The 2023-24 NHL regular season is just 5 days away. In honor of that, let’s recap where the top players from the 2023 NHL Draft landed, with Jesse Foster’s Top 5 players from the Class of ’23! Not all of these guys will see NHL action this season, but they are expected to be the driving forces of their teams in the near future!
5. Dalibor Dvorsky – St. Louis Blues (10th Overall)
Call me crazy here, but I feel like Dvorsky has such a high ceiling if he can put all of his tools together. If he can get a little faster and stronger, he could become one of the most complete players in hockey. A very smart, hardworking player with great offensive positioning. One of the more underrated shots in the draft and a great net front presence and redirect master. If he can keep working on his skating and defensive positioning, I really like this player!
4. Will Smith – San Jose Sharks (4th Overall)
This slick right-handed dangling machine was so fun to watch at this past years WJC’s. He is so slick with the puck, a pretty decent skater, and his vision and playmaking are unreal. I can’t wait to see him at BC next year in the NCAA playing with his USNTDP line mates and fellow draftees Ryan Leonard and Gabe Perrault. He has the potential to be a solid, elite playmaking center on the 1st or 2nd line in the future.
3. Matvei Michkov – Philadelphia Flyers (7th Overall)
Michkov is the most intriguing prospect from this draft for me. I cannot wait to see how long it takes him to come over to America and suit up for the Flyers. It’s very unfortunate that Russia has been banned from all international hockey play, as this has made it very difficult Matvei. But just go watch one of his highlight reels and you will see that he has potential to be one of the most electrifying players in hockey! Let’s just hope we don’t have to really wait till 2026 to see him!
2. Leo Carlsson – Anaheim Ducks (2nd Overall)
What he did in the SHL regular season and playoffs is pretty incredible for an 18U player. Putting up 25 points in 44 regular season games and 9 points in 13 playoff games as an 18-year-old in a men’s league is nothing to scoff at. It’s safe to say that the center/winger is NHL ready!
T-1. Adam Fantilli – Columbus Blue Jackets (3rd Overall)
T-1. Connor Bedard – Chicago Blackhawks (1st Overall)
I can’t decide who I’d rather have at this point. I’ve gone back and forth on it 1000 times this season. The final verdict is I like Fantilli better with his size, superior defensive responsibility and incredible competitive drive. The sky is the ceiling for Adam Fantilli. Bedard, on the other hand, I feel like will have the sexier point and goal totals, barring any injuries.