Bedard No. 1 among NA skaters in NHL central scouting rankings
Connor Bedard was ranked No. 1 among North American skaters as the NHL Central Scouting Bureau released its mid-season 2023 draft rankings on Friday.
Bedard is coming off leading Canada to gold in a historic World Juniors campaign and leads the WHL with 31 goals and 70 points in 29 games this season.
“Connor Bedard is an outstanding talent with the ability to utilize all of his skills and assets at top speed, placing him on a level of his own right now as the No. 1 prospect for the 2023 NHL Draft,” vice president of NHL Central Scouting Dan Marr said in a release. “He is one of the more natural scorers to come along since Patrick Kane with a Draft hype reminiscent of Connor McDavid and Sidney Crosby. Like those three, Bedard is a player that can bring you out of your seat.”
Bedard's World Juniors teammate Adam Fantilli was ranked second among North American skaters, ahead of American forwards William Smith and Ryan Leonard. Moose Jaw Warriors centre Brayden Yager rounded out the top five.
Swedish centre Leo Carlsson No. 1 among international skaters. Carlsson has four goals and 15 points in 26 games with Orebro of the Swedish Hockey League this season. He had three goals and six points in seven games at the World Juniors.
“Leo Carlsson is a competitive two-way forward with all the tools needed to excel,” Marr said. “He is very athletic, a quick and fluid skater, strong on the puck and effective in battles. A very consistent performer capable of making the game look easy with his deceptive smarts and skills. He generates chances at crucial times and is capable of changing the momentum of games.”
Winger Matvei Michkov of Sochi in the KHL ranked second among international skaters ahead of Swedish defenceman Axel Sandin Pellikka, Slovakia-born centre Dalibor Dvorsky and Czech winger Eduard Sale.
Bedard was ranked No. 1 overall in TSN Director of Scouting Craig Button's mid-season ranking, ahead of Fantilli, Carlsson, Sale and Michkov