2023 NHL Draft Picks: Who Will Round Out Top Five Behind Connor Bedard?

Quinn Allen
By , Updated on: Dec 19, 2023 07:00 PM
2023 NHL Draft Picks: Who Will Round Out Top Five Behind Connor Bedard?

The 2023 NHL Draft is when dreams become a reality for hundreds of prospects across the world. Heading into this week's event, it's already decided who will be number one overall: Connor Bedard. The Chicago Blackhawks are set to select the Regina Pats phenom after winning the draft lottery, giving them a franchise cornerstone to build around just like Patrick Kane many years ago. Bedard is an extraordinary talent and has already drawn comparisons to Connor McDavid. However, he needs to put on some serious weight in order to be considered McDavid 2.0, along with actually proving himself in the league. In this piece, we'll look at the NHL Draft odds and the preview for picks two through five and see where the most betting value may be.

Before we get into the odds and preview, make sure to check out our online sportsbook reviews, and the top NHL betting sites, like Bovada.

2023 NHL Draft Second Overall Pick Odds

Adam Fantilli-500-450-800
Leo Karlsson+350+275+550
Matvei Mitchikov+1400+1200+1000
Will Smith+3300+4000+2000

As you can see, it's pretty lopsided for second overall. Adam Fantilli out of Michigan is a clear-cut favorite to be selected by the Anaheim Ducks after a breathtaking season for the Wolverines, helping them reach the Frozen Four. Fantili is a big-body center had 65 points and 30 goals as a Freshman for UM, which led the nation. Honestly, I don't even think it's worth mentioning these other names at No. 2. All the chatter has been Fantilli here and that should become a reality this week. The odds aren't great but probably go with Bovada's -450 if you want to make some money off this bet.

Adam Fantilli To go second overall

2023 NHL Draft Third Overall Pick Odds

Leo Karlsson-170-170-170
Will Smith+230+200+200
Adam Fantilli+500+325+700
Matvei Mitchikov+850+600+650

On the clock at third overall is the Columbus Blue Jackets. Most mock drafts leading up to the big day have them selecting Leo Carlsson out of the Swedish Hockey League. The 18-year-old has the makings of a star at the next level and brings pro experience to the table already, playing two seasons in his homeland's top flight. As you can see by the odds, he's expected to land in Columbus. However, there could be value in betting on Fantilli or even Will Smith. Fantilli is basically a lock at No. 2 though, which means Smith may be an option for the Blue Jackets. He is the type of offensive player Columbus severely needs thanks to his versatile skillset. That being said, The buzz around Carlsson and the Jackets is too loud to ignore. Take the safe bet here.

Leo Carlsson To go third overall

2023 NHL Draft Fourth Overall Pick Odds

Will Smith-135-140-145
Leo Carlsson+200+220+210
Matvei Mitchkov+425+320+325
David Reinbacher+800+500+450

The fourth overall pick could be an interesting one for the San Jose Sharks in the NHL Draft odds. Will Smith is the name being mentioned the most in this slot, an 18-year-old American who is an offensive powerhouse. He helped the USA win gold at the U-18 championships after scoring nine goals and tallying 11 assists in the tournament. The center is young, though and has committed to Boston College, which means he'd probably play a minimum of one season there. The struggling Sharks would have to wait for his arrival.

That turns the attention to another name San Jose reportedly has their eyes on and that's Russian Matvei Michkov. However, drafting Michkov may be risky because he has three years left on his contract in the KHL, which means just like Smith, the Sharks may need to play the waiting game with Michkov. To be honest, I doubt they're interested in waiting until 2026 to see if Michkov is ready for the NHL, and therefore I think Smith will likely be their pick at fourth.

Will Smith To go fourth overall

2023 NHL Draft Fifth Overall Pick Odds

David Reinbacher+200+225+180
Matvei Michkov+225+250+270
Ryan Leonard+225+170+180
Will Smith+525+500+500

After the top four, it really opens up and the odds are proof of just that. Not one of these four players is a favorite to go fifth overall. The Canadiens have this pick and I actually like the prospect of them landing Michkov here. Montreal isn't in a total hurry to get the Russian to the Bell Centre because they currently have a promising young core of forwards like Nick Suzuki, Cole Caufield, and Kirby Dach, among others. Letting him finish out his deal in the KHL wouldn't really be an issue.

David Reinbacher out of Austria is also an intriguing selection for the Habs. Arguably the best defensive prospect in this draft class, Reinbacher is big, strong, and just held his own as an 18-year-old in Switzerland's top hockey league. Needless to say, Montreal could use blue-line help, too.

Nevertheless, I'm betting on the Canadiens nabbing Michkov to round out the top five.

Matvei Michkov To go fifth overall

See below the top sportsbooks where you can wager online and choose the best one for you:

Meet the author

Quinn Allen

Quinn Allen leverages his broadcast journalism degree and passion for sports in his betting previews and analysis. Based in Kelowna, Canada, he has emerged as an expert voice with picks featured on OSB, MTS, SBD, and as a ClutchPoints editor. With a lifelong fandom of...

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