NHL Draft 2023 results: Blackhawks take Connor Bedard with top pick, Blue Jackets select Adam Fantilli third
Round 1 of the 2023 NHL Draft is officially in the books
The 2023 NHL Draft began on Wednesday evening in Nashville. After weeks of anticipation, the Chicago Blackhawks finally made it official and selected Regina Pats (WHL) star forward Connor Bedard.
Bedard has drawn comparisons to Edmonton Oilers star Connor McDavid due to his playmaking abilities. The Blackhawks were able to select the franchise-altering talent in the midst of a rebuild that has seen Chicago trade away former top pick Patrick Kane, Alex DeBrincat and several others.
With Bedard going to Chicago being a foregone conclusion, the 2023 Draft really began at the No. 2 pick. With that selection, the Anaheim Ducks elected to take center Leo Carlsson, who starred in the Swedish Hockey League this past season.
The Columbus Blue Jackets followed that up by selecting Michigan standout Adam Fantilli. Fantilli comes with a very high pedigree as he won the Hobey Baker Trophy as the nation's top collegiate player. It's an honor that has been won by the likes of Cale Makar, Cole Caufield, Johnny Gaudreau and Jack Eichel in recent years.
The 2023 NHL Draft continues with Round 2-7 on Thursday at 11 a.m.
1. Chicago Blackhawks -- Connor Bedard, C, Regina (WHL)
2. Anaheim Ducks -- Leo Carlsson, C, Orebro (SHL)
3. Columbus Blue Jackets -- Adam Fantilli, C, Michigan (NCAA)
4. San Jose Sharks -- William Smith, C, USA U-18 (NTDP)
5. Montreal Canadiens -- David Reinbacher, D, Kloten (SUI)
6. Arizona Coyotes -- Dmitriy Simashev, D, Yaroslavl Jr. (RUS)
7. Philadelphia Flyers -- Matvei Michkov, RW, St. Petersburg (KHL)
8. Washington Capitals -- Ryan Leonard, RW, USA U-18 (NTDP)
9. Detroit Red Wings -- Nate Danielson, C, Brandon (WHL)
10. St. Louis Blues -- Dalibor Dvorsky, C, AIK (SWE)
11. Vancouver Canucks -- Tom Willander, D, Rogle Jr. (SWE-JR)
12. Arizona Coyotes (from Senators) -- Daniil But, LW, Yaroslavl Jr. (RUS)
13. Buffalo Sabres -- Zach Benson, LW, Winnipeg (WHL)
14. Pittsburgh Penguins -- Brayden Yager, C, Moose Jaw (WHL)
15. Nashville Predators -- Matthew Wood, RW, UConn (NCAA)
16. Calgary Flames -- Samuel Honzek, LW, Vancouver (WHL)
17. Detroit Red Wings (from Islanders via Canucks) -- Axel Sandin Pellikka, D, Skelleftea Jr. (SWE)
18. Winnipeg Jets -- Colby Barlow, LW, Owen Sound (OHL)
19. Chicago Blackhawks (from Lightning) -- Oliver Moore, C, USA U-18 (NTDP)
20. Seattle Kraken -- Eduard Sale, LW, Brno (CZE)
21. Minnesota Wild -- Charlie Stramel, C, Wisconsin (NCAA)
22. Philadelphia Flyers (from Kings via Blue Jackets) -- Oliver Bonk, D, London (OHL)
23. New York Rangers -- Gabriel Perreault, RW, USA U-18 (NTDP)
24. Nashville Predators (from Oilers) -- Tanner Molendyk, D, Saskatoon (WHL)
25. St. Louis Blues (from Maple Leafs) -- Otto Stenberg, C, Frolunda Jr. (SWE)
26. San Jose Sharks (from Devils) -- Quentin Musty, LW, Sudbury (OHL)
27. Colorado Avalanche -- Calum Ritchie, C, Oshawa (OHL)
28. Toronto Maple Leafs (from Bruins via Capitals) -- Easton Cowan, RW, London (OHL)
29. St. Louis Blues (from Stars via Rangers) -- Theo Lindstein, D, Brynas (SWE)
30. Carolina Hurricanes -- Bradly Nadeau, LW, Penticton (BCHL)
31. Colorado Avalanche -- Mikhail Gulyayev, D, Omsk Jr. (RUS)
32. Vegas Golden Knights -- David Edstrom, C, Frolunda Jr. (SWE)
32. Vegas Golden Knights - David Edstrom - C, Frolunda Jr. (Sweden)
The 2023 Stanley Cup champion Vegas Golden Knights cap off the first round by selecting Swedish center David Edstrom. Edstrom excels in just about every level of the ice, and is a big-bodied two-way center. He tallied 28 points (15 goals & 13 assists) with Frolunda this past season. Edstrom doesn't need to be in any type of rush to get to the NHL after the Golden Knights re-signed Ivan Barbashev earlier on Wednesday, and have an abundance of depth among their forward group.
31. Colorado Avalanche - Mikhail Gulyayev, D, Omskie Yastreby (MHL)
Mikhail Gulyayev is a talented left-handed defenseman that is a very smooth skater and puck-handler. Gulyayev is the definition of a two-way player that has the ability to join the offensive rush. He spent the 2022-23 season in Russia's junior league with Omskie Yastreby and led all Omskie Yastreby defensemen with 25 points (2 goals & 23 assists). Gulyayev also added 10 points (2 goals & 8 assists) in the MHL postseason, which was tied for most among league defensemen.
30. Carolina Hurricanes - Bradly Nadeau - LW, Penticton (BCHL)
Bradly Nadeau is an extremely gifted playmaker that competes at the highest level. Nadeau ended up leading the British Columbia Hockey League in points (113) and assists (68) during the 2022-23 campaign. He helped lead Penticton to its second consecutive BCHL championship and had the most goals (17) in the BCHL playoffs. Nadeau was also named the MVP of the BCHL playoffs, which may not be a huge surprise for a player that averaged nearly two points-per-game during the regular season. He's committed to play at the University of Maine in the fall.
29. St. Louis Blues - Theo Lindstein - D, Brynas (SWE)
The Blues need to add some defensemen to their pipeline, and they did that by adding Lindstein. In 32 games with Brynas of Sweden's top professional league, Lindstein put up one goal and one assist while playing against grown men. He had a good showing at the 2023 World Junior Championships with five points in seven games.