Men’s Hockey: 2024 NHL Draft features abundance of Terriers

By Joe Eachus


As pucks dropped across North America, signaling the start of the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, thousands of other eyes were on fourteen ping pong balls.

For the San Jose Sharks, a sigh of relief, as their year of misery concluded with the first overall pick in the 2024 Draft, and with it the right to select BU’s Macklin Celebrini.

Despite the year-long tank-a-thon for the wonderkid, there is plenty of intrigue surrounding this year’s entry draft at the Las Vegas Sphere, especially for BU fans. At least eight future (or current) Terriers are expected to hear their names called the weekend of June 28th.

Here’s a more in-depth look at what each young star could bring to the table, both for the Terriers and for their future clubs.


Macklin Celebrini, C, Boston Univ. (NCAA)

2023-24: 38 GP, 32 G, 32 A, 64 pts

NHL Central Scouting: #1 North American skater

For the better part of a year, it’s been widely expected that the 18-year-old Hobey Baker Award winner will hear his name called first on June 28th. Celebrini is a once-in-a-lifetime talent with the potential to lift any franchise out of the mud.

However, the Sharks may have to wait a year before they can see his talents at the pro level, even with former Boston College Eagle Will Smith in tow.

“There’s never really shame or there’s nothing wrong with just taking your time and just improving a little bit more,” Celebrini said on Friday during his NHL Combine media availability. He did state he hasn’t decided on if he’ll stay another year on Comm. Ave., or head to the Bay Area as is expected.

Projection: Could sneak into the lottery. Just kidding, first overall.

Cole Eiserman, LW, USNTDP/U.S. National U18 Team (USHL)

2023-24 combined: 81 GP, 83 G, 40 A, 123 pts

NHL Central Scouting: #12 North American skater

Heading into the ‘23-’24 season, Eiserman was slated to be at least a top-five pick, and was said to be in the running for first overall before Celebrini cemented his case. He’s slipped a bit to around the middle of the lottery picks (still not bad company), largely due to the emergence of other top talents across the CHL and USHL.

Notably, Eiserman and Celebrini were linemates and roommates for two years at prep hockey powerhouse Shattuck-St. Mary’s (MN), where they combined for 498 points across two years. Originally committed to Minnesota, Eiserman flipped his commitment to BU last September.

He’s also battle-tested, playing for the U.S. squad at the World Juniors the past two editions, where he tallied 18 goals and three assists in seven games.

Projection: Pick 11-15

Kamil Bednarik, C, USNTDP/U.S. National U18 Team (USHL)

2023-24 combined: 88 GP, 37 G, 58 A, 95 pts

NHL Central Scouting: #28 North American skater

Skating on a line with Cole Eiserman certainly helps with offensive production, but the Illinois product has earned his place as a fringe-first rounder. He’s also an excellent defensive forward.

 “He’s got some offense in his game, he’s a 200-foot centerman and just does all the little things well,” BU coach Jay Pandolfo said to Bednarik models his game after Boston Bruins legend Patrice Bergeron, and it shows on both ends of the ice.

With the USNTDP, Bednarik saw time on both special teams units, a role that he may resume this fall at BU.

Projection: Fringe 1st-2nd round

Cole Hutson, D, USNTDP/U.S. National U18 Team (USHL)

2023-24 combined: 70 GP, 17 G, 45 A, 63 pts

NHL Central Scouting: #55 North American skater

The third Hutson to make his way to Comm. Ave., Cole Hutson is very similar in playstyle to his older brother Lane. Shifty at the offensive blue lines, confident with the puck, and head fakes aplenty.

The skillset inherited from his older brother allowed Cole to break the USNTDP’s all-time defenseman scoring record, managing 119 points across two years on the top squad and surpassing the likes of Quinn Hughes and Adam Fox, among others.

Cole is more physically mature than Lane was in their respective draft years, with Cole measuring in at 5’10”, 165 lbs, compared to Lane’s 5’8.5”, 148. The biggest ding on either of their draft stocks has always been their size and how it will translate to the NHL level of play.

He has a chip on his shoulder, and told The Athletic that it’s “fun [to] prove people wrong.”

Projection: Early-mid 2nd round

Mikhail Yegorov, G, Omaha (USHL)

2023-24: 43 GP, 3.86 GAA, .892 SV%

NHL Central Scouting: #1 North American goaltender

Named to the All-USHL Rookie Second team after arriving from CSKA Moscow for this past season, Yegorov finished in the top-15 across the USHL and was one of fifteen goaltenders to record a shutout in the high-scoring junior league despite ranking near the top in shots faced. He should be one of the first goalies off the board in Vegas.

Measuring in at 6’4”, Yegorov’s high ranking is based on his potential rather than his direct stats behind a struggling team. He committed to BU in February, and is expected to play another year in the USHL before heading to Boston for ‘25-’26, as Mathieu Caron has locked down the starting job for his senior season in ‘24-’25.

The Russian netminder carries with him both natural size and above-average athleticism, which are two of the biggest factors when scouting goalie prospects. Technique, though not necessarily an issue with Yegorov, can be fine-tuned. You can’t teach quickness.

Projection: Fringe 3rd-4th round

Alexander Zetterberg, C, Orebro HK (J20 Nationell, Sweden)

2023-24: 45 GP, 21 G, 37 A, 58 pts

NHL Central Scouting: #30 European skater

Zetterberg is another prospect who, if he was two or three inches taller than his listed 5’8”, would be a slam-dunk first-rounder.

He was Sweden’s unquestioned top scoring threat in U18s when he had the puck on his stick, scoring 37 points in 24 games overall, but had to sit out the semifinal game of the U18 Worlds, a 5-4 loss against Canada for the Swedes.

Ultimately, it comes down to a team willing to take a risk on Zetterberg adding size at BU, and he could wind up being a steal.

As an aside, if the last name seems familiar, he is a distant relative of Red Wings great Henrik Zetterberg.

Projection: 4th round

Jack Pridham, RW, West Kelowna (BCHL)

2023-24: 54 GP, 23 G, 26 A, 49 pts

NHL Central Scouting: #65 North American skater

Pridham was one of the best young guns the BCHL had to offer this past season, finishing second in rookie scoring on his way to an All-Rookie team nod.

He is the highest-ranked player from the BCHL in this year’s draft class, just ahead of teammate Callum Hughes. Pridham is smart with the puck, with superb vision and a shot to match.

This weekend also won’t be his first time at the NHL Draft. His father, Brandon Pridham, known in hockey circles as the “Salary Cap King,” works in Toronto’s front office, and Jack was the “runner” who handed jerseys off to new draftees such as Mitch Marner in 2015. 

Projection: 4th-5th Round

Callum Hughes, F, West Kelowna (BCHL)

2023-24: 54 GP, 23 G, 19 A, 42 pts

NHL Central Scouting: #99 North American skater

A native of Westwood, MA, Hughes joined his teammate Pridham on the BCHL All-Rookie team at season’s end. He’ll return to West Kelowna for one more year before making the leap to the NCAA level at BU.

He describes himself as a defense-first forward, but also has the scoring touch needed to be a complete player at both the NCAA and NHL levels.

On his decision to commit to BU, Hughes said “[g]rowing up, BU was always my dream school. When I toured a bunch of other schools, then I got to BU, it was clear that was where I wanted to be. I love the coaches there. That part really stood out to me. It was a no-brainer. I just thought ‘how can I not come here?’”

Projection: 4th-5th round

Be sure to tune into the 2024 NHL Draft this weekend, with the first round beginning at 7:30 p.m. tonight on ESPN, and coverage continuing with the second through seventh rounds at 11 a.m. on Saturday on ESPN.