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2023 NHL Draft: MHN’s Top-64 Midseason Draft Rankings



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With the 2023 NHL Draft only about four months away, it’s now time for our Montreal Hockey Now’s Midseason 2023 NHL Draft Rankings.

This year’s class is a pretty special one, with the likes of Connor Bedard and Adam Fantilli hovering at the top of virtually every draft ranking out there; and with due cause.

Both are having historic seasons in the WHL and NCAA, respectively, and look to be the strongest 1-2 combo at the top of an NHL Draft class since Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel in 2015.

But there’s so much more to like about this class, especially the recent risers that have started making some serious noise across the world.

It’s going to be an especially deep class for the WHL, who, on top of Connor Bedard, will also boast talents like Zach Benson, Andrew Cristall, Riley Heidt and Brayden Yager; just to name a few.

The United States National Development Team (USNDT) will also be a major player at the top of the draft; with Will Smith cemented in most public lists as being a top-10 talent. His teammates Ryan Leonard and Oliver Moore are also rocketing up the rankings, including this one, due to their dynamic offensive ability and dominance, even against players three-to-five years older than them in the NCAA.

However, it’s not just the U-18 level that’s producing impressive talents south of the border.

There’s also a strong contingent of draft-eligible talent that has made the jump to the NCAA as 17 and 18-year-olds have impressed as of late. Youngsters like Adam Fantilli, Gavin Brindley, Matthew Wood and Charlie Stramel have made the jump a year early as true freshmen in the NCAA and haven’t seemingly missed a beat in terms of play.

It’s an unprecedented amount of true freshmen players eligible for the NHL Draft, as most classes will have one or two exceptional cases, while this year will likely see four or more players picked in the 1st-round.

Last, but not least, the European contingent in this year’s draft is also very interesting for scouting teams. Matvei Michkov remains one of the most gifted goal-scorers that we’ve seen at the U-18 level, and he’s also started to rack up points in the KHL since his loan to Sochi. Meanwhile, Leo Carlsson has been a force in the SHL for an 18-year-old, putting up offensive numbers that haven’t been seen in quite some time for a draft-eligible prospect.

European defencemen currently dominate the rankings as we speak, with Axel Sandin-Pellikka, David Reinbacher, Mikhail Gulyayev and Dimitri Simashev looking to be the four top defencemen in this class as of now; but there’s a lot of hockey to be played yet, and some development curves to be adjusted.

As of now, Sandin-Pellikka and Reinbacher are starting to separate themselves from the rest; both of whom are playing in professional settings in Sweden and Switzerland respectively and putting up very rare offensive numbers for their age.

It will truly be an embarrassment of riches for the Montreal Canadiens, who are currently trending toward picking twice within the first 12 picks of this top-heavy draft. Should Montreal Canadiens general manager Kent Hughes succeed in potentially getting himself a third 1st-round pick prior to the 2023 NHL Draft, this may indeed be one of the most special drafts the Habs have had in quite some time.

MUST READ: Montreal Canadiens To-Do List Before NHL Trade Deadline

With that said, here is a Top-64 Ranking of the 2023 NHL Draft class based on my viewings so far this season.

RankPlayer NamePositionLeagueShootingHeightWeight
1Connor BedardCentreWHLRight5'10185lbs
2Adam FantilliCentreNCAALeft6'2187lbs
3Matvei MichkovRight WingKHL/VHLLeft5'10150lbs
4Leo CarlssonCentre/WingSHLLeft6'3194lbs
5Zach BensonCentre/Left WingWHLLeft5'10160lbs
6Will SmithCentreUSHLRight6'0174lbs
7Oliver Moore CentreUSHLLeft5'11178lbs
8Andrew CristallLeft WingWHLLeft5'10165lbs
9Colby BarlowLeft WingOHLLeft6'1187lbs
10Ryan LeonardCentreUSHLRight5'11181lbs
11Eduard SaleWingerCzech ExtraligaLeft6'1167lbs
12Axel Sandin-PellikkaDefencemanSHLRight5'11170lbs
13Dalibor DvorskyCentreHockeyAllsvenskanLeft6'0190lbs
14David ReinbacherDefencemanSwissRight6'2187lbs
15Riley HeidtLeft WingWHLLeft5'11178lbs
16Mikhail GulyayevDefencemanKHLLeft5'10170lbs
17Brayden YagerCentreWHLRight6'0166lbs
18Ethan GauthierCentre/Right WingQMJHLRight5'11176lbs
19Matthew WoodRight WingNCAARight6'3190lbs
20Samuel HonzekLeft WingWHLLeft6'3181lbs
21Quentin MustyLeft WingOHLLeft6'2197lbs
22Nate DanielsonCentreWHLRight6'1185lbs
23Dimitri SimashevDefencemanMHLLeft6'4201lbs
24Lukas Dragicevic DefencemanWHLRight6'2181lbs
25Gavin BrindleyRight-WingNCAARight5'9158lbs
26Calum RitchieCentreOHLRight6'2187lbs
27Gabe PerreaultLeft WingUSHLLeft5'11170lbs
28Otto StenbergCentre/Left WingSHLLeft5'10172lbs
29Koehn ZiemmerRight WingWHLRight6'0194lbs
30Charlie StramelRight WingNCAALeft6'3215lbs
31Jayden PerronForwardUSHLRight5'8157lbs
32Bradley NadeauCentreBCHLRight5'10163lbs
33William WhitelawCentreUSHLRight5'9172lbs
34Cameron AllenDefenceman OHLRight5'11190lbs
35Noah Dower-NilssonLeft WingSHLLeft5'10168lbs
36Oliver BonkDefencemanOHLRight6'2176lbs
37Daniil ButLeft WingKHLRight6'5203lbs
38Caden PriceDefencemanWHLLeft6'0186lbs
39Hunter BrzustewiczDefencemanOHLRight6'0187lbs
40Tanner MolendykDefencemanWHLLeft5'11185lbs
41Oscar Fisker MolgaardCentreSHLLeft6'0163lbs
42Micheal HrabalGoalieUSHLN/A6'6209lbs
43Maxim StrbakDefencemanUSHLRight6'2205lbs
44Kalan LindCentre/Left WingWHLLeft6'0154lbs
45Kasper HalttunenRight WingLIIGARight6'2191lbs
46Luca CagnoniDefencemanWHLLeft5'10172lbs
47Carson BjarnasonGoalieWHLN/A6'3181lbs
48Étienne MorinDefenceman QMJHLLeft6'0183lbs
49Beau AkeyDefencemanOHLRight6'0170lbs
50Luca PinelliCentreOHLLeft 5'9165lbs
51Alexander RykovRight WingKHLLeft5'11170lbs
52Carson RehkopfLeft WingOHLLeft6'1194lbs
53Alex CiernikLeft Wing/Right WingSHLLeft5'10179lbs
54Andrew StrathmannDefencemanUSHLLeft5'11174lbs
55Gracyn SawchynCentreWHLRight5'11165lbs
56Tom WillanderDefencemanSHLRight6'1179lbs
57Danny NelsonCentre/Left WingUSHLLeft6'3203lbs
58Aram MinnetianDefencemanUSHLRight6'0170lbs
59Emil JarventieLeft WingLiigaLeft5'10163lbs
60Adam GajanGoalieUSHLN/A6'4176lbs
61Mathieu CatafordRight WingQMJHLRight5'11187lbs
62Lenni HameenahoRight WingLiigaRight6'10174lbs
63Theo LindsteinDefencemanSHLLeft6'0181lbs
64Trey AugustineGoalieUSHLN/A6'1179lbs
HMJordan TourignyDefencemanQMJHLRight5'11168lbs
HMDenver BarkeyCentreOHLLeft5'8174lbs
HMRoman KantserovCentre/Left WingKHLLeft5'9176lbs
HMEthan MiedemaDefencemanOHLLeft6'3181lbs
HMAnthon WahlbergCentreSHLLeft6'3185lbs
HMTyler PeddleCentre/ Left WingQMJHLLeft6'1190lbs
HMCoulson PitreCentreOHLRight6'1172lbs
HMMatthew ManiaDefencemanOHLRight6'1190lbs
HMJesse KiiskanenRight WingLIIGARight6'0187lbs
HMTimur MukhanovCentreKHLRight5'8170lbs
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It’s very interesting to me that the ‘05 born kids are living up to their hype this year when you consider they essentially lost 2 years of development during the pandemic at such a crucial time in their hockey lives. Very impressive. I guess they spent the time doing off ice training which has proven to pay dividends on the ice this year. Kinda shows you that instead of having kids play hockey 365 days a year and be on the ice many times a week, that spending more time off the ice building strength and endurance, would be better for their overall game.


Three draft picks out of the Qmjhl would be a low for recent years . Over the last 5 drafts the league has produced in rounds 1&2 – 2018 (7) , 2019 (6) , 2020 (7). , 2021 (5) , 2922 (4)

MHN 2023 NHL Draft

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