The EP Rinkside post-World Juniors 2023 NHL Mock Draft
The 2023 NHL Entry Draft has been circled on calendars far longer than just this season. It’s been projected to be one of the more impactful groups of prospects to come along in the last two decades. And while we’re starting to see that it will lack the extreme depth of a 2015 or a 2003 group, it still boasts the franchise-changing asset at the top and a handful more that could greatly improve the fortunes of other organizations.
We suddenly find ourselves halfway through the NHL season and halfway through the scouting season. Early assessments have started to become tangible sample sizes. Habits have been formed. Risers are starting to show themselves. With the World Junior-A and World Junior Under-20 Championships in the books, we’ve had some nice opportunities to see these players compete internationally against their peers too.
Which means, it’s time to mock it up.
What follows is a mock draft of the first 16 picks. This is not how I would select them, but an attempt at pulling back the curtain and making selections as those teams may make in Nashville. As we see every year, surprises will happen. I’ve tried to bake those in here as well. Surely this exercise will change greatly as the final six months of the season plays out. But this is a starting point. And a fun one at that.
The order of picks was determined via Tankathon’s NHL Draft Lottery Simulator with the standings as of January 8, 2023.
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