Sam Dickinson

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.'s full draft coverage can be found here.

Sam Dickinson from London of the Ontario Hockey League could be "the safest pick" when it comes to the 2024 draft, according to Nick Smith of NHL Central Scouting.

"I think he's almost the safest pick in the draft because he's just that two-way all-day type of defenseman," Smith said on the latest edition of the "NHL Draft Class" podcast.

Dickinson (6-foot-3, 203 pounds) had 70 points (18 goals, 52 assists) in 68 games this season, and the left-handed shot is No. 7 in Central Scouting's final ranking of North American skaters.

"He might not have the offensive upside like [Zayne] Parekh ... but he's a big, lanky body that can be a top-four D-man on any team all day," Smith said. "He's safe, plus he might be one of the best skaters in the draft.

"People don't realize for a 6-3 kid how smooth he is and how quick his feet are and he's just ready. He gets it. I've spent time with him, he's a great kid. He's got a good demeanor and a good approach to the game. He's definitely pro-ready and I think he's a pretty safe pick."

Smith also touched on several other top prospects from the OHL, including Oshawa forward Beckett Sennecke, Windsor forward Liam Greentree and Saginaw defenseman Zayne Parekh (6-foot, 178), who led the OHL at his position with 96 points (33 goals, 63 assists) and is No. 5 in the final ranking of North American skaters, though questions surround his defensive ability.

"I think his way of defending is trying to outsmart you," Smith said. "Trying to be in good spots and use his stick and just his agility and skating to stay out of trouble. I think he did it pretty well. It's still a big question mark when you're watching [Stanley Cup Playoff] hockey now. We all sit there and watch how tight the margins are and the physicality and wearing each other down. It's a question mark for him how that's going to play out."

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