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.