2023 NHL Draft Rankings – Mid-Season Edition Part 3

2023 NHL Draft Rankings Ryan Leonard

In the offensive zone, his stickhandling allows him to control the puck and open up passing and shooting lanes. He has good vision and the ability to set up teammates for scoring chances.  Welcome back to Top Shelf Prospects, the column that brings you the next crop of professional hockey players. As we have now reached the end of January, we bring you our mid-season NHL Draft Rankings. Later in the year, we will bring you a daily column featuring a new player profile or topical article in the lead-up to the 2023 NHL Draft. Be sure to bookmark the site, follow me on Twitter, and spread the word for the site that will bring you analytical and critical profiles and scouting reports! Last Word On Hockey Prospects is your new headquarters for everything “NHL Draft”! Today we bring you our 2023 NHL Draft Rankings, Mid-Season Edition.

With the CHL season nearly four months old, over three months of NCAA hockey, plenty of games for the US National Team Development Program, the Gretzky-Hlinka Tournament, an international break in Europe, and of course the World Juniors all being played since we last updated our draft rankings, we have gotten a decent overview of what some of the biggest prospects for the 2023 NHL Draft are doing this year.

That said, as a staff, we haven’t seen every player yet—it’s quite simply not possible at this point in the season. If there is an obvious name left out, we’ll do our best to get a look at him before the final rankings that go from April through June.

For Part 1 and the Top Five Ranked players, click here.
Part 2 and Players 6-10 are found here.


Mid-Season Report: 2023 NHL Draft Rankings Part 3


11.) Eduard Sale, Left Wing/Right Wing, Kometa Brno, Czech Extraliga, 6’1″, 168 lbs

Sale has shone on the international stage, with six points in five games at the Hlinka-Gretzky Tournament. He also scored six points in seven games at the World Juniors. Sale is playing against me in the Czech Extraliga as well. Sale is an excellent playmaker off the wing. He pairs excellent skating with very good hands and stickhandling ability. Sale is able to carry the puck through the neutral zone and create effective zone entries. He also has the vision and the passing skills to set up teammates. Sale is a creative player who will try things that other attackers will only dream of. His shot has decent power and is accurate but he can stand to use it more often.

Sale will need to get stronger to handle the rigours of playing on smaller ice. He will also need to improve his defensive game. These things can be taught though, while Sale’s offensive skill is something that is a natural talent.

12.) Calum Ritchie, Centre/Right Wing, Oshawa Generals, OHL, 6’2″, 187 lbs

Ritchie’s coming out part came at last summer’s Hlinka-Gretzky tournament, where he scored 10 points in five games, leading the tournament in scoring and helping Team Canada to a gold medal. His game is very mature for his age. Ritchie’s hockey sense and positioning is off the charts. He is almost always in the right spot both with and without the puck. Ritchie has excellent vision and passing skills, finding his teammates in the offensive zone and making tape-to-tape passes through tight openings. He is not afraid to take the puck to the net or to drive the net when his teammates have the puck. Ritchie is also strong in the dirty areas of the ice and scores goals with a good wrist shot and a quick release.

His defensive game is advanced for a teenager. The Generals often match him against other teams’ top lines. He also helps the team kill penalties. Ritchie is almost always on the right side of the puck, using his size and a long stick to force attackers to the outside and cutting down passing and shooting lanes.

13.) Ryan Leonard, Right Wing/Centre, US NTDP, USHL, 5’11”, 181 lbs

Leonard is a high-energy forward. He is a good skater and always keeps his feet moving. He is involved in all three zones, getting in quickly on the forecheck, helping his team’s defence in his own zone and always fighting for loose pucks. Leonard is always in the middle of the action. He loves to play in the dirty areas of the ice. He also has a very good wrist shot and quick release. Leonard gets to the net both with and without the puck. He has the soft hands to score in tight. Leonard has the quick hand-eye coordination to pounce on rebounds and get deflections. He can also elevate the puck quickly, beating goaltenders in tight to the net. Leonard is strong on his skates and tough to knock off the puck. He cycles the puck effectively down low, keeping possession and extending his team’s offensive zone time.

14.) David Reinbacher, Right Defence, EHC Kloten, Swiss NL, 6’2″, 187 lbs

Reinbacher was one of Austria’s best players at the World Juniors. He played big minutes and in all situations. While he played well, there were not a lot of statistical results due to the fact he played on such a weak team. Reinbacher is showing ability in both ends of the ice. A strong skater, he can start the rush up the ice or make a smart pass to a teammate to advance the transition game. In the offensive zone, his stickhandling allows him to control the puck and open up passing and shooting lanes. He has good vision and the ability to set up teammates for scoring chances.

His skating ability also allows him to be strong in the defensive end. He maintains good gap control and forces attackers to the outside and away from prime scoring areas. Reinbacher plays a physical game. He’s not a huge hitter but will use his size to take his man out of the play. He is also willing to take a hit to make a play.

15.) Nate Danielson, Centre, Brandon Wheat Kings, WHL, 6’1″, 185 lbs

Danielson is another strong two-way centre. He is a good skater, with excellent lateral agility and good speed. He marries this with strong puckhandling ability. This allows Danielson to control the puck through the neutral zone and efficiently gain the zone. He also does a good job of controlling the puck in the offensive zone, buying time for his linemates to get open. When they do, Danielson can use his quick hands to create a passing lane and set up a scoring chance with a tape-to-tape pass. Danielson also has a very heavy wrist shot and a good release. He is a smart player who reads the play in the defensive end. Danielson creates turnovers with his active stick and is quick to transition them into an offensive rush.


NHL Draft Rankings Main Photo:

PLYMOUTH, MICHIGAN – JANUARY 16: Ryan Leonard #15 looks on in the first period of the 2023 BioSteel All-American game at USA Hockey Arena on January 16, 2023,R in Plymouth, Michigan. (Photo by Mike Mulholland/Getty Images)

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