DP Scouting Team’s Preliminary Rankings for the 2023 NHL Draft

Nick Richard

2022-09-20

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It was a short turnaround from the 2022 draft cycle as the hockey calendar begins to return to normal, and our group is excited to bring you our preliminary rankings for the 2023 NHL Draft.

While it is important not to get too carried away this early on, the 2023 class looks to be one of the deepest and most talented classes in recent memory. The group is headlined by a trio of players who have all the makings of true franchise players and bonafide NHL superstars, but there is a wealth of high-end talent beyond that as well. It appears to be an especially deep forward class, but there are likely to be more defensemen who emerge and propel themselves into the first-round conversation as the season unfolds.

A new season and new draft class to evaluate and scrutinize also means changes to our draft team, so before we get to the rankings, let’s meet the DP Scouting Team for the 2022-23 season.

Eetu Siltanen | Head of Scouting/Director of European Scouting (@siltaneneetu)

Nick Richard | Director of North American Scouting (@_NickRichard)

Hadi Kalakeche | QMJHL Regional Scout (@HadiK_Scouting)

Sebastian High | OHL/OJHL Regional Scout (@high_sebastian)

Chris Horvat | WHL/BCHL/AJHL Regional Scout (@chrishorvat_)

Evan Pace | USA Regional Scout (@evanpace17)

Alexander Annun | North American Crossover Scout (@Annun_Scouting)

Alexa Potack | Swedish Regional Scout (@alexa_potack)

Jordan Harris | Russian Regional/European Crossover Scout (@Jordan_NHLDraft)

Sasha Lagarde | Central European Regional Scout (@sashalaGarde)

Colin Hunter | Goaltending Scout (@colinhunter0)

Dave Hall | Managing Editor/Crossover Scout (@hall1289)

This list is sure to evolve and go through significant changes over the course of the season, but without further ado, here are the DP Scouting Team’s preliminary top-32 prospects for the 2023 NHL Draft:

1 | Connor Bedard

C | Regina (WHL) | 5-10 | 185 lbs | Shoots: R

Nick Richard: Bedard headlines a trio of potential superstars at the top of the draft class and figures to take the NHL by storm from day one. He is a genuine franchise player who will immediately alter the outlook and trajectory of whichever team ends up selecting him. He is already a world-class shooter with great feet who processes the game at an elite rate, he layers his puck skills and vision on top of one another to string plays together with the very best of them, and he has a competitive fire that keeps him engaged at all times. With practically no deficiencies in his game and having already proven himself as a dominant force at the junior level, it is simply a matter of time before Bedard is doing the same in the NHL.

2 | Matvei Michkov

W | SKA St. Petersburg (KHL) | 5-10 | 159 lbs | Shoots: L

Jordan Harris: Much like Bedard, Michkov is a gifted offensive processor with an elite-level shot. He leaves his opponents shaking their heads with his uncanny ability to create offense out of nothing or by scoring from anywhere, even areas where most players wouldn’t even attempt shots from. He sees the ice differently, which allows him to create space for himself, get open for passes, or locate teammates to set up for scoring chances. His playmaking is high-end, too, despite being overshadowed by his sensational shooting ability. His defensive play can be deficient as he’s sometimes an unwilling defender, but that is just about the only knock on Michkov other than his contract situation, which will keep him in Russia until the end of the 2025-26 season.

3 | Adam Fantilli

C | Michigan (NCAA) | 6-2 | 188 lbs | Shoots: L

Evan Pace: Fantilli is a very unique prospect, and he rounds out the three-headed monster that currently sits at the top of the 2023 draft class. He is perhaps the most physically-gifted player in the class with his combination of size and mobility, he possesses a dynamic offensive skillset, and he pairs a strong two-way game with elite production. Set to play out his draft year at the University of Michigan, Fantilli will face a significant step up in competition but he has the talent to succeed at that level and the potential to be a dominant NHL center in the future.

4 | Leo Carlsson

C/W | Örebro (SHL) | 6-3 | 194 lbs | Shoots: L

Eetu Siltanen: In a similar mold to Fantilli, Carlsson is a well-rounded forward with a projectable frame. He has excellent puck skills and the ability to beat players with his hands – even in the SHL, where he already established himself as a regular player in his draft-1 season. Last season, he also showed great playmaking skills, vision, and high hockey IQ. Carlsson is probably the most experienced and mature player in the entire class with his late ’04 birth date and wealth of experience at Sweden’s top level. He has pretty much everything you can ask for and legitimate potential to become a high-end NHL player.

5 | Zach Benson

W | Winnipeg (WHL) | 5-10 | 159 lbs | Shoots: L

Sebastian High: Benson is one of the smartest players in the 2023 draft class; he scans frequently in all three zones, processes the information he gathers with impressive quickness, and executes upon those reads with great precision. He has high-end pressure management ability, quick hands, elite transition skill, high-end pace, and incredible composure with the puck. He projects as an elite playmaker with goalscoring instincts that outshine his already very good shooting ability, and he also has a refined defensive toolkit that rounds out his game and makes him a top-five prospect in our eyes at this point in time.

6 | Brayden Yager

C | Moose Jaw (WHL) | 6-0 | 166 lbs | Shoots: R

Nick Richard: Yager had a stellar draft-1 season on a talented Moose Jaw team, earning the CHL’s Rookie of the Year award on the back of 35 goals in 63 games and exploded at this summer’s Hlinka Gretzky tournament to help lead Canada to a gold medal. A pure goal scorer with an extensive repertoire of deadly shots, he knows how to make himself available in scoring areas with great timing and anticipation. There is room for him to add a bit of quickness to his stride, but he gets around the ice well because of how he reads the play, which also helps him on the defensive side of the puck.

7 | Dalibor Dvorsky

C | AIK (HockeyAllsvenskan) | 6-1 | 190 lbs | Shoots: L

Alexa Potack: No matter the level, Dvorsky’s complete playmaking skillset is obvious in his confident stickhandling, passing, and shooting. He is also a scoring threat on the powerplay with his great shot, typically coming from the right faceoff circle. When at even strength, however, his passing and awareness really shine. He is one of the top playmakers in this year’s class due to his confidence and ability to land passes accurately, no matter the traffic in his way. This season, Dvorsky has also brought a new level of competitiveness to the table. Whether along the boards or at the net-front, on offense or defense, he is not shying away from physicality. After a solid year in the J20 last season, expectations are high for Dvorsky, who will likely see more time in HockeyAllsvenskan in his draft year.

8 | Calum Ritchie

C | Oshawa (OHL) | 6-2 | 187 lbs | Shoots: R

Sebastian High: Ritchie was the heartbeat of Oshawa’s offense as a draft-1 player and excelled from the start due to his skill, intelligence, and intensity. He plays with a high motor which, along with his excellent edgework, compensates for his unrefined stride mechanics. He doesn’t shy away from physical contact, attacks the slot consistently, and creatively shifts the angles of attack to create dangerous opportunities for himself or his teammates. His positioning is excellent, and when paired with his tremendous passing ability and a decent shot, he is a true dual threat in the offensive zone. All of this makes him a high-end prospect with a real and rare identity that projects well to the NHL, cementing him in our top-10 to start the season and headlining the 2023 OHL crop.

9 | Cameron Allen

D | Guelph (OHL) | 5-11 | 190 lbs | Shoots: R

Sebastian High: Our top-ranked defenseman early on for the 2023 class, Allen was the 2021-22 OHL Rookie of the Year. He is a smooth-skating and deceptive right-shot blueliner who really likes to drift up into the offensive zone to shoot the puck. His game is very well-rounded, and he’s a very safe bet to be a second-pairing NHL defenseman within three or four seasons. His handling skill and agility are very impressive, and he has a nasty streak in flashes, so once he puts on some more weight, he could be quite physically engaged. The one thing that bumped him down a bit on our board is his lack of truly elite skill, and in a class packed full of forwards with that very thing, we couldn’t quite justify having him higher at this point in time. Think of Allen as the Simon Nemec of the 2023 class, as they share quite a few traits.

10 | Eduard Sale

W | Kometa Brno (Tipsport Extraliga) | 6-1 | 168 lbs | Shoots: L

Sasha Lagarde: Sale is heading into the 2022-23 season with Kometa Brno of the Tipsport Extraliga as one of the more enticing wingers in this year’s draft. He has an incredible offensive toolkit as his puck-handling skills, along with high-end offensive sense, separate him from most players his age. Sale has good speed and combined with his ability to stickhandle and release his shot quickly, opposing goalies are often caught off guard. He scans the ice very well and is able to use that information to find open teammates in tight spaces, making him a real threat on the powerplay as well. Sale still has some filling out to do, but the added strength will only enhance his ability to separate from defenders as he matures. Keep an eye out for him as a player who could climb the ranks as the season progresses.

11 | Andrew Cristall

W | Kelowna (WHL) | 5-10 | 165 lbs | Shoots: L

Chris Horvat: Cristall is an intelligent and efficient distributor of the puck who thinks the game at a high level. He is a shifty and fluid skater who shows composure with the puck on his stick, able to extend possessions with smart reads as he waits for options to open up. While he is more of a playmaker, Cristall also possesses good goal scoring instincts and a quick release on his wrist shot. Cristall is undersized and not overly physical, but he is a willing and responsible player on the defensive side of the puck, adding to his versatility and value as a player. Aside from his lack of size and physicality, there are no real holes in his game and Cristall projects as a top-six winger in the NHL with proper development.

12 | Mikhail Gulyayev

D | Omskie Yastreby (MHL) | 5-10 | 170 lbs | Shoots: L

Jordan Harris: Gulyayev has rapidly ascended through the Russian hockey ranks and is already playing meaningful minutes in the KHL due to his intelligent playing style that has helped him earn the trust of his coaches. He is a smooth skating offensive creator who is a shrewd passer and excels at reading the play, displaying these skills on the rush and off the cycle, as well as from up top on the power play. Gulyayev is also a willing and capable defender who uses his mobility to disrupt oncoming rushes and an active stick to break up plays. The biggest question mark with his projection will be his size and strength as he is both short and slight, however, he has held up well so far in the Russian professional ranks.

13 | Matthew Wood

W | UConn (NCAA) | 6-3 | 190 lbs | Shoots: R

Evan Pace: Wood is one of the top goal scorers in the 2023 draft class. He is a tall, rangy forward with an elite release on his wrister, a heavy one-timer, and good hands in tight around the net, allowing him to find the scoresheet in a variety of ways. The main area of focus will be improving his foot speed and overall pace, but his size helps to mitigate those issues and allow him to play through traffic. Wood will be one of the youngest players in the NCAA as he makes the move to the University of Connecticut this season, so it will be important to exercise caution in his evaluation, but he’s an exciting player to watch and could wind up as a top-10 pick if his game translates to college in his freshman year.

14 | Kasper Halttunen

W | HIFK U20 (U20 SM-sarja) | 6-3 | 207 lbs | Shoots: R

Eetu Siltanen: Halttunen is a big right-handed winger with a very good shot and the ability to play a power game. He has an extensive goal scoring arsenal as he can score dirty goals in tight, find twine with direct shots from open space, and he can make use of the extra time and space provided on the powerplay. He’s a surprisingly good passer and handles the puck smoothly as well, making him a unique and diverse offensive weapon. He’s physically strong, and a fine skater for his size but could become dominant with added pace to his game. His start for the season has been a bit underwhelming, but we still see Halttunen as a mid-first-round prospect at this point.

15 | Will Smith

C | NTDP U18 (USNTDP) | 6-0 | 172 lbs | Shoots: R

Evan Pace: Smith is a crafty playmaking forward with legitimate scoring and two-way upside. He works hard off the puck and attacks with intent, utilizing his puck skills to beat defenders one on one and create space for himself and his teammates. He’s got a very high ceiling as an offensive threat, and his well-rounded game gives him a relatively safe floor as an NHL player in some capacity. The Boston College commit was dominant as he split time between the NTDP’s U17 and U18 teams last season and could be in line for a big season as a driving force for the U18s from day one in 2022-23.

16 | Riley Heidt

C | Prince George (WHL) | 5-11 | 179 lbs | Shoots: L

Nick Richard: Heidt took on a prominent role for Prince George last season, leading the team in scoring as a draft-1 player. Energetic and creative, he excels in transition and as a playmaker with the puck on his stick in the offensive zone. He is a strong skater, processes the game at a high-rate, and has the skill to execute with pace and create offense. Heidt can string plays together, and layer reads upon one another to keep himself one step ahead and keep defenders on their heels. With another year of experience under his belt and a team that should be on the rise, Heidt is a prime candidate to climb our list next time around.

17 | Colby Barlow

W | Owen Sound (OHL) | 6-1 | 187 lbs | Shoots: L

Sebastian High: Barlow is a powerful and violent winger who will likely be picked earlier than most public boards will have him ranked. He doggedly pressures the puck carrier in the offensive zone but can be relatively disengaged on the defensive side of things. He needs to work on his stride and acceleration, but when he has a runway, he picks up impressive speed and metamorphosizes into a freight train. His playmaking is a work in progress, and he routinely fails to spot open teammates in high-danger areas, but his shot is an absolute cannon. His wrist shot may be faster and heavier than his slap shot, and his slap shot is nothing to scoff at. As a whole, Barlow needs a ton of refinement but has very intriguing tools that could turn him into a goal scoring power forward at the NHL level.

18 | Nate Danielson

C | Brandon (WHL) | 6-1 | 185 lbs | Shoots: R

Nick Richard: Danielson is a well-rounded center with good size and mobility in the middle of the ice. He can set up his teammates with slick feeds through traffic or finish scoring plays on his own with his heavy release, but he is more efficient than he is flashy in the way that he generates offense. Danielson competes hard all over the ice and displays responsible defensive habits, consistently supporting the play and maintaining solid positioning above the puck. He doesn’t necessarily have any standout attributes, but there aren’t many holes in his game either, and he projects as a solid two-way pivot at the NHL level.

19 | Charlie Stramel

C | Wisconsin (NCAA) | 6-3 | 216 lbs | Shoots: R

Evan Pace: Stramel is a big, powerful forward and one of the most physically dominant players in recent draft memory. He attacks the middle of the ice with consistency, finishes his checks with intent, and has a hard and accurate wrister from the faceoff circles in. Stramel will need to add some quickness and improve his processing speed, but his physical tools are among the best in the class. He’s also one of the older players in the class and will make the jump to college hockey in his draft year, providing him an opportunity to grow against more skilled and physically mature competition. Like Barlow, Stramel’s raw tools could see him go off the board earlier than most public outlets end up slotting him when all is said and done.

20 | Otto Stenberg

C/W | Frölunda J20 (J20 Nationell) | 5-11 | 172 lbs | Shoots: L

Eetu Siltanen: Stenberg is an energetic and offensively skilled forward. He is well-rounded and doesn’t really have glaring deficiencies in his game. He has great puck skills and the ability to generate offense – mostly with his above-average vision and passing ability, but also with his quick-release wrister. Stenberg isn’t big by any means, but his 5-11, 181 pound frame shouldn’t hold him back at the pro level. He also skates well and has a good motor in all three zones. Stenberg’s been playing both center and wing but will likely become a winger in the NHL, if and when he gets there. He will likely be spending the season playing for Frölunda’s J20 team but will probably get a few SHL and Champions League games as well.

21 | Oliver Moore

C | NTDP U18 (USNTDP) | 5-11 | 176 lbs | Shoots: L

Nick Richard: Like his teammate Smith, Moore spent time with both the NTDP’s U17 and U18 squads last season and produced well at both levels. He is a speedy and energetic forward who accelerates through crossovers and has a great first step to navigate tight spaces, separating from defenders to win short-area races both in possession and in pursuit. He reads the play well in the offensive zone, attacking scoring areas with great anticipation, and he has good hands around the net to make good on those opportunities. Moore combines his speed and quickness with a responsible two-way game, following in the footsteps of fellow NTDP stars like Logan Cooley and Frank Nazar, and projects as a versatile middle-six forward in the NHL.

22 | Ryan Leonard

C/W | NTDP U18 (USNTDP) | 5-11 | 181 lbs | Shoots: R

Alexander Annun: Leonard is a well-rounded and versatile forward with good instincts in all three zones. He has a decent first step and can accelerate quickly to create separation from his man to work himself into space to make a play, and he is strong on the puck to fend off anyone who chases him down. A strong possession player, he drives to the net for rebounds and does well to put himself in prime scoring areas to receive the puck. His shot is heavy, he has a decent release, he knows when to shoot the puck, and has good accuracy on his shots. He sees the ice well and can also be trusted to play a defensively responsible game, giving him potential as a two-way scoring threat at the NHL level.

23 | Hunter Brzustewicz

D | Kitchener (OHL) | 5-11 | 187 lbs | Shoots: R

Sebastian High: I’ve somehow already learned to spell Brzustewicz’s name and won’t have to resort to just labeling him “Hunter” in my notes and game reports this season, which I’m genuinely kind of proud of. Brzustewicz doesn’t stand out when he’s on the ice, but he has refined tools and a real identity as a player who will make simple plays to tilt the ice in his team’s favor. He lacks first pairing upside and high-end processing ability, but he’s a smooth skater who does just about everything at an above-average level. He is active on the breakout, holds a tight gap, and activates offensively when the risk is low and the reward is high. He may not be the flashiest player in this class, but he is effective. While he got next to no opportunity on the powerplay last season – since Lane Hutson and Seamus Casey hogged those minutes – he should get a chance to demonstrate his offensive toolkit in top-pairing minutes as he makes the move to Kitchener this year.

24 | Gavin Brindley

W | Michigan (NCAA) | 5-9 | 157 lbs | Shoots: R

Alexander Annun: A quick and tenacious player with plenty of skill, Brindley is an exciting player to watch in full flight. Earning minutes on both special teams units, he can be trusted to play in all situations and give you 100% during every shift. With great speed and edgework, he carves openings for himself with the puck on his stick to find windows and hit his teammates with a pass to the tape. He has got a nice shot and has a penchant for letting them rip when he sees an opening, and he does well to get those pucks through to the goal and follow up his own shots for rebounds. He does not shy away from physical engagement and will go to the dirty areas and throw his body around if that is what the situation calls for, adding to his versatility and NHL upside.

25 | Theo Lindstein

D | Brynäs (SHL/J20 Nationell) | 6-0 | 176 lbs | Shoots: L

Alexa Potack: While he didn’t accumulate many points in his J20 Nationell and SHL stints, Lindstein contributed beyond the scoresheet. This season, the hope for Lindstein is that he is able to unlock that scoring ability at the junior level and in the SHL. He frequently collects assists on deflections of his shot but can be a bit trigger-happy from the point. He was attempting to shoot the puck a lot at the J20 level, so more accuracy and a quicker release, as well as an improved ability to open shooting lanes, are needed to improve his point totals. Overall, Lindstein has great technical skating skills, responsible positioning, and loves to shoot the puck. If he’s able to add consistency and fine-tune his play in all zones, he’s got the makings of an offensive defenseman in the NHL.

26 | Quentin Musty

W | Sudbury (OHL) | 6-2 | 203 lbs | Shoots: L

Sebastian High: If this were a ranking based purely on players’ toolkits, Musty would be knocking on the door of the top-10 if he didn’t crack it. His flashes of power and skill are quite incredible, his frame is heavy, and his hands project as borderline elite. He’s also one of the younger players in the class (only Connor Bedard and Caden Price are younger in our top-32). However, Musty is really bumped down our board by his lack of hockey sense, planning, and engagement. He is very passive off the puck, doesn’t find soft ice consistently, and is reactionary with the puck, which limits the effectiveness of his handling skill and power. If he didn’t have a longer development path than most 2023 eligibles, he may not have even cracked our first round, but his youth and toolkit are notable enough to keep him well inside our top-32 for now.

27 | Alex Ciernik

W | Södertälje J20 (J20 Nationell) | 5-10 | 179 lbs | Shoots: L

Eetu Siltanen: Ciernik’s a shifty winger with excellent skating ability who can beat defenders with that explosive speed. He is a pretty good playmaker and, while not being the most skilled player in the class, can make plays happen at high speeds. He’s not the biggest player at just 5-10 and 172 pounds, but he plays bigger and doesn’t shy away from contact as he gets to the dirty areas of the ice. He is still a bit too reliant on the rush to generate offense, but he has the skill set to diversify his attack as he develops. Ciernik will probably spend most of the season playing for Södertälje’s J20 team but will probably get some games with their men’s club in HockeyAllsvenskan as well.

28 | Lukas Dragicevic

D | Tri-City (WHL) | 6-2 | 181 lbs | Shoots: R

Chris Horvat: The primary strength of Dragicevic’s game is his offensive instincts, which are frequently on display in his heads-up approach and keen eye for distributing the puck when he is quarterbacking the Americans’ top powerplay. He is also an adequate and willing shooter who has a chance to progress into an above-average threat in shooting situations. Dragicevic’s skating is above-average for a blueliner with a 6-2 frame, and though he won’t blow anyone away with top-end speed or explosive burst in his first few steps, he generally displays good fluidity and effortlessness when transitioning the puck out of his own end and through the neutral zone. While he is not an overly physical player, he generally displays a good net-front presence, awareness, and positioning when defending. As is the case with most offensively inclined young blueliners, Dragicevic will need to continue refining his decision-making skills to improve on effectively gauging the risk and reward of any given play.

29 | Caden Price

D | Kelowna (WHL) | 6-1 | 181 lbs | Shoots: L

Nick Richard: Price had a strong rookie season for Kelowna in the WHL, despite modest production. A high-end puck mover, he displays vision and creativity in the way that he pushes play from the back end. He is a smooth skater who can shake oncoming forecheckers and once he beats that first layer, requires very little time to complete a crisp feed up ice. He also defends quite well, particularly for one of the youngest players in this draft class, and offers potential as a reliable two-way blueliner who can do a bit of everything for his team. Don’t be surprised if Price climbs our board significantly in what looks to be a forward-heavy class early on.

30 | Ethan Gauthier

W | Sherbrooke (QMJHL) | 5-11 | 176 lbs | Shoots: R

Hadi Kalakeche: When it comes to combined work ethic and creativity, few compare to Gauthier in our top-32. A relentless forechecker with a solid shot, he often creates off of turnovers by combining these two skills. He gets to the inside often enough but could stand to improve his skating posture and edgework to gain that extra gear required at the next level. Not at all shy to initiate contact on retrievals to make some extra space for himself, Gauthier’s main limitations are the lack of diversity in both his shooting and his playmaking arsenals. He sticks to what he knows works but hasn’t truly explored different ways to create deception with his shooting or passing. He warrants a spot in the top-32 due to a projectable skillset as an NHLer, on top of having top-six potential if he adds layers to his game, improves his posture, and learns to protect pucks better in open ice.

31 | Gabe Perreault

W | NTDP U18 (USNTDP) | 5-10 | 154 lbs | Shoots: R

Alexander Annun: A real catalyst on the ice, Perreault is a high-octane player who leads by example through forechecking and intelligent decision-making. He has good straight-line speed, which he uses to get involved in puck battles along the boards, and he battles hard with a low center of gravity. Quick hands and good vision enable him to create some nice chances for his teammates with clever passes, but he is not one to force a play if he can help it, instead taking the safer option and retaining possession while looking for another option. An all-situations player who can play with any caliber player, he shows a willingness to get to the dirty areas of the ice and emerge with the puck. He will need to add size and strength but his tenacity and skillset project well to the pro level.

32 | Koehn Ziemmer

W | Prince George (WHL) | 6-0 | 194 lbs | Shoots: R

Nick Richard: Ziemmer formed a strong one-two punch for the Cougars last year with our 16th-ranked prospect, Riley Heidt, and led the club with 30 goals in 68 games as a draft-1 player. That he was able to be so productive without much help around him beyond Heidt speaks to his talent and potential as a goal scorer at the next level. He has a powerful shot and does well to hunt open space in the offensive zone, but he is also a dextrous puck handler who is able to create his own opportunities by beating defenders one on one. There is room for Ziemmer to round out his game, but he should be better equipped to handle being a focal point for his club heading into his draft year.

Honorable Mentions

Daniil But, Tyler Peddle, Ondrej Molnár, Luca Pinelli, Axel Sandin Pellikka, Jayden Perron, Mathieu Cataford, Lenni Hämeenaho, Carson Rehkopf, Tanner Molendyk, Denver Barkey, Zeb Forsfjäll

2023 NHL Draft Goaltender Watch List

Colin Hunter: Evaluating young goaltenders can be an incredibly difficult task. As it pertains to the NHL draft, evaluating goaltenders prior to their draft year is always a challenge. In the modern NHL, goaltenders must perform at a truly elite level in order to be projected in the first round of the draft. While this year’s crop of goalies has a number of intriguing names, it follows in the footsteps of the 2022 draft in lacking a truly elite talent – at least at this point in time – such as the likes of Wallstedt, Cossa, Askarov, and Knight that we’ve seen recently.

Having said that, here are three names that are worth keeping your eye on for the 2023 draft:

Michael Hrabel

G | Omaha (USHL) | 6-6 | 201 lbs | Catches: L

An imposing, controlled goaltender, Hrabal checks off many of the boxes that scouts look for in a goalie prospect. Listed at 6-6, he anticipates play well and is capable of shutting down shooters in tight with effective body and glove positioning. Hrabal has made the move to North America to play for Omaha of the USHL this season in preparation for his role with the University of Massachusetts in 2023-24.

Scott Ratzlaff

G | Seattle (WHL) | 6-1 | 172 lbs | Catches: L

Ratzlaff caught the eyes of many with his performance for Canada this summer at the Hlinka Gretzky Cup. Granted, he played behind a historically great team, but Ratzlaff played a major role in the team’s success. Composed and agile, Ratzlaff is rarely caught scrambling, while his strong positioning and quiet footwork allow him to square up effectively to shooters. He will presumably share the Seattle crease this season with last year’s starter Thomas Milic.

Jacob Fowler

G | Youngstown (USHL) | 6-2 | 201 | Catches: L

Fowler burst onto the scene last season with Youngstown in the USHL, posting a .927 save percentage in 18 games after being called up from the U18 AAA level. Strong lateral movement and athleticism allow Fowler to stay ahead of the play and make the occasional out-of-the-box save when necessary. Given the relatively small sample size at the USHL level, it will be interesting to see Fowler get a full season in with Youngstown this year.

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