Pick 7 draft selection Caleb Windsor has "given himself every chance" for an Opening Round AFL debut for Melbourne after booting two goals in Wednesday night's practice match win against Carlton.

The speedy outside midfielder kicked two goals on the run from his 11 disposals and 284 metres gained in the Demons' 38-point victory at IKON Park, emerging as one of Simon Goodwin's standout performers.

The Eastern Ranges product has benefitted from veteran Lachie Hunter's absence, with the former Bulldog's calf concern likely opening the door for an early debut for Windsor.

The teenager put an end to any remaining doubt over a potential spot in Goodwin's side for a trip to Sydney next week, with assistant coach Andrew McQualter lauding the young ball-winner's composure on the big stage.

"He's really given himself every chance, hasn't he?" McQualter said of Windsor's debut prospects.

"He's had a terrific pre-season, he's trained really hard. He's a young kid, he's got lots of his game that he'll still get better at, but he's given himself a real look at it.

"(Composure and ball use) is one of his skill sets for sure, but he's also got a really strong defensive side of his game that's a big focus for him as well. He'll be trying to balance that out all year."

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 28: Caleb Windsor of the Demons runs away from Adam Saad of the Blues to kick a goal during the 2024 AFL Community Series match between Carlton Blues and Melbourne Demons at Ikon Park on February 28, 2024 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Daniel Pockett/Getty Images)

Captain Max Gawn was a dominant force for the Demons in the middle, recording a game-high 30 hitouts to go with 24 disposals, five clearances and two goals in the win.

Midfielder Tom Sparrow was also impactful on the attacking end, adding three goals himself in another strong pre-season showing for the 23-year-old.

Sparrow looks to be one of several Demons set to thrive in a 'fresh' Melbourne midfield unit that is currently without superstar Clayton Oliver at senior level and recently lost premiership hero Angus Brayshaw to retirement.

The pair's absence for Wednesday's game also saw defender Christian Salem move into the engine room, with the rebounding backman looking comfortable at the coalface.

"He did look good, didn't he?" McQualter said of Salem.

"He's a pretty good player, so anywhere you put him he's going to be a good player. We're going to have to get creative with our midfield. He played there tonight and was really good for us.

"I've been really impressed by Tom. He's a real pro. A young kid but he's got a mature head on his body. He's trained really strongly over this pre-season and played a strong game today.

"We're really looking for him to step up in the midfield, he'll play multiple roles for us this year. It's always important for guys like that to play a few roles.

Tom Sparrow during the 2022 AFL Round 1 match between Melbourne and Western Bulldogs (Photo by Cameron Grimes / Zero Digital Media)

"This midfield has been really strong for a long period of time and it's been the same. A bit of variety and freshening things up might be good."

Oliver managed a successful hitout against Carlton's VFL side earlier in the day to strengthen his bid for an Opening Round showing next week.

McQualter said the four-time best and fairest winner will be playing next week, but is unsure if that will be at AFL level.

"He'll definitely play footy next week," the former Richmond assistant revealed.

"It's awesome, he's in a great spot at the moment. He played in the VFL today, I'm not sure if he plays Round 0. I'd love to know it as much as you.

"At the moment, our biggest focus is setting him up for a great year. It's a long year ahead, but he's in a terrific spot at the moment."

Melbourne and Sydney will open the 2024 season at the SCG next Thursday, March 7.