by Dan Adkisson
Like with any sport, you’re always looking at what’s to come and pre-empting what’s next. And, with hockey, it’s no different. The current NHL season is still playing out, but there’s been talk for a while already about the 2023 NHL Draft and what to expect. If you’re one of these ice hockey fans always thinking of the next step, we have the lowdown for you below.
There are a couple of critical pieces of information to note about the 2023 Draft, and that’s when it’s set to take place and where. As stated, the current NHL season is still playing out, so it is a long way off. But we still have small mercies, so even when there’s no actual ice hockey action to enjoy, at least there are video games and even ice-hockey-themed slots games to keep you occupied as a fan.
When is the NHL Draft of 2023?
As usual, the NHL Draft of 2023 is scheduled to take place over a couple of dates. They are Wednesday, June 28 and Thursday, June 29. All 32 teams will be involved on day one, as this is when the first-round picks will happen. Day two will see rounds 2-7 take place.
Where will the Draft be held?
The draft will be held on June 28 and 29 in Nashville, Tennessee. It’s the second time the city has been picked to host a draft, with the last one happening after what will be two decades ago in 2003.
The venue where the action will unfold is the Bridgestone Arena, which also happens to be the home of the Nashville Predators.
Who will have the number one overall pick?
As we mentioned earlier, the 2022-23 NHL season is still live, so there is the chance of things changing in terms of the team that will claim the number one overall pick where the draft is concerned. However, predicting who will be in the running is still possible.
At the time of writing, it’s likely that the Chicago Blackhawks, Anaheim Ducks and Columbus Blue Jackets all stand a good chance of bagging the number one draft pick to use on June 28 in Nashville.
Prospects to keep an eye out for:
As always, a lot of focus will be on the prospects as the draft draws closer, and there are some excellent rookies to keep an eye out for in 2023.
You’re not going to get a better pick than Connor Bedard in the upcoming draft, that’s for sure. He’s a serious player with loads of potential and is already being described as a generational talent. He has all the basics covered and excels in shooting and skating.
Adam Fantilli has taken a different route to get where he is, but he’s never struggled with the step-up in class and competition, and he won’t post-draft. Again, like Bedard, there’s already a lot of talk about the Canadian, and he also possesses unreal skating abilities that set him apart from the rest.
While for many, Bedard and Fantilli are in a league of their own, Leo Carlsson certainly makes a great case for himself. His large frame has been a significant advantage and one that he often uses well. He’s also got the skill to beat defenders one on one.