NHL Draft 2023: Round 1 winners and losers, including the Coyotes’ obscure picks

chicago blackhawks Won the NHL Draft. There. Complete. It doesn’t matter what happens from here, as the Hawks have found a generational talent in Connor Bedard who should be able to quickly transform their on-ice culture and turn Chicago into a winning team all on his own.

Yes, he’s great – and if the front office can help more around that then we’ll see something very special.

The point is that the selection still feels so… weird. There is no better way to say it. What we have here is a scenario where the best player of the past few years is headed to one of hockey’s biggest markets to play for an Original Six team, with a fanbase that deserves a change of fortunes – And yet, it’s still ridiculous that this was allowed to happen.

We can’t celebrate Beddard’s move to Chicago without mentioning again and again, that the Blackhawks organization covered up the largest sexual abuse scandal in professional sports history And walked away with a fine of $2 million. We cannot let Beddard’s promotion in the NHL distract from the fact that lives have been destroyed, families damaged and careers ruined because the former Chicago Brain Trust decided that if the team was winning then it was okay to have sex. It was not fair to deal with harassment. ,

There are a lot of nuances here, and it’s really hard to quantify them all. Blackhawks fans deserve a great player. The city is entitled Bedard. However, it all seems absurd when Rocky Wirtz is able to retain ownership of the club, Despite Kyle Beach’s haughty answers to questions about sexual assault at a town hall meeting in 2022 Designed to allow people to ask questions of the organization’s senior leadership.

“If someone in the company asks this question, we will answer it, and I think you should move on to the next topic. We’re not going to talk about Kyle Beach. We are not going to talk about everything that happened. Now we are moving forward. What else do I have to say?

Wirtz later apologized with a carefully crafted message from his PR team, but the damage was done. Those directly responsible went on to cover up the matter, but the man at the top had no sympathy for what had happened. Which is why it was disgusting to see Chicago awarded the No. 1 pick in the lottery when, as a matter of basic humanity, they should have received unprecedented punishment for allowing a player in their system repeatedly abused by a former coach .

This is very unfortunate, sad and infuriating Needed The Blackhawks are ushering in a new era of success with a key player — and yet, the NHL’s reckless response to Kyle Beach’s abuse has allowed the same owner to remain in charge.

So yes, Chicago won big – but we will never forget what this organization did.

Winner: The Flyers, who hit the biggest home run of the draft (after Bedard) with Matvey Michkov

Philadelphia is deep in the process of rebuilding and has every chance of coming in at number 7. Teams at the top of the draft were fearful of Michkov due to his KHL contract running through 2026–27, as well as instability in Russia. for the invasion of Ukraine. Still, Michkov is legitimately a top-3 player in this class. A kid who, despite being 18 years old, recorded 20 points in 27 KHL games this season. He’s a pure passer, a talented lamplighter, and it’s odd that teams would be so short-sighted as to give up on him because of the three-year wait.

Enter Philadelphia: who now have one of the most talented young players in their potential system and someone who will be ready to make the jump to the NHL as soon as the rest of their rebuild is realized. What an amazing selection.

The Loser: The Arizona Coyotes’ Inexplicable Draft

The Coyotes wrote the book on Wednesday night in how bad teams stay bad with their choices. No one squandered their draft capital in the NHL more than Arizona, which picked No. 6 and No. 12 and ended up with two massive over-reaches.

There is nothing functionally wrong with Dmitry Simashev or Daniel Butt. They are both legitimate first round talents that could surprise, but based on what we’ve seen they weren’t the best talents on the board in either of the Coyotes’ picks. It’s almost as if the team was all set to pick a defenseman at No. 6, then the Canadiens threw David Reinbacher for a loop – so instead of rotating their boards, they panicked and went with their next best option. reached for D.

We also can’t assume they wanted players who can contribute now, as neither Simashev nor Butt can come in immediately. After all, why don’t you take Michkov and land a niche talent? This is a draft that will be studied for years to see how No To be drafted in the NHL.

WINNER: Dmitri Simachev couldn’t believe the Coyotes took him

You should never get excited when your pick is stunned that you rate him so highly.

The Loser: What the Canadiens did at No. 5… then what they did at No. 31

I don’t want to turn this into a “who didn’t take Michkov” train, but why didn’t the Canadiens take Michkov?! When your team is so lacking in scoring talent that you are picking in the top-5, you need to make every effort to find home run players. One was sitting there.

David Rickenbacker is really good, don’t get me wrong – but he couldn’t have been a franchise-defining centerpiece like Michkov.

Then at No. 31, with plenty of good players on the board, the team overpaid in exchange for Alex Newhook. There’s really no sign that he’ll develop into a top 6 player, and he struggled on the Avalanche before that. There is a possibility that he could blossom, but the 31st and 37th picks are really high prices for someone who didn’t guarantee it. Originally the Canadians protected the Avalanche and let them find the pieces for the future.

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