The NHL on Wednesday held its annual Draft Prospects Clinic and Media Availability with a number of prospects slated to go in the top half of the opening round.

2024 NHL Draft prospects speak to the media.

Today's Content

Player Interviews: Iginla | Buium | Celebrini
Player Interviews: Eiserman | Catton

Jack Hughes Noted as Catton's Favorite Player

When looking at the draft rankings, Berkly Catton is a player that is right in that range where the Devils pick, 10th overall. If that ended up happening, that would be fine by him. 

“I always say Jack Hughes is my favorite player," said Catton. "Getting to go to a camp, play with your favorite player, wouldn’t ever say no to that. That would be a dream.”

Adding to the excitement this year is the fact that after the first several players picked at the top-end of the draft, it's pretty wide up for the next 10 to 12 slots. 

“There’s so much uncertainty and that’s what makes it all the more exciting. Once my name is called, there’ll be a sigh of relief.”

Arriving in Vegas has been a rush for Catton as well, given the overstimulation there can be with the lights and excitement of the city. 

“Being here and seeing everything, your mind races for sure,” he said. “Got in last night and got to experience how hot Vegas is real quick. It’s been really good so far. Getting to come here, see all the guys and top prospects.”

Last season was a breakout campaign for Catton with the Western Hockey League's Spokane Chiefs. He had 54 goals and 116 points. Catton said his overall growth as a player 

“The points part is great but I was really happy with the growth this year in my overall game. I think I grew a lot as a player and made myself a more dynamic player. I was more happy about that than the points.”

Catton said his interviews with the Devils went really well. 

“Very good. I thought it was really strong, honestly. Went smoothly,” he stated. “They had some in-depth questions which is always good when you go to those meetings.”

Cole Eiserman: "Players Love" Playing for the Devils

Another player who would be excited to join the Devils is Cole Eiserman. 

“You see a lot of American guys go there and they love it," he said. "They’re a good team right now and that would be a good place to play.”

Eiserman is as pure a goal scorer as you can get, denting the twine 25 times in 24 games for the U.S. National Team Development Program this past year. When asked what he needs to work on, he said attention to his overall game. 

“It’s maturing, knowing where to be in the defensive zone, what to do and thinking more defensively instead of offensively at times. I’m a pretty smart hockey player and I know what to do. It’s a matter of tricking your mind and doing it.”

Eiserman said that there was a fun moment in his interview with the Devils. 

“Shane Lachance, the guy I’m playing with at Boston University, his dad is a scout (with New Jersey) and it was pretty funny seeing that. It was a good talk and I feel like I got a lot of good, positive feedback so we’ll see.”

Zeev Buium Races up the Rankings

Big blueliner Zeev Buium is a player on the radar of a lot of teams and could very well be gone by the time the Devils draft. He noted that it's no matter to him in terms of who might select him. 

“I want to go to a team that wants me as a person and a player. If that’s them, it’s great,” said Buium. “I had one meeting with them at the Combine; I thought it went really well.”

This past year, Buium has shot up the draft rankings but he didn't enter the year with that mindset. 

“For me, it’s not all about the draft it’s about showing Denver this is the player that I am and I’m here to win a championship. I’ve always had belief and confidence in myself that I could do anything I can do.”

As a freshman with the University of Denver, he had 11 goals and 50 points in 42 games showing sides of his game that weren't as apparent in his prior stint with the U.S. National Team Development Program. 

“The last 14 months have been incredible and stuff that you dream about. I’m fortunate to be in the position I am.”

Zeev Buium speaks with the media on Draft Media Day

Iginla Has a Blast with Kids

Tij Iginla was one of the players skating with the kids at the prospects clinic prior to Media Day. 

“It was good to get out there. We were playing two-on-two. Zeev (Buium) had an advantage with his own stick and gloves,” Iginla laughed.

The son of Hockey Hall of Famer Jarome Iginla, Tij talked about how he's not quite feeling the nerves he maybe should as Friday's draft approaches. 

“It still feels a little bit off but I think night before or day before I’ll get a little bit nervous and it’ll probably be harder to sleep that night.”

Tij falling to the Devils at 10 would require a lot considering that the team picking right before them is dad Jarome's old team, the Calgary Flames. 

“It would be cool to go to the Flames but any team in the NHL would be great to go to.”

As for the clinic, his most memorable moment was an interesting answer by one of the kids. 

“One kid said their favorite player was Doug Gilmour. I was a little surprised by that.”

Tij Iginla meets the media on Draft Media Day