Macklin Celebrini is the Favorite to be taken No. 1 in the 2024 NHL Draft

Macklin Celebrini is the Favorite to be taken No. 1 in the 2024 NHL Draft
  • What: 2024 NHL Draft
  • When: June 28-29 at 7 p.m. ET
  • Where: The Sphere in Las Vegas, Nevada
  • How to watch: ESPN and WatchESPN

While a lot of hockey fans are fired up about the Stanley Cup Finals getting here, don't forget for a second that the 2024 NHL Draft is right around the corner. In late June, the draft indeed will arrive, and people can't wait to see who gets taken off the board first. Well, leading up to things, Macklin Celebrini is the favorite to be taken No. 1 in the 2024 NHL Draft. Will he end up going to the San Jose Sharks at the top?

This is a pretty interesting case. Celebrini is only 17 years old and he's still a superstar player for Boston University. However, he reportedly is still deciding whether to go pro or not. It seems hard to believe that he would pass up on the opportunity to play in the NHL if he's on pace to be selected No. 1 overall, but his heart appears to be torn. We should find out soon what happens here, but he's been turning heads at the NHL Combine, which is only raising his stock.

NHL Draft No. 1 pick oddsBovadaBetOnlineBetUS
Macklin Celebrini-110-110-110
Artyom Levshunov+125+125+125
Cayden Lindstrom+500+500+500
Zeev Buium+800+800+800

“The interview was good, it went really well,” Celebrini said on Monday after he met with the San Jose front office at the Combine. “It was great to kind of meet everyone. It was a great experience. I’ve heard a lot about (Sharks) general manager Mike Grier while at Boston University, so it was good to finally meet him.”

According to the best-rated sportsbooks, which includes the Bovada sports betting review, Celebrini holds -110 NHL betting odds to be taken No. 1 overall by the Sharks. San Jose needs to get back on the right track and there's a ton of pressure on them to get this first-round pick right. While a lot of people think that Celebrini will be the one San Jose rocks with, we're actually going in a different direction for our selection here.

Artyom Levshunov is our pick to be taken at the top by the Sharks

Looking ahead to things, Artyom Levshunov is our pick to be taken at the top by the Sharks. As great as Celebrini is on the ice, the fact that he's still uncertain if he's going to go pro or not is a bit concerning. Clearly, he has a bit on his mind leading up to the draft, which could cause him to either stay in college, or have some remorse about going pro. That's not going to be the case with Levshunov, as he's ready to make a lot of noise in the NHL.

Levshunov is also a youngster, as he's only 18 years old. Levshunov is a standout defender for Michigan State, really impressing with his play for the Spartans. Over at the NHL Combine this week, Levshunov has been fantastic. He's interviewing quite well and turning heads of the general managers and scouts who are in town for the event. With all of the potential he has, Levshunov to San Jose makes a lot of sense for several different reasons.

"He is the most complete package for a defenseman," Central Scouting VP Alex Marr told NHL.com. "He's just a beast physically. ... He's got the right kind of confidence. He's not cocky, he's just really motivated. I spent a lot of time with Artyom early in the year and every game now at Michigan State, you're talking 50-plus NHL personnel. The game I was there, I walked around, did a head count and it was 56 and that included two general managers. He's really got a lot of people talking about him."

The Sharks really can't go wrong with either playmaker, but Levshunov has the intangibles to be a stud in this league for the next 10-15 years. With him still being a teenager too, he's nowhere close to the prime of his career. Per the oddsmakers, including the BetOnline sports betting review, Levshunov holds +125 NHL betting odds to be taken first. The San Jose front office has to nail this pick to build for the future. We think Levshunov will be the one to help them get to the postseason soon.

Artyom Levshunov to go No. 1 in the NHL Draft
+125
BetOnline

Which prospect could end up going No. 3 to the Anaheim Ducks?

While there's a ton of attention on Levshunov and Celebrini, a lot of people are wondering which prospect could end up going No. 3 to the Anaheim Ducks. Assuming those two guys are taken at No. 1 and No. 2, to the Sharks and Blackhawks, respectively, then we think that Cayden Lindstrom could be the one to go No. 3. Lindstrom is one of the best players for his class and a lot of people in California want the Ducks to draft him.

Cayden Lindstrong to go No. 3 in the NHL Draft
+200
BetOnline

Lindstrom is a tremendous center and he has seen his draft stock rise tremendously over the past year. Lindstrom is only 18 years old and he has his best hockey still ahead of him. Everyone is focused on the top two picks, but Lindstrom is an elite talent too. We have a feeling he'll fall to the Ducks and there's no question that the Anaheim front office will be celebrating the pick.