Anthony Romani draft prospect

The 2024 Upper Deck NHL Draft will be held June 28-29 at Sphere in Las Vegas. The first round will be June 28 (7 p.m. ET; ESPN, ESPN+, SN, TVAS) and Rounds 2-7 are June 29 (11:30 a.m. ET; ESPN+, NHLN, SN, SN1). is counting down to the draft with in-depth profiles on top prospects, podcasts and other features. Today, a look at players passed over in the 2023 NHL Draft who could be selected this year.'s full draft coverage can be found here.

First-year NHL Draft-eligible prospects aren't the only players hoping to hear their names called at some point during the 2024 Upper Deck NHL Draft.

There are several notable players passed over in the 2023 NHL Draft hoping for another shot.

Anthony Romani (6-foot, 184 pounds), a right wing with North Bay in the Ontario Hockey League, might be at the top of the list.

"He has an elite hockey mind," NHL Central Scouting's Nick Smith said. "And you can't teach goal scoring, so for me and with what I've seen, Anthony is a natural goal scorer from the top of the circles on down. He can pick a corner pretty precisely and he's got that special kind of talent where he can just find the net."

Romani, who turns 19 on July 12, ranked second in the OHL with 111 points (58 goals, 53 assists) and tied for third with 279 shots on goal in 68 regular-season games. He had 43 points (23 goals, 20 assists) in 66 games in 2022-23.

Romani was voted among the two top players in three categories in the 2024 OHL Eastern Conference coaches' poll: Smartest Player (first), Most Dangerous in Goal Area (first), Best Shot (second).

Romani, No. 70 in Central Scouting's final ranking of North American skaters, had 28 power-play points (14 goals, 14 assists), seven game-winning goals and seven game-opening goals, and averaged 1.63 points per game. He was No. 106 on Central Scouting's final ranking of North American skaters for the 2023 draft.

"He's just produced all year and is a special talent," Smith said. "It's hard to find goal scorers, you can't train them. A lot of times you either have it or you don't."

Here are eight other players passed over in 2023 who could be drafted in 2024 (listed alphabetically):

Tanner Adams, RW, Providence College (NCAA): Adams (5-11, 184) ranked second on Providence with 21 points (six goals, 15 assists) in 35 games as a freshman in Hockey East. The 18-year-old right-hand shot, the fourth-youngest player in college hockey this season, is No. 140 on Central Scouting's final ranking of North American skaters. He was No. 101 in 2023.

"Hockey sense is probably his best asset because he processes it and knows where to go," Central Scouting's David Gregory said. "When we saw him at the start of the year in Providence, he was easily in the top six and was on their power play. In college hockey, especially on a program that's a high level and playing in a tough conference, there's some adjustments. I think next year he'll be a guy that's dominant, playing top-six minutes and all situations for them.

"Whether Tanner goes or not, someone may say, 'You know what, this guy could turn into Jack Devine (University of Denver); why not take him late.' Or they're going to say, 'Let's wait and see if he does become Devine and then hope to get him.'"

Ondrej Becher, C, Prince George (WHL): Becher (6-1, 187) finished fourth on the Cougars with 96 points (32 goals, 64 assists) and had 29 power-play points (eight goals, 21 assists) in 58 regular-season games. The 20-year-old from Ostrava, Czech Republic, has been passed over the previous two drafts, but could be reliable in a bottom-six role because he's skilled and isn't afraid to block shots. No. 69 on Central Scouting's final ranking of North American skaters, Becher also won 51.9 percent of his face-offs (476-for-918). He had 10 points (three goals, seven assists) and averaged 17:59 of ice time in seven games for bronze medal-winning Czechia at the 2024 IIHF World Junior Championship.

Lukas Matecha, G, Tri-City (WHL): Matecha (6-3, 196), born in Pardubice, Czech Republic, really impressed at the CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game when he made 19 saves on 19 shots in a victory for Team Red. The 19-year-old is No. 3 on Central Scouting's final ranking of North American goalies; he was No. 5 in the final ranking of International goalies entering the 2023 draft. This season he was 13-19-2 with a 3.42 goals-against average and .901 save percentage in 35 regular-season games. Matecha ranked first among Western Hockey League rookie goalies in saves (1,038) and second in minutes played (1,998) and shots against (1,152).

"He's had a strong season with Tri-City, especially coming over to North America because it's a tough adjustment to make," Central Scouting's Al Jensen said. "He seems to have adapted pretty quickly. He's a big goalie, moves well, competes hard, has good quickness."

Matyas Melovsky, C, Baie-Comeau (QMJHL): Melovsky (6-1, 190), a playmaking-type forward, is No. 80 on Central Scouting's final ranking of North American skaters and should hear his name called at some point on the second day of the draft. The right-handed shot had 60 points (18 goals, 42 assists) and 17 power-play points (three goals, 14 assists) in 53 regular-season games. He made the transition from his native Czech Republic to the Quebec Maritimes Junior Hockey League in 2022-23, when he was ranked No. 121 for the 2023 draft. Melovsky had 11 points (one goal, 10 assists) and averaged 18:18 of ice time in seven games for Czechia at the 2024 WJC.

"I think it's fairly easy to project that Melovsky can play a role at the NHL level and if it's not in a top six, it's bottom six because he can work the power play, kill penalties," Central Scouting's Jean-Francois Damphousse said. "He's an excellent skater, very agile, with good vision. He's a pass-first type guy. He'll finish once in a while, but he's a playmaker at the base. He does so many things well that you got to think a team's going to step up for him."

Nate Misskey, D, Victoria (WHL): Misskey (6-3, 210) plays a physical style, offers great compete and knows how to find an open man with good passes. The 19-year-old right-handed shot is No. 89 on Central Scouting's final ranking of North American skaters. He was second among Victoria defensemen with 34 points (seven goals, 27 assists) and had 14 power-play points (three goals, 11 assists) in 44 regular-season games.

Ilya Nabokov, G, Magnitogorsk (KHL): Nabokov (6-0, 179), no relation to retired NHL goalie Evgeni Nabokov, is No. 2 on Central Scouting's final ranking of International goalies. He wasn't ranked in 2023 when he only played one game in the Kontinental Hockey League. The 21-year-old, an athletic goalie relying on his quickness, was named KHL rookie of the year after going 23-13-3 with a 2.15 GAA, .930 save percentage and three shutouts in 43 games with Magnitogorsk. He was even better in the Gagarin Cup playoffs, helping Magnitogorsk to the championship with a 1.82 GAA, four shutouts and .942 save percentage in 23 games (16-6). He was named most valuable player of the postseason.

Jesse Pulkkinen, D, JYP (FIN): The 19-year-old (6-6, 219) had three points (one goal, two assists), averaged 18:30 of ice time, and was plus-6 in seven games for fourth-place Finland at the 2024 WJC. Pulkkinen, No. 12 on Central Scouting's final ranking of International skaters, had eight points (two goals, six assists) and averaged 17:57 of ice time as a rookie in 29 games with JYP in Liiga, Finland's top professional men's league, and 28 points (11 goals, 17 assists) in 18 games in Finland's junior league this season.

"I think the biggest reason for his success was that he realized his potential and started to practice harder," NHL director of European Scouting Jukka-Pekka Vuorinen said. "He is also not afraid to make mistakes and is always able and willing to try to do big things; he has a high ceiling."

Tyler Thorpe Vancouver WHL

Tyler Thorpe, RW, Vancouver (WHL): Thorpe (6-4, 209) plays a style reminiscent to Montreal Canadiens forward Josh Anderson. He is a prototypical power forward, and enjoys a physical brand of hockey while possessing a good shot. Thorpe had 44 points (23 goals, 21 assists), five power-play goals and two short-handed goals in 51 regular-season games. The 18-year-old is No. 111 on Central Scouting's final ranking of North American skaters; he was No. 223 entering the 2023 draft.

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