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Home / Articles / Draft Day Victories: “Five NHL Teams That Improved Their Roster”

Draft Day Victories: “Five NHL Teams That Improved Their Roster”

By: Jeff Hochman
Date: Jul 3, 2023
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Draft Day Victories: “Five NHL Teams That Improved Their Roster”

No. 1 Detroit Red Wings

Nate Danielson (C), Round 1, Pick 9; Axel Sandin Pellikka (D), Round 1, Pick 17; and Trey Augustine (G), Round 2, Pick 9.

The Red Wings have hit the jackpot with their first three picks, acquiring promising prospects in critical positions such as center, defense, and goaltending. This strategic move ensures that the team is equipped with talented individuals who can significantly impact future years. The Red Wings have always been known for their impressive scouting and player development system. This year's draft was no exception, as they strategically selected three talented prospects who perfectly addressed the team's needs. With Nate Danielson as a center, Axel Sandin Pellikka as a defenseman, and Trey Augustine as a goaltender, the Red Wings have fortified their lineup in three crucial positions. Therefore, I fully expect a vastly improved Red Wings team in the 2023-24 season!

No. 2 Chicago Blackhawks

Connor Bedard (C), Round 1, Pick 1; Oliver Moore (C), Round 1, Pick 19

The addition of Connor Bedard to the Chicago Blackhawks' roster is expected to boost their offensive prowess significantly. This is a much-needed addition for a team that has struggled to score in recent seasons. Additionally, the Hawks had initially considered moving up in the draft to select Oliver Moore, who proved to be one of the draft's best skaters in the U.S. National Team Development Program last season. Chicago sees him as great value at the 19th pick. The Blackhawks made excellent draft day choices with these two selections!

Ice hockey is abuzz with excitement as two promising young talents, Bedard and Moore, have emerged as top prospects in the same draft. These players have been selected in the first round with high expectations due to their incredible skills and potential. With the new additions, the Blackhawks team is poised for significant improvement. The players in this draft class will be a valuable addition to the team's rebuilding efforts since their disappointing loss in the first round of playoffs in 2016.

No. 3 Nashville Predators

Matthew Wood (R), Round 1, Pick 15; Tanner Molendyk (D), Round 1, Pick 24

The Nashville Predators recently made strategic moves during the NHL draft by selecting Matthew Wood and Tanner Molendyk as their 15th and 24th overall picks, respectively. Wood is a natural scorer and an above-average skater, while Molendyk is a quick-skating defenseman. Both players are expected to make a significant impact as the Predators enter a rebuilding phase. Their exceptional skills and dedication to excellence are poised to take the team to new heights and solidify their status as key assets on the ice. Despite Tanner's extraordinary abilities, it's surprising that he has yet to score more often. However, his smooth transitions of the puck up the ice, precise passing, and impressive skating techniques demonstrate his potential for scoring goals. Overall, these two draft picks are great additions to the team.

No. 4 New York Rangers

Gabriel Perreault (R), Round 1, Pick 23

The selection of Gabriel Perreault as the New York Rangers' 2023 first-round pick at No. 24 was not only a great choice, but it may also be considered the steal of the draft. Gabriel's exceptional left-handed playmaker skills and impressive offensive abilities make him an incredibly dynamic player on the ice. New York was ecstatic that Perreault was available late in the draft, and the Rangers were able to scoop in and add him to the roster.

Perreault's speed and agility make him a force to be reckoned with, while his vision and puck-handling skills are unparalleled. He has the ingenuity to create scoring opportunities seemingly out of thin air, as evidenced by his impressive 63 points in just 44 games last season. Beyond his physical abilities, Perreault's work ethic and commitment to improvement are genuinely outstanding. He is a true student of the game, dedicating countless hours to watching game tapes and studying hockey strategy. It’s what separates the good players from great players.

The young forward from Quebec is a dynamic playmaker with impressive offensive skills, making him a threat on every shift. Rangers fans can rest easy knowing they have a potential superstar with Perreault, who should crack the starting lineup sooner rather than later.

No. 5 San Jose Sharks

William Smith (C), Round 1, Pick 4; Quentin Musty (L), Round 1, Pick 26

During the NHL draft, teams face tough decisions and unexpected surprises. However, the Sharks' decision to pass on Michkov and select Smith instead was a calculated move that I loved. While Michkov is a highly skilled player with great potential, the Sharks' choice suggests prioritizing immediate team improvements. In picking Smith, who will be playing for Boston College next season, the Sharks are positioning themselves for valuable opportunities for growth and integration into their system. Furthermore, the acquisition of Musty, a solid late first-rounder with top-six wing potential, bolsters the Sharks' roster and prospects, showcasing their strategic approach to building a team for long-term success while also considering their immediate needs on the ice.


As we approach the upcoming fall season, fans can expect intense and riveting competition as teams integrate their newly acquired players into their lineups. Many highly-talented rookies are poised to exhibit their extraordinary skills and compete fiercely for roster spots during training camp. The league will be electrified by the addition of these young players, who will bring a new level of excitement as they strive to prove themselves at the highest level of competition.

The 2023 NHL Draft undoubtedly positively impacted numerous teams, significantly boosting their chances of success in the upcoming season. However, it's crucial to remember that drafting young players is only a piece of the puzzle. The ultimate success of each team hinges on how well these prospects develop and adapt to the NHL. Be that as it may, fans can anticipate a thrilling and fiercely competitive season as teams vie for the coveted Stanley Cup.

The NHL regular season is set to kick off on October 10, 2023, and come to a close on April 18, 2024. Hockey fans can expect six months of riveting action as their favorite teams battle for a shot at the playoffs. Make a note on your calendar for the highly anticipated NHL regular season. Keep an eye on my website for additional articles.


Click here to view all of Jeff Hochman's premium picks.

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