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Top 10 NHL Draft Grades 2023 Rankings

Ranking the Top 10 NHL Draft Grades for the 2023 - 2024 NHL Season

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By admin | July 5, 2023

The 2023 NHL Entry Draft has come and gone, and this was a deep one. Teams will be looking back at this draft for decades seeing just how great their scouts were. There were some teams that did not have first round picks in this draft, but a lot of contending teams did. Here are the top ten NHL teams from the NHL Entry Draft.

Honorable Mention

Seattle Kraken

NHL Draft Grade: B

Last and certainly not least, the Seattle Kraken looked to build for the future in their third draft. The took Eduard Sale 20th overall, a Czech left winger. The Kraken have been aggressive taking forwards in the first round, building forward back.

I think they got a real steal at 50th overall with Carson Rehkopf from the OHL, who was ranked 29th overall in North American skaters. I wish they had taken a few more defensemen, but it was a great draft for the Kraken. 

Top 10 NHL Draft Grades

10. Nashville Predators

NHL Draft Grade: B

The Predators hosted the 2023 NHL Entry Draft and picked 14 players for their fans to come to enjoy. They picked dead in the middle of the first round, taking Matthew Wood, a forward for the University of Connecticut.

Nine picks later, they took Tanner Molendyk, a more than likely elite defensemen, since that is all the Predators seem to take.

They traded up to take Felix Nilsson, a player I was very high on. All and all, a great draft for the Predators, who are looking to quickly rebuild. 

9. Anaheim Ducks

NHL Draft Grade: B

The only reason the Ducks have a B and not an A is because they did not draft Adam Fantilli. Leo Carlsson is going to be a fantastic player in the NHL and will thrive with the Ducks, I just cannot believe they passed on that talent.

The Ducks went forward heavy out of the gate with CHL players, and I loved the pickup of Damian Clara who has been great in Sweden this past year. I do think the Ducks went safe picking mostly CHL players, but it was still a great draft. 

8. Buffalo Sabres

NHL Draft Grade: B+

The Winnipeg Ice have been pumping out some great players, and the Sabres were lucky enough to get one at 13th overall.

The Sabres are on the brink of being competitive, and the addition of Zach Benson just moves them forward.

Using the pick the Flyers gave them, they were able to snag Anton Whalberg 39th overall, a center from the Swedish leagues with the potential to be a top six forward.

I am glad the Sabres waited to take defensemen in the late second round and third round, the Sabres were back heavy for so long. 

7. Colorado Avalanche

NHL Draft Grade: A

The Avalanche didn’t pick in the last draft until the 6th round and honestly, this prospect pool was desperate for some talent.

The Avalanche mortgaged the future for a Cup win and got it, at the expense of all their draft picks and prospects.

They did very well taking center Calum Ritchie from the OHL and then taking a swing on Mikahil Gulyayev from the KHL. Both of these players are blue chip prospects that could be on the roster in two seasons if they marinate well. 

6. San Jose Sharks

NHL Draft Grade: A 

The Sharks might have gotten their center for the future at #4 with Will Smith, the tall 6-foot American center would be a great fill for the hole Joe Pavelski left.

I really liked the late round pick of Quentin Musty as well, the number of great players left in the first round was just insane.

In four years, the Sharks could have their first line just from this draft in Smith, Musty, and Halttunen. These players all enter a pretty deep talent pool already. It was a great draft for San Jose. 

5. Arizona Coyotes

NHL Draft Grade: A 

The Coyotes have such a deep prospect pool, they were really able to take some swings and risks in this years draft. They drafted two KHL players under contract for the next two seasons, and even so, they won’t be on the Yotes anytime soon.

Many are upset that the Yotes left Michkov on the board for the Flyers to pick, considering they took KHL guys anyway.

I did really like their pick of Michael Hrabal at 38. It was a solid draft for the Coyotes, but it doesn’t move the needle far just yet. 

4. Columbus Blue Jackets

NHL Draft Grade: A+

You might as well call them the Columbus Wolverines at this point, because the Blue Jackets took Adam Fantilli and Gavin Brindley during this years draft, at picks number three and 34 respectively.

Fantilli is going to be an elite center and Brindley might not be too far behind him. They then went on to select William Whitelaw in the third round, a right winger from the USHL. This was a great draft for the Blue Jackets and an A+ overall. 

3. Philadelphia Flyers

NHL Draft Grade: A+

The Flyers may have gotten the steal of the draft with Russian Sniper Matvei Michkov falling to them 7th overall.

The Flyers are hoping he will be attend next year’s rookie camp and their training camp. They also got a great defensemen in Oliver Bonk, who is part of that amazing program in London.

They got a real steal in the third round with Denver Barkey, who is also a London Knight. This is the draft the Flyers needed to start their rebuild and is an A+. 

2. Montreal Canadiens

NHL Draft Grade: A+

I really do not understand why Habs fans are so upset about David Reinbacher being the guy they drafted; they need some quality future on defense. Reinbacher was the consensus best defensemen in the 2023 draft.

The pick I did not understand was the taking Jacob Fowler in the third round, and not a skater. The Habs did not have a bad draft at all. They got some serious quality in the later rounds. 

1. Chicago Blackhawks

NHL Draft Grade: A+

The Blackhawks made 11 picks in this year’s draft, and they really got one hell of a class. The Hawks lucked into the first overall selection and got generational talent Connor Bedard.

They also rounded out their prospect pool by taking another great young center in Oliver Moore. Moore will continue to thrive at the University of Minnesota this fall. They also snagged goalie Adam Gajan in the second round. This was an A+ draft for Chicago. 

How would you rank these NHL Teams going into the 2023-2024 season? Rank below to be added in the NHL Power Rankings.

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