The Vegas Golden Knights have been crowned Stanley Cup champions after defeating the Florida Panthers in five games in the 2023 Stanley Cup Final. Now that the season is officially a wrap, we can look ahead to the next big thing in hockey: the 2023 NHL Draft. Here we’ll go over the dates for the 2023 NHL Draft and some background info.
2023 NHL Draft dates
Wednesday, June 28-Thursday, June 29
The NHL is shifting the dates for the 2023 NHL Draft this year. Instead of the draft taking place over the weekend, it will be during the middle of the week. There’s not really a concrete explanation for the switch, though the draft is in Nashville, where the NHL will also hold its yearly award ceremony. The awards ceremony is a few days prior on Tuesday, June 26 from Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee.
So the first round will take place on Wednesday, June 28, expected to start around 7 p.m. ET on ESPN, NHL Network, Sportsnet and TVA Sports. After that, the rest of the draft, rounds 2-7, will take place on Thursday. In the past, the rest of the draft was always Saturday afternoon starting at around noon ET.
The Chicago Blackhawks won the 2023 NHL Draft Lottery back in May and were awarded the No. 1 overall pick in the draft. The Blackhawks will almost assuredly select center Connor Bedard, who is expected to be the next big name in hockey. After that, the Anaheim Ducks will select at No. 2 and the Columbus Blue Jackets are No. 3.
Adam Fantilli, a center that won the Hobey Baker Award for the best collegiate hockey in his freshman season with the Michigan Wolverines, is likely to go into the top three. Leo Carlsson, a center prospect from Sweden; winger Zach Benson from Winnipeg of the WHL; Will Smith, a center from the U.S. National Development Program; and Russian prospect Matvei Michkov are the other top prospects to keep an eye on.