Way Too Early: 2023 NHL Entry-Draft Rankings

We’re 10 months away from the 2023 NHL entry draft, probably lots of this top-10 list will be different by June 2023, but it’s always fun to do these things and look back at them, so here’s my rankings as of August, 2022.

1. Connor Bedard (C)

If you don’t know who Connor Bedard is yet, you’re probably living under a rock.

He’s been hyped up since he was 14 years old as the #1 pick of his class and hasn’t stopped since then. He’s been one of the most dominant players in the WHL these past few seasons and was one of the youngest players to qualify for the Canadian WJC team prior to the COVID shutdown.

He’s dynamic, can take the game by storm, and has a high hockey IQ and passion for the game that overcomes his small frame.

2. Matvei Michkov (RW)

Probably the most hyped up player coming out of Russia since Alexander Ovechkin/Evgeni Malkin, Matvei Michkov is worth ALL of the hype.

If it weren’t for his contract keeping him in Russia for a few years after his draft year, I could’ve very well seen him competing for the #1 spot with Bedard.

He’s a tremendous goal scorer that is absolutely drenched in raw offensive talent, as he dominated the MHL and easily can compete against grown men in the KHL as well.

He will miss the start of the season due to a knee injury, but trust me, you’ll hear Michkov’s name a lot.

3. Adam Fantilli (C)

Fantilli, alongside Bedard, is one of the best pure skaters in this draft class, using his speed and edges to deceive defenders on the rush.

He was drafted to the OHL, but chose to stay in the USHL with the Chicago Steel, where he had 37 goals and 74 points through 54 games played last season.

He’ll be playing with the University of Michigan this season.

4. Dalibor Dvorsky (C)

One of the best names of the draft in Dalibor Dvorsky continues the train of elite prospects coming out of Slovakia.

He is currently playing in Swedish junior leagues where he has gone over point-per-game due to his smart offensive instincts.

He lacks the speed compared to the three ahead of him, but his edgework is off of the charts.

5. Brayden Yager (C)

Don’t be surprised if you see Yager’s name rise up throughout the year, this kid has a ton of talent.

Yager loves to be in charge of the team’s offense and be the one dictating plays, showing his huge confidence at a young age, which is great for making the jump to the NHL.

He had 34 goals and 59 points through 63 games with the Moose Jaw Warriors this season, and he’ll shatter his highs in juniors in this upcoming year.

6. Quentin Musty (LW)

I may have Musty higher than others will, but he’s already got NHL-level offensive abilities in both shooting and playmaking, and he’s a workhorse on both sides of the ice.

Expect a big year from him with Sudbury in the OHL this year.

7. Cameron Allen (D)

We’ve got our first defenseman of the list, and there’s no one more deserving than Cameron Allen.

He’s a responsible two-way defender with the ability to chip in offensively when needed. He’s a high-IQ player, and a great leader at a young age, as he was named captain for Canada at the recent Hlinka-Gretzky tournament.

Don’t be surprised if he’s a player that rises throughout the year as well, he’s a defenseman that many teams dream of.

8. Colby Barlow (RW)

Pure. Offensive. Beast.

What Colby Barlow lacks defensively, he makes up for offensively as he has some of the best pure offensive talent in this class.

If you give him just a little bit of space, he’ll make you pay, and I can already envision him being a power play threat at the NHL level for years to come.

9. Leo Carlsson (C)

At 17-years old, Leo Carlsson was already getting reps in the SHL, Sweden’s top-division men’s league.

He’s a mature player that plays both sides of the puck with passion, which is exactly what you need from your centre at the NHL level.

He has some of the best hands in the class, and what makes him even more lethal is his IQ. Those two combined make a dangerous player.

10. Matthew Wood (RW)

Matthew Wood was 16-years-old for most of his season in the BCHL, and yet he still managed 45 goals and 85 points in 46 games played, pure insanity.

He’s already massive for his age, standing at 6’3″, 185, and he most certainly does not let it go to waste.

His size allows him to come out of every puck battle with the puck, and he can often avoid being pinned into situations he doesn’t want to be in.

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