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). NHL.com is counting down to the draft with in-depth profiles on top prospects, podcasts and other features. Today, a look at the top eligible centers. NHL.com's full draft coverage can be found here.

Michael Hage has dealt with more than his share of off-ice adversity, but he's remained steadfast in his commitment to being the best he can be.

The 18-year-old right-shot center sustained a dislocated right shoulder on his first day of training camp and missed more than six months following surgery before eventually playing 13 games in his first season with Chicago of the United States Hockey League.

Overcoming that was nothing compared to what happened last summer when Michael's father, Alain, died in a swimming pool accident. But Hage has found the fortitude to press on in honor of his father.

"I think it's what he would have wanted me to do, so it's just extra motivation for me,” Hage said, “and he always believed I would be successful, and he pushed me as a kid and I just tried to make him proud every night. I think it meant a lot to him to see me having success. By the end of last [season], I knew he was happy with how it was all coming along. I wish he could be here to watch how it's going right now but I'm sure he's proud."

Hage (6-foot-1, 188 pounds) moved nine spots to No. 10 in NHL Central Scouting's final ranking of North American skaters for the 2024 Upper Deck NHL Draft, from No. 19 in the midterm ranking in January.

"The draft is just a dream come true and something you think about as a kid and watch on TV growing up, and it's pretty surreal for it to be happening to me now," Hage said. "It's exciting and it'll be an unbelievable moment for me and my family."

Here are NHL.com's top 10 centers available for the 2024 draft:

1. Macklin Celebrini, Boston University (NCAA)

NHL Central Scouting: No. 1 (North American skaters)

What more needs to be said of the freshman (6-0, 197), who is the projected No. 1 pick? This season, Celebrini won the Hobey Baker Award as the top men's player in NCAA ice hockey. The 17-year-old is the youngest player to win the Hobey Baker and the fourth from Boston University to win it, joining Jack Eichel (2015), Matt Gilroy (2009) and Chris Drury (1998). He finished third in the NCAA with 64 points (32 goals, 32 assists) in 38 games. The youngest player in college hockey, he was named rookie of the year and player of the year in Hockey East, becoming the fourth player to win both awards in the same season, joining Eichel (2015), Paul Kariya (1993) and Brian Leetch (1987). He'll determine whether or not he'll return to Boston University after the draft.

John Williams of Central Scouting said Celebrini has an all-around game that could allow him to make an impact in the NHL similar to that of former Chicago Blackhawks center Jonathan Toews.

"As a 17-year-old, they have similar size and are similar in terms of their ability to play the full 200-foot game," Williams said. "For him to step in and do what he's done is phenomenal, so he deserves all the accolades he's getting."

2. Cayden Lindstrom, Medicine Hat (WHL)

NHL Central Scouting: No. 3 (North American skaters)

Lindstrom (6-3, 213) is a powerhouse center and remains a top forward option in this draft despite missing 36 regular-season games because of injury this season. The 18-year-old returned to the lineup March 29 after recovering from surgery to repair an upper-body injury. He had 46 points (27 goals, 19 assists) in 32 games prior to getting injured, then had two points (one goal, one assist) and 17 shots on goal in four Western Hockey League playoff games.

"Lindstrom is an elite NHL prospect that any NHL club would covet, and the NHL projection does not change due to the fact that he has missed time due to injuries that were not deemed to impair his future career," Central Scouting director Dan Marr said. "Central Scouting chose to rank him in the same position because he remains one of the best prospects in this class and we haven't filed any reports to displace him."

3. Tij Iginla, Kelowna (WHL)

NHL Central Scouting: No. 9 (North American skaters)

Iginla (6-0, 191), who turns 18 on Aug. 4, has taken many lessons from his father, Hockey Hall of Fame forward Jarome Iginla, on and off the ice. Combined with his skill and the competitive verve that was so prevalent in his dad, Tij is projected as a potential top-10 pick. He was first on the Rockets this season with 47 goals and second with 84 points and 11 power-play goals in 64 games. The left-handed shot, who led Kelowna in the WHL playoffs with nine goals and tied for the lead with 15 points in 11 games, is recognized as a goal-scorer with a big shot and good hands around the net. His competitiveness and hockey sense are also big attributes of his game.

4. Berkly Catton, Spokane (WHL)

NHL Central Scouting: No. 8 (North American skaters)

Catton (5-10, 175) led Spokane this season with 116 points (54 goals, 62 assists) in 68 games to become the third WHL draft-eligible skater since 2000 to top 115 points in a season, joining Connor Bedard (143 points in 2022-23) and Nic Petan (120 in 2012-13). Catton also had a 53.4 percent face-off winning percentage, led the WHL with seven short-handed goals and was third on his team with 30 power-play points (13 goals, 17 assists). The 18-year-old generates plenty of scoring chances off the rush and possesses great awareness in all three zones. Catton had 10 points (eight goals, two assists) in five games to lead Canada to a gold medal at the 2023 Hlinka Gretzky Cup.

5. Konsta Helenius, Jukurit (FIN)

NHL Central Scouting: No. 3 (International skaters)

The 17-year-old right-handed shot (5-11, 189) had 36 points (14 goals, 22 assists) and five power-play goals, won 50.2 percent of his face-offs and averaged 16:57 of ice time in 51 games for Jukurit in Liiga, Finland's top professional men's league. He had the most points by an under-19 player in Liiga this season and the second-most among any teenager in the league. Helenius had two points (one goal, one assist) and 13 shots on goal in seven games for fourth-place Finland at the 2024 IIHF World Junior Championship, averaging 19:12 of ice time in a second-line role.

"He's a complete hockey player; a coach’s dream in many cases because you can trust him in several situations," said Jukka-Pekka Vuorinen, NHL director of European Scouting.

6. Michael Hage, Chicago (USHL)

NHL Central Scouting: No. 10 (North American skaters)

Hage was fourth in the United States Hockey League with 75 points (33 goals, 42 assists) in 54 regular-season games this season and had four points (two goals) in two playoff games. He had 27 points (10 goals, 17 assists) in his final 14 regular-season games to gain the attention of NHL scouts this season. Committed to the University of Michigan in 2024-25, Hage has 85 points (38 goals, 47 assists) in 67 USHL games in two seasons in the league.

"I think what stands out to me about Michael is he has the size, he has the speed, he has the skill, he has the shot, but he's competitive," Chicago coach Mike Garman said. "He's a really high-IQ player on top of it. He has, I think, a really unique combination of so many amazing assets."


7. Sacha Boisvert, Muskegon (USHL)

NHL Central Scouting: No. 16 (North American skaters)

Boisvert will further his development at the University of North Dakota next season and possibly become the program’s first Quebec-born player (Trois-Rivieres). Boisvert's size (6-2, 183) paid off early in his second season with Muskegon. He finished fifth in the USHL with 36 goals and tied for 11th with 68 points in 61 games after he had 45 points (17 goals, 28 assists) in 57 games as a rookie in 2022-23.

8. Linus Eriksson, Djurgarden (SWE-2)

NHL Central Scouting: No. 10 (International skaters)

Eriksson (6-0, 189) offers good speed and pace that continually backs off defenders, and once he reaches the offensive end he'll battle in the tough areas to retrieve pucks and create turnovers. His three best assets are his hockey sense, competitiveness, and playmaking ability. The 18-year-old had 21 points (five goals, 16 assists) in 25 games with Djurgardens team in Sweden's junior league and 11 points (three goals, eight assists), the most by an under-18 player, in 29 games in Allsvenskan, Sweden's second division.

9. Julius Miettinen, Everett (WHL)

NHL Central Scouting: No. 18 (North American skaters)

Miettinen spent his first 12 years playing hockey at home in Finland prior to joining Everett this season. He was third among WHL rookies with 67 points (31 goals, 36 assists) and 10 power-play goals in 66 regular-season games. He also won 55.1 percent of his face-offs. The left-handed shot (6-3, 201), who was No. 49 on Central Scouting's midterm list in January, had four points (two goals, two assists) in nine WHL playoff games. He's responsible and exhibits a lot of poise in the dangerous scoring areas, has good hands in tight spaces for a big player and doesn't shy from contact along the boards and in front of the net.

The 2024 NHL Draft is headed to Sphere in Las Vegas

10. Teddy Stiga, USA U-18 (USHL)

NHL Central Scouting: No. 44 (North American skaters)

Stiga (5-10, 178) might have been the most improved player from the USA Hockey National Team Development Program since last season, when he played a fourth-line role on the NTDP Under-17 team. This season with the Under-18 team he was effective in a top-six spot, finishing third on the team with 79 points (36 goals, 43 assists) in 61 games. He had 11 points (six goals, five assists) and tied for the tournament lead with a plus-15 rating in seven games for the United States at the 2024 IIHF World Under-18 Championship. Stiga, who makes good decisions and is relentless on the puck, often is compared to New York Rangers forward Vincent Trocheck. He's headed to Boston College next season.

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