The 2023 NHL Draft begins tonight at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, and our friends at FanDuel Sportsbook are dealing a full slate of odds for puck-crazed bettors. We’re using FanDuel’s prices to give you our three best bets for the 2023 NHL Draft.
FanDuel isn’t offering odds on the No. 1 pick, as it’s a foregone conclusion that center Connor Bedard is headed to Chicago to be the face of the franchise after the Blackhawks decided not to re-sign veteran Jonathan Toews.
Bedard, who played for Regina in the WHL, is viewed as a once-in-a-generation player. Leo Carlsson, Adam Fantilli, and Matvei Michkov fall in line behind Bedard as top prospects in this year’s draft.
Best Bets for 2023 NHL Draft
Leo Carlsson No. 2 Pick (+145)
NHL Central Scouting ranks Carlsson as its top international prospect. The talented 6-foot-3 center competed in Sweden’s highest professional hockey league. As an SHL rookie, Carlsson recorded 10 goals and 15 assists in 44 games for Orebro HK.
Anaheim is reportedly mulling a possible trade at No.2. The Ducks are also interested in Michigan’s Adam Fantilli (-280), but we like the value Carlsson affords here, especially if there is a trade. He doesn’t need to be drafted by Anaheim to cash.
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Adam Fantilli No. 3 Pick (+220)
This is a correlated play on Fantilli, who we’ll get at generous odds if he falls to No. 3. You could make an argument for Carlsson or Fantilli to be drafted No. 1 if Bedard wasn’t a part of this class. Fantilli won this year’s Hobey Baker Award as the top player in NCAA hockey.
He’s the second-ranked North American skater (behind Bedard) by NHL Central Scouting. Fantilli’s stat line for his freshman season at Michigan reads 30-35-65 in 36 games played.
Matvei Michkov Draft Position Under 5.5 (+100)
This is an intriguing proposition given that Michkov, 18, remains under contract to SKA Saint Petersburg of the KHL for three more years in Russia.
Many observers are comparing him to Alex Ovechkin, but there’s a lot of mystery surrounding Michkov. The high-scoring forward was loaned out to Sochi, the KHL’s worst team this past season, but his legend is still growing.
TSN hockey analyst Bob MacKenzie pegged him at No. 5 in his rankings, but noted scouts gave Michkov consideration at Nos. 2, 3, and 4.
How to Watch 2023 NHL Draft (First Round)
Date: Wednesday, June 28, 2023
Time: 7 p.m. ET
Location: Bridgestone Arena, Nashville