2024 NHL Mock Draft 1.0 has New Jersey Devils rolling with an intriguing forward

The New Jersey Devils should land a future NHL star with the 10th pick, and an intriguing forward could fall to them in the process.
Medicine Hat Tigers v Winnipeg Ice
Medicine Hat Tigers v Winnipeg Ice / Jonathan Kozub/GettyImages
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10th overall: Cayden Lindstrom, C/Medicine Hat

While I can’t see Cayden Lindstrom falling this far, if, by any chance, he’s available at 10th overall, Tom Fitzgerald probably wouldn’t waste much time turning in a card with the Medicine Hat product’s name on it. Lindstrom’s size is one distinguishing trait, and with the productivity to match, he would be a steal with the 10th pick. Whoever is lucky enough to take Lindstrom next month could have an NHLer sooner than they may think. 

75th overall: Ryerson Leenders, G/Mississauga Steelheads

While I was going with the ‘best available for this draft and didn’t intend to zero in on a developmental prospect at goaltender, I wasn’t passing on Ryerson Leenders, whose improvement in Mississauga was promising. If the 17-year-old keeps playing better in the crease next season, his future will be more than bright. 

92nd overall: Eriks Mateiko, LW/Saint John Sea Dogs

In the first round, I had the Devils snagging a prospect with more than ideal size, and Eriks Mateiko is in the same mold with a 6’5, 209-pound build. So far, he’s spent two seasons with the Saint John Sea Dogs, and he served as an alternate captain this past season following a World Juniors Tournament in 2022-23, where he captained Team Latvia.