NHL Mock Draft 2.0

Adam Fantilli, a presumptive top 3 pick in the upcoming NHL Draft, playing for Team Canada
Photo Credit: Andrea Branca/Eurasia Sport Images/Getty Images

With the Golden Knights winning the Stanley Cup on Tuesday night, the NHL community shifts its focus to the off-season. With that in mind, the 2023 NHL draft creeps closer and closer everyday. Here’s my NHL lottery mock draft, the second edition.

#1 Chicago Blackhawks: Connor Bedard, C, Regina

In any edition of this series, Connor Bedard will always be atop the list. He’s one of the better prospects in recent memory, and an easy lock to go number one.

#2 Anaheim Ducks: Adam Fantilli, C, Michigan

Although, not in the same sense as Bedard, Adam Fantilli is pretty universally agreed upon in terms of where he’ll land. He’s an amazing prospect, and could have gone with the first pick in a number of drafts in recent years.

Anaheim should take their time with this selection, and weigh all their options. With that said, they’ve got a wonderful prospect here in Fantilli.

#3 Columbus Blue Jackets: Leo Carlsson, C, Orebo

With the first two selections, Matvei Mitchkov becomes the best player available. As such, Columbus likely gets a lot of trade calls here. However, the Jackets badly need a center, and the chance to land a franchise cornerstone in arguably their worst position is too much to pass up. Leo Carlsson’s resume is far too impressive to ignore. He goes at number three to Columbus.

#4 San Jose Sharks, Matvei Mitchkov, RW Sochi

With Mitchkov still on the board, San Jose will also likely receive some calls at this spot. San Jose doesn’t have an adequate prospect pool for the rebuilding stage that their in, and they need some players with potential badly. Mike Grier could solve that by trading this pick for multiple picks later. Instead, the Sharks should take Matvei here, as he would easily become their brightest prospect.

#5 Montreal Canadiens: Will Smith, C, USNTDP

With Mitchkov off the board, the draft becomes wide open at this point. Will Smith has a good chance of going higher than this, and Montreal subsequently feels thrilled he’s made it to number five. This is a relatively easy pick for the Canadiens, who grab their center of the future at the fifth selection.

#6 Arizona Coyotes: Zach Benson, LW, Winnipeg

As was the same in the first edition of the NHL mock draft, the Coyotes take Benson with the sixth pick. It’s usually a better idea to pick the best player available over a certain positional need, and that’s what Arizona will do here. The fact that Benson also fits a need causes this to make too much sense to ignore.


Philadelphia trades pick #7 to Vancouver for picks #11 and #89

#7 Vancouver Canucks: David Reinbacher, D, Kloten

Let’s spice things up a bit. The Flyers are a bit of a mess, and with this trade they acquire an extra third rounder, while only dropping a couple of spots in the first round.

Vancouver’s blue line could use some help, and David Reinbacher already has a bit of professional experience in Switzerland. By jumping up to the seventh pick, the Canucks are able to grab an exciting defensive prospect.

#8 Washington Capitals: Oliver Moore, C, USNTDP

Washington’s period of contention seems to be coming to an end. Their core is getting older and older, and their fifth-place finish in the Metropolitan division didn’t inspire much hope for the future. They need to get younger, especially in the middle. Oliver Moore is a great start.

#9 Detroit Red Wings: Gabriel Perreault, LW, USNTDP

At this point, Detroit has so many options on the table. With that in mind, why not take Gabriel Perreault, who just broke the USNTDP single season points record? With that record, Perreault toppled the likes of Auston Matthews and Jack Eichel, who also came up through the developmental program. Detroit shouldn’t think too hard about this one.

#10 St. Louis Blues: Dalibor Dvorsky, C, AIK

Dailbor Dvorsky went to St. Louis in our first NHL mock draft, as well. The Blues also seem to be exiting their contention window, but there’s still a good bit of talent on the roster. At the young age of 17, Dvorsky figures to add to the mix in a couple of years, as that talent gets older.

#11 Philadelphia Flyers: Tom Willander, D, Rogle

The Flyers drop back to the eleventh selection after their trade with Vancouver. This team is a bit of a mess at the moment, without a clear plan in place. By making this trade, they end up with an extra third-rounder, and are still able to help out their desperate blue line with the selection of Tom Willander.

#12 Arizona Coyotes: Nate Danielson, C, Brandon

Here’s a bit of a shake-up. Because the ‘yotes have two picks out of the first 12, they can afford to get a little frisky with their second one. After taking a winger with the first overall, they decide to go down the middle and grab Nate Danielson out of the WHL. Danielson is a well-rounded player, and should be an instant difference-maker.

#13: Buffalo Sabres: Matthew Wood, RW, UCONN

The valuation regarding Matthew Wood’s draft stock fluctuates a bit. However, it’s looking more and more likely he’ll go in the top 15. Wood is a pure scorer, and his potential is through the roof. Selecting him at 13 would be a high-value pick for Buffalo, and should immediately help their offense.

#14: Pittsburgh Penguins: Samuel Honzek, LW, Vancouver (WHL)

In the first edition, I had Pittsburgh taking a different left winger in Colby Barlow. Samuel Honzek’s skill set could suit them better, though. He’s got an impressive combination of skill, size, and speed, and should be a middle-six forward as soon as he skates onto an NHL rink.

#15: Nashville Predators: Colby Barlow, LW, Owen Sound

Barlow drops a spot, but he’ll bring immense value to Nashville. The Predators are close to becoming contenders, but haven’t been able to prove much in the past couple of years. Barlow, who has 76 goals in the last two seasons, could help Nashville change that.

#16: Calgary Flames: Oliver Bonk, London

For the final lottery pick in this NHL mock draft, the Flames take Oliver Bonk. Bonk is mostly projected to go around the end of the first round, so some may consider this a reach.

Bonk is effective in the defensive and offensive zone, and should be able to contribute very soon. Oliver would add instant blue line depth to a team that barely missed the playoffs last year.

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9 thoughts on “NHL Mock Draft 2.0

  1. ScottyCanuck

    As a Canucks fan, I can’t see the Canucks being that desperate for Reinbacher. They are apparently very high on Willander and Simashev. The only move the Canucks will make is to drop back a few spots if a few of the players they like are still on the board, to recoup a second rounder. No chance they are paying to take Reinbacher when Willander is still there (and Simashev) imho.

    1. Jake Brockhoff Post author

      You make a great point. I could see them taking either of those two, but I think the Canucks need a guy who could be a top pairing right-handed defenseman. I do see a reason for trading back since they don’t have a second pick, but Vancouver also has picks 75,89,105 and 119, so I don’t think the need to recoup a second rounder is too big. You make some good points, and thanks for the feedback!

  2. Zachary A Schneider

    its a good idea for Philly…but if Reinbacher is there at #7 there is a 100% chance Philly drafts him. Also, the price to go from #7 to #11 is not #89…the price to get inside the Top 10 is at minimum somewhere from #30-45 range would be more appropriate. Canucks dont have the assets to make that deal. Nonetheless #89 is woefully insufficient. Woefully insufficient.

  3. Michael

    Vancouver would have to offer way more to move up to #7. Briere and Jones already said they’ll be looking for defensive upgrades….and Reinbacher would be just what they’re looking for. #11, a 2023 second plus 2024 3rd round pick just to get the ball rollin’.

    1. Jake Brockhoff Post author

      That’s a good take. This trade does have #11, and a 2023 third, due to the lack of a second round pick from Vancouver. I definitely think your take makes sense as well, another pick/player could be likely in that trade as well. Thanks for the feedback!

  4. FlyersFan1128

    You keep saying the flyers are a mess and have no direction… it’s been made clear that they are in a rebuild. Also, if they are so desperate on the blue line, how does it make sense that they would want to miss out on picking Reinbacher just for a 3rd rounder and take Willander instead?

    1. Jake Brockhoff Post author

      I agree that there’s a solid chance they take Reinbacher at number 7. If I was their GM I know I would, and they take Reinbacher in the first edition of this draft. This is simply another possibility. Willander would be a great fit, as a two-way defenseman who understands the game very well, and they get some draft help as well. You make some great points, thanks for the feedback!


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