Cole Eiserman draft preview

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 the top eligible left wings.'s full draft coverage can be found here.

Cole Eiserman arrived at the USA Hockey National Team Development Program two seasons ago with the goal of becoming the greatest goal scorer in NTDP history.

Now the 17-year-old wants to be known for all the other elements of his game.

"If you want the puck, you've got to be able to defend and that's something I'm adding to my game even more to become an overall 200-foot player," Eiserman said. "Obviously I'm trying to round out my game to help [my team] win. If I do that, I know I can be on the ice in any situation."

Eiserman (6-foot, 197 pounds) scored 58 goals in 57 games this season, and in two seasons with the NTDP had 127 goals in 119 games, one more than Cole Caufield in his two seasons (2017-19).

The rest of Eiserman's game is starting to come along, which is why he's No. 12 in NHL Central Scouting's final ranking of North American skaters.

"From the blue line in, he's arguably one of the most dangerous and best prospects that there is in this draft," Central Scouting's Pat Cullen said. "But I noticed in the second half he was working harder on the backcheck, he was working harder on his [defensive] zone. You could see that he was taking whatever coaching he was getting from his coaches there and he was trying to become more of a complete player. And I just saw his game became more than just him as a scorer."

Here are's top 10 left wings available for the 2024 draft:

1. Cole Eiserman, USA U-18 (USHL)

NHL Central Scouting ranking: No. 12 (North American skaters)

Eiserman's dynamic shot is what makes him a top-end NHL prospect, but teams do have concerns about whether he can round out his game. He'll continue that process next season at Boston University.

Those who know Eiserman best believe his work ethic will allow him to get his game where it needs to be to have success in the NHL.

"Whether it's fair or not, he's been labeled as a one-dimensional player but it's a very important dimension," Central Scouting director Dan Marr said. "In the National Hockey League, scoring is one of the best parts of the game. That's what he's going to bring to the table with the team.

"When I look down the road, I can see him impacting an NHL club like a Chris Kreider. A guy that can score goals on a consistent basis, score timely goals, help teams win games. I think he just needs to be coached up a bit and he'll get that in college hockey. That just comes with experience and maturity."

2. Igor Chernyshov, Dynamo Moscow (RUS)

NHL Central Scouting ranking: No. 9 (International skaters)

Chernyshov had a strong season in Russia's junior league with 28 points (13 goals, 15 assists) in 22 games, and the 18-year-old showed he could use his size (6-2, 192) and strength against older competition with four points (three goals, one assist) in 34 Kontinental Hockey League games. He has one more season left on his contract in the KHL. The reward could be a straight-line power forward with a good skill set.

3. Trevor Connelly, Tri-City (USHL)

NHL Central Scouting ranking: No. 6 (North American skaters)

Connelly (6-1, 160) was second in the United States Hockey League with 78 points (31 goals, 47 assists) in 52 games and is committed to play at Providence College. One scout said an NHL comparable could be Vancouver Canucks forward Elias Pettersson, but answers to questions about his on- and off-ice discipline could determine how high the 18-year-old could be selected.

"He's an explosive player that seems to impact every game he plays," Cullen said. "... I've not walked away from any games with Trevor in the past two years where I was disappointed. He's a guy that when you go to the rink, it's fun to watch him play because he can score, he can skate, he's unselfish. He just has a lot of qualities that make him a really attractive forward for NHL clubs to be looking at.

"The past is the past. We don't get involved in that. He's just a really, really good, complete player and he's done it at every level the last couple years."

4. Marek Vanacker, Brantford (OHL)

NHL Central Scouting ranking: No. 17 (North American skaters)

Vanacker (6-foot, 178) led Brantford with 82 points (36 goals, 46 assists) in 68 games. The 18-year-old scored one goal in six games to help Canada win the gold medal at the World U-18s. Most impressive was he played almost the entire season with a torn labrum in his left shoulder. He had surgery after the U-18s in June and is expected to need 4-6 months to recover.

"He's one of those guys that leaves it all on the ice," Central Scouting's Nick Smith said. "He's a character guy. ... He's a guy that can go out there and he changes momentum on his own as a young player. He just goes and competes. He's fearless, he takes the puck to the net and drives wide and goes to the hard areas and will make a big hit when the team needs it. He's just that player."

5. Andrew Basha, Medicine Hat (WHL)

NHL Central Scouting ranking: No. 26 (North American skaters)

Basha (5-11, 187) thrives off his great speed, and used it to finish third for Medicine Hat with 85 points (30 goals, 55 assists) in 63 games. The 18-year-old plays a dart-and-dash game but has the straightaway speed that allows him to pick up a puck in transition and blow past defenders.

"He has the ability to make plays and decisions at high speed," Central Scouting's John Williams said. "Great vision. Has speed and quickness. Another player that can be a difference maker in all situations."

6. Eriks Mateiko, Saint John (QMJHL)

NHL Central Scouting ranking: No. 33 (North American skaters)

Mateiko (6-5, 216) was second for Saint John with 43 points (23 goals, 20 assists) in 49 games and showed an impressive improvement in his skating. The 18-year-old, who was born in Jelgava, Latvia, also stepped up as a leader on a rebuilding team this season.

"His skating came around quite a bit from last year, so you can see that skating is not going to be an issue," Central Scouting's Jean-Francois Damphousse said. "He's going to be the type of player that can forecheck, that can be on top of plays and generate some offense. I like the projection for the size, the scoring ability and a player that I think knows what he is, and probably can fit in really well on the third, fourth line at the NHL level."

7. Nikita Artamonov, Nizhny Novgorod (RUS)

NHL Central Scouting ranking: No. 19 (International skaters)

Artamonov (5-11, 187) had 23 points (seven goals, 16 assists) in 54 KHL games. The 18-year-old left-handed shot can play either left or right wing, shows good quickness and knows how to get to the net and produce in the offensive zone.

8. Tanner Howe, Regina (WHL)

NHL Central Scouting ranking: No. 41 (North American skaters)

Howe (5-10, 184) had the difficult role of replacing Connor Bedard as Regina's go-to player and captain this season, but the 18-year-old showed his mix of skill and toughness in leading the Pats in goals (28), assists (49) and points (77), and finishing second in penalty minutes (77).

"He's a very tenacious, gritty kind of player," Williams said. "He can score, he can make plays, but he's a player that has that ability to have a 'B' game, he can do other things to helps team, whether it be killing penalties. He can play up and down your lineup, he can bring a lot of different elements. And he'll push guys that are ahead of him and make them better."

9. Javon Moore, Minnetonka (HIGH-MN)

NHL Central Scouting ranking: No. 47 (North American skaters)

Moore (6-4, 203) led Minnetonka with 26 goals and was third with 53 points in 28 games. He's athletic and skates well and is committed to the University of Minnesota, where he will be able to further refine his skill set.

10. Max Plante, USA U-18 (USHL)

NHL Central Scouting ranking: No. 43 (North American skaters)

Plante (5-11, 177) had 61 points (15 goals, 46 assists) in 51 games for the NTDP, including 11 points (two goals, nine assists) in seven games for the U.S. at the World U-18s. Scouts were impressed with Plante's hockey IQ and compete level, which he'll continue to develop starting next season at the University of Minnesota Duluth. The 18-year-old is the son of former NHL player and current Chicago Blackhawks assistant coach Derek Plante.

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