Big surprise in store for the 2nd overall pick in the 2023 NHL draft?

Published May 6, 2023 at 7:25 PM

Unlike last year, there should be no suspense regarding the very first pick in the upcoming NHL draft next June.

Barring a huge surprise, Connor Bedard is expected to be the top pick in this exceptional draft class, with his destination to be determined on May 8th during the lottery.

But after that, we could witness a real spectacle, as there is no guarantee that Adam Fantilli, ranked the second-best prospect in North America, will be the second pick, as there are several other high-quality prospects. However, the majority of experts expect the Hobey Baker Award winner to be drafted behind Bedard.

But another prospect might shake things up and make his way into the top, as reported by Michaël Petit of Danslescoulisses.com.

Ranked the third-best prospect in North America, American Will Smith had an outstanding tournament at the U18 World Championship. Last Saturday, he scored a hat trick in the Americans' 7-1 victory over Slovakia, and his team won the tournament with a 3-2 overtime win against Sweden.

Before the final, he had amassed an impressive total of 19 points, including nine goals in six games, which led informant David Ettedgui of BPM Sport to believe that there is now a four-way race for positions two to five in the draft.

The other two prospects are Swedish Leo Carlsson and Russian Matvei Michkov.

Imagine if Will Smith is picked 2nd overall – that would be a huge surprise!

As we know, the Canadiens are expected, in principle, to draft at the fifth position, and many experts have linked Will Smith to the CH.

Could Smith actually shake things up and climb to the third, or even the second position, in the upcoming draft?

Anything is possible, as the U18 World Championship has often been an excellent prelude to the draft, and as we saw last year with the first round, anything can happen.

But one thing is certain: to secure Will Smith's services, the CH may have to win the second lottery Monday night for the second overall pick.

May 6   |   165 answers
Big surprise in store for the 2nd overall pick in the 2023 NHL draft?

Do you believe that Will Smith could cause a surprise in the draft and be selected in the second position behind Connor Bedard?

Yes2515.2 %
No, but after Fantilli8048.5 %
After Carlsson84.8 %
Outside of the top-35231.5 %
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