Connect with us

NHL Draft

Taking a Closer Look at Potential Draftees Cole Eiserman and Berkly Catton

(Eiserman: Rena Laverty/USA Hockey, Catton: Tri-City Americans)

The 2024 NHL Draft Lottery came and went and for the first time since 2010, there were no changes to the order. The San Jose Sharks will be picking first overall, the Chicago Blackhawks will be following them and adding an another elite prospect to their system, and the Philadelphia Flyers remained put at number 12.

While that might not bring about a ton of excitement, at the very least with the 2024 draft class, the top-15 is where you want to be picking. After that it’s kind of a crap shoot compared to other years but either which way, the Flyers will be coming out of the first round with a top tier prospect – unless they make a blockbuster trade.

Macklin Celebrini will undoubtedly be the unanimous first overall selection unless the Sharks completely pivot but the real draft will commence afterwards. In other years, there’s usually a consensus of who will be picked in the top three or even the top four. Sometimes if the draft class is weaker, there’s at least a top two that is locked in like we saw in 2010 with Taylor Hall and Tyler Seguin. This year, once Celebrini is taken first overall, it’s almost anyone’s guess as to how the rest of the draft will follow – which could work in the Flyers’ favour.

In saying that, we can more than likely cross off players like Ivan Demidov, Cayden Lindstrom, Tij Iginla, and Artyom Levshunov for starters. It would be very hard to believe that Zayne Parekh, Zeev Buium, Sam Dickinson, and Anton Silayev fall into the Flyers’ lap at 12, but anything can happen – sometimes you just need one team to go off the board to change the complexion of the draft.

Which then brings us to two special prospects in Cole Eiserman and Berkly Catton, both of whom have the ability of being drafted in the top five, but have slipped in several mock drafts. One reason could be because it is a very top-heavy draft for defensemen and a lot of teams want to shore up their backend. Levshunov, Silayev, Parekh, Buium, Dickinson, and Carter Yakemchuk are all defensemen with top-10 potential teams like Anaheim, Utah, Ottawa, and Seattle among others will be interested.

Cole Eiserman

Heading into his draft season, Eiserman was at or very near the top of his class, where some debated whether it would be Celebrini or Eiserman. However, as time has gone by and as the all-important draft year has come and gone, Eiserman has taken a bit of a tumble. The skill is there and his offensive intangibles are evidently apparent but he has a few drawbacks that allowed him to slip.

Rachel Doerrie – ESPN – April 2nd: “Scouts raised concerns that he would “disappear” when he wasn’t scoring, and his stock has declined because of it. There is no denying his ability to score, but he’ll need to continue to develop his instincts and decision-making in college to score at the NHL level.”

Scott Wheeler – The Athletic – March 25th: “He can get carried away trying to do too much, stickhandling into trouble or shooting into shin pads. The play selection and habits definitely need some work, and have led to many understandably lowering him outside the top-five range I still have him in (though I am less sure about it than I thought I’d be).”

Corey Pronman – The Athletic – March 12th: “His consistency isn’t the best and he can be a frustrating player to watch at times, but I don’t think he’s soft and actually had some physical bite in his game. Despite all his faults, Eiserman is also a goal-per-game player in junior, so you ride the wave with him. He has the potential to be a top-line winger.”

Peter Baracchini – The Hockey Writers – March 7th: “You can’t deny the fact that he’s got a dangerous release and accuracy. However, there are some concerns with his off the puck play and ability to be engaging can be very inconsistent.”

In saying that, you cannot deny the positives either:

Sam Cosentino – Sportsnet – March 13th: “The hardest thing to do in hockey is score, and he’s doing that at an elite level.”

Steven Ellis – Daily Faceoff – March 9th: “Eiserman’s shot is as elite as it gets at this level, allowing him to put pucks in the net from just about anywhere. He also loves to throw hits too as an absolute competitor.”

Mike Morreale – – March 1st: “Eiserman (6-0, 197) has one of the best shots of any player in the draft class and doesn’t shy from utilizing that big asset every shift from anywhere in the offensive end.”

The winger steps in at 6’0” and almost 200 pounds, he will be turning 18 years of age at the end of August, and is a left-handed shot. He is coming off a fantastic season with the U.S. National U18 Team, where he tallied 58 goals and 89 points in 57 games, while also scored 25 goals and 34 points in 24 games for the USNTDP Juniors. At the U18 World Juniors, Eiserman scored 9 goals and 10 points in 7 games for the American side.

Even dating back to the 2021-22 season, Eiserman scored 43 goals and 72 points in just 42 game for the U.S. National U17 Team, 26 goals and 32 points in 20 games for the U18 Team, and 28 goals and 44 points in 32 games for the USNTDP Juniors. Wherever he’s played, he has scored goals aplenty.

Eiserman was initially committing to the University of Minnesota for the 2024-25 season but changed his mind in September of 2023 and decided to commit to Boston University. Celebrini played for Boston University in 2023-24 and won the Hobey Baker Award as the top collegiate player in the country. Should he surprisingly remain in the NCAA in 2024-25, they could have a lethal 1-2 punch.

Berkly Catton

Catton had a rejuvenated 2023-24 season for the Spokane Chiefs of the Western Hockey League in Canada. He scored 54 goals and 116 points in 68 games after having scored 23 goals and 55 points in 63 the games the year prior.

The 18-year-old finished fourth league-wide in points behind Jagger Firkus’ 126 points (drafted by Seattle in 2022), Zac Funk’s 123 points (signed by Washington in 2024), and Riley Heidt’s 117 points (drafted by Minnesota in 2023). Catton also finished third league-wide in goals behind Funk and Firkus. He would add 4 assists in 4 games in the postseason before his Chiefs were swept out of the first round by the Prince George Cougars.

Catton also captained Team Canada at the Hlinka Gretzky Cup where he scored 8 goals and 10 points in 5 games. He tallied a goal during their 3-2 overtime victory against the Czech Republic in the Gold Medal match.

According to many, Catton is equipped with elite instincts both on and off the puck, he can finish effortlessly, and has a drive that never ceases to quit. He competes on every single shift, he’s more aggressive than his stature would depict, and Sam Cosentino went as far to say that he has no glaring weakness.

He may just weigh in at around 170 pounds but the 5’11 centre has all the tools the Flyers are looking for from someone of his position.

Rachel Doerrie – ESPN – April 2nd: “His elite instincts make him dangerous in all areas of the ice because he can strip the puck, get moving and turn defense into offense within seconds. While on the smaller side, Catton has many transferable skills that should see him thrive in a top-six role at the NHL level.”

Scott Wheeler – The Athletic – March 25th: “He thrives in tight spaces and on cutbacks, he can play on the perimeter or take it to the net, and he’s got a dangerous and quick release while moving. He does such a good job losing defenders with his back to them to avoid getting pinned down because of how adjustable his skating is through stops and starts and tight turns.”

Sam Cosentino – Sportsnet – March 13th: “A little undersized for the position, but there’s no glaring weakness in his game. He’s a play driver and a dual threat offensive player as evidenced by his 50-goal, 100-point season to date.”

Corey Pronman – The Athletic – March 12th: “He’s not overly physical, but he competes. He wins pucks, gets to the net and can kill penalties. He projects as an excellent top-six center with a chance to be a No. 1 center.”

Steven Ellis – Daily Faceoff – March 9th: “His two-way game is excellent, too. Few CHLers are as creative as Catton, and it’s something that should translate to the NHL. Will his lack of muscle hurt him? Potentially, but he’s an excellent talent.”

Peter Baracchini – The Hockey Writers – March 7th: “He’s a deceptive playmaker and deceiving with his puck skills and handling. He can be a threat in all situations as he’s constantly putting himself in a position to be dangerous and succeed with his awareness and skill alone.”

Mike Morreale – – March 1st: “Catton (5-11, 170) plays a hard-driving game, is relentless in puck pursuit and has a compete level too good to ignore. The 18-year-old is poised under pressure and can make smart plays in stride.”

Similar to Eiserman, Catton’s placing in mock drafts are all over the place. Some have him going as high as number 5 to Montreal, some have him dropping to the 10-11 range. It will all boil down to team needs and with so many defensemen available – especially of the right-shot variety – it could allow Catton to slip to the Flyers.

Flyers fan born in the heart of Leafs nation

More in NHL Draft