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NHL 2023-24 Biggest Draft Prospects

NHL 2023-24 Biggest Draft Prospects – As we enter the final stages of preparation for the 2023 draft in Nashville, the on-ice action is complete, and the combine has concluded. Teams are now assembling their final draft lists, gearing up for the two-day event at Bridgestone Arena from June 28-29. The NHL 2023 draft picks have become exciting as top players compete for a spot in the big league.

While the star prospects have received significant attention, the value picks can truly shape a team’s future. The hidden gems, the second-half sensations that were not on anyone’s radar but emerged as game-changers. These are the players who experienced transformative journeys in just a few months.

Gracyn Sawchyn, C (Seattle, WHL)

Last summer, Sawchyn took a bold gamble, leaving the esteemed United States National Team Development Program to join the Seattle Thunderbirds. This move led to a WHL championship and propelled him up the draft rankings. While his offensive output could have been higher, Sawchyn’s remarkable defensive skills and work ethic make him a dynamic forward reminiscent of Robert Thomas at a similar stage. He has the potential to secure a first-round selection despite initially garnering little attention.

NHL 2023-24 Biggest Draft Prospects – Anton Wahlberg, C (Malmo, SHL)

Initially rated as a C-level prospect in the NHL’s Central Scouting Rankings, Wahlberg’s stock has risen substantially. His impressive performance against experienced players in the SHL, coupled with his valuable contributions to Sweden’s silver medal-winning team, has boosted his draft potential. Standing at an imposing 6-foot-3, Wahlberg possesses solid skating ability, a strong work ethic, and a penchant for winning battles along the boards. NHL teams will appreciate his dedication.

Tom Willander, D (Rogle, Sweden U-20)

Axel Sandin Pellikka and Theo Lindstein garnered much attention regarding Swedish defensemen at the beginning of the year. However, Willander’s international play, particularly at the World Junior A Challenge, elevated his draft stock early in the first round. Willander’s confidence in rushing the puck, evasiveness, and skillful passing make him an exciting prospect. While his defensive game still requires improvement, the upcoming year could be a breakout season for him.

Bradly Nadeau, C (Penticton, BCHL)

Bradly Nadeau may have been overlooked due to the lack of high-profile prospects in the BCHL. However, his outstanding offensive production with the Penticton Vees, recording 45 goals and 113 points, outshone many recent Jr. A stars. Projected to be selected between the late first round and mid-second round, Nadeau’s powerful shot sets him apart. He has the potential to be a significant value pick in the draft.

David Edstrom, C (Frolunda, Sweden U-20)

From being absent from midseason rankings to surging into first-round consideration, Edstrom’s late-season surge has turned heads. His improved production and an impressive showing on Sweden’s top line at the U-18 World Championship solidified his status as a serious prospect. Standing at 6-foot-3, Edstrom possesses scoring instincts, good footwork, and some professional experience.

Oscar Fisker Molgaard, C (HV71, SHL)

Although Mølgaard didn’t have much offensive output in the SHL, the fact that a player born in 2005 competed in over 40 games against top-level competition in Europe is commendable. He excelled against U-20 competition and possesses pro-ready skills with and without the puck. Mølgaard’s high hockey IQ, NHL-level acceleration, and strong work ethic make him a potential steal in the draft. He consistently contributes at both ends of the ice.

Nick Lardis, LW (Hamilton, OHL)

Lardis missed out on winning the OHL title and participating in the Memorial Cup with Peterborough. However, his move to Hamilton proved beneficial, as he showcased remarkable form in the second half of the season. After tallying 19 points in 36 games with the Petes, Lardis notched 25 goals and 46 points with the Bulldogs and 10 goals in the postseason. A natural goal-scorer, Lardis always possessed the potential to become a prominent scorer, which finally materialized with the Bulldogs. Could he reach the 50-goal mark next year, riding the momentum of his recent hot streak?

Adam Gajan, G (Chippewa, NAHL)

NHL 2023-24 Biggest Draft Prospects – Gajan burst onto the scene after earning the top goaltender award at the World Junior Championship. Initially the third-string goaltender, he propelled Slovakia within a goal of reaching the final four, facing off against a Team Canada led by Connor Bedard. Gajan continued his impressive form with the USHL’s Green Bay Gamblers and the NAHL’s Chippewa Steel. While taking a chance on him in the first round would be significant, some scouts believe it could be worthwhile. His 6-foot-3 frame and translatable skills, Gajan represents a high-reward prospect.

With the Las Vegas Raiders winning the last season, the playoffs were entertaining, and this season is expected to be better. With top prospects fighting to get a spot on the top teams, the NHL 2023-24 season will be action-packed and better than the last. Early predictions expect the Seattle Kraken to make it to the postseason again.