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Draft 2024: there’s Macklin Celebrini… and the others
As he does every year, Scott Wheeler is THE English-language reference when it comes to young talent and the draft.

The 2023 draft concluded a few months ago, and The Athletic’s journalist has already produced his second ranking for the 2024 draft.

Last April, he ranked us way too early.

What’s noticeable is that its top-5 is identical.

First up is Macklin Celebrini, potentially the Connor Bedard of the 2024 draft. Mind you, I’m not comparing Celebrini to Bedard, far from it, but what Wheeler’s most recent rankings do show is that the young Canadian is in a league of his own.

The next three, Cole Eiserman, Artyom Levshunov and Ivan Demidov, are in the number-two category.

As in April, the author has ranked Aron Kiviharju fifth, but he starts the third category with two other players. I don’t think the 2024 draft will be as deep as the 2023 draft, but clearly, teams that finish near the bottom of the rankings in 2023-2024 will have a chance to draft an excellent player over the next few years.

But to get back to Celebrini, while he may not be a Bedard, Connor McDavid or Auston Matthews, he’s no two-fer – quite the contrary. Some scouts think that at the same age, he’s comparable to Adam Fantilli. Some think he’s superior.

Celebrini is a 17-year-old left-handed forward. He’s a USHL product, as is Eiserman. Last season, with the Chicago Steel, he collected 86 points in 50 games. In fact, he had the best season ever in this league at such a young age (16). For an in-depth analysis of his playing style, I really invite you to read Wheeler’s text.

As for Demidov, he’s been getting a lot of hype on social media lately, and with good reason. The guy has highlights in every game and there’s a reason he’s “the next Matvei Michkov”. Some even dare to say he’s better than Michkov. In any case, unlike the Flyers’ prospect, his contractual situation isn’t scary, and should the Habs have another bad season, drafting him (even if he is Russian) wouldn’t be a bad thing.

Stay tuned for Wheeler’s next rankings, as four are still to come.


– I don’t think so.

– Really?

– Not a bad idea.

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