Draft weekend is almost here, and excitement is building as NHL teams prepare to select over 200 players to join their ranks. The anticipation is high as teams hope to find the next superstar who will lead them to Stanley Cup glory in the future.

With the first pick seemingly locked in for the San Jose Sharks to select Matvei Michkov, all eyes are on who will go next. Will Ivan Demidov be the second overall pick now that Michkov is making his way to North America earlier than expected? And what about the defensemen – in what order will they be selected? There’s also the question of which players will rise and fall in the draft rankings, how many trades will shake up the evening, and which team will make a surprising pick.

As we get closer to the draft, the mock predictions differ significantly from the Big Board rankings. While the Big Board is based on data, scouting reports, and insider information, the mock draft is a reflection of industry speculation on how things might play out on draft night. This year, more than ever, there is a wide range of opinions among teams on the same players. Some teams have players ranked highly that others see as late first-round picks. Ultimately, each team’s individual evaluation of players will determine the outcome of the draft.

The unpredictability of the draft adds an element of excitement for fans, as they eagerly await to see which prospects their favorite teams will select. Whether it’s a highly-touted prospect slipping down the draft board or a surprise pick that no one saw coming, the draft always delivers its fair share of surprises.

As the clock ticks down to draft night, the buzz surrounding the event continues to grow, with fans, analysts, and teams alike eagerly awaiting to see how it will all unfold. The 2024 NHL Draft is shaping up to be one for the ages, with plenty of intrigue and drama expected to keep everyone on the edge of their seats until the final pick is announced.