Connor Bedard No. 1 In NHL Central Scouting's Final Rankings

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Connor Bedard Remains No. 1 In NHL Central Scouting’s Final Prospect Rankings

Chicago Blackhawks

NHL Central Scouting released their final rankings of prospects for the 2023 NHL Draft on Tuesday. It’s no surprise to anyone that Connor Bedard remains the No. 1 overall prospect, but there are a few other names to consider with the Blackhawks finishing their season with the third-best odds of winning the lottery.

Bedard had a ridiculous season; I shouldn’t have to tell you that. There’s a conversation happening about the 17-year-old potentially joining Canada’s roster for the World Championships — with current NHL players.

The other players behind Bedard considered the top of this year’s class — players many scouts and analysts are saying potential building blocks for rebuilding teams like the Blackhawks — are Michigan center Adam Fantilli, Swedish center Leo Carlsson and Russian wing Matvei Michkov. Carlsson remained ahead of Michkov on top of the European skater rankings.

If by some horrible twist of fate the hockey gods have the Blackhawks fall out of the top four overall picks, there will still be really good players available — just not players scouts think could individually move the needle for an NHL franchise. We’re going to keep our fingers and toes crossed until the lottery hoping that doesn’t happen.

Because we all want Bedard. Every NHL fan base in the lottery wants Bedard.

As a reminder, NHL Central Scouting produces an extensive ranking of hundreds of prospects for every year’s draft class. They break up their rankings into North American skaters and goalies and European skaters and goals; there are four lists total.

After the NHL Draft Lottery takes place on May 8, we’ll now where the Blackhawks’ first selection will take place. But keep in mind the Blackhawks also own Tampa’s first-round selection this year, and could have as many as four picks in the second round.

Here are the top ten North American skaters:

Here are the top ten European skaters:

Latest from Bleacher Nation:

Author: Tab Bamford

Tab is the Lead Blackhawks voice for BN. He is the author of two books about the Blackhawks, most recently "Chicago Blackhawks: An Illustrated Timeline" (Reedy Press, 2021). Find him on Twitter at @The1Tab