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, we examine draft needs for teams in the Pacific Division.'s full draft coverage can be found here.

The 2024 NHL Draft provides an opportunity for teams to shore up positions of need with an injection of young talent.

Here are what the eight teams in the Pacific Division could be looking to do at the draft (teams listed in alphabetical order):

Anaheim Ducks

Top Priority: Size on defense

First-round picks: No. 3, No. 31

The situation: The Ducks might have the richest crop of young players in the League, topped by forwards Mason McTavish, Leo Carlsson and Cutter Gauthier, and defensemen Pavel Mintyukov, Tristan Luneau and Olen Zellweger, with more set to push for NHL spots next season, including forward Nathan Gaucher (2022, No. 22) and defenseman Tyson Hinds (2021, No. 76). Finding more size to support their young players, especially on defense, could be the place Anaheim looks with the first of its two first-round selections; the Ducks also have No. 31 from the Edmonton Oilers in the trade of forwards Adam Henrique and Sam Carrick. In all, Anaheim has seven of the first 66 selections.

Possible fits: Sam Dickinson, D, London (OHL); Artyom Levshunov, D, Michigan State (NCAA); Anton Silayev, D, Nizhny Novgorod (RUS)

Calgary Flames

Top Priority: Center depth

First-round picks: No. 9, No. 28

The situation: The Flames are well-positioned to get one of the top defensemen available in the draft. But that also could be an option with the No. 28 selection, which was acquired from the Vancouver Canucks in the trade for forward Elias Lindholm. With their first choice, Calgary could aim for one of the highly regarded centers available. With Mikael Backlund (35) and Nazem Kadri (33) each well north of 30 years old, this could be the right time to add quality depth at the position. With two picks in each of the first four rounds, the Flames have a chance to significantly add to their prospect depth.

Possible fits: Berkly Catton, C, Spokane (WHL); Tij Iginla, C, Kelowna (WHL); Carter Yakemchuk, D, Calgary (WHL)

Edmonton Oilers

Top Priority: Best player available

First pick: No. 64

The situation: After losing to the Florida Panthers in seven games in the Stanley Cup Final, the Oilers won't pick until the second-to-last spot of the second round after trading their first-round pick (No. 31) to the Ducks for Henrique and Carrick. Its attempts to win the Cup have resulted in Edmonton making seven picks between the 2022 and 2023 drafts, and its only first-round pick during that span, forward Reid Schaefer (No. 32, 2022) was part of the package traded to the Nashville Predators for defenseman Mattias Ekholm. The Oilers lack draft capital again this year with one pick in the first four rounds, so they'll certainly take the best player they feel is available to them when the time comes. But if they are leaning one particular way, it could be defenseman, or possibly a goalie.

Possible fits: Lukas Fischer, D, Sarnia (OHL); Alfons Freij, D, Vaxjo Jr. (SWE-JR); Carter George, G, Owen Sound (OHL)

Los Angeles Kings

Top Priority: Center

First pick: No. 21

The situation: The Kings began the season with an average roster age of 28.6, and their top two centers, Anze Kopitar (36) and Phillip Danault (31) each are older than 30. Getting younger up front, especially at center, could be the direction for their first pick. Having made 16 selections in the past three drafts, they need to replenish their prospect pipeline in all areas, so choosing the best player available regardless of position could be the smartest route. But if there's two players of equal skill, Los Angeles could lean toward a forward.

Possible fits: Sacha Boisvert, C, Muskegon (USHL); Jett Luchanko, C, Guelph (OHL); Terik Parascak, RW, Prince George (WHL)

San Jose Sharks

Top Priority: Forwards

First-round picks: No. 1, No. 14

The situation: The Sharks have embraced a rebuilding effort that will get a boost from having the No. 1 pick in the draft. They also have No. 14, acquired from the Pittsburgh Penguins in the trade of defenseman Erik Karlsson, and four selections in the top 42. They signed Will Smith, the No. 4 pick of the 2023 draft, and forwards Quentin Musty (2023, No. 26), Kasper Halttunen (2023, No. 36) and Filip Bystedt (2022, No. 27) could be close to joining him in San Jose this season. After five straight seasons of finishing sixth or worst in their division, the Sharks need help in lots of spots. But finding elite forward talent likely is the direction they'll go in the first round.

Possible fits: Macklin Celebrini, C, Boston University (NCAA); Artyom Levshunov, D, Michigan State (NCAA); Cayden Lindstrom, C, Medicine Hat (WHL)

Seattle Kraken

Top Priority: Defensemen

First pick: No. 8

The situation: The Kraken built a versatile offense that helped get them to the Stanley Cup Playoffs last season, but it stumbled this season, averaging 2.61 goals per game, down from 3.52. Bounce-back seasons are expected in 2024-25 from several forwards, among them Matty Beniers, and there could be an infusion of prospects joining him, including forwards Shane Wright (2022, No. 4), Ryan Winterton (2021, No. 67) and possibly Jagger Firkus (2022, No. 35), who led all Canadian Hockey League players with 126 points (61 goals, 65 assists) in 63 games with Moose Jaw of the Western Hockey League. Helping energize those forwards would be a game-breaker on defense, something Seattle has lacked outside of Vince Dunn. With a top-10 pick in a draft heavy on high-skill defensemen, the Kraken have a chance to significantly add to their offense in future seasons.

Possible fits: Zeev Buium, D, Denver (NCAA); Sam Dickinson, D, London (OHL); Zayne Parekh, D, Saginaw (OHL)

Vancouver Canucks

Top Priority: Best player available

First pick: No. 93

The situation: The Canucks have five picks, but their first won't come until the third round; their first-round pick belongs to the Flames from the trade for Lindholm, and their second-round pick was sent to the Chicago Blackhawks for defenseman Riley Stillman. Vancouver will be looking to add depth to a prospect pool that is headed by forward Jonathan Lekkerimaki (2022, No. 15), and defenseman Tom Willander (2023, No. 11). Lekkerimaki had a solid season for Orebro in the Swedish Hockey League and finished with Abbotsford in the American Hockey League. He likely will play in North America full-time next season. Willander had a strong freshman season at Boston University and likely will play at least one more season there. Finding a young goalie to develop could be one option at this spot.

Possible fits: Kevin He, LW, Niagara (OHL); Nate Misskey, D, Victoria (WHL); Pavel Moysevich, G, SKA St. Petersburg (RUS)

Vegas Golden Knights

Top Priority: High-skill forwards

First pick: No. 19

The situation: In their first seven drafts, the Golden Knights have made seven first-round picks, but the only one currently in the organization is forward Brendan Brisson (2020, No. 29), who made his NHL debut this season. Finding and developing more skilled players is imperative, especially with just one pick in the first five rounds this year and four total. Choosing a defenseman also could be an option, but Vegas likely will find better selections up front at this spot.

Possible fits: Igor Chernyshov, LW, Dynamo Moscow (RUS); Trevor Connelly, LW, Tri-City (USHL); Jett Luchanko, C, Guelph (OHL)

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