Welcome back to Top Shelf Prospects, the column that brings you the next crop of professional hockey players. Each day our LWOS Prospects Wrtiers will bring you a new player profile or topical article in the lead-up to the 2023 NHL Draft. Be sure to bookmark the site, follow Ben Kerr, Kyle Pereira and Frederik Frandson 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 the 2023 NHL Draft Lottery results.
Fate has spoken and the Chicago Blackhawks have won the 2023 NHL Draft lottery. After having a 11.5% percent chance to win the lottery, the hockey gods favored Chicago with the first overall pick. Meanwhile, Anaheim won the second overall pick in the 2023 NHL Draft. The Draft this year will take place in Nashville, Tennessee on June 28 and 29.
Chicago Will Pick First in the 2023 NHL Draft
Chicago has a chance to not only improve their team, but potentially alter their future after winning the top prize in the 2023 NHL Draft.
The consensus number-one pick this year is Connor Bedard of the Regina Pats in the WHL. Not only is Bedard a potential immediate impact player, but he is also a potential franchise-altering player and generational talent. Last Word on Sports prospect expert Kyle Pereira writes that while Bedard may not have Connor McDavid like skating speed, he plays the game with an exceptional hockey IQ. This year he put up 71 goals and 72 assists for 143 points in just 57 games as well as ten goals and ten assists in the playoffs. Nothing is guaranteed but this could be a Sidney Crosby level player in the future.
The consolation prize amongst most scouts is the University of Michigan’s Adam Fantilli. Fantilli is no slouch either. This year at Michigan Fantilli put up 30 goals and 35 assists for 65 points in 36 games played. He also won the Hobey Baker Award as a true freshman for the Wolverines. Pereira writes that Fantilli has strong playmaking ability and smarts combined with will power to get into scoring areas and convert.
Here is the draft order for non-playoff teams:
— NHL News (@PuckReportNHL) May 9, 2023
What this Means for the Future
Chicago has the potential to add a franchise altering centre in Connor Bedard. He could quickly become a top producer for the Blackhawks and may blossom into a generational player. Regardless of positional need, this seems like the player to take. We always see teams go off the board depending on positional need and their own scouting analysis. After Bedard, Fantilli seems next to go but when the 2023 NHL Draft rolls around we will see what Anaheim decides.
Main Photo: Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports