Buium Lindstrom Eiserman draft class pod

The 2024 Upper Deck NHL Draft will be held 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 ET; ESPN+, NHLN, SN, SN1). NHL.com is counting down to the draft with in-depth profiles on top prospects, podcasts and other features. Full draft coverage can be found here.

Zeev Buium knows exactly where he stands as one of the most dynamic two-way defensemen eligible for the 2024 Upper Deck NHL Draft.

"I think I'm the most competitive kid in the draft and also, I'm a winner," the University of Denver freshman said on the latest "NHL Draft Class" podcast. "I think teams want winners. Everyone wants to win the Stanley Cup and you need winning guys in the locker room. I think those are the two things that will kind of sell. That's the biggest things for me ... skill aside, I'm a highly competitive kid and I want to win and I have won."

Buium, No. 4 on NHL Central Scouting's final ranking of North American skaters, was first in the nation among all defensemen and fifth among freshmen with 50 points (11 goals, 39 assists) in 42 games for the NCAA national champion. The 18-year-old, who is the second-youngest player in men's college hockey, also had five points (three goals, two assists) and a tournament-best plus-11 rating in seven games to help the United States win the gold medal at the 2024 IIHF World Junior Championship.

"The World Juniors just kind of gave me a little bit of a confidence boost going into that second half (of the college season) and kind of feel good about yourself that you can have a different level of confidence," he said.

In addition to Buium, center Cayden Lindstrom of Medicine Hat in the Western Hockey League, and left wing Cole Eiserman of USA Hockey's National Team Development Program Under-18 team, joined "NHL Draft Class" co-hosts Adam Kimelman and Mike G. Morreale.

Lindstrom, No. 3 on Central Scouting's final ranking of North American skaters, is a powerhouse center and despite missing 36 regular-season games due to injury, remains a top option in the draft. The 18-year-old had 46 points (27 goals, 19 assists) in 32 games prior to getting injured.

"It was tough not being with the guys every day (during the injury)," Lindstrom said. "I had to stick with it and not get too down, stay with the positive things and try to get healthy. I kept working on other parts of my game, working on my hands."

Eiserman, No. 12 on Central Scouting's final ranking of North American skaters, led the NTDP with 58 goals and 23 power-play goals in 57 games. He arguably has the best shot of any player in the draft.

"I watched a lot of video with (NTDP coach Nick Fohr) and most of the time, it was just going over the shifts of the game and there was definitely some good, bad and ugly in there," Eiserman said. "But coach was just trying to help my game develop into a pro style, a style that's reliable for the coach. I was very proud to kind of get to where I am now and want to continue to develop."

The podcast is free, and listeners can subscribe on all podcast platforms, including iTunes and Spotify. It also is available on NHL.com/multimedia/podcasts and the NHL app.

Related Content