Insider confirms at least 4 teams are open for business at the top of the draft

Dean Chaudhry
June 18, 2024  (9:39)

Views from the 2023 NHL Entry Draft with the Montreal Canadiens on the clock.
Photo credit: Eric Bolte - USA Today Sports

There is expected to be a lot of movement on draft day this year with at least 4 teams confirmed to be open for a trade and a few others considering their options.

The 2024 NHL Entry Draft lacks the same firepower and star gazing that last year's event provided. With Connor Bedard, Matvei Michkov, Adam Fantilli, and Leo Carlsson in headlining the 2023 draft, the 2024 draft class isn't blowing many teams away with the exception of Macklin Celebrini and a handful of others in the top-5.
David Pagnotta and Anthony Di Marco of The Fourth Period divulged some interesting details about what to expect from a lot of the teams selecting in the top-12 this year. New Jersey and Buffalo have been open to moving their first round picks for quite some time with both clubs looking to make immediate splashes. They also noted that Ottawa has been open for business recently and now the newly formed Utah Hockey Club are considering moving their pick as well.
"The Utah one is interesting now that we know the 6th overall is in play. We know they're looking at their defence, we know that they'd like to add some offence as well, up front maybe on the wings. Wonder about a Martin Necas for some of these teams, 6th overall pick might be too high of a price but we'll see kinda where that goes. Is there a team that's willing to move, like Calgary's 9th overall or something. Would that be attractive enough as a piece to include in a deal for Necas or even the 7th from Ottawa."

From those 4 teams alone, you have picks 6 (Utah), 7 (Ottawa), 10 (New Jersey), and 11 (Buffalo) ripe for the taking. Pagnotta mentions that while the top-4 picks will virtually be immovable, the Montreal Canadiens at 5 are another team to keep tabs on should their guy no longer be on the board. Macklin Celebrini, Ivan Demidov, Artyom Levshunov, and Anton Silayev are expected to be the top-4 picks and should they not be on the board when Montreal is up, there's a good chance the coveted #5 pick in the draft.
Utah is coming into the NHL on a mission as they want to cast away the shadow of the disastrous Arizona Coyotes. Stuck in a perpetual rebuild, the new ownership group wants to sport a competitive team as soon as possible. Ottawa is another club with a relatively new ownership group with the previous regime not being able to get the team over the hump. With several key pieces already in place, Ottawa is big-duck hunting and will be willing to move on from their pick for the right deal.
While the likes of Zayne Parekh, Zeev Buium, Sam Dickinson, Konsta Helenius, Berkly Catton, and Tij Iginla might not hold the same gravitas as a Celebrini or a Demidov, they are still exciting prospects who will make a grand impact.
If the Toronto Maple Leafs are thinking about moving up in this year's draft, there's no shortage of dance partners with so many draft picks available in the upper half of the first round. With a week and a half remaining until draft day, things are about to get interesting around the league.
18 JUIN   |   198 ANSWERS
Insider confirms at least 4 teams are open for business at the top of the draft

Should the Maple Leafs try to trade into the top-10?

Yes, but they don't have the pieces for a trade5929.8 %
Yes, Parekh or Buium would be a huge get2713.6 %
No, it's not worth the headache11256.6 %
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