2024 NHL Draft: Round 2 Surprises and Top Prospects

Vince Carbonneau
June 29, 2024  (1:00 PM)

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Biggest Round 1 Surprises, Steals, and Best Players Left for Round 2

The first round of the 2024 NHL Draft is now complete, and anticipation builds for the second round, starting bright and early.
As we conclude our live blog coverage, here are the biggest surprises from Round 1, along with the top players still available according to Jason Bukala's final ranking of the top 70 players.
Biggest Surprises
1. Absence of Blockbuster Trades
Despite high expectations for significant player swaps, no major trades occurred. While some picks were traded, teams like Ottawa, New Jersey, and Columbus chose to hold their positions and make their selections.
2. Beckett Sennecke Going Third Overall to the Ducks
Beckett Sennecke, initially projected to break into the top 10, was a surprise pick at third overall by the Anaheim Ducks. His "throwback" style and potential growth into his 6-foot-3, 182-pound frame appealed to Anaheim's GM Pat Verbeek.
3. Delayed Run on Defencemen
Though anticipated, the run on defencemen started later than expected. After Artyom Levshunov was picked second overall by the Hawks, the trend didn't pick up until the Ottawa Senators selected Carter Yakemchuk at No. 7, followed by a string of defencemen from picks 9 to 12.
Potential Steals
1. Ivan Demidov
Ranked No. 2 by Bukala, Ivan Demidov's drop to No. 5 allowed the Canadiens to acquire a dynamic forward. With just one year left on his contract with SKA in Russia, Demidov could soon make his mark in North America.
2. Zeev Buium
Despite leading all NCAA defencemen in scoring and winning multiple championships, Zeev Buium fell to No. 12. The Minnesota Wild traded up to secure him, making Buium a potential steal.
3. Cole Eiserman
Cole Eiserman, a record-holder for goals in a USNTDP career, slid to No. 20 due to concerns about his defensive game. Joining the New York Islanders, Eiserman has the potential to be a future offensive threat.
Best Players Left for Round 2
Based on Bukala's rankings, here are the top players available as Round 2 begins with San Jose, Carolina, Anaheim, Philadelphia, and Winnipeg up first:
1. Igor Chernyshov (18th on Bukala's list)
A 6-foot-3, 198-pound forward with "high-end vision in the offensive zone," Chernyshov projects as a top-two line scoring winger.
2. Andrew Basha (21st on Bukala's list)
A 5-foot-11, 185-pound forward who scored 85 points in 63 games, Basha is a relentless competitor with versatility.
3. Cole Hutson (26th on Bukala's list)
Brother of Montreal draft pick Lane, Cole Hutson is a 5-foot-10, 165-pound defenceman known for his playmaking ability and projected as a second-pair defenceman.
Additional Highlights
Oilers Wrap Up Round 1 with Sam O'Reilly
Rated as a 'C' prospect initially, O'Reilly rose to a first-round pick, joining the Stanley Cup Finalists. Bukala ranked him 50th, noting his potential and areas for improvement.
Philadelphia Trades Last Pick of Round 1
The Flyers traded the 32nd overall pick to Edmonton for a future first-rounder with conditions attached.
Maple Leafs Take Ben Danford After Trading Down
Trading down from 23 to 31, the Maple Leafs selected Ben Danford, a defensive defenceman with leadership potential.
Rangers Select EJ Emery at 30th Overall
A North Dakota commit, EJ Emery impressed at the NHL combine and is projected as a third-pairing shutdown defenceman.
Dallas Stars Continue Strong Drafting with Emil Hemming
Known for their strong drafting history, the Stars selected Emil Hemming, a top shooter in the draft class, at No. 28. Hemming showed significant improvement in the latter half of the season.
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2024 NHL Draft: Round 2 Surprises and Top Prospects

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