Scintillating Talent Soars to #2 in 2024 NHL Draft Rankings


It’s already a fait accompli that Macklin Celebrini will be going No. 1 overall in this year’s NHL Draft. And now the likelihood of who will be going at No.2 is becoming more clear, with an 18-year-old Russian soaring up the charts.

TSN’s Director of Scouting Craig Button has elevated Russian winger Ivan Demidov from No. 5 in the rankings all the way up to No. 2, as he continues to dominate in juniors. Demidov has an eye-popping 23 goals and 60 points in just 30 games this season with SKA-1946 St. Petersburg of the Russian junior league, the MHL. He’s now added 8 goals and 16 points in eight playoff games.

Matvei Michkov was the scintillating young Russian who many said was the second-best player in last year‘s draft behind Connor Bedard, but according to Button, Demidov might be an even more tantalizing prospect.

“I think he’s a better player than Michkov,” said Button. “He’s [Nikita] Kucherov to me. He can pass, he can shoot. He’s brilliant.

“Like Kucherov, they [both] step out onto the ice and they’re immediately dangerous. The puck ends up on their stick and it’s like, buckle up, pay attention, you’re going for a ride… He’s got this ability to see two and three steps ahead.

“He’s solidified his spot as the second-best player in this draft.”

An incredible playmaker with a dynamic shot, it sounds like we can expect Demidov to be going No. 2 in June, with the Chicago Blackhawks currently the lottery odds favorites to land him, as they stand with the second-worst record in the league, giving them the best odds at securing the second pick. 

Imagine lining up this sensational talent next to Connor Bedard. Scary times for the NHL in the years to come.

Photo: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports