A Primer On Prospects That The Columbus Blue Jackets Will Be Keying On With The Fourth Pick In The 2024 NHL Draft

By Dan Dukart on May 9, 2024 at 1:45 pm
Michigan State's Artyom Levshunov
Nick King/Lansing State Journal / USA TODAY NETWORK

On Tuesday, we learned that the Columbus Blue Jackets will be picking fourth overall in the 2024 NHL Draft next month in Las Vegas.

With projected and presumed top prospect Macklin Celebrini a longshot to make it to number two, much less four, here's a quick primer on a handful of players that the Blue Jackets scouting staff will want to further familiarize themselves with as we approach the draft. Note: we will begin doing more serious film sessions/previews on each of the below-mentioned players starting next week.

Ivan Demidov, RW, SKA (KHL), 5'11, 168 lbs

The winger has can't-miss talent but plays for SKA, one of the most powerful organizations in Russia. That, plus the fact that he's likely a winger in the NHL, means he comes with at least some risk.

Artyom Levshunov, D, MSU (NCAA), 6'2", 209 lbs

The Belarusian defenseman is steady and mature. He may not be as offensively gifted as some defensemen who have gone in this range in years past, but it's hard to argue with a right-shot defenseman with size and his level of polish.

Cayden Lindstrom, C, Medicine Hat (WHL), 6'4", 216 lbs

Lindstrom battled through two injuries this year but has an intriguing skillset. Somewhat coincidentally, his game has a lot of rhymes with Adam Fantilli, and his blend of size, good hands, and finishing ability could be enticing.

Zeev Buium, D, Denver (NCAA), 6'0", 183 lbs

The smooth-skating defender had one of the most impressive freshman seasons in NCAA history, and he was the catalyst for Denver's national championship. Offense is his calling card, and he's got power play quarterback written all over him.

Anton Silayev, D, Torpedo (KHL), 6'7", 203 lbs

Scouts salivate over the monstrous defenseman, who skates and handles the puck way better than a man of his stature should. He's probably not a major offensive contributor in the NHL, but that won't prevent him from being a highly-touted pick. 

Zayne Parekh, D, Saginaw (OHL), 6'0", 181 lbs

Parekh and Buium have a lot of similarities, and it's incredible that there are two elite-level offensive juggernaut defensemen in the same draft. He gets brownie points for being right-shot, too. You just don't see many defensemen put up a 33-63-96 campaign as a draft-eligible.

Sam Dickinson, D, London (OHL), 6'3", 194 lbs

Dickinson is a prototypical, top-four right-shot defenseman for a dominant London Knights team that is contending for a championship. Where there may be some perceived trepidation about Parekh/Buium projecting to the NHL, there is less concern with Dickinson.

Tij Iginla, F, Kelowna (WHL), 6'0", 185 lbs

Yes, the son of Jarome is a draft-eligible. He's been a late riser and has darted up draft boards in recent months. Like his old man, he's a gifted goal scorer with a great shot.

Berkly Catton, C, Spokane (WHL), 5'11", 163 lbs

Catton is a slippery player in the mold of Kent Johnson. Whereas Johnson's calling card is his hands, Catton is a more dynamic and elusive skater. 

Cole Eiserman, LW, USDP (NTDP), 6'0", 196 lbs

Eiserman scores goals. He has a natural one-timer that he makes look insanely routine. He's battled perception issues this season, namely that he doesn't find his teammates well, and that he's not well-rounded enough to justify a top pick. But man, can he score goals.

Konsta Helenius, C, Jukurit (Liiga), 5'11", 181 lbs

The heady center is pro-ready and showed well for himself in Finland's top pro circuit this past season. What he lacks in top-end skill he makes up for in smarts.

Carter Yakemchuk, D, Calgary (WHL, 6'3", 194 lbs

Another defenseman with top-four upside, Yakemchuk is another powerful, steady defenseman who projects well to the NHL. The Athletic's Corey Pronman lists Alex Pietrangelo as his player comp.

This is quite the list of players considering the team picks fourth overall, but the general consensus is that there is no general consensus this year. Leaving a player like Beckett Sennecke off the list was done with a twinge of regret, and it's possible that the Blue Jackets go off the board. But the list had to be cut off somewhere, and we're confident it will be one of the players that appear to be mostly unanimously in the 2-8 range. 

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