NHL Draft: First Round Summary

Photo credit:Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
9 months ago
After four hours of picks and a whole lot of waiting, the first round of the NHL Entry Draft is in the books and I’ve got the recap for everyone that was smart enough to do literally anything else with their time.
Without a selection in the top 32 as a result of the Mattias Ekholm trade, this was a brand new experience for Oilers fans everywhere that are used to some night-one action and I have to say that it was incredibly boring. I’m not going to say that it was the longest night of my life, but in terms of excitement, this year’s draft was the sports equivalent of dry toast that’s been left in the sun. It’s almost like teams around the league decided to get all of the fun stuff out of the way before the show started, which made for one of the most uneventful first rounds that I can remember.
Regardless of my own complaints about how things went down, what matters most at the draft is where these kids end up and how those franchises will change as a result. Even though most of the picks taken tonight are still years away from even seeing pro action, there’s little doubt that being drafted to the NHL is a dream come true and I commend all of these young men on the work it took to get this far. Considered to be one of the most exciting drafts in recent memory, the opening night in Nashville saw 32 players realize their dream of getting selected to the big leagues. With that in mind, I put together the list of this year’s top picks for anyone that may have skipped the league’s annual fishing derby.


The 2023 First Round:

1. Chicago Blackhawks: Connor Bedard, C (Regina Pats, WHL – 57GP, 71G, 72A, 143P)
2. Anaheim Ducks: Leo Carlsson, C (Orebro HK, SweHL – 44GP, 10G, 15A, 25P)
3. Columbus Blue Jackets: 
Adam Fantilli, C (U. of Michigan – Big-10, 36GP, 30G, 35A, 65P)
4. San Jose Sharks: 
Will Smith, C (U.S. National Development Team – 20GP, 15G, 27A, 42P)
5. Montreal Canadiens: 
David Reinbacher, D (Kloten HC, Swiss-A – 46GP, 3G, 19A, 22P)
6. Arizona Coyotes: 
Dmitry Simashev, D (Yaroslavl Loko Jr., Rus-MHL – 29GP, 1G, 9A, 10P)
7. Philadelphia Flyers: 
Matvei Michkov, RW (Sochi HC, KHL – 27GP, 9G, 11A, 20P)
8. Washington Capitals: 
Ryan Leonard, RW (U.S. National Development Team – 17GP, 11G, 9A, 20P)
9. Detroit Red Wings: 
Nate Danielson, C (Brandon Wheat Kings – WHL, 68GP, 33G, 45A, 78P)
10. St. Louis Blues: 
Dalibor Dvorsky, C (AIK, Swe-1 – 38GP, 6G, 8A, 14P)
11. Vancouver Canucks: 
Tom Willander, D (Rogle BK Jr., Swe-Jr – 39GP, 4G, 21A, 25P)
12. Arizona Coyotes (from OTT): 
Daniil But, LW (Yaroslavl Loko Jr., Rus-MHL – 26GP, 15G, 11A, 26P)
13. Buffalo Sabres: 
Zach Benson, LW (Winnipeg Ice, WHL – 60GP, 36G, 62A, 98P)
14. Pittsburgh Penguins: 
Brayden Yager, C (Moose Jaw Warriors, WHL – 67GP, 28G, 50A, 78P)
15. Nashville Predators: 
Matthew Wood, RW (U. of Connecticut, H-East – 35GP, 11G, 23A, 34P)
16. Calgary Flames: 
Samuel Honzek, LW (Vancouver Giants, WHL – 43GP, 23G, 33A, 56P)
17. Detroit Red Wings (from NYI via VAN): 
Axel Sandin-Pellika, D (Skelleftea AIK Jr., Swe-Jr. – 31GP, 16G, 20A, 36P)
18. Winnipeg Jets: 
Colby Barlow, LW (Owen Sound Attack, OHL – 59GP, 46G, 33A, 79P)
19. Chicago Blackhawks (from TB): 
Oliver Moore, C (U.S. National Development Team – 23GP, 8G, 17A, 25P)
20. Seattle Kraken: 
Eduard Sale, LW (Brno Kometa, Czech, 43GP – 7G, 7A, 14P)
21. Minnesota Wild: 
Charlie Stramel, C (U. of Wisconsin, Big-10 – 33GP, 5G, 7A, 12P)
22. Philadelphia Flyers (from LA via CBJ): 
Oliver Bonk, D (London Knights, OHL – 67GP, 10G, 30A, 40P)
23. New York Rangers: 
Gabriel Perreault, RW (U.S. National Development Team – 23GP, 19G, 26A, 45P)
24. Nashville Predators (from EDM): 
Tanner Molendyk, D (Saskatoon Blades, WHL – 67GP, 9G, 28A, 37P)
25. St. Louis Blues (from TOR): 
Otto Stenberg, C (Vastra Frolunda Jr., Swe-Jr. – 29GP, 11G, 15A, 26P)
26. San Jose Sharks (from NJ): 
Quentin Musty, LW (Sudbury Wolves, OHL – 53GP, 26G, 52A, 78P)
27. Colorado Avalanche:
Calum Ritchie, C (Oshawa Generals, OHL – 59GP, 24G, 35A, 59P)
28. Toronto Maple Leafs (from BOS via WSH): 
Easton Cowan, RW (London Knights, OHL – 68GP, 20G, 33A, 53P)
29. St. Louis Blues (from DAL via NYR): 
Theo Lindstein, D (Brynas IF Gavle, SweHL – 32GP, 1G, 1A, 2P)
30. Carolina Hurricanes: 
Bradley Nadeau, LW (Penticton Vees, BCHL – 54GP, 45G, 68A, 113P)
31. Colorado Avalanche (from FLA via MTL): 
Mikhail Gulyayev, D (Omskie Yastreby, Rus-MHL – 22GP, 2G, 23A, 25P)
32. Vegas Golden Knights
: David Edstrom, C (Vastra Frolunda Jr., Swe-Jr. – 28GP, 15G, 13A, 28P)
There you have it. Four hours, 32 picks, no trades whatsoever, and another round of NHL hopefuls that will look to make an impact on the franchises that selected them. Stay tuned for more coverage from Nashville as we’ll have plenty more content coming ahead of and during day two.

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