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2023 NHL Mock Draft: Who goes after Bedard?

Ahead of Wednesday night's NHL Draft, we mapped out 32 players expected to be selected by each team through the first round.

There are a few surprises like the St. Louis Blues having 3 first-round picks after an abysmal season, the Washington Capitals drafting 8th overall as opposed to their usual late-round appointment, and the team with the third most likely odds to win the draft lottery picking first overall. 

Chicago jumped Columbus and Anaheim who both had better odds. 

Let’s take a quick look at the Blackhawks’ formality of a first-overall pick, as well as how the remainder of the first round of the NHL Draft may shake out.

Obvious #1 overall pick

There has not been a formality like Connor Bedard going first overall since Connor McDavid in 2015. 

Bedard has been labeled a “once in a lifetime” prospect. 

At the ripe age of 17, he won the Canadian Hockey League Top Prospect, Top Scorer, and David Branch Player of the Year awards this season after leading the WHL in goals (71), points (143), shots on goal (360), points per game (2.51) and goals per game (1.24) in 57 games. 

He finished tied for the league lead in assists (72) and game-winning goals (11). 

No player had won all three CHL awards in the same season since the Top Scorer award was introduced in 1994.

The next most likely

Anaheim missed out on Bedard, but they will be just fine with consensus second-overall pick Adam Fantilli. 

The 18-year-old is a 6'2" 187 lb center that has put up big numbers in the USHL and NCAA. 

He had 110 points in 101 games played for the Chicago Steel in the USHL and in his first year at the University of Michigan, he had 30 goals and 65 points in 36 games. 

Rounding out the top 3 is expected to be 18-year-old Leo Carlsson out of Sweden going to Columbus. 

The 6'3" 194 lb forward is renowned for his hockey sense and the overall maturity of his game well beyond his age. 

An excerpt from eliteprospects.com says “Carlsson’s ability to register gaps in defensive coverage, recognize passing options, keep pace with offensive and defensive rotations, and manipulate opponents to his whims makes him a constant threat.”

The tricky Michkov situation

Russian player Matvei Michkov presents a difficult situation for teams as he is under contract in the KHL for 3 more seasons. 

Michkov is billed as one of the top Russian prospects in years, but General Managers are still figuring out how to navigate the risk-reward of drafting him despite his undoubted first-round talent. 

Here is another excerpt from eliteprospects.com: “The rare triple-threat winger, Michkov is a constant threat to find the back of the net. His puck skills are near the top of the draft, owing to immense creativity, hip pocket handling, dextrous hands, and a never-say-die attitude.” 

Whoever lands Michkov will undoubtedly have the NHL rights to a budding superstar. They just have to be prepared to potentially not see him at the friendly confines for a few years.

How the remainder may play out

4. San Jose – Matvei Michkov – 5'10" 148lb Right Wing - SKA St. Petersburg KHL 
5. Montreal – Will Smith – 6'0" 172lb Center – Boston College NCAA 
6. Arizona – Dalibor Dvorsky – 6'1" 201lb Center/Right Wing - IK Oskarshamn SHL 
7. Philadelphia – Ryan Leonard – 5'11" 181lb Center – Boston College NCAA 
8. Washington – Matthew Wood – 6'3" 190lb Center/Left Wing – UCONN NCAA 
9. Detroit – Zach Benson – 5'10" 159lb Forward – Winnipeg Ice WHL 
10. St. Louis – Gabriel Perreault – 5'11" 165lb Right Wing – USNTDP 
11. Vancouver – David Reinbacher – 6'2" 187lb Defenseman – EHC Kloten NL 
12. Arizona (from OTT) – Oliver Moore – 5'11" 176lb Center – University of Minnesota NCAA 
13. Buffalo – Axel Sandin Pellikka – 5'11" 181lb Defenseman – Skellefteå AIK SHL 
14. Pittsburgh – Colby Barlow – 6'1" 187lb Left Wing – Owen Sound Attack “C” OHL 
15. Nashville – Nate Danielson – 6'1" 187lb Center – Brandon Wheat Kings “C” WHL 
16. Calgary – Brayden Yager – 6'0" 165lb Center – Moose Jaw Warriors “A” WHL 
17. Detroit (from NYI via VAN) – Tom Willander – 6'1" 179lb Defenseman – Rögle BK SHL 
18. Winnipeg – Eduard Sale – 6'2" 174lb Right Wing – HC Kometa Brno Czechia 
19. Chicago (from TBL) – Samuel Honzek – 6'4" 185lb Center – Vancouver Giants WHL 
20. Seattle – Calum Ritchie – 6'2" 187lb Center – Oshawa Generals “A” OHL 
21. Minnesota – Daniil But – 6'5" 203lb Left Wing – Loko Yaroslavl MHL 
22. Philadelphia (from LAK via CBJ) – Otto Stenberg – 5'11" 181lb Forward – Frölunda HC SHL 
23. NY Rangers – Quentin Musty – 6'2" 190lb Left Wing – Sudbury Wolves “A” OHL 
24. Nashville (from EDM) – Dmitri Simashev – 6'4" 201lb Defenseman – Loko Yaroslavl MHL 
25. St. Louis (from TOR) – Ethan Gauthier – 5'11" 183lb Right Wing – Sherbrooke Phoenix QMJHL 
26. San Jose (from NJD) – Mikhail Gulyayev – 5'10" 170lb Defenseman – Omskie Yastreby MHL 
27. Colorado – Gavin Brindley – 5'9" 157lb Right Wing – University of Michigan NCAA 
28. Toronto (from BOS via WSH) – David Edstrom – 6'3"187lb Center – Frölunda HC SHL 
29. St. Louis (from DAL via NYR) – Oliver Bonk – 6'1" 176lb Defenseman – London Knights OHL 
30. Carolina – Andrew Cristall – 5'10" 165lb Left Wing – Kelowna Rockets “A” WHL 
31. Montreal (from FLA) – Bradley Nadeau – 5'10" 161lb Center – Penticton Vees BCHL 
32. Vegas – Tanner Molendyk – 5'11" 176lb Defenseman – Saskatoon Blades WHL

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