectively. I could see anywhere from two to four NHL regulars coming out of this class for San Jose, and real potential impact from those players.

Read the full analysis of San Jose’s draft class here.

Chicago Blackhawks: A

I’m a huge fan of Artyom Levshunov, and that’s a large reason for the big grade on Chicago’s draft. After Levshunov they went out and got a lot of forwards with well-rounded games. They added a lot of size and speed in this class. I don’t know if they added tremendous natural skill up front, but if Boisvert hits you could get scoring out of him in the NHL. They acquired several players who could fill out their bottom six in time, and a potential star defenseman in Levshunov.

Read the full analysis of Chicago’s draft class here.

Anaheim Ducks: A-

Much will be made about Anaheim’s pick of Beckett Sennecke at No. 3. His late growth spurt and trajectory remind me of Ryan Johansen’s rise to No. 5. I like the player a lot and see some star upside even if he carries some risk in his projection. After Sennecke and Solberg, I thought they got some potential bottom-six forwards in Lucas Pettersson, Maxim Massé and Ethan Procyszyn. I could see one NHL regular come from their Day 2 group to go with the two first-rounders I like a lot. This was a productive weekend for the Ducks as they continue a promising rebuild.

Read the full analysis of Anaheim’s draft class here.

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Calgary Flames: A-

Calgary’s draft will mostly be known for drafting its potential PP1 quarterback in Zayne Parekh, but I thought the Flames went to work after taking him, too. In the top three rounds, they chose players I like a lot. In particular, they drafted a lot of skill and a goalie in Kirill Zarubin, who I think has a lot of NHL traits. They also got one of my favorite later-round prospects in Hunter Laing. It would not surprise me to see two or three NHL regulars come from this class.

Read the full analysis of Calgary’s draft class here.

Montreal Canadiens: A-

Montreal’s grade is mostly about what it accomplished on Day 1 of the draft. The Canadiens acquired a potential star scoring winger in Ivan Demidov, and in Michael Hage a highly talented forward in his own right who could be a middle-six forward, or a top six if he truly hits. I had time for some of their Day 2 picks, in particular Aatos Koivu and Logan Sawyer, who I think have a chance to play. Ultimately this draft will likely come down to how good Demidov is. They have two potential star wingers now in him and Juraj Slafkovsky to build around.

Read the full analysis of Montreal’s draft class here.

New Jersey Devils: A-

A major reason for the Devils’ high grade was their 10th overall pick, Anton Silayev. I think Silayev could be a star two-way defenseman in the NHL. I did also like their pick of Mikhail Yegorov on day two. He may be the most purely talented goalie in the draft, and he has the potential to be a starting goalie in the NHL if he fixes some of his deficiencies.

Read the full analysis of New Jersey’s draft class here.

Minnesota Wild: B+

Minnesota didn’t make many picks in this class, but the picks they did make bring add a lot of talent to the prospect pipeline. Zeev Buium was one of my favorite players in this draft, and I think he has star potential. Ryder Ritchie and Aron Kiviharju have flaws and fell later than expected after being promising prospects earlier in their careers. They may miss, but they have the talent to score in the NHL if they add some elements to their game. Buium is the only sure thing in the class, but he’s a heck of a player.

Read the full analysis of Minnesota’s draft class here.

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Ottawa Senators: B+

It’s a tale of two picks in my view for this Ottawa draft. I adore Carter Yakemchuk — my No. 3 ranked player in the draft — because I think he has star upside. I knew Gabriel Eliasson was going in the second round, but I could never wrap my head around him being that type of prospect. He is a clear NHL athlete with a mean streak, but I saw next to no puck play this season and his mediocre Swedish U18 team could barely play him at times, even though he was often listed by his draft peers as “players they hated to play against” in combine interviews. This draft will revolve around how good Yakemchuk becomes and I think that bar could be high.

Read the full analysis of Ottawa’s draft class here.

Seattle Kraken: B+

Seattle’s first-round pick, Berkly Catton, is a true high-end talent up front and has some star upside for Seattle. Their day two was less exciting for me. I like Julius Miettinen and could see him as a well-rounded top nine forward, potentially down the middle. I could never wrap my head about Nathan Villeneuve as a top-two-round pick, especially after the bounty scandal he got caught up in the OHL this season. Regardless, if they get two regulars from this draft and a play-driving top-line forward it’a successful weekend.

Read the full analysis of Seattle’s draft class here.

Utah Hockey Club: B+

The Utah Hockey Cub’s grade doesn’t reflect the trades they made, as it’s purely about the talent acquired in the draft. As an aside, I’m a huge fan of the deals they made. By bringing Mikhail Sergachev and John Marino into a blue line that will soon have Dmitri Simashev and Maveric Lamoureux, Utah’s defense could be quite terrifying given all the size and mobility that group will have. Focusing on the picks, Tij Iginla at No. 6 was a bit high for me, even though I do see him as a potential top-six wing in the NHL, and he wasn’t too far behind that spot on my list. Utah’s next three picks are highly competitive big men in Cole Beaudoin, Will Skahan and Tomas Lavoie, who all have clear, projectable paths to the NHL. Beaudoin looks like an all-day NHL forward, and those two defenders have real chances to make it too. Owen Allard is a speedster who was one of my favorites in this class too. I could see three NHL regulars coming from this group, with Iginla having a high chance of scoring a lot of goals in the league.

Read the full analysis of Utah’s draft class here.

Carolina Hurricanes: B

As usual, Carolina traded down to acquire picks and got a fair amount of talent on day two. I had high grades on their first two picks, Dominik Badinka and Nikita Artamonov. In typical fashion for their last few drafts, the Hurricanes then took a lot of swing on skill or talented Russians who slid due to their nationality. Badinka and Artamonov are the only NHL players I see in this group, but it wouldn’t surprise me if they found games from at least one other player in this class.

Read the full analysis of Carolina’s draft class here.

Columbus Blue Jackets: B

Columbus’ first two picks were premium athletes Cayden Lindstrom and Charlie Elick, who play hard but have varying questions on how high their offensive side is. Some scouts believe Lindstrom could be a star, and if they get that type of output then this draft will look quite rosier than where I have them graded. I think Elick and Lindstrom are NHL regulars and their third-round pick, Luca Marrelli, has a real chance to play games, too.

Read the full analysis of Columbus’ draft class here.

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New York Islanders: B

The Islanders did solid work at the draft table. Cole Eiserman has been a point of debate all season, but he still projects as a top-six wing. On day two they acquired two talented goalies in the mid rounds, and in the second round I could see one of Jesse Pulkkinen or Kamil Bednarik making it to the NHL. This draft has potential to generate a decent amount of NHL games, and a lot will depend on how Eiserman’s development goes.

Read the full analysis of the Islanders’ draft class here.

St. Louis Blues: B

The Blues had a clear theme to their draft. They drafted size and skating and brought a bunch of top-end athletes into their farm system. Adam Jiricek, their first pick, looks like a top-four NHL defenseman. Ondrej Kos was trending to being a clear top-two-round pick earlier this season before he had health issues that derailed his season. Adam Jecho fell after being a touted player in recent years, but I see a path for him to the NHL. I don’t think the stat line on a lot of these prospects will excite, but I could see multiple NHL regulars coming from the Blues’ class. Matvei Korotky has a lot of potential as a seventh-round pick, too, with how well he played in the MHL playoffs.

Read the full analysis of St. Louis’ draft class here.

Buffalo Sabres: B-

Buffalo’s first two picks are players I think will have NHL careers. Konsta Helenius is a well-rounded forward with top-six potential, and Adam Kleber could be a fourth or fifth defenseman in the league. Brodie Ziemer is an easy player to like, even if the pure talent level in his game doesn’t overly stand out. The draft class in itself is fine, but as I’ve stated before with Helenius, I do wonder how he fits in with all the other average to smaller-sized forwards Buffalo has drafted high.

Read the full analysis of Buffalo’s draft class here.

Florida Panthers: B-

Given the limited draft capital Florida had coming into the day, I thought they did great work navigating with trades and acquiring some real prospects. Linus Eriksson projects as a legit NHL center, and Matvei Shuravin projects as an NHL defenseman. I think Simon Zether has a real chance to play games. Given how barren their farm system was coming into today, Florida leaving with several quality prospects was much needed.

Read the full analysis of Florida’s draft class here.

Washington Capitals: B-

I’ve had a hard time wrapping my head around taking Terik Parascak at No. 17, but I liked Washington’s second day a lot more. Cole Hutson, Leon Muggli, Ilya Protas, Eriks Mateiko and Nicholas Kempf all have legit chances to play games in the NHL.

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Read the full analysis of Washington’s draft class here.

Boston Bruins: C+

I liked what the Bruins did at the draft this season given how few picks they had. Dean Letourneau is full of potential. Even if there is a lot of uncertainty in how he’ll perform at higher levels, he has the tools to be a top-six NHL forward if his development goes well. Jonathan Morello was one of my favorite mid-round picks. He is a clear NHL athlete along with Elliott Groenewold, and I could see one of them playing NHL games.

Read the full analysis of Boston’s draft class here.

Detroit Red Wings: C+

Detroit’s first-round pick, Brandsegg-Nygard, projects as a hard-to-play-against top-six winger. Their day two picks weren’t that exciting to me. Max Plante and Ondrej Becher are very skilled forwards and have chances to play but have a long way to go in their development.

Read the full analysis of Detroit’s draft class here.

Los Angeles Kings: C+

Liam Greentree is a very good prospect who has a chance to score in the NHL and be a legit middle-six winger. Carter George is a small goalie, but he had a very strong season in the OHL and at the U18s for Canada. It looks like he has a real chance to make it despite his frame.

Read the full analysis of Los Angeles’ draft class here.

Nashville Predators: C+

Yegor Surin projects as a middle-six forward in the NHL, with a real chance to play down the middle and be a coach’s favorite. On Day 2, I had time for where Nashville took Teddy Stiga and Hiroki Gojsic, but I never saw top-three-round tools from Viggo Gustafsson, even if he played a major role for Sweden’s U18 team. I had heard the Miguel Marques hype all season but he seems like a dime-a-dozen skill type who skates well for me. If I’m wrong on one of those the assessment of this draft could change, but as of now Surin is the only player I’m excited about.

Read the full analysis of Nashville’s draft class here.

New York Rangers: C+

The Rangers didn’t have many picks, but their first-rounder Emery is a strong defenseman prospect who has the clear looks of a guy who will make a lot of stops in the NHL. They didn’t pick again until 119, but rolled the dice on a couple of players who I think have a chance to make it and I thought they made good work of their limited draft capital.

Read the full analysis of New York’s draft class here.

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Philadelphia Flyers: C+

Jett Luchanko projects as an NHL center. No. 13 was a tad high for me, even though I knew plenty of scouts who had him around that range. He’s a third-line center for my money, but I could see him become a 2C if a lot goes right. Jack Berglund, Philly’s next pick, has a lot of NHL traits and could be a bottom-six forward, too. I couldn’t get there with the Spencer Gill hype this season, even though I knew some scouts who liked him a lot. If I’m off on Luchanko and Gill, this class could be better than I’ve graded it.

Read the full analysis of Philadelphia’s draft class here.

Vegas Golden Knights: C+

Trevor Connelly has been a much discussed prospect this season. He is very talented but he has some concerns, which we’ve documented. Your opinion on this pick will vary, and we’ll see how it plays out with time. I liked the goalie they took in the third round in Pavel Moysevich. I think he has a relatively clear path to becoming a backup goaltender in the NHL or better.

Read the full analysis of Vegas’ draft class here.

Colorado Avalanche: C

Colorado didn’t pick until No. 38 but got one of my top-rated goalies in Ilya Nabokov. The Avalanche picked a lot in this draft, but without many high picks, it’s hard to truly move the needle in terms of getting legit NHL talent. Some of their late picks have chances to make it, and we’ll see how their development goes, but I think their draft mostly will revolve around Nabokov’s future play.

Read the full analysis of Colorado’s draft class here.

Edmonton Oilers: C

Edmonton made an aggressive play to come up to get Sam O’Reilly. I didn’t have him rated as high as the Oilers did, but if, like a lot of London players before him, he continues to develop well, I could see myself revising that stance a year from now if he has a big offensive season in the OHL. Eemil Vinni is the most athletic goaltender in the draft and has a real chance to play games for an organization that desperately needs goaltender talent in the system.

Read the full analysis of Edmonton’s draft class here.

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Pittsburgh Penguins: C

The Penguins didn’t pick until No. 44. I like their two second-round pick in Harrison Brunicke and Tanner Howe. Neither look like NHL locks by any means, but I can see them getting a fair number of NHL games.

Read the full analysis of Pittsburgh’s draft class here.

Toronto Maple Leafs: C

I like Ben Danford, Toronto’s pick at No. 31. I wasn’t sure I would have done it at 31, and I didn’t talk to many scouts before or after the draft who would have either. I think he will play in the NHL though and plays a style of game that’s easy to like. They didn’t pick again until the fourth round, so this class will mostly be about whether Danford is a third- or second-pair defenseman in the league. Their fifth-round pick Miroslav Holinka’s toolkit is quite intriguing though to get at 151.

Read the full analysis of Toronto’s draft class here.

Dallas Stars: C-

Dallas didn’t have many draft picks in this class, and their first-round pick, Emil Hemming, is a player who I could never come around on all season at that point in the draft. He’s clearly a talented goal-scorer, but I think he has to work on a lot of aspects of his game to become a full-time NHL player.

Read the full analysis of Dallas’ draft class here.

Winnipeg Jets: C-

Winnipeg’s draft class didn’t overly excite me. I know some people like Alfons Freij a lot and he’s certainly talented, but I had concerns about his hockey sense and I don’t think he’s a sure thing to be an NHL defenseman, even if he has some clear NHL traits. The Jets’ later picks have some varying chances to play games, but I could see this class not produce one full-time regular too.

Read the full analysis of Winnipeg’s draft class here.

Tampa Bay Lightning: D

The Mikhail Sergachev trade isn’t reflected in the grade, as this is purely about talent drafted this weekend. As an aside, I do like the prospect they acquired in Conor Geekie. Geekie ended his WHL career on a high note, being one of the top forwards in the league and was a top player for Canada’s U20 team. He’s always been a big center with very good offensive skills, but what I’ve liked about Geekie’s progression is that he’s developed more of a physical edge. He uses his big body to get to the net and has shown a lot of off-puck value. His skating has been and remains a concern and despite his offensive output this year, I don’t see a true elite stick and brain in his game. He projects as a two-way third-line center in the NHL with a chance to be a 2C. Tampa otherwise didn’t pick until 118, so it’s hard to get excited about that type of draft class even if they did have a number of later picks. Hagen Burrows would be my favorite from that group. I could see him becoming a bottom-six forward in the NHL.

Read the full analysis of Tampa Bay’s draft class here.

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Vancouver Canucks: D

Vancouver didn’t have many picks and didn’t pick until 93, so I’m sure Canucks fans were prepared that this was highly unlikely to be an exciting draft class. Their first two picks in Melvin Fernström and Riley Patterson are talented, but they aren’t sure things to make it due to their skating. We’ll see how many games they get from this group, but the odds are against them.

Read the full analysis of Vancouver’s draft class here.

(Illustration: Eamonn Dalton / The Athletic)

2024 NHL Draft grades for every team: Best fits, analysis and what to know (2024)
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