In a little over 24 hours the Montreal Canadiens will add two very important players to their prospect pool.
And while it’s impossible to predict which players will hear their names called by Kent Hughes and Co. in Nashville, we can take a look at some of the mock drafts produced by various outlets to get a better idea of who might be available.
Here are the results of over 15 different 2023 NHL first-round mock drafts.
Personally, I think the person who picked Matvei Michkov and Calum Ritchie in this particular mock draft is very, very, very smart. And rather handsome, too, but that’s another topic.
Yahoo thinks the Canadiens will end up picking Michkov as well as NCAA forward Charlie Stramel. With all due respect to Stramel, it’s unlikely he will be among the first 32 players chosen at the 2023 NHL Draft. Stramel earned five goals and seven assists in 33 games for the Wisconsin Badgers last season.
Corey Pronman has David Reinbacher as the Canadiens’ first pick, which may disappoint some, however, it’s clear Reinbacher is one of the best defencemen available in this draft class. He also includes Bradly Nadeau as the player the Habs will pick 31st overall.
Tankathon predicts Will Smith will be the 5th overall pick, and they also have Nadeau as the 31st overall selection.
Craig Button also had Smith as the 5th pick, which is a very legitimate option for the Canadiens. However, he has Anton Wahlberg as the team’s second pick, which is somewhat unlikely. The Swedish forward is expected to be drafted sometime in the second round, if not later.
The Sporting News is the third outlet to endorse Smith as the 5th overall selection. They suggest Gavin Brindley will be chosen by the Canadiens with the 31st overall pick.
Don’t look now, but it seems like Smith is the player most expect to be drafted by the Habs. AmNY suggests London Knights defenceman Oliver Bonk will be drafted 31st overall.
Chris Peters is the second person to suggest Reinbacher will be the Canadiens’ first pick. He’s also on board with the idea Gauthier will be chosen late in the first round.
Austrian defenceman Reinbacher receives a third vote of confidence thanks to The Score. They suggest 6’3 centre David Estrom will be drafted 31st.
SportsNaut joins Sportsnet (wait a minute…) in suggesting Reinbacher as the 5th overall pick. They went with goaltender Carson Bjarnason as the next player the Habs will choose.
Smith, the talented centre from the USNTDP is their pick at 5. They also suggested Bjarnason is a logical choice with the 31st pick. Bjarnason is arguably the top goaltender available in this year’s draft class.
Leonard receives another nomination as the 5th overall pick, whereas defenceman Tanner Molendyk is listed as the player who will be picked 31st overall.
The NHL had two different analysts making picks. Adam Kimelman thinks Michkov and Gauthier will become members of the Montreal Canadiens organization, while Mike Morreale thinks it’ll be Reinbacher and Gauthier.
Chalk up another vote for Leonard at 5, as well as another prediction that Molendyk will be drafted 31st.
We obviously can’t use mock drafts to predict exactly who the Canadiens will pick, but they’re fun to evaluate nonetheless.
The predictions for the 5th overall pick are split, with five outlets suggesting Smith, four outlets suggesting Reinbacher and Leonard, and three outlets suggesting Michkov.
As for the 31st overall pick, there’s unsurprisingly more diversity in the suggested picks, however, four outlets suggest Gauthier will be the player the Canadiens pick late in the first round. As for the next most popular option, Nadeau, Molendyk, and Bjarnason each received a pair of nominations.