If there was any doubt that University of Michigan center Adam Fantilli has solidified his placement as the presumptive second-overall pick in the 2023 NHL Draft, it’s shrunk massively over the past few weeks. Fantilli’s assist last night in Michigan’s Big 10 tournament championship victory gave him 11 points in four games at the tournament, setting the all-time record, as reported by NHL.com’s Mike Morreale.
Understandably, he took home Most Outstanding Player honors as well, guiding Michigan to their second consecutive tournament victory over the University of Minnesota. The freshman center enters the national tournament with 61 points in just 33 games this season, and his 1.85 points per game are the highest of any NCAA men’s player since Kyle Connor in 2015-16, also with Michigan.
Among the 2023 draft class, Fantilli’s impressiveness and brilliance have been overshadowed only by Connor Bedard this season. He’ll have one last chance to show what he can do in the college ranks during the national tournament before inevitably turning pro next fall.
More notes from the hockey world this morning:
- The 16 teams that will make up the field for the NCAA Men’s Hockey Tournament are set, according to ESPN’s John Buccigross. Minnesota, Quinnipiac, Michigan, Denver, Boston University, Harvard, St. Cloud State, Penn State, Ohio State, Michigan Tech, Minnesota State, Western Michigan, Cornell, Merrimack, Colgate, and Canisius will all participate in college hockey’s final set of games for 2023. The seeding and first-round matchups will be revealed later this evening after the conclusion of the women’s championships game between Wisconsin and Ohio State.
- With the playoffs just around the corner, a defensive depth piece in the Toronto Maple Leafs organization may be unavailable to them for a while. Jordie Benn was injured in last night’s AHL Toronto Marlies game and did not return, and Marlies head coach Greg Moore offered no postgame update. Benn, 32, has two points in 12 games while playing for the Maple Leafs this season but has fallen down the depth chart quickly after a flurry of trade deadline adds at the position.
I still think Fantilli will get a long look by some teams as possibly #1 ..
Joe Carters walkoff
He will not
Doubtful, but he’s a solid #2. I’ve seen some rankings have Russian smoothie Matvei Michkov at 2, but he’s almost certainly gonna fall, due to his contract status. There’s Swede Leo Carlsson in the Top 5, but I haven’t seen anyone rank him above Fantilli and Michkov. Those are the Top 4, but Michkov is the wild card.
I also think Fantilli may go 1OA. Just based off of frame.
Just clarifying because I wrote this and I’m not sure if some got the wrong idea… I believe there’s quite literally no chance Fantilli goes first overall.
Bedard has McDavid potential, Fantilli doesn’t. It’s pretty clear-cut in my eyes
Joe Carters walkoff
We also thought there was no chance Shane Wright WOULDN’T go 1OA. Just saying. Do I think Bedard has a higher ceiling than Fantilli. 100%. Do I think there’s a chance a team picks Fantilli over Bedard? 100%
actually a fair amount of people didn’t think wright was locked in at 1, especially in the weeks leading up to the draft.
Wright was also never considered a generational talent like Bedard. Wright was considered a great prospect, but Bedard has been pegged as a future #1 since before he officially played in the CHL
You are comparing apples and oranges with these two drafts top players
Math has never been my thing, but 66 pts in 31 games seems like more than 2.0 ppg. Where does the 1.85 ppg come from?
Darn numbers. Should be 61 points in 33 GP, it’s updated