We have not reached the halfway point in the NHL season, so there is still a ways to go before the 2023 NHL Draft.
However, the 2023 World Juniors is featuring a number of the top players that will be hearing their names called next summer, so it’s a good time to get ready for the 2023 draft.
Three of the anticipated top four players will be competing for their country at the IIHF U20 junior championship — Canada’s Connor Bedard and Adam Fantilli, and Sweden’s Leo Carlsson. In addition, potential top-10 selections like Slovakia’s Dalibor Dvorsky and Czechia’s Eduard Sale will be playing in the games.
MORE: Connor Bedard, Adam Fantilli top 2023 draft prospects at World Juniors
Here is what you need to know ahead of the 2023 NHL Draft.
When is the 2023 NHL Draft?
- Day 1 date: Wednesday, June 28
- Day 2 date: Thursday, June 29
The 2023 NHL Draft will span two days. The first round will take place Wednesday, June 28, with representatives from all 32 teams in Nashville.
On Thursday, June 29, the picks in Rounds 2-7 will be made.
Where is the 2023 NHL Draft?
- Venue: Bridgestone Arena
- City: Nashville, Tenn.
Bridgestone Arena, home of the Predators, will be the location of the 2023 NHL Draft.
This is the second time that Nashville will host a draft. The city was the site of the 2003 draft.
2023 NHL Draft top prospects at the World Juniors
Connor Bedard, F, Canada
The term “generational talent” gets thrown around probably more often than it should, but that’s what Connor Bedard is. He owns an exceptional shot, smooth skating and has elite hands to pair. He’s ripping up the WHL this year, leading the league in goals (27), assists (37) and points with 64, which is 15 more than the next-highest point producer.
Bedard had eight points in seven games at the summer tournament, and likely will resume his role as a top-line wing for Canada again. In one of the deepest draft classes in recent years, the Canadian sensation is still the bonafide No. 1 pick.
Adam Fantilli, F, Canada
Adam Fantilli took the irregular route of playing in the United States as a Canadian, skating in the USHL for two seasons before joining the University of Michigan this fall. He has shown no issues transitioning to the college level, as the freshman has 26 points in 16 games with the Wolverines. Among all NCAA skaters, Fantilli ranks second in points per game (1.63) and is tied for third in points.
MORE: 2023 World Juniors schedule, standings, results
Fantilli’s skating is what separates him from others in his draft class. His movements are fluid, especially for someone listed at 6-2. He has a high hockey IQ and has become a strong two-way center for Michigan. Whichever team misses out on Bedard can’t be disappointed with Fantilli as a consolation prize.
Leo Carlsson, F, Sweden
With Fantilli’s stock rising over the summer, it created a “big three” of Bedard, Fantilli and Russian star Matvei Michkov at the top of the 2023 draft. Leo Carlsson is making a very strong case for it to be pushed to four.
The 6-3 center has flown up draft boards with his skill and size. Like Fantilli, he’s got a large frame that he uses on the outside, but also has an uncanny ability to slip in and around defenders 1 on 1 using his hands. Carlsson is up to 14 points in 25 games with Örebro HK in his first full year with the SHL club.
Dalibor Dvorsky, F, Slovakia
It’s been tough to evaluate Dvorsky at times given his limited minutes with AIK in HockeyAllsvenskan, but when he’s on the ice, he produces. The Slovak has eight points in 21 games in Sweden’s second-highest professional league. Dvorsky has a great hockey mind and gets himself in the right places offensively and defensively to make plays.
Dvorsky is making his second appearance for Slovakia at the World Juniors. The center played in all four games for the Slovaks in the summer, recording a goal and an assist. With Slovakia gearing up to be a much better team at the 2023 tournament than in 2022, Dvorsky, who is a top-10 candidate for the 2023 draft, will have an opportunity to produce more.
Eduard Sale, F, Czechia
Sale is a pure offensive dynamo. The sharp-shooting Czech loves to have the puck on his stick, and it’s shown on the scoresheet. Sale had four goals and six points in five games at the Hlinka Gretzky Cup this past summer with Czechia’s U18. The winger is playing his first full season in the Czech Extraliga with HC Kometa Brno.
There are certainly some things Sale needs to improve on, including his off-the-puck play. But his offensive skill makes him a tantalizing prospect and a borderline top-10 pick at this point. While Czechia has more returners than any other team at the World Juniors, there should be a top-six spot in their lineup for Sale.
MORE: Every NHL draft pick at the 2023 World Juniors
Odds for the No. 1 overall pick in the 2023 NHL Draft
There is still plenty of the 2022-23 NHL season to be played. However, we already have a sense of what teams will be competing for the No. 1 overall pick.
The Blackhawks currently own the worst record in the league, meaning they would hold the highest odds at getting the No. 1 pick in the draft lottery. The NHL has a draw for the No. 1 and No. 2 picks in the draft, so just because a team ends in last place, does not guarantee they get the first overall selection.
Here is the probability for the top teams to get the No. 1 overall pick, according to Tankathon.
Chances as of Dec. 23.
|Team||Chance at No. 1 pick|
|Columbus Blue Jackets||11.5%|
|San Jose Sharks||9.5%|
|St. Louis Blues||3.5%|
Complete list of No. 1 overall picks in NHL history
No team has had more No. 1 overall picks than the Canadiens. Picking first isn’t always easy and many teams have failed to identify the best player in the draft while picking first.
Here’s a list of every No. 1 overall pick in NHL Draft history.
|1963||Montreal Canadiens||Garry Monahan||St. Michael’s Juveniles|
|1964||Detroit Red Wings||Claude Gauthier||Rosemount|
|1965||New York Rangers||Andre Veilleux||Montreal Ranger Jr. B|
|1966||Boston Bruins||Barry Gibbs||Estevan Bruins|
|1967||Los Angeles Kings||Rick Pagnutti||Garson-Falconbridge|
|1968||Montreal Canadiens||Michel Plasse||Drummondville Rangers|
|1969||Montreal Canadiens||Rejean Houle||Montreal Junior Canadiens|
|1970||Buffalo Sabres||Gilbert Perreault||Montreal Junior Canadiens|
|1971||Montreal Canadiens||Guy Lafleur||Quebec Remparts|
|1972||New York Islanders||Billy Harris||Toronto Marlboros|
|1973||New York Islanders||Denis Potvin||Ottawa 67’s|
|1974||Washington Capitals||Greg Joly||Regina Pats|
|1975||Philadelphia Flyers||Mel Bridgman||Victoria Cougars|
|1976||Washington Capitals||Rick Green||London Knights|
|1977||Detroit Red Wings||Dale McCourt||St. Catharines Findcups|
|1978||Minnesota North Stars||Bobby Smith||Ottawa 67’s|
|1979||Colorado Rockies||Rob Ramage||Birmingham Bulls|
|1980||Montreal Canadiens||Doug Wickenheiser||Regina Pats|
|1981||Winnipeg Jets||Dale Hawerchuk||Cornwall Royals|
|1982||Boston Bruins||Gord Kluzak||Billings Bighorns|
|1983||Minnesota North Stars||Brian Lawton||Mount St. Charles High School|
|1984||Pittsburgh Penguins||Mario Lemieux||Laval Voisins|
|1985||Toronto Maple Leafs||Wendel Clark||Saskatoon Blades|
|1986||Detroit Red Wings||Joe Murphy||Michigan State|
|1987||Buffalo Sabres||Pierre Turgeon||Granby Bisons|
|1988||Minnesota North Stars||Mike Modano||Prince Albert Raiders|
|1989||Quebec Nordiques||Mats Sundin||Nacka|
|1990||Quebec Nordiques||Owen Nolan||Cornwall Royals|
|1991||Quebec Nordiques||Eric Lindros||Oshawa Generals|
|1992||Tampa Bay Lightning||Roman Hamrlik||Zlin ZPS AC|
|1993||Ottawa Senators||Alexandre Daigle||Victoriaville Tigres|
|1994||Florida Panthers||Ed Jovanovski||Windsor Spitfires|
|1995||Ottawa Senators||Bryan Berard||Detroit Jr. Red Wings|
|1996||Ottawa Senators||Chris Phillips||Prince Albert Raiders|
|1997||Boston Bruins||Joe Thornton||Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds|
|1998||Tampa Bay Lightning||Vincent Lecavalier||Rimouski Oceanic|
|1999||Atlanta Thrashers||Patrik Stefan||Long Beach Ice Dogs|
|2000||New York Islanders||Rick DiPietro||Boston University|
|2001||Atlanta Thrashers||Ilya Kovalchuk||Spartak|
|2002||Columbus Blue Jackets||Rick Nash||London|
|2003||Pittsburgh Penguins||Marc-Andre Fleury||Cape Breton|
|2004||Washington Capitals||Alex Ovechkin||Dynamo|
|2005||Pittsburgh Penguins||Sidney Crosby||Rimouski|
|2006||St. Louis Blues||Erik Johnson||USA U-18|
|2007||Chicago Blackhawks||Patrick Kane||London|
|2008||Tampa Bay Lightning||Steven Stamkos||Sarnia|
|2009||New York Islanders||John Tavares||London|
|2010||Edmonton Oilers||Taylor Hall||Windsor|
|2011||Edmonton Oilers||Ryan Nugent-Hopkins||Red Deer|
|2012||Edmonton Oilers||Nail Yakupov||Sarnia|
|2013||Colorado Avalanche||Nathan MacKinnon||Halifax|
|2014||Florida Panthers||Aaron Ekblad||Barrie|
|2015||Edmonton Oilers||Connor McDavid||Erie|
|2016||Toronto Maple Leafs||Auston Matthews||Zurich|
|2017||New Jersey Devils||Nico Hischier||Halifax|
|2018||Buffalo Sabres||Rasmus Dahlin||Frolunda|
|2019||New Jersey Devils||Jack Hughes||USA U-18|
|2020||New York Rangers||Alexis Lafreniere||Rimouski|
|2021||Buffalo Sabres||Owen Power||Michigan|
|2022||Montreal Canadiens||Juraj Slafkovsky||TPS|
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