You can watch top 2023 NHL Draft prospects against the Calgary Hitmen this season
Photo credit:Jerome Miron/USA Today Sports
By Ryan Pike1 year ago
Folks, the 2023 NHL Draft is shaping up to be a really good one. In terms of both high-end talent depth and the quality of players expected to be available in the later rounds, this year’s draft class is one of the better ones in a long awhile.
The NHL’s Central Scouting Service released their “Watch List” of draft eligible prospects, and seven Western Hockey League players are rated as A-level prospects (potential first-round selections). All seven have games scheduled against the Calgary Hitmen this season.
We’ll present the youngsters in the order our pals at FC Hockey have them listed in their most recent rankings.
Top on everyone’s personal watch list will be Connor Bedard of the Regina Pats. The Pats were through town earlier this season, but they’re back on Feb. 1 – during the NHL’s All-Star Break – so if you’re interested in watching a flat-out great junior player, that’ll be a day to circle on the calendar.
Next up is Zach Benson of the Winnipeg Ice. He’s probably a rung below Bedard on the latter, but he’s still excellent. The Ice are in town on Jan. 29 and Feb. 22.
Moose Jaw Warriors forward Brayden Yager is seen as being neck-and-neck for Benson in several rankings. He’s another really strong young player. The Warriors are in town on Dec. 4 and Feb. 5.
A little bit behind Benson and Yager is Brandon Wheat Kings forward Nate Danielson. His teammate, Carson Bjarnason, is also an A-rated prospect. The Wheaties beat the Hitmen at the ‘Dome earlier this month, and they are back in Calgary on Jan. 20.
Finally, Samuel Honzek and the Vancouver Giants are in town on Oct. 30, while Riley Heidt and the Prince George Cougars visit on Jan. 18. Prince George’s visit will be to Seven Chiefs rather than the Saddledome.
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