The Chicago Blackhawks emerged as the winners of the 2023 NHL Draft Lottery in April, which was considered a significant victory due to the exceptional talent available in the draft pool.
Bedard Is The Real Deal!
One standout prospect is 17-year-old hockey prodigy Connor Bedard
, often referred to as a generational talent. Bedard has garnered widespread attention for his exceptional performances, particularly during the last two World Junior Hockey Championships, where he led Team Canada to consecutive gold medals.
Nonetheless, there are other highly regarded players like Adam Fantilli
and Matvei Michkov
who could also be potential candidates for the first overall pick.
Could The Blackhawks Stun The Draft?
This has led some insiders to speculate that the Blackhawks' General Manager might surprise the hockey world by selecting a player other than Bedard. Alternatively, there is speculation that they may explore the option of trading down to secure additional picks or prospects to aid in their rebuilding process.
However, unless General Manager Davidson receives an irresistible offer, it is highly unlikely that he would deviate from the obvious choice of selecting Bedard as the first overall pick.
Failing to draft Bedard under such circumstances would likely result in extreme consequences for Davidson, perhaps even necessitating his entry into a witness protection program.
Top Five 2023 Draft Prospects
1. Connor Bedard
, C, Regina Pats (WHL): In his final weeks of regular season WHL hockey, can he finish with a goal and two points per game career averages?
2. Adam Fantilli
, C, U of Michigan (NCAA): Another fascinating player to watch as Michigan strives to not only win a Big Ten Title, but a National Championship. Is a trip to the men's worlds in the offing afterwards?
3. Matvei Michkov
, RW, Sochi (KHL): From a pure skill perspective, he challenges Bedard for the most talented player available.
4. Leo Carlsson
, C, Orebro (SHL): Scouts have a lot of time for this player thanks to a package that projects as a top-six NHLer. Leans less goal scoring, more pass-first.
5. Zachary Benson, LW, Winnipeg Ice (WHL): Hockey sense and awareness allow him to be an effective producer. Consistently involved in the play. If only he were three inches taller.