Sawyer, Free, Taillefer and Bilic identified on NHL Central Scouting Players to Watch List

(October 25, 2023) – Logan Sawyer, Nathan Free, Mathieu Taillefer and Marko Bilic have been identified on NHL Central Scouting Preliminary Players to Watch List for the 2024 NHL Draft.

The list is a compilation of 2024 draft-eligible prospects from all the major development leagues throughout North America and Europe, which will be updated throughout the season as scouts evaluate players.

Sawyer, 17, is a point per game player with 15 points (8G, 7A) in 15 regular season games so far this season. He was named the AJHL Rookie of the Week for the week of October 9th to 15th. The forward from Calgary, AB is committed to Providence (NCAA Division I). He has a ‘C’ rating.

Free, 17, is also a point per game player with 15 points (6G, 9A) through 15 games this season. The Calgary, AB product is in his second season with the Bandits. During his 16-year-old year, Free had 35 points (13G, 22A) in 49 games, scored four points (2G, 2A) in nine AJHL Playoff games, and won an AJHL and Centennial Cup Championship. He’s committed to Penn State (NCAA Division I).

Taillefer, 17, has tallied eight points (1G, 7A) through 14 games this season. The Lake Newell, AB defenceman is committed to Penn State (NCAA Division I).

Bilic, 17, plays in the United States High School Prep League at Cushing Academy in Ashburnham, MA. Last season, he started 34 games at Ridley College in St. Catharines, ON, posting a 1.79 goals against average and 26-6-2 record. He’s committed to the Bandits for the 2024-25 season.

Free, Taillefer and Bilic have ‘W’ ratings.

Players on the list with ‘A’ ratings are considered potential first round picks. Players with ‘B’ ratings are considered possible second / third round choices, players with ‘C’ ratings are potential fourth / fifth round picks, and those with ‘W’ ratings indicate a ‘watch’ player for potential sixth / seventh round consideration and players with a limited scouting history and games played.

The 2024 NHL Entry Draft is expected to be held in June 2024 in Las Vegas.