After two years of disruptive competition, Germany’s 2022 Men’s Under-18 World Championships offered the world – and NHL scouts – a glimpse into the next generation of hockey stars. While this year’s first-chosen Shane Wright didn’t play because he was still competing in the Ontario Hockey League playoffs, the Men’s Under-18 Championship remained star-studded.
Among the top players of the tournament, the top potential players in the 2022 NHL were Logan Cooley, Joachim Kimmel, Jerry Kulic, Isaac Howard, Jonathan Licremacki and Frank Nazar. It was an opportunity for NHL scouts to get a final look at these coveted players. It was also an opportunity for top prospects for future drafts to introduce themselves to the world.
Here are ten players who will be talk of the NHL Draft boards in 2023 (and 2024):
Conor Bedard – NHL Draft 2023 – Regina Pats, WHL
When the scientist first saw Conor MacDavid, he was stunned at every turn. Conor Bedard is the star of the next generation. If he qualifies for this year’s NHL draft, Bedard would be the first overall pick. His puck skills are ridiculous, especially when combined with his elite ability to move and see. Bedard is the complete package. He retreats from defenders with his speed and can score from any angle. Next year, Bedard will be the first overall consensus pick, and he will make an immediate impact at the level of the NHL.
Adam Fantelli – NHL Draft 2023 – Chicago Steel, USHL (Michigan, NCAA)
With so much focus on Bedard, Adam Fantelli may be one of the most talented prospects for flying “under the radar” in recent memory. He’s taken an alternate route playing in the USHL with Chicago Steel this season and will follow a slew of recent NHL top-10 picks to the University of Michigan next year as a true freshman. He will almost certainly be a unique player in the NCAA. The Fantilli game element that makes him different from Bedard is his attention to detail on the defensive side of the disc.
Aron Kiviharju – NHL Project 2024 – TPS U20, SM-Sarja
Looking at the listings for the men’s under-18 tournament, then watching the Kiviharjo match, you’ll be sure his date of birth is a typo. He looks like a confirmed first-round pick for this year’s NHL Draft, except he’s ineligible… he’s also ineligible for next season. That’s right, the elite defender, who set the record for most points by Blueliner U16 in the Men’s Under-18 World Championships, is the prospect of the 2024 Draft. As an under-16 player in Finland’s Under-20 League this season, he has scored the second-highest number of Points at all for a player of his age. The only player with more was a striker named Patrick Lane.
The hype will continue to grow as he progresses to play professionally for Finland’s Liiga, and can showcase his skills at World Juniors and the Hlinka Gretzky Cup. Soon, Kiviharju will become a household name in the hockey world, so it’s best to get to know him now.
Leo Carlson – NHL Draft 2023 – Orebro Hong Kong, SHL
A late-2004 birth date propelled Carlson to the 2023 NHL Draft. At 6’3″ and with almost a season of professional experience in the SHL, a campaign he started at age 16, Carlson will move his way to the top as he continues to grow offensively against bigger competitors. age.Against his age group, including the men’s under-18 world championships, Carlson was a physical strength.Carlson is a good skater, has a strong shot and appears to be one of the top 10 players of 2023.
Eduard Sale – NHL Project 2023 – HC Kometa Brno, Czech Republic
Sale loves to shoot the ball as evidenced by his 42 goals and 89 points in 39 games in the Czech Republic’s under-20 ring this season. His powerful shot, which comes from nowhere on the ice, sometimes catches net professionals by surprise, creating rebounding opportunities for his teammates. He’ll need to learn a better pro-level shot selection, but Sale looks like the offensive threat every team aspires to be. Despite his shoot-first mentality, Sale has shown exceptional playmaking ability at the Men’s Under-18 World Championships, and his stock in 2023 is on the rise.
Tanner Howe – NHL Draft 2024 – Regina Butts, WHL
Howe has the tools to be a successful pro by the time the NHL draft rolls around in 2024. At 5’8″ Howe is seen by some as a petite, but wherever you run on the ice, he appears to be there. Howe has shown defensive acumen this season, fending off Shots and killer hits.He was also a powerful threat on his way to scoring 69 points in 64 games as a 15/16-year-old in the WHL.One area he will need to improve is his overall speed.
Charlie Strammell – NHL Project 2023 – USNTDP
Best described as a traditional hardcore striker, Stramel will join the University of Wisconsin next season, where his physical abilities will be tested against older players. Stramel not only shows off his 6’3 inch tire, he shows off his skate and shoot every time he drives into the net. If he doesn’t beat you with his speed, his strength in one-on-one battles is overwhelming. Previous injuries hampered Stramel’s fanfare, but he’s starting to show the elite roof he has.
Theo Lindstein – NHL Draft 2023 – Brynas IF, SHL
There is nothing “exciting” about a Lindstein game, but every NHL team needs a reliable defender. He’ll need to develop offensively and learn to contribute on the other side of the red line to keep his current drop as a possible Top 10 pick. What distinguishes Lindstein from his peers is his agility in moving. Coming out from behind his net, or turning over the ice, Lindstein can evade the front check and separate himself with a smooth stride.
Dominik Petr – NHL Draft 2023 – Lukko U20, SM-Sarja
The 6’2″ Czech striker has played in Finland this season. At the under-18 level, Peter put in good numbers, but was not dominant in the U20 team. However, his performance in the men’s U18 tournament was impressive. His major leap forward will come through Physical development to fill a frame, which is currently described as very thin.A talented lane who reads opportunities well, Peter will need time to fill and adjust opportunities, but he has a positive side.
Other Afaq Projects for 2023 are worth a look
While the 2022 FIFA Men’s Under-18 World Championships has been full of prospects, the above 10 players aren’t the only players watching the move into next season. The group of Otto Stenberg, Kasper Haltonen, Matthew Wood, Kenneth Augustine III, William Smith, Arto Karke, Hunter Przostevic, Brady Cleveland, Gavin Brindley, Ryan Leonard, Michael Chambers, Brady Cleveland and Toma Oronen are all worthy of attention, and he will garner first-round attention next year.
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