The first round of the 2024 NHL draft is in the books! If you missed it, now's a good time to catch up on what happened. Adam did a good job recapping the whole first round and what interesting things happened:

2024 NHL Draft: Round one recap
Picks! Trades! Buyouts!

You can also get some more details on what happened to Toronto's 23rd overall pick, who they traded down to get the 31st and 58th overall pick. Cathy covered the pick trade here, and later wrote the post for Toronto's selection at 31: Ben Danford.

Because of that trade, Toronto found themselves with a shiny new pick in the second round. It's right at the end of the second round, but the difference between the start and end of the second round for pick quality is not vast. There are still good picks to be had, in my very biased opinion!

So let's talk about who Toronto could conceivably take at 58 who may still be available.

From My Profiles

First, there's quite a few guys I wrote profiles about who were not taken in the first round. There's the top guys that really slipped, who I think are very not likely to fall all the way to 58th. There are three that Bob McKenzie had ranked in the first round:

Expect all three of them to go early on today. But if you want to dream big and hope for a huge steal, then start dreaming about these three.

Then there are guys I profiled with the second round in mind, if they wound up trading down. Here they are with their rankings from Bob:

We're at the point where any of the guys ranked in the 40's could fall to 58 and it wouldn't be a major surprise. Stiga is the one I'd really hope for. He seems like such a Toronto pick. Freij would also be great, as more of a yin to Ben Danford's yang as far as defense prospects go.But the defenseman I'd really like in that group is Brunicke. I think he could be a better prospect than Danford, and of a similar type.

That leaves three players that I profiled who were not ranked by Bob McKenzie at all in his final edition:

I like all three, in roughly that order. I wouldn't bother taking them though, not at 58 when being unranked could mean they slip to the fourth round for better value.

Mining McKenzie's List

Outside of the players I have already written profiles about, we can take a look at the top players still available on Bob McKenzie's rankings. Here are the top five not including the guys I already mentioned above:

  • Ryder Ritchie (31st)
  • Charlie Elick (33rd)
  • Nikita Artamonov (35th)
  • Jesse Pulkkinen (38th)
  • Maxim Massé (39th)

Of these five, Aramonov and maybe Pulkkinen (re-entry) are more likely to fall. Artamonov seems like a guy Toronto would like, in terms of hard working, smart wingers with some skill. Pulkkinen is such a cowboy I don't see the fit with Toronto even if he does fall to 58.

As far as guys who are ranked closer to 58 on Bob's list that I also like, but didn't write about before, here are five options:

  • Linus Eriksson (44th)
  • Julius Miettinen (46th)
  • Adam Kleber (51st)
  • Kamil Bednarik (59th)
  • Brodie Ziemer (66th)

I like Linus Eriksson as a guy who plays a lot like Michael Brandsegg Nygard, if you like that style, but he just isn't at as high a level in terms of skill and play. But as a late second round guy, I'd love him. He skates and works hard. He is a pest for other players. He can play center and chips in offensively through the forechecking and chaos he creates, despite being only average sized.

Julius Miettinen is a 6'3" skating with some minor skating issues from what I can tell (not Chadwick level, just something that needs working on) who plays a big, scoring power forward style as a pure center. The polar opposite kind of player to Toronto's previous Miettinen.

Adam Kleber is a big (6'5") defensemen who can skate really well, and I see him as like a slightly lesser version of someone like EJ Emery if you liked him. He doesn't have the pure athleticism of Emery, but he may be more refined and less raw in terms of his all around play. Doesn't have the same level of offensive potential either, however.

Kamil Bednarik was the 2C for the US national development team, and he is another guy that plays just a really smart and effective game. Not the most skilled, he is the guy that just gets stuff done. You're not getting highly dynamic offensive players at this point in the draft, not unless they're 5'9" and have skating/defensive issues without the puck.

Brodie Ziemer is another USNTDP guy. He played a lot with their top line, and I read a lot of scouts rave about how well he can play with stars. He is a glue guy for top lines, and helps them chain together plays. He has some real skill as a finisher as well, and is a bit of a dual-threat offensively.

If you want to get a good idea of who else is left who might interest you, I recommend using Bob McKenzie's final rankings to get an idea of who he thought would go when:

Bob McKenzie’s Final NHL Draft Ranking: Many attractive and diverse options after Macklin Celebrini | TSN
This year’s final ranking, from No. 2 on, is much more challenging to assemble because of two factors - many more divergent opinions and variance on even the top 10 picks and two Russians forcing their way into the conversation in the upper echelon.

We'll find out later today!