NHL Draft: A Look at the Top 50 Players for Blackhawks' Fans

2023 Kubota CHL Top Prospects Game - Practice
2023 Kubota CHL Top Prospects Game - Practice / Dennis Pajot/GettyImages
facebooktwitterreddit

As we start to enter the final month until the trade deadline (March 3rd) we should take note that we already have 6 selections within the first 3 rounds. In my opinion, we could add as many as another 2-3 meaning we could have some flexibility in terms of moving around.

This is a draft that is loaded with talent, albeit in different tiers. To review my first 3 tiers please click here to review.

I wanted to give a good baseline for fans as we start to get a little more focus on where some of these selections could be. I've been watching major junior (chl), the USHL, NCAA, and European games to gauge the translative skills of some of the 2023 class. Some players really stand out to me like Will Smith as well as some guys that I used to have as top 10 picks start to show that maybe they aren't as ready.

As always, I believe that the best way to see a list like this is by tiers. So, if Kyle Davidson was determined to get another All-Star capable player, where our GM would have to be in order to draft a 2nd potential mainstay Blackhawk.

Tier 1: Generational Talent

1. RW Connor Bedard

Tier 2: Franchise Player

2. C Adam Fantilli

3. RW Matvei Michkov

4. C Leo Carlsson

Tier 3: Perennial All-Star Potential

5. RW Zach Benson

6. C Dalibor Dvorsky

7. C Will Smith

Tier 4: All-Star Potential

8. C Oliver Moore

9. C Nate Danielson

10. C Sam Honzek

11. RW Brayden Yager

12. LW Eduard Sale

13. RD Axel Sandin-Pellikka

Tier 5: Top 6 / Top 4 Mainstays

14. LW Colby Barlow

15. C Riley Heidt

16. RW Ryan Leonard

17. RW Matthew Wood

18. RD Oliver Bonk

19. RD Lukas Dragicevic

Tier 6: Potential Top 6 / Top 4 Players

20. C Otto Stenberg

21. LD Mikhail Gulyayev

22. LW Andrew Cristall

23. LW Brad Nadeau

24. C Calum Ritchie

25. RD Beau Akey

26. C Quentin Musty

27. RW Koehn Ziemmer

28. RW Ethan Gauthier

29. LW Danil But

30. LW Alex Ciernik

31. RD David Reinbacher

32. RW Gabe Perreault

33. RW Mathieu Cataford

34. G Michael Hrabel

35. LD Dimitri Simashev

Tier 7: Likely Top 9 / Top 6 NHL Players

36. RW Gavin Brindley

37. LD Caden Price

38. LD Etienne Morin

39. RD Hunter Brzustewicz

40. LW Aydar Suniev

41. RD Maxim Strbak

42. RW Jayden Perron

Tier 8: Potential Top 9 / Top 6 NHL Players

43. LW Ondrej Molnar

44. RW Coulson Pitre

45. LW Kalan Lind

46. G Carson Bjarnason

47. RD Jordan Tourigny

48. RW Kasper Halttunen

49. C Gracyn Sawchyn

50. RD Tom Willander

There you have it, a look at my top 50 prospects heading into the NHL Trade deadline. I understand that there are a few names that aren't on this list like Cam Allen, Charlie Stramel, Lenni Hameenaho, or Theo Lindstein, however I do not think they have played to their abilities. Sure, argue that Stramel looked good in 2-3 world juniors games, but outside of that he hasn't played as an impact forward at the NCAA level. To me, he is a late 2nd rounder that a team tries to be patient with. Cam Allen went from pre-season top 10 lock to a guy that looks like he is gripping a tight grip at the moment.

There will still be a ton of movement as the seasons enter their playoffs, but make no mistake about it this is a great class. I really think that if Kyle Davidson wants a second true impact player he will need to move in the teens to get one.

Players of note: I'm very bullish on Oliver Bonk becoming an NHL top 4 player. Some media have him as a pick in the 50s, not me. I think his game is growing in all areas very rapidly. He is a fiesty player and isn't shy to be a leader on the ice.

I also want to make a note that if the lottery doesn't go the way we want and we select in the 5-7 range that we are still getting a truly special player. Benson, Dvorsky, and Smith to me are still going to make a franchise so excited.

The NHL draft isn't until June 28th - June 29th in Nashville (6 months until we host the draft banner night in 3 days), however it's never too early to get to know these players if you're a Chicago Blackhawks' fan.

facebooktwitterreddit