Next Week’s NHL Draft

by WagerHome Blog on June 22, 2023

This week the NBA will select its stars of the future in their two-round draft, and then next week, it is the NHL’s turn to make dreams come true. There will be seven rounds, 224 total picks, and one pick that we have already written in on our draft boards.

Connor Bedard – First Overall Pick

Connor Bedard won’t be 18 until next month, and he won’t officially be a member of the Chicago Blackhawks until Wednesday, June 28. But he will be the first overall pick when the NHL Draft is held in Nashville, and he is a doozy.

Bedard was just named the IIHF’s Male Athlete of the Year to go along with his now three IIHF gold medals. Winning the International Ice Hockey Federation’s award was a guarantee for Bedard after he completed one of the best World Junior Championship tournaments in history.

He was just the fourth player in history to lead the tournament in both goals and assists, and this year for the Regina Pats of the WHL, he scored 143 points in just 57 games.

Chicago is going to get a great one.

Second Overall Pick

  • Adam Fantilli (-700)
  • Leo Carlsson (+600)
  • Matvei Michkov (+1600)
  • Will Smith (+2500)

Following the pick of center Connor Bedard, another center in Adam Fantilli, is expected to be selected by the Anaheim Ducks with the second NHL Draft pick. As a freshman at Michigan, he scored 63 points in 36 games, and he was awarded the Hobey Baker Award this season as the NCAA’s top men’s player.

Also in the mix is Swedish center Leo Carlsson, the top-ranked European player in the draft.

Next Week’s NHL Draft

Third Overall Pick

  • Leo Carlsson (-180)
  • Will Smith (+210)
  • Matvei Michkov (+600)
  • Adam Fantilli (+700)

The Columbus Blue Jackets own the third NHL Draft pick, and they are expected to grab the 6-foot-3, 18-year-old Carlsson. He was stuck on this wing this year during his professional season in Sweden and his time with the national team during the World Junior Championship. But he says that center is his natural position, and it’s where he’s at his best.

The desire for centers is also why Will Smith is so high on this list. Russian Matvei Michkov is a winger, and the best defenseman in the NHL draft is Austrian David Reinbacher. Smith is the highest-rated American in the group, and if the young center doesn’t go to Columbus with the third overall pick, he should go to San Jose with the fourth pick.

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