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2023 NHL Draft aggregated consensus first round draft ranking

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Photo credit:Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports
Ryan Pike
11 months ago
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Every year, countless dedicated individuals scout games and pour over game tape to provide the hockey world with insights and information into the upcoming draft class. And while many entities produce some great guides and rankings, sometimes it’s challenging for the layperson or casual hockey fan to sift through everything to determine the levels within a draft class.
With that in mind, our aggregated consensus first round draft ranking has returned for 2023.

The rankings aggregated

Here’s how these rankings were built: We looked at the top 32 players on 12 different prominent public rankings. We awarded each ranked player points on an inverse scale – 1st got 32 points, 32nd got 1 point – and each player who appeared on one or more rankings had their points aggregated to create our consensus ranking.
Here are the 12 rankings we used in this exercise:
(Check out as many rankings as you can, a lot of hard work and insight went into them!)
We like to use the consensus ranking scheme to smooth out any variations in each year’s draft class and provide a general indication of how players are valued across the industry. There are a lot of diverse, unique perspectives across the rankings we use, and since they all value slightly different things in their individual rankings, the hope is this produces an aggregated ranking that displays the consensus (or lack thereof) in each year’s draft crop.
Here are the 33 players projected to go in the first round… because there’s a statistical tie in rankings points at 32 between two players.

The consensus first round

NoPlayerPos.Nat.Primary 2022-23 Team
1Connor BedardCCANRegina Pats (WHL)
2Adam FantilliCUSAUniversity of Michigan Wolverines (NCAA)
3Leo CarlssonCSWEOrebro HK (SHL)
4Matvei MichkovRWRUSSKA St. Petersburg (KHL)
5Will SmithCUSAU.S. National Development Program (USHL)
6Zach BensonLWCANWinnipeg ICE (WHL)
7Dalibor DvorskyCSVKAIK (HockeyAllsvenskan)
8Ryan LeonardCUSAU.S. National Development Program (USHL)
9Oliver MooreCUSAU.S. National Development Program (USHL)
10David ReinbacherDAUTKloten (NL)
11Axel Sandin PellikkaDSWESkelleftea AIK (J20 Nationell)
12Matthew WoodRWUSAUniversity of Connecticut Huskies (NCAA)
13Colby BarlowLWCANOwen Sound Attack (OHL)
14Gabe PerreaultRWUSAU.S. National Development Program (USHL)
15Nate DanielsonCCANBrandon Wheat Kings (WHL)
16Eduard SaleLWCZEHC Kometa Brno (Extraliga)
17Dmitri SimashevDRUSLoko Yaroslavl (MHL)
18Brayden YagerCCANMoose Jaw Warriors (WHL)
19Samuel HonzekLWSVKVancouver Giants (WHL)
20Quentin MustyLWCANSudbury Wolves (OHL)
21Andrew CristallLWCANKelowna Rockets (WHL)
T22Calum RitchieCCANOshawa Generals (OHL)
T22Tom WillanderDSWERogle BK (J20 Nationell)
24Otto StenbergCSWEFrolunda HC (J20 Nationell)
25Gavin BrindleyCUSAUniversity of Michigan Wolverines (NCAA)
26Mikhail GulyayevDRUSOmskie Yastreby (MHL)
27Riley HeidtCCANPrince George Cougars (WHL)
28Daniil ButLWRUSLoko Yaroslavl (MHL)
29Jayden PerronRWUSAChicago Steel (USHL)
30Gracyn SawchynCCANSeattle Thunderbirds (WHL)
31Ethan GauthierRWCANSherbrooke Phoenix (QMJHL)
T32David EdstromCSWEFrolunda HC (J20 Nationell)
T32Oliver BonkDCANLondon Knights (OHL)
So, the list as presented is fairly straightforward with some clear progression between different players – there’s a decent gap between Bedard and Fantilli, for example. But Carlsson and Michkov are virtually tied, jammed together extremely close in the aggregation.
Beyond that, there’s a big gap between Sandin Pellikka and Wood, between Wood and Barlow, and between Danielson and Sale – in terms of showing “ledges” in perceived player value via the aggregation. Yager, Honzek, Musty and Cristall are also clustered together pretty tightly within the rankings.
The first 16 players – Bedard through Sale – are listed as first-rounders on every ranking surveyed. From then on out, there’s a lot of variation. Some players in the top half of some rankings’ first-round groups aren’t even on the list for other rankers. It’s that kind of draft.

Just missed the cut

Aside from the top 33 above, there were another nine players that were listed as prospective first-round picks on multiple draft rankings. Since multiple lists mentioned them, but not enough to reach the projected consensus first round mix, we’re listing them here in alphabetical order:
  • D Lukas Dragicevic – Tri-City Americans (WHL)
  • RW Kasper Halttunen – HIFK (SM-Liiga)
  • LW Nick Lardis – Hamilton Bulldogs (OHL)
  • D Theo Lindstein – Brynas IF (SHL)
  • C Oscar Fisker Molgaard – HV71 (SHL)
  • LW Bradly Nadeau – Penticton Vees (BCHL)
  • C Danny Nelson – U.S. National Development Program (USHL)
  • RW William Whitelaw – Youngstown Phantoms (USHL)
  • RW Koehn Ziemmer – Prince George Cougars (WHL)
In essence, between the top 33 and these nine players, 42 different players were first-round quality players on multiple draft rankings surveyed.
The 2023 NHL Draft goes June 28 & 29 in Nashville. FlamesNation will be on the ground in Nashville all week bringing you in-depth coverage.

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