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MHN Top-64 2023 NHL Draft Rankings: Post U-18 Edition



Montreal Canadiens NHL Draft

With the U-18s now in the books, it’s time to present Montreal Hockey Now’s updated 2023 NHL Draft rankings.

It’s been quite a year for the impressive 2023 NHL Draft class this season, with top players playing big roles at all levels and making a significant impact.

Moreso than in previous years, there seems to be an overflowing list of players that continue to impress along the way and prop this class as one of the more impressive ones in recent memory.

Without question, Connor Bedard is the unquestioned top player in this class. The 17-year-old was not only the star of the 2023 World Junior Championships, but also put up a ridiculous 71 goals and 71 assists for 143 points in just 57 games with the Regina Pats. That kind of production has been seen since the likes of Connor McDavid and Sidney Crosby, putting the generational talent in good company.

Right behind him is Hobey Baker winner, Adam Fantilli. Only the third true freshman to win the prestigious award in the NCAA since Jack Eichel and Paul Kariya, Fantilli was the driving force for the University of Michigan. The lanky centre put up 30 goals and 35 assists for 65 points in just 36 games, while playing a sound overall game worthy of a top selection in most other draft years. All eyes will be on Fantilli at the upcoming World Championships, where he is expected to represent Canada.

Next on the docket is perhaps the biggest wild card in the entire draft. Matvei Michkov has the talent to challenge Adam Fantilli for the second spot in the 2023 NHL Draft, but some outside factors make it his selection a very delicate situation. Notwithstanding the political climate in Russia, the youngster is under contract for another three years with SKA in the KHL. However, in terms of pure talent, Michkov could become an NHL superstar as soon as he hits the NHL ice in a few years, making his selection likely for a team that’s playing the long game.

After the impressive Leo Carlsson, Will Smith has cemented his spot in the top-5 of this impressive class after leading Team USA to a gold medal at the U-18s, while also being named tournament MVP. The skilled centre showed just how talented he truly is, leading the tournament in scoring with nine goals and 11 assists for 20 points in just 7 games. Outperforming the likes of Jack Hughes and Auston Matthews at the same age, Smith looks primed for NHL superstardom.

But Smith is not the only member of the USNDT to cement his standing in the top end of the 2023 NHL Draft, as golden-goal scorer Ryan Leonard and speedy centre Oliver Moore have also seen their stock increase quite a bit over the season. Leonard, the new-age power forward with a howitzer of a shot, finished tied for second in goal-scoring in the U-18s and was a physical force all over the ice. Meanwhile, Oliver Moore, who played on the second line, was tasked with playing a two-hundred-foot game, while holding down a line with 16-year-old Cole Eiserman and 15-year-old James Hagens.

Dalibor Dvorsky, who had one of the best overall performances at the U-18s, climbed back up the rankings after a disappointing season in HockeyAllsvenskan this season with AIK. Despite dominating at the Jr level for AIK, Dvorsky couldn’t find the same scoring touch against men. That being said, he was a force for Slovakia at both the 2023 World Junior Championships, as well as the most recent U-18s. His combination of size, skill and shooting ability was put on full display, showing the scouting world that he does indeed have potential that could rival some of the top players in this class.

There will be more surprises throughout the list as we count down the top 64 players in this 2023 NHL Draft class, but rest assured that the list is not final, with many prospects still left to watch and more tape left to uncover.

All that can be said at this time is that teams picking near the top, like the Montreal Canadiens, will likely be getting their hands on a very good player.

RankPlayer NamePositionLeagueShootingHeightWeight
1Connor BedardCentreWHLRight5'10185lbs
2Adam FantilliCentreNCAALeft6'2187lbs
3Matvei MichkovRight WingKHL/VHLLeft5'10150lbs
4Leo CarlssonCentre/WingSHLLeft6'3194lbs
5Will SmithCentreUSHLRight6'0174lbs
6Zach BensonCentre/Left WingWHLLeft5'10160lbs
7Ryan LeonardCentreUSHLRight5'11181lbs
8Oliver Moore CentreUSHLLeft5'11178lbs
9Dalibor DvorskyCentreHockeyAllsvenskanLeft6'0190lbs
10David ReinbacherDefencemanSwissRight6'2187lbs
11Matthew WoodRight WingNCAARight6'3190lbs
12Colby BarlowLeft WingOHLLeft6'1187lbs
13Axel Sandin-PellikkaDefencemanSHLRight5'11170lbs
14Gabe PerreaultLeft WingUSHLLeft5'11170lbs
15Eduard SaleWingerCzech ExtraligaLeft6'1167lbs
16Nate DanielsonCentreWHLRight6'1185lbs
17Andrew CristallLeft WingWHLLeft5'10165lbs
18Otto StenbergCentre/Left WingSHLLeft5'10172lbs
19Riley HeidtLeft WingWHLLeft5'11178lbs
20Mikhail GulyayevDefencemanKHLLeft5'10170lbs
21Dimitri SimashevDefencemanMHLLeft6'4201lbs
22Samuel HonzekLeft WingWHLLeft6'3181lbs
23Gavin BrindleyRight-WingNCAARight5'9158lbs
24Brayden YagerCentreWHLRight6'0166lbs
25Quentin MustyLeft WingOHLLeft6'2197lbs
26Calum RitchieCentreOHLRight6'2187lbs
27Jayden PerronForwardUSHLRight5'8157lbs
28Ethan GauthierCentre/Right WingQMJHLRight5'11176lbs
29Daniil ButLeft WingKHLRight6'5203lbs
30Koehn ZiemmerRight WingWHLRight6'0194lbs
31Lukas Dragicevic DefencemanWHLRight6'2181lbs
32Charlie StramelRight WingNCAALeft6'3215lbs
33Luca CagnoniDefencemanWHLLeft5'10172lbs
34Bradley NadeauCentreBCHLRight5'10163lbs
35William WhitelawCentreUSHLRight5'9172lbs
36Kasper HalttunenRight WingLIIGARight6'2191lbs
37Tanner MolendykDefencemanWHLLeft5'11185lbs
38Tom WillanderDefencemanSHLRight6'1179lbs
39Hunter BrzustewiczDefencemanOHLRight6'0187lbs
40Noah Dower-NilssonLeft WingSHLLeft5'10168lbs
41Oliver BonkDefencemanOHLRight6'2176lbs
42Caden PriceDefencemanWHLLeft6'0186lbs
43Oscar Fisker MolgaardCentreSHLLeft6'0163lbs
44Étienne MorinDefenceman QMJHLLeft6'0183lbs
45Trey AugustineGoalieUSHLN/A6'1179lbs
46Maxim StrbakDefencemanUSHLRight6'2205lbs
47Jacob FowlerGoalieUSHLN/A6'1212lbs
48Micheal HrabalGoalieUSHLN/A6'6209lbs
49Kalan LindCentre/Left WingWHLLeft6'0154lbs
50Cameron AllenDefenceman OHLRight5'11190lbs
51Anthon WahlbergCentreSHLLeft6'3185lbs
52Denver BarkeyCentreOHLLeft5'8174lbs
53Roman KantserovCentre/Left WingKHLLeft5'9176lbs
54Timur MukhanovCentreKHLRight5'8170lbs
55Theo LindsteinDefencemanSHLLeft6'0181lbs
56Alexander RykovRight WingKHLLeft5'11170lbs
57Beau AkeyDefencemanOHLRight6'0170lbs
58Luca PinelliCentreOHLLeft 5'9165lbs
59Carson BjarnasonGoalieWHLN/A6'3181lbs
60Carson RehkopfLeft WingOHLLeft6'1194lbs
61Alex CiernikLeft Wing/Right WingSHLLeft5'10179lbs
62Andrew StrathmannDefencemanUSHLLeft5'11174lbs
63Gracyn SawchynCentreWHLRight5'11165lbs
64Danny NelsonCentre/Left WingUSHLLeft6'3203lbs
HMAram MinnetianDefencemanUSHLRight6'0170lbs
HMAdam GajanGoalieUSHLN/A6'4176lbs
HMEmil JarventieLeft WingLiigaLeft5'10163lbs
HMJordan TourignyDefencemanQMJHLRight5'11168lbs
HMMathieu CatafordRight WingQMJHLRight5'11187lbs
HMEthan MiedemaDefencemanOHLLeft6'3181lbs
HMCoulson PitreCentreOHLRight6'1172lbs
HMMatthew ManiaDefencemanOHLRight6'1190lbs
HMJesse KiiskanenRight WingLIIGARight6'0187lbs
HMLenni HameenahoRight WingLiigaRight6'10174lbs
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Eduard Sale is higher up on every other Big Board I’ve seen to date…

I seriously doubt he goes as late as about #15

Pierre B.

I compile rankings from many sources (29 to date). My conclusion is that there’s not that much that separates prospects ranked #7 to #17. Eduard Šalé is currently at #10 on my list, but many have him at #15 or later: Baracchini, Horn, Upside Scouting, Pronman, Elite Prospect, Hockey Prospect and Dobber.

Pierre B.

My compilation of 29 rankings agrees surprisingly well with you for who should be in the first round, the exact order is obviously not the same but looking the average rank, none of your projections looks like an outlier. You are lower on Cristall, Šalé and Yager than most, but you are not alone. You are higher on Reinbacher, Wood and Perreault than most, but these 3 have been trending up lately. Here’s the summary of my compilation for the 1st-rounders. The numbers before the prospects names are their overall rank, their average rank and the best rank, respectively.
   1     1,00        1  Connor Bedard
      2     2,18        2  Adam Fantilli
      3     3,21        2  Leo Carlsson
      4     3,26        2  Matvei Michkov
      5     5,47        3  Will Smith
      6     5,87        4  Zach Benson
      7   10,17        5  Dalibor Dvorsky
      8   10,18        6  Oliver Moore
      9   10,33        4  Andrew Cristall
    10   10,47        5  Eduard Šalé
   11   10,71        7  Ryan Leonard
   12   11,45        5  Brayden Yager
   13   12,27        7  Colby Barlow
   14   13,56        6  Axel Sandin Pellikka
   15   13,89        5  Nate Danielson
   16   14,26      10  Matthew Wood
   17   14,92        7  David Reinbacher
   18   18,76      10  Calum Ritchie
   19   19,43        7  Riley Heidt
   20   19,80        8  Samuel Honzek
   21   19,87        8  Gabriel Perreault
   22   19,89      10  Mikhail Gulyayev
   23   21,86        7  Dimitri Simashev
   24   22,13        9  Gavin Brindley
   25   22,16      11  Quentin Musty
   26   24,02      14  Otto Stenberg
   27   24,83      15  Ethan Gauthier
   28   26,29        8  Daniil But
   29   27,05        9  Jayden Perron
   30   30,45      16  Lukas Dragicevic
   31   32,86      19  Koehn Ziemmer
   32   33,19      18  Kasper Halttunen
   33   33,41      19  Charlie Stramel


Interesting that Reinbacher lands right at #17 where we’ll likely be picking with Florida’s pick.


He will absolutely NOT last until #17! That guy will go around #10 or so. Best RD in the draft? Come on…


I didn’t say I thought that was where he’d go. I was just remarking about the fact he’s ranked 17th and that’s the position we could be drafting at with Florida’s pick. I think he’ll end up going higher than 17th as well. Relax. 😁


Maybe we can get him at #29 th 😂

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