At the end of June 2023, the 61st NHL Draft will be held at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee. 16 clubs that did not qualify for the playoffs of the strongest hockey league in the world last season will compete for young and talented players. So it will be extremely interesting to follow this event in the NHL.
The list of the main contenders for the first number of the NHL Draft 2023 includes three hockey players, namely: Connor Bedard, Adam Fantilli and Leo Karlsson. Representatives of Canada are considered the favorites to win, but the talented Swede will try to surprise and get ahead of his North American opponents. Although the choice will be made by the teams and nothing will depend on the players at the moment.
The North Vancouver native got on the radar of NHL scouts at the age of 13 and has only improved in technique and physical condition since then. The center forward of the Regina Pats is not tall (173 cm), while his weight is impressive and the Canadian knows how to play power hockey. At the same time, Connor is very nimble and boasts excellent skating. Another, perhaps the strongest quality of Bedard is the throw. In his youth, the Vancouver right-hander broke a working shooting wrist and missed two months during which he managed to pump his left hand and improve his striking skills.
In 2021, Connor won the world championship as part of the Canada U18 national team. In 2022 and 2023, at the home World Championships, Bedard also won gold medals. In addition to team achievements, this season the Canadian became the best forward and MVP of the Youth World Cup 2023, and also entered the All-Star Team of the tournament. In addition, the representative of British Columbia has many awards from the WHL. In general, it is not in vain that this center forward claims the first number of the upcoming Draft.
The Nobleton-born player, like his compatriot Connor Bedard, won the 2023 Ice Hockey World Youth Championship with the Canadian national team. The center forward from Ontario does not have individual awards, but the performance of the hockey player is impressive. With a height of 191 centimeters, Adam’s weight is 87 kilograms. That is, Fantilli’s anthropometry is all right. Experts also note the technique and scoring instinct of the Michigan Wolverines player. So in the upcoming Draft, the 18-year-old southpaw should be selected as one of the first picks.
Fantilli’s good level is noted by many, but, like Bedard, he is not compared with Sidney Crosby and Connor McDavid. So Adam is unlikely to win the competition from the talent from British Columbia. But the Nobleton left-hander is very likely to be in the top three picks. If you like to bet on hockey and play in the casino, then we recommend doing it in the pin-up casino.
The center forward from Karlstad is the only European player in the main three to win the Draft NHL 2023. Leo spent the last two seasons with Örebro in the SHL league, so the young performer is familiar with adult hockey firsthand. Also of note, Karlsson played for Sweden at the 2023 Youth World Championship. In six games, the Swedish southpaw scored three goals and provided as many assists for a total of six points.
Karlsson gained experience in the “white-red” and is quite ripe for moving overseas. Although it is certainly impossible to compare SHL and NHL, but at first, most likely, the European will have to prove himself in the AHL. Many experts gave compliments to the oversized Swede, but more attention was paid to Canadian players and the representative of Europe is unlikely to be able to bypass North American peers in the Draft. Although the Karlstad left-hander is likely to start next season in the strongest hockey league in the world.
Karlsson has a lot of competitors and the Swede may not even get into the top three of the selection, but the European will most likely break into the top five. Bedard and Fantilli are highly likely to compete for the victory at the 2023 NHL Draft. The right-hander from North Vancouver has the advantage here. The Regina Pats player is inferior in size, but in technique, speed and skating is clearly stronger than the left-hander from Ontario. So Conor should get ahead of Adam and become number one.