The 2023 NHL Draft has an order, at least for the first part of the first round, and analysis continues to pour out. Today, Corey Pronman of The Athletic released his latest mock draft, with an interesting name creeping into the third spot behind Connor Bedard and Adam Fantilli.
William Smith, the top USNTDP prospect, is Pronman’s projected pick for the Columbus Blue Jackets, giving them another talented young forward to build around. Smith’s stock has continued to rise after his incredible season, though he is committed to Boston College and won’t be entering the NHL right away.
- Speaking of drafts, the WHL is set to pick the next wave of junior talent today, and Scott Wheeler of The Athletic reports that Daxon Rudolph is expected to go first overall to the Prince Albert Raiders. The 15-year-old defenseman will be one of three top-seven picks the Raiders have, as they rebuild their squad with an eye on future Memorial Cup appearances.
- Young Toronto Maple Leafs prospect Matthew Knies is “feeling better day to day,” according to Darren Dreger of TSN. The young forward suffered a concussion in his seventh playoff game for Toronto after signing out of college and making an immediate impact. With the Maple Leafs still fighting for their lives, down 3-1 to the Florida Panthers, it remains to be seen whether Knies will get another opportunity this spring.