Greetings and welcome back to Top Shelf Prospects, the column showcasing the upcoming generation of hockey players. Our LWOS Prospects Writers will provide you with 2024 draft class profiles and other articles as the 2023–2024 season progresses. Here is the fifth section of our initial 2024 NHL draft rankings!
December Edition: LWOS 2024 NHL Draft Rankings
21) Michael Brandsegg-Nygaard, Right Wing, Mora IK (Hockey Allsvenskan)
This season, Norwegian forward Brandsegg-Nygaard has alternated between the Allsvenskan and the Swedish J20 league. In seven junior league games, he has seven goals and twelve points. The 17-year-old has scored two goals and six points in 22 games when playing against men. At six feet one inch, Brandsegg-Nygaard is ready to take advantage of his stature. He has no problem going up against opponents on both ends of the rink or fighting for loose pucks.
Brandsegg-Nygaard releases the ball quickly and has a very good shot. Additionally, Brandsegg-Nygaard possesses good passing and vision. He can set up teammates for a scoring opportunity once he wins a puck down low or creates a turnover. Without the puck, Brandsegg-Nygaard is also a shrewd player. In high-scoring areas, he locates open space and makes himself visible so that he can receive a pass and attempt a goal. mature for his age A superb defensive player who reads the play well and denies scoring opportunities is Brandsegg-Nygaard. Though he has good offensive ability, the key question here is whether he possesses an exceptional quality that would enable him to be a true top scorer.
22) Veeti Vaisanen, Left Defence, KooKoo, (SM-Liiga, Finland)
With two goals and four points in just five Under-20 games, Vaisanen was unstoppable in the Finnish Junior League. He has gained experience in Finland’s top men’s league, having participated in 25 games and scoring one goal and five points. Vaisanen appears a little underbuilt. Despite his six feet, he weighs only 161 pounds. His exceptional skating ability has compensated for this. Vaisanen is incredibly quick and skilled at pivots and edgework. He’s able to cover a lot of ice with this. His fluid pivots enable him to switch between defense and offense with ease.
Vaisanen is a very skilled defensive player. He can cut off prime scoring areas and keep attackers outside thanks to his skating. He keeps up excellent gap control. Additionally, he reads the play well and uses a quick stick to break up passes. Vaisanen combines deft stickwork with his skating. Effective zone entries can be produced by him when he brings the puck out of his end and carries it through the neutral zone. He should be able to become a little more physical as well as improve his shot as he gains muscle, which will make him even more lethal.
23) Igor Chernyshov, Left Wing, Dynamo Moscow (KHL and MHL)
Chernyshov is another young talent who alternates between the men’s and junior leagues in his native country. With 10 goals and 19 points in 17 games in the MHL, he has been incredibly productive. But in the KHL, he has had trouble obtaining consistent ice time. This is typical behavior for an adolescent. Chernyshov is, in fact, the youngest player in Dynamo Moscow’s history to score a goal in the KHL. Chernyshov has the build and size of a power forward, and he can skate to the net and shoot with accuracy and force to score goals. He does, however, also display playmaking potential thanks to his superb passing and vision abilities and strong hands. How far up the NHL Draft Rankings he’ll go given the Russian Factor and the fact that he needs some work in the defensive end of the ice?
24) Carter Yakemchuk, Right Defence, Calgary Hitmen, (WHL)
prowess, and charm to make scouts salivate. He can move the puck out of his end and through the neutral zone thanks to his lateral agility and ability to carry the puck while making fast cuts and direction changes. With 31 games played this season for the Hitmen, he has 35 points, which helps him create offense. Although Yakemchuk can shoot the ball fairly well, his true offensive threat is as a facilitator. With his swift movements, he can create passing lanes and pass the puck to his teammates.
Although Yakemchuk has made significant progress in his defensive repertoire, there is still opportunity for improvement. He will be the kind of two-way defender who can play significant minutes in all circumstances once he really learns to use his size and long stick to take away the middle of the ice.
25) Liam Greentree, Right Wing, Windsor Spitfires, (OHL)
Greentree has exceptional wrist shot and release in addition to his good size. His sneaky release can trick goalies when they’re not looking. Greentree had the most goals of any rookie in the OHL last season—25. In the Hlinka/Gretzky Cup, he also participated for Team Canada, where he contributed to the team’s gold medal. Greentree has improved significantly this season. In just 27 games, he already has 19 goals and 39 points.
In addition, he has good stickhandling skills, good vision, and good passing ability to find teammates and create plays. Greentree excels at controlling the puck down low and fending off checks with his body to hold onto possession. He is capable of making a fast pass to a teammate and driving to the front of the net to start a give-and-go. He can become a little more physical when it comes to forechecking and defense as he develops. Greentree’s position in our upcoming NHL Draft Rankings would increase even further if he can develop into a true power forward.
26) Nikita Artamonov, Right Wing/Left Wing, Torpedo Novogrod, (KHL)
Artamonov, who has played in the KHL for the most of the season, has scored four goals and totaled fourteen points in thirty games. Artamonov is a powerful skater with outstanding acceleration and speed. In addition, he has good stickhandling skills and the ability to make plays at maximum speed. Artamonov has a high IQ for hockey. Without the puck, he does a good job of getting open and giving teammates a way to express themselves. He also makes deft passes with it. He makes a hard, accurate shot. In addition, he has excellent vision and makes use of his shiftiness to create passing lanes and assist teammates.
Additionally proficient on the defensive end of the rink is Artamonov. He avoids getting caught out of position and blocks passing lanes and turnovers with his body and active stick. He is good at initiating the transition game when a turnover is made. Artamonov has the ability to carry the puck through the neutral zone, which opens up opportunities for rush entries and zone entries. Artamonov participates in the play in all three zones and is constantly on the move.
Thanks for reading and check back for the next group of prospects in the December edition of our 2024 NHL Draft Rankings.