2024 NHL Draft Prospect Profile: Charlie Elick

Charlie Elick, Brandon Wheat Kings (Photo Credit: Rick Elvin)
Charlie Elick, Brandon Wheat Kings (Photo Credit: Rick Elvin) CHL.com

Charlie Elick, 18, is one of the most well-rounded defensemen in the 2024 NHL Draft class. Standing at 6-foot-3, 200 pounds, the right-shot defenseman has the makings of being an impactful presence on any team’s blueline with a reliable, calm presence offensively and defensively.

The Scouting Report:

Elick is subject to the ideology that statistics do not always tell the whole story, in this case, that is true. On paper, he is a fringe first-round pick with the likelihood of being a second-rounder. However, looking at his game closer the argument holds that he should be a first-round lock.

The Calgary, Alberta, native, when on his game, has the makings of one of the best shutdown defensemen in the Western Hockey League (WHL) and 2024 draft class. Although his overall stats are not groundbreaking, Elick is a consistent blueliner in almost any situation.

He keeps things simple on both sides of the puck, rather than forcing plays, and is not afraid to sacrifice his body. It’s something every team looks for in a defensemen prospect. Elick is no stranger to throwing his body around. He has a strong base with room to fill out over the next few seasons and could be a very rewarding draft pick in a few years.

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Draft Rankings:

Ranked #30 by Inside The Rink
Ranked #28 by NHL Central Scouting (NA Skaters)
Ranked #47 by TSN/Craig Button
Ranked #33 by Dobber Prospects’ February Ranking

Conrad Jack of Inside The Rink has Elick projected 30th overall.

Diving Deeper:

Since joining the Brandon Wheat Kings in 2021-22 as a rookie fresh out of Edge School U18 prep, Elick has showcased his talent across the 200-foot sheet of ice. He is a dominant force in the defensive zone, pushing opposing attackers to the outside, and playing the body effectively. Elick is well aware of his size advantage, he uses it to lean on opponents, pinning them along the boards to gain an edge in any way possible.

Playing a more aggressive style can be costly, but Elick rarely overplays his hand. He still needs to work on his decision-making with the puck and continue to have a controlled mindset to prevent forcing a play. In taking a more aggressive approach to his game this year he reached career highs, through 65 games he posted 23 assists and 27 points, carrying a +4 plus-minus to his 11-point, -8 plus-minus season in 2022-23.

On-Ice Abilities:

Over the past year, Elick has become a very mobile skater, He also holds the blue line well, pushing the play back into the offensive zone rather than quickly retreating. He has a large presence in front of the net, tying up players while preventing screens in tight. It almost seems like Elick prefers to be a lockdown defenseman – something the game has shied away from over the years. He takes over the front of the net and clears out bodies effortlessly. If he does adventure to the corners, it is not for long. Elick takes care of business quickly and assures that he returns to the front of the net or north of it upon breakouts.

Elick tends to play a conservative game, except when throwing hits. He can be very aggressive in that aspect. The only time he will be caught chasing the pace of play is when looking for a big hit and overcommitting, leading to coverage breakdown. On the penalty kill, Elick is a force to be reckoned with. He knows how to use his reach and provide support on the backend. He grounds himself in the right position and clears pucks out.

Prospect Potential:

On the offensive end, he is an absolute gem. His impressive talent is most noticeable along the blue line, looking for opportunities to feed his teammates with crisp passes. His shot accuracy is remarkable and he always aims low to create a rebound off the goaltender’s pad. His defense, gap-closing ability and mobility have helped him climb draft rankings over the last few months. While he has the potential to grow his offensive skills, it’s uncertain whether he’ll be able to master both sides of the puck at the NHL level.

Achievements:

Elick was named to the CHL Top Prospects Game on January 24 in Moncton. He was one of 40 players from around the CHL named to the rosters of the two teams on December 19. This is a huge achievement for any draft-eligible prospect before hearing their name called in the draft. He showed out in the game and scouts were intrigued by what he offered.

Not only was he named to the Prospects showcase, but he was fortunate enough to represent his country on the international stage for the second time. He wore the red maple leaf for Team Canada at the World U18 Championships in Finland. Elick was also a member of Canada White in 2022 and the Hlinka Gretzky Cup team in 2023, putting up five assists in 13 games across the two events and taking home gold in both tournaments.

Quotables:

“Elick is one of the best skaters in this draft class and doesn’t need to put much effort to get up to full speed.” Steven Ellis, DailyFaceoff said. “The fact he can do that at 6-foot-3? Awesome. His puck play brings him down a bit, though. Elick isn’t much of a puck-mover and needs to clean up his passing before he turns pro, but he’s got a good base to be a solid value pick in the first round.”

“He’s got a good stick and feet defending the rush, but can also step up and lay the body, which he does with force (he’s one of the hardest-hitting players in the draft, regularly driving through players to sit them down along the wall, and occasionally even leaving his feet).” Scott Wheeler, The Athletic noted. “He’s also a really strong skater moving forward, which he’s using to be more involved in the rush this year.”


There are several talented defensemen in the mix this year, including Artyom Levshunov, Sam Dickinson and Zayne Parekh, which might push Elick to be a late first-round pick, a potentially early second or beyond. But if he falls later, he could be marked down as a steal the longer teams wait to call his name.

*All player statistics courtesy of eliteprospects.com

We Got The Jack Inside The Rink

In episode 8 of the Inside The Rink podcast, Matty and Smitty are joined by new co-host Conrad Jack. After the long hiatus, we get back to hockey with a PACKED episode!Matt Rempe & the Devils vs. Rangers Line BrawlCould the Vancouver Canucks squander a playoff opportunity? Have the Winnipeg Jets finally figured out their lines?Flyers Head Coach John Tortorella is a sound byte MACHINEOvechkin is on his way to 895, Who is next?McDavid joins elite company with 100 Assists in a seasonRyan Hartman was suspended 3 Games, was it worth 3 games??Can Auston Matthews hit 70 Goals this season?The Eastern Conference Wild Card race is heating up, who lands the two playoff berths?For all of your hockey news and more from the show, visit us at insidetherink.com and watch us on YouTube! How to support us and our sponsors:TicketmasterColumbia Sports ApparelESPN+ SubscriptionFanaticsDraft Kings – CODE ITR
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