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5 Final-Minute Storylines to Watch on the 2024 NHL Draft

5 Last-Minute Storylines to Watch at the 2024 NHL Draft 0 of 5 Mike Stobe/NHLI via Getty Images Even though the Stanley Cup was handed out just a couple of days ago, the offseason is here, with the 2024 NHL draft taking place Friday and Saturday. There isn’t much intrigue regarding the No. 1 pick

5 Final-Minute Storylines to Watch on the 2024 NHL Draft

5 Final-Minute Storylines to Watch on the 2024 NHL Draft

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    SECAUCUS, NEW JERSEY - MAY 07: National Hockey League Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly announces the San Jose Sharks #1 overall draft position during the 2024 NHL Draft Lottery at NHL Network Studio on May 07, 2024 in Secaucus, New Jersey.  (Photo by Mike Stobe/NHLI via Getty Images)

    Mike Stobe/NHLI by way of Getty Pictures

    Though the Stanley Cup was handed out simply a few days in the past, the offseason is right here, with the 2024 NHL draft happening Friday and Saturday.

    There is not a lot intrigue relating to the No. 1 decide, as we’re 99.9 % sure the San Jose Sharks will choose Macklin Celebrini and use him as a basis for his or her rebuild.

    After that’s the place thriller begins to kick in.

    Nevertheless, the precise draft picks are solely a small a part of the chaos that comes with draft weekend, as it is also one of many busiest occasions of the 12 months for trades—particularly with the free-agent signing interval beginning on Monday.

    So, with all of that in thoughts, let’s check out a number of last-minute storylines going into the 2024 draft.

Who Goes No. 2 Total?

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    SECAUCUS, NEW JERSEY - MAY 07: National Hockey League Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly announces the Chicago Blackhawks #2 overall draft position during the 2024 NHL Draft Lottery at NHL Network Studio on May 07, 2024 in Secaucus, New Jersey.  (Photo by Mike Stobe/NHLI via Getty Images)

    Mike Stobe/NHLI by way of Getty Pictures

    Whereas there isn’t any thriller across the high decide, issues get a little bit cloudier after that.

    After profitable final 12 months’s draft lottery and choosing Connor Bedard No. 1 total, the Chicago Blackhawks have the No. 2 choice this 12 months and have a giant choice to make.

    Do they provide Bedard an affect ahead to be his winger for the subsequent 15 years and choose Ivan Demidov? Do they go together with middle Cayden Lindstrom to attempt to construct a two-headed middle monster? Or do they attempt to discover a big-minute, all-around defenseman to construct their protection round and go together with Artyom Levshunov, who is perhaps some of the NHL-ready gamers on this 12 months’s class?

    Levshunov appears the more than likely decide, however Demidov would possibly legitimately be the second-best expertise within the draft, and the thought of him and Bedard skating side-by-side must be an intriguing consideration for the Chicago entrance workplace.

The place Will Ivan Demidov Get Picked?

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    SAINT PETERSBURG, RUSSIA - 2023/09/12: SKA Hockey Club player, Ivan Demidov (11) seen in action during the Kontinental Hockey League, regular season KHL 2023 - 2024 between SKA Saint Petersburg and Spartak Moscow at the Ice Sports Palace.
(Final score; SKA Saint Petersburg 0:3 Spartak Moscow). (Photo by Maksim Konstantinov/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

    Maksim Konstantinov/SOPA Pictures/LightRocket by way of Getty Pictures

    Demidov is perhaps probably the most fascinating participant within the draft, as a result of if you happen to have been simply going by expertise, he can be a slam dunk choice for the No. 2 spot.

    Nevertheless, the Russia issue at all times appears to scare off groups as a result of no one is aware of for certain how lengthy it is going to take for them to truly get to the NHL. Will probably be fascinating to see if the short arrival of Philadelphia Flyers prospect Matvei Michkov alleviates a few of these issues.

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    Demidov is beneath contract in Russia via the 2024-25 season, so any group that takes him will most likely have to attend at the least a 12 months to see him in North America.

    That might be definitely worth the wait, particularly for a rebuilding group on the high of the draft that’s not prone to compete this season anyway.

    Does Chicago take him at No. 2? Anaheim at No. 3?

    New Columbus basic supervisor Don Waddell has already talked about how it’s simpler to scrub up defensive-zone points than it’s to seek out pure scorers, so the Blue Jackets might be an choice at No. 4 so as to add to an already spectacular assortment of prospects. Demidov and Adam Fantilli can be one heck of a duo to construct round.

    If Demidov doesn’t get picked by any of these groups, it is arduous to think about him getting by the Montreal Canadiens at No. 5, particularly if they’re having some remorse over not taking Michkov a 12 months in the past.

    They could get an opportunity to appropriate that. They’d be smart to reap the benefits of it in the event that they do.

Will Toronto Commerce a Core Participant?

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    Mitch Marner

    Mitch MarnerClaus Andersen/Getty Pictures

    After yet one more postseason disappointment, the Toronto Maple Leafs entrance workplace has taken the strategy that every little thing is on the desk so far as offseason strikes are involved.

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    That would imply Toronto lastly breaks up its core of forwards and trades considered one of them.

    The more than likely candidate is winger Mitch Marner, who is ready to enter the ultimate 12 months of his contract.

    Marner’s wage (greater than $10 million per season) and the commerce protections in his contract will make him a troublesome participant to maneuver, and he could have a variety of say in the place he goes.

    But when there was ever a time for a commerce to occur, Thursday or Friday would seemingly be it. That is primarily as a result of it might be a chance for the Maple Leafs to get a premium draft decide as a part of the return.

    There must be greater than that concerned to make it worthwhile for a Toronto group that also has its sights set on competing this season, however you would need to think about it might need some long-term items, equivalent to a first-rate draft decide, as a part of any commerce.

Will Martin Necas Get Traded?

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    RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA - MARCH 28:  Martin Necas #88 of the Carolina Hurricanes skates during the first period against the Detroit Red Wings at PNC Arena on March 28, 2024 in Raleigh, North Carolina. (Photo by Josh Lavallee/NHLI via Getty Images)

    Josh Lavallee/NHLI by way of Getty Pictures

    The Carolina Hurricanes might be one of many busier groups this weekend, with the potential for buying and selling the free-agent rights for pending UFA winger Jake Guentzel in addition to a possible commerce involving restricted free agent Martin Necas.

    Necas would reportedly like a change of surroundings, and he must be a particularly enticing participant for groups searching for a top-six winger.

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    The 25-year-old ought to attraction to just about any group within the NHL irrespective of the place they’re when it comes to a rebuild or as a contender.

    Not solely is he a legit top-six winger, however he’s additionally proper within the thick of his prime and must be a key contributor for a number of years. Each group within the league ought to be capable of discover a use for him.

    If Carolina decides to commerce Necas, they should get a powerful return. And they need to.

Which Workforce Will Go ‘Off the Board’

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    SECAUCUS, NEW JERSEY - MAY 07: NHL Draft Lottery positions are seen during the 2024 NHL Draft Lottery at NHL Network Studio on May 07, 2024 in Secaucus, New Jersey.  (Photo by Mike Stobe/NHLI via Getty Images)

    Mike Stobe/NHLI by way of Getty Pictures

    The beauty of the draft course of in skilled sports activities is how a lot variance there’s within the group boards versus the mock drafts and consultants’ boards, particularly once you get past the primary couple of picks.

    We are likely to put a lot effort and time into mock drafts and prospect rankings that we are likely to overlook that these making the picks would possibly take a look at gamers in another way, worth various things or have extra information or perception into these gamers than we do.

    Consequently, there are a few picks within the first spherical yearly that at all times take individuals abruptly as a result of the choice doesn’t match up with the pre-draft rankings.

    It is a given that it’ll occur once more this 12 months. However which group will or not it’s?

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    There was some speculation that the Anaheim Geese may need curiosity in Beckett Sennecke at No. 3, a variety that may be approach off the board from the mock drafts and rankings.

    The Geese raised eyebrows final 12 months after they took Leo Carlsson No. 2 as a substitute of Adam Fantilli, they usually may need an excellent larger shock up their sleeves this season.

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