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MCKEEN’S 2024 NHL PROSPECTS REPORT: TOP 30 NHL PROSPECTS

At McKeen’s Hockey we do a ranked affiliated prospect list twice a season. Our first, this ranking, follows the end of the regular season for most prospects but does not include the playoffs. It is a ranking of the top 200, plus the top 15 by team, prior to the NHL Draft. Once the NHL Draft is complete, we begin the process of updating the organizational ranking to a top 20, and then rank the top 300. That is completed in August, once the dust has settled on free agency, and any trades that are made in the meantime. We include that ranking in our McKeen’s NHL Yearbook, published in late August, Early September.

Our team of 16 scouts are based in key markets around the world, in the rinks, supported by video scouting. They utilize some terrific tools from Hudl/InStat, which can isolate so many aspects of a player’s game, along with proprietary statistics. They spend countless hours in rinks and in front of screens and are deeply familiar with these players and their progression. Our management team of Brock Otten (Director of Scouting) and Derek Neumeier (Assistant Director of Scouting/Senior Western Regional Scout), along with Video Scouting Coordinator, Josh Bell, will take the teams input and finalize the list you see below. Brock, Derek and Josh are responsible for the player write-ups in the Prospect Guide.

The organizational rankings are based on an algorithm that takes into account how many prospects are ranked within the top 200.  The teams are broken down by the number of prospects in our top 1 -25, 26 - 50, 51 - 100, and 101 - 200. A weight is attached to each group and then some subjective tweaking is done based on our knowledge of the players. There can be a wider discrepancy in the top 25 group than the latter groupings that needs to be taken into account.

Here is our definition of an NHL prospect: Players under 26 years of age as of 9/15/2024 who have appeared in less than 60 NHL games (30 for goalies) and less than 35 in one season (25 for goalies).

Check back in with us in the fall to see how things change following the draft. We are releasing out top 30 NHL Prospects free to non-subscribers. If you want to learn more, link here. 

Subscribers can link to the full top 200 listing here

Here is an excerpt of Brock Otten's Risers and Fallers article from the magazine to give you more perspective and a little taste of our content.

The best part of scouting is the somewhat unpredictable nature of human development. Some players improve dramatically from one year to the next…others do not. When we compare the rankings from our 2023-24 NHL Yearbook (where we did a Top 300 prospect ranking) to now, these are the players who have risen/fallen the most.

Risers

DALLAS, TX - APRIL 22: Dallas Stars center Logan Stankoven (11) reacts to a goal score during game one of the Western Conference First Round between the Dallas Stars and the Vegas Golden Knights on April 22, 2024 at American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Matthew Pearce/Icon Sportswire)
Logan Stankoven (27 to 5) - Dallas Stars
  • Stankoven’s jump from one of the best players in the WHL to one of the best players in the AHL has been impressive. So has his quick start in the NHL.
Ryan Leonard (32 to 6) – Washington Capitals
  • Leonard is returning to Boston College after a Championship barely eluded him this year. However, he has proven to be an elite play driver to go with his strong off puck play.
MONTREAL, QC - FEBRUARY 11: Look on Montreal Canadiens right wing Joshua Roy (89) during warm-up before the St. Louis Blues versus the Montreal Canadiens game on February 11, 2024, at Bell Centre in Montreal, QC (Photo by David Kirouac/Icon Sportswire)
Josh Roy (63 to 35) – Montreal Canadiens
  • Roy continues to prove doubters wrong after a terrific AHL season with Laval. His skill set has become so well rounded since being drafted.
Conor Geekie (68 to 18) – Utah
  • Geekie’s power game from the middle of the ice makes him such an interesting prospect for today’s NHL. His skating continues to improve.
Mavrik Bourque (79 to 23) – Dallas Stars
  • Bourque emerged as one of the best players in the AHL this season as a sophomore professional. He’s ready to take that next step with the Stars.
Gabe Perreault (86 to 19) – New York Rangers
  • Once thought to be the third wheel on the talented Will Smith/Ryan Leonard threesome, Perreault’s progression as a play driver at Boston College this season has altered the perception that he can be a front-line NHL player.
Bradly Nadeau (109 to 34) – Carolina Hurricanes
  • Drafting early out of the BCHL has yielded inconsistent results, however Nadeau was exceptional as a freshman at Maine. Did he leave school too early though?
Jagger Firkus (112 to 47) – Seattle Kraken
  • Firkus took his game to another level this year in his final WHL season, leading the league in scoring. He’s ready to be a pro.
Gavin Brindley (122 to 66) – Columbus Blue Jackets
  • One of the most improved players in the NCAA this year, Brindley emerged as a star for the University of Michigan and really altered his projection as a potential top six forward.
Quentin Musty (125 to 51) – San Jose Sharks
  • The dynamic American winger worked hard to fine tune components of his game in Sudbury this year and deserves a bump for improving his consistency.
Jani Nyman (135 to 81) – Seattle Kraken
  • Nyman emerged as one of the top goal scorers in Finland this season as a U20 player. This, combined with his strong WJC performance, has helped push him up our board north.
Logan Mailloux (145 to 45) – Montreal Canadiens
  • Mailloux proved to be way more refined at the AHL level than previously perceived. Simply put, he was one of the best defensive prospects in the AHL this year.
Josh Doan (153 to 55) - Utah
  • What a terrific story to the end of the Coyotes franchise. Doan emerged as a potential star this season and finished the year strong in the NHL, scoring in his debut.
Riley Heidt (157 to 44) – Minnesota Wild
  • We still don’t understand how Heidt fell as far as he did in the 2023 draft, however he is proving NHL scouts wrong thus far after a remarkable year with Prince George.
Ville Koivunen (165 to 71) – Pittsburgh Penguins
  • The main piece of the Jake Guentzel to Carolina deal, Koivunen emerged as one of the top players in Liiga this year.
Ethan Del Mastro (169 to 73) – Chicago Blackhawks
  • There was little doubt that Del Mastro’s strong defensive ability would translate to the AHL level well, but he continues to improve offensively and that has altered his projection.
Theo Lindstein (185 to 91) – St. Louis Blues
  • Lindstein’s strong year for Brynas has helped to elevate his upside as a two-way defender. We may have ranked him too low in our 2023 Draft Rankings.
Carson Rehkopf (201 to 69) – Seattle Kraken
  • Consistency off the puck and a lack of engagement held Rehkopf back last year. This year marked improvement in those areas helped him emerge as a top offensive talent in the OHL.
Easton Cowan (204 to 67) – Toronto Maple Leafs
  • One of the surprises of the 2023 draft, Cowan set a new OHL record with a 42-game point streak. More than just a high energy guy now, he can be a difference maker offensively.
Seamus Casey (214 to 63) – New Jersey Devils
  • Casey continues to improve in the NCAA. He may not have elite size, but he has everything else, and it has the Devils excited about his future.
Jacob Fowler (222 to 52) – Montreal Canadiens
  • Fowler compiled a list of accolades as a freshman this year at Boston College, emerging as one of the top goaltending prospects in the game.
Fraser Minten (226 to 84) – Toronto Maple Leafs
  • After starting the year with the Leafs, Minten returned to the WHL and ended up captaining Canada at the World Juniors.
Jackson Blake (277 to 117) – Carolina Hurricanes
  • A finalist for the Hobey Baker this year, Blake became an NCAA star for North Dakota, and he now turns pro.
Erik Portillo (Unranked to 118) – Los Angeles Kings
  • Acquired by the Kings, Portillo turned pro after three years at Michigan and he was one of the best goaltenders in the AHL as a first-year pro.
Rodwin Dionicio (Unranked to 139) – Anaheim Ducks
  • Dionicio still plays a high risk, high reward game from the back end, but his offensive upside has become too large to ignore.
Fallers
EDM - Xavier Bourgault
Xavier Bourgault (from 48 to 113) – Edmonton Oilers
  • After a mediocre first professional year last season, Bourgault was even more disappointing as a sophomore with Bakersfield. The Oilers just haven’t been developing prospects well in recent years.
Eduard Sale (72 to 140) – Seattle Kraken
  • Sale’s first year in North America did not go according to plan as he struggled to be a consistent impact player in the OHL.
Jack Rathbone (96 to not ranked) – Pittsburgh Penguins
  • Perhaps we ranked Rathbone too aggressively this summer, but not only did he fail to earn a spot on Vancouver, but he’s now an NHL after thought after entering Pittsburgh’s organization via trade.
Jacob Perreault (127 to not ranked) – Montreal Canadiens
  • Perreault’s off puck play and skating just haven’t improved to the point where he can be a consistent pro and it caused the Ducks to move on from him, trading him to Montreal.
Jan Jenik (156 to not ranked) - Utah
  • Once a highly ranked prospect, Jenik continues to fall. He just hasn’t been able to take that next step and even passed through waivers this year unclaimed.
RNK PLAYER NHL POS AGE HT/WT TM GP G(W) A(L) PTS(GAA) PIM(SPCT)
1 Will Smith SJ C 19 6-0/175 Boston College (HE) 41 25 46 71 14
2 Matvei Michkov Phi RW 19 5-10/170 SKA St. Petersburg-HK Sochi (KHL) 48 19 22 41 26
3 Brandt Clarke LA D 21 6-2/185 Los Angeles (NHL) 16 2 4 6 10
4 Cutter Gauthier Ana LW 20 6-2/190 Boston College (HE) 41 38 27 65 18
5 Logan Stankoven Dal C 21 5-8/170 Dallas (NHL) 24 6 8 14 4
6 Ryan Leonard Wsh RW 19 5-11/190 Boston College (HE) 41 31 29 60 38
7 Alexander Nikishin Car D 22 6-3/195 SKA St. Petersburg (KHL) 67 17 39 56 39
8 Yaroslav Askarov Nsh G 21 6-3/175 Milwaukee (AHL) 44 30 13 2.39 0.911
9 Jesper Wallstedt Min G 21 6-3/215 Iowa (AHL) 45 22 19 2.70 0.910
10 Matthew Savoie Buf C 20 5-9/179 Wen-MJ (WHL) 34 30 41 71 10
11 Simon Edvinsson Det D 21 6-6/215 Detroit (NHL) 16 1 1 2 4
12 Jonathan Lekkerimaki Van RW 19 5-11/170 Orebro (SHL) 46 19 12 31 10
13 Dustin Wolf Cgy G 23 6-0/166 Calgary (AHL) 36 20 12 2.45 0.922
14 Devon Levi Buf G 21 6-0/192 Rochester (AHL) 26 16 6 2.42 0.927
15 Olen Zellweger Ana D 20 5-9/180 Anaheim (NHL) 26 2 7 9 4
16 Dmitri Simashev Ari D 19 6-4/198 Lokomotiv Yaroslavl (KHL) 63 4 6 10 18
17 David Reinbacher Mtl D 19 6-2/185 Kloten (Sui-NL) 35 1 10 11 18
18 Conor Geekie Ari C 19 6-3/193 Wen-SC (WHL) 55 43 56 99 66
19 Gabe Perreault NYR RW 18 5-11/165 Boston College (HE) 36 19 41 60 29
20 Daniil But Ari LW 19 6-5/203 Lokomotiv Yaroslavl (KHL) 55 10 11 21 10
21 Shane Wright Sea C 20 6-0/200 Coachella Valley (AHL) 59 22 25 47 18
22 Jiri Kulich Buf C 20 6-1/186 Rochester (AHL) 57 27 18 45 26
23 Mavrik Bourque Dal C 22 5-10/190 Texas (AHL) 71 26 51 77 32
24 Nate Danielson Det C 19 6-2/185 Bdn-Por (WHL) 54 24 43 67 42
25 Danila Yurov Min RW 19 6-1/175 Metallurg Magnitogorsk (KHL) 62 21 28 49 35
26 Brennan Othmann NYR LW 21 6-0/175 Hartford (AHL) 67 21 28 49 65
27 Lane Hutson Mtl D 20 5-10/160 Boston University (HE) 38 15 34 49 24
28 Tom Willander Van D 19 6-1/180 Boston University (HE) 38 4 21 25 12
29 Marco Kasper Det C 20 6-1/185 Grand Rapids (AHL) 71 14 21 35 30
30 Dalibor Dvorsky StL C 18 6-1/200 Sudbury (OHL) 52 45 43 88 17