The Montreal Canadiens have added another young forward to their developing core. On Tuesday, the Canadiens announced that they have acquired Alex Newhook from the Colorado Avalanche in exchange for a 2023 first-round pick, a 2023 second-round pick and defenseman Gianni Fairbrother.
The first-round selection that Montreal dealt to Colorado is the No. 31 overall pick, which was previously owned by the Florida Panthers. The second-round pick is the No. 37 overall selection in the 2023 draft.
Newhook, the No. 16 overall pick in the 2019 NHL Draft, just completed his second full season with the Avalanche. As a rookie in 2021-22, Newhook recorded 13 goals and 33 points. In the Avs’ run to the Stanley Cup, he notched four assists in 12 games played.
Last season, Newhook totaled 14 goals and 30 points in 82 games, and he saw some time in a second-line role. Just 22, Newhook should fit right in with the Canadiens, where he will get more opportunities amidst a young core that also features Cole Caufield and Nick Suzuki.
Now, the Avalanche have two first-round picks in the 2023 NHL Draft. Colorado is just one year removed from winning a Stanley Cup, and it suddenly has some draft capital to work with. We’ll see whether the Avs use those picks to acquire a player who can help them now or restock their prospect pool.
The NHL unveiled the 2023-24 regular-season schedule, which will get underway on Tuesday, Oct. 10 with a tripleheader of action. On the league’s opening night, the tripleheader will be highlighted by the Vegas Golden Knights raising their Stanley Cup banner before taking on the Seattle Kraken at T-Mobile Arena at 10:30 p.m. ET.
In addition, the Oct. 10 slate will feature the Tampa Bay Lightning hosting the Nashville Predators at 5:30 p.m. ET while the Chicago Blackhawks will take on the Pittsburgh Penguins at 8 p.m. ET.
On Wednesday, Oct. 11, the Blackhawks will hit the road and take on the Boston Bruins at 7:30 ET while the Los Angeles Kings will host the Colorado Avalanche.
Among the notable dates in the 2023-24 season is the 2024 Winter Classic between the Golden Knights and Seattle Kraken, which will be played at T-Mobile Park in Seattle, home of the MLB Mariners. Neither team has competed in the Winter Classic in their short existences.
The league’s All-Star break will occur from Feb. 1-4 when the NHL descends upon Toronto for All-Star Weekend at Scotiabank Arena.
The 2024 Stadium Series will take place on Feb. 17-18 at MetLife Stadium, which is the home of the NFL’s New York Jets and New York Giants. The New Jersey Devils will face the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday, Feb. 17, while the New York Rangers will take on the New York Islanders on Sunday, Feb. 18.
The 2023-24 campaign will consist of 1,312 regular-season games, and will wrap up on April 18.
The Los Angeles Kings announced that they have acquired center Pierre-Luc Dubois in a sign-and-trade with the Winnipeg Jets. In exchange for Dubois, the Jets received Gabriel Vilardi, Alex Iafallo, Rasmus Kupari and a 2024 second-round pick.
Dubois, who was set to become a restricted free agent, signed an eight-year deal worth $85 million with the Jets before getting traded to the Kings. The 25-year-old Dubois is coming off a 63-point season at Winnipeg, and he has proven to be a strong top-six center in his six-year NHL career.
The Columbus Blue Jackets selected Dubois with the No. 3 overall pick in the 2016 NHL Draft, and he spent three seasons there before getting traded to the Jets in 2021. In 195 games with Winnipeg, Dubois tallied 63 goals and 80 assists.
The Kings are banking on the idea that Dubois can take his game to the next level and take over the first-line center role once Anze Kopitar retires. Los Angeles general manager Rob Blake said Dubois will be a key part of the organization for years to come.
“Pierre-Luc Dubois is an elite two-way center with a unique skillset, and we’re excited to have him join the organization and commit to us long-term,” Blake said in a statement. “Over the last few seasons, he has proven the ability to contribute to all facets of the game and we are thrilled to be able to add a player of this caliber into our lineup.”
Following their first-round playoff exit, the Jets decided to reconstruct their roster this offseason, and this is a big step toward doing that.
Vilardi was the No. 11 overall pick in the 2017 NHL Draft, and he had a bit of a breakout season in 2022-23 with 23 goals in 68 games while also displaying a strong defensive acumen. He is the most intriguing part of the return for Winnipeg.
Iafallo grew into a solid middle-six forward in his six seasons with the Kings, and he just totaled 36 points in 59 games this past season. He will provide the Jets with some strong depth over the next couple of years.
Kupari was the No. 20 overall pick in 2018 and he has yet to really establish himself at the NHL level. Kupari totaled 15 points in 66 games last season, but he could see his role expand at Winnipeg.
The New Jersey Devils have upgraded an already impressive forward group by acquiring winger Tyler Toffoli from the Calgary Flames, the team announced on Tuesday. In return, the Flames got the rights to pending restricted free agent Yegor Sharangovich and a 2023 third-round pick.
Fresh off a spectacular season at Calgary, Toffoli has one year left on his current contract at $4.25 million per season. In 2022-23, Toffoli set career highs in goals (34), assists (39), and points (73). He should slot right into New Jersey’s top six, alongside highly-skilled forwards like Jack Hughes, Jesper Bratt and Nico Hischier.
In addition to his production, Toffoli also brings a wealth of experience and a championship pedigree to a Devils team that is still ascending. Throughout his 733 NHL games, Toffoli has piled up 227 goals and 239 assists for a total of 466 points. In the 2014 playoffs, Toffoli tallied 14 points in 26 games as he helped the Los Angeles Kings hoist the Stanley Cup for the second time in three years.
With Toffoli now in the mix, Devils general manager Tom Fitzgerald will continue working on an extension for Timo Meier, who is coming off a 40-goal season.
The Flames, who appear to be in the midst of another turbulent offseason, do get the negotiating rights to the 25-year-old Sharangovich out of the deal. Sharangovich showed some promise in New Jersey, and the Flames have to hope they can build on that moving forward. Last season, Sharangovish tallied 13 goals and 17 assists in 75 games, and he recorded 24 goals in the 2021-22 campaign.
This is an article version of the CBS Sports HQ AM Newsletter, the ultimate guide to every day in sports. You can sign up to get it in your inbox every weekday morning here.
Good morning to everyone but especially to… CONNOR BEDARD AND THE CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS
The NHL is back on center stage in the sports world tonight with the 2023 NHL Draft getting underway. And much like the NBA Draft last week, there’s a no-doubt grand prize going No. 1. The Blackhawks will select Connor Bedard with hopes of him pulling the historic franchise out of a half-decade’s worth of struggles.
The 17-year-old star’s resume suggests he’ll be able to do just that. Our Austin Nivison stacked up Bedard’s credentials with recent top draft picks, and even the 2023 Hart Trophy winner barely competes:
Nivison: “Connor McDavid was the definition of a generational prospect. He had the size, speed, production and intangibles necessary to succeed at the NHL level, and he has delivered on the goods… The fact that Bedard has the statistics and the accolades to match McDavid only makes him more tantalizing to NHL scouts. … No matter how you slice it, Bedard is in rare air in terms of his pre-draft resume.” The Blackhawks also supported Bedard by adding Taylor Hall and Nick Foligno in a trade with the Bruins. That hasn’t been the only big pre-draft movement.
Tyler Toffoli is headed from the Flames to the Devils. The Kings acquired Pierre-Luc Dubois from the Jets. The Avalanche dealt Alex Newhook to the Canadiens. Kevin Hayes is going from the Flyers to the Blues. The draft starts tonight at 7 p.m.
Honorable mentions Dolphins-Chiefs tickets in Germany sold out in 15 minutes. Leonard Fournette somehow avoided injury after his car caught on fire. Julio Urías is expected to return this weekend. The 2023-24 NHL schedule is out. Not so honorable mentions If things go more haywire for the Mets than they already have, Max Scherzer would consider waiving his no-trade clause for the “right situation.” Josh Jacobs could miss the start of training camp if he doesn’t get a new deal. Shakira Austin’s hip injury is a big setback for the Mystics. Former Arkansas, NFL quarterback Ryan Mallett dies at 35 🏈 Ryan Mallett died Tuesday in an apparent drowning in Florida, per reports. He was 35 years old.
Mallett was a highly touted recruit who chose Michigan in 2007 and played one year there before transferring to Arkansas. Mallett starred for the Razorbacks in 2009 and 2010, setting program single-season records for passing yards and passing touchdowns in 2010 that still stand today. The Patriots drafted Mallett in the third round in 2011, and he also spent time with the Texans and Ravens. His last year in the NFL was 2017. In 2022, Mallett became head football coach at White Hall High School in White Hall, Arkansas. Oral history of Giannis Antetokounmpo’s incredible rise 🏀 Giannis Antetokounmpo, 2013 NBA Draft Getty Images Ten years and one day ago, the Cavaliers took Anthony Bennett first overall in the 2013 NBA Draft. It was a stunning choice that didn’t work out — Bennett was out of the league by 2017 — and in a draft full of uncertainty, the guys after Bennett proved hit-or-miss as well.
At 15th overall, the Bucks took a little-known, long-limbed teenager from Greece named Giannis Antetokounmpo. The rest — two MVPs, an NBA championship and much more — is decorated history still in the making. To look back on a decade of Giannis, our Jack Maloney assembled an outstanding oral history of Antetokounmpo’s rise to stardom. Here’s one of my favorite parts:
Jrue Holiday: “He got hurt in the  conference finals against Atlanta and that first practice back, our first Finals practice — it was the day before the game and it was the first time we were seeing him practice — he was going like 150 miles an hour. And we were like, ‘OK, slow the f— down, man. We just got you back and we’re gonna need you to play tomorrow.'” This is a really fun piece featuring quotes from Antetokounmpo, his teammates, his coaches and plenty of opponents such as LeBron James and Draymond Green. Be sure to read it.
Who will go No. 1 in MLB Draft? Pirates have SEC, high school options ⚾ dylan-crews-getty-1.png Getty Images With the college baseball season officially over and the MLB Draft approaching, the Pirates are on the clock. It’s a huge opportunity for a team that has shown some positive signs but still needs a lot of help.
Lucky for them, our R.J. Anderson has five potential options for the Buccos, and three of them were in the College World Series Finals: LSU pitcher Paul Skenes, LSU outfielder Dylan Crew and Florida outfielder Wyatt Langford. You’ve probably seen those names before — in this very newsletter, in fact — but R.J. says there are two other names from the high school ranks that could be in play:
Anderson: “3. Walker Jenkins, OF, South Brunswick HS (NC): Jenkins appears to be the industry’s preference among the high-school outfielders because of his more certain offensive projections. 4. Max Clark, CF, Franklin Community HS (IN): Often compared to Cubs prospect Pete Crow-Armstrong. Clark is a surefire center fielder with legitimate offensive upside thanks to a fast bat and wheels.” We can go on and on about the prospects — R.J. has full scouting reports for the top 30 — but what’s important to remember is it’s not just about the player. It’s about the team’s approach, too:
Anderson: “There are, essentially, two strategies forward for the Pirates. The first is to take the best player available. That would be Crews, provided Pittsburgh’s front office and scouting department share the overall industry’s evaluation. The other strategy, which arguably should be employed only when there’s not a clear-cut No. 1 player in the class, is the same portfolio approach that has been popularized by the Houston Astros and Baltimore Orioles. Essentially, it involves the team taking the “cheapest” of the top tier of players, and then redirecting their savings toward players who slip over signability concerns.” You can see R.J.’s full thoughts here and Mike Axisa’s latest mock here.
NFL’s top 25 players 25 or younger: Offensive superstars on top 🏈 Claire Komarek, CBS Sports Ah, to be young and at the top of your sport. Our Cody Benjamin ranked the 25 best NFL players 25 or younger, and it’s riddled with stars that make me excited about the league’s present and future (what doesn’t make me excited is that, at 26, I’m older than everyone on this list for the first time ever. But we don’t have to get into that).
Coming in first among the young stars — and I don’t think it’s any debate — is…
Benjamin: “1. Justin Jefferson — Jefferson’s off to the best start by any receiver in NFL history, elevating his annual yardage total from 1,400 to 1,616 to 1,809 with ease. He’s not invincible, but he’s been close to it, working almost every secondary he’s faced with smooth, speedy route-running and a knack for clutch big plays.” Jefferson landed fifth on this list last year, so his superstardom was already well established. But the No. 2 player this year didn’t make last year’s list whatsoever.
Benjamin: “2. Jalen Hurts — In three seasons, Hurts has gone from scrambler to serviceable to bona-fide star under center, and truthfully, he’s been getting better every year since the start of college. Always respected for his unshakeable resolve and work ethic, the QB unleashed vastly improved downfield touch and accuracy en route to the Eagles’ Super Bowl appearance.” Hurts’ impressive jump also got me thinking about which player could make a similar leap from outside the top 25 this year to high on the list next year, and I’m going with Christian Watson. From Weeks 10-18 last year, only three qualifying wide receivers — Davante Adams, Jerry Jeudy and Jefferson — recorded a higher yards per target. Watson is a big play waiting to happen, and I have high hopes.
Ahead of the 2023 NHL Draft in Nashville, Tennessee State University has announced that it will become the first HBCU to introduce college hockey. TSU’s ice hockey program was formed through a partnership with the NHL, the NHLPA, and the Nashville Predators.
Whether TSU will get a men’s hockey team, women’s hockey team, or both still remains to be seen. A more formal announcement is expected prior to the start of the 2023 draft at Bridgestone Arena.
This is another step from the NHL and the NHLPA in attempting to reach more players and fans from diverse backgrounds. On Tuesday, the league announced the creation of the Player Inclusion Coalition (PIC), which is a collection of 20 former NHL and women’s professional hockey players “who will work to advance equality and inclusion in the sport of hockey.”
Former NHL players Anson Carter and P.K. Subban are the co-chairs of the organization, Carter said the group wants to create positive change for “underrepresented groups” within the game.
“Every member of the NHL Player Inclusion Coalition shares a passion to bring diversity and inclusion to the forefront of the hockey community. It has been incredible to work together to amplify the role of Players as advisors, ambassadors, and catalysts for real change, which benefits underrepresented groups in the game,” Carter said in a statement. “As we enter the coalition’s next phase, we are excited to grow our impact by sharing more of our work with fans to invite everyone who loves hockey to join the movement with us.”
The NHL and NHLPA have set aside $1 million for the PIC to begin its efforts in making hockey a more inclusive sport.
The New Jersey Devils announced that they have signed star forward Timo Meier to an eight-year contract worth a total of $70.4 million. Meier was set to become a restricted free agent, but the two sides agreed to a long-term deal prior to July 1.
Meier, who was acquired by the Devils from the San Jose Sharks prior to the 2023 trade deadline, is coming off a career-year in which he scored 40 goals. In his 21 regular season games with New Jersey last year, he scored nine goals in 21 games, and he added four points in 11 playoff games.
Devils general manager Tom Fitzgerald said the franchise is excited to keep Meier around as it builds toward its goal of winning another Stanley Cup.
“We were excited to acquire Timo at the deadline, but it’s an even greater feeling knowing that he’ll be here for the next eight seasons,” Fitzgerald said in a statement. “Timo’s unique blend of style of play, goal-scoring ability, and physical presence will prove valuable for us. In talking with him, Timo realized, and I always believed, that this is the right place for him as a player and a person. We’ve locked up another piece of our young core that is looking to take that next step together for greater success.”
Meier was the No. 9 overall pick in the 2015 NHL Draft, and he blossomed into a star with the Sharks. In just his third NHL season, Meier scored 30 goals, and he has been one of the most dynamic playmakers in the league ever since. In his 472 career games, Meier has totaled 163 goals and 167 assists for 330 points.
Now that Meier is signed for the foreseeable future, New Jersey boasts one of the best forward groups in the NHL. The Devils already had Jack Hughes, Jesper Bratt, and Nico Hischier under contract through the 2026-27 season, but Fitzgerald has been busy loading up with more elite talent.
Just one day before the Devils signed Meier, they acquired winger Tyler Toffoli from the Calgary Flames. Toffoli is coming off a 34-goal season, and he gives head coach Lindy Ruff yet another weapon up front.
The 2023 NHL Draft in Nashville marks the 20th anniversary of the greatest draft of all-time, which was held in the very same city. The 2003 draft produced countless legends and a handful of future Hall of Famers.
The 2003 draft class started out well, with Marc-Andre Fleury and Eric Staal as the top two picks, but future NHL All-Stars were taken as late as the second-to-last pick. In total, a whopping 27 future All-Stars heard their names called 20 years ago in Nashville.
Keep in mind that number doesn’t even include players like Nathan Horton, Braydon Coburn, Eric Fehr, Mark Stuart, Patrick Eaves, Kevin Klein and Matt Carle. All of them had long and successful careers, but were never named to an All-Star Game.
Not only did the 2003 draft class boast starpower, but it also boasted longevity, with 11 of them playing in the 2022-23 season. NHL-caliber talent littered this draft class, and it may be a long time before we see another one like it.
Let’s take a look back at the 27 All-Stars that the 2003 NHL Draft produced and see how their careers played out.
This was the last time a goalie was the No. 1 overall pick, and it worked out pretty well for the Penguins. It took a few years for Fleury to get his footing in the NHL, but he broke out in 2007-08, when he posted a .921 save percentage and 2.33 GAA in 35 games. That was the start of a long run of success for Fleury.
In the 2008-09 season, Fleury helped lead the Penguins to their first Stanley Cup since 1992, and he won two more rings in Pittsburgh before the Vegas Golden Knights selected him in the 2017 NHL Expansion Draft. The following season, Fleury was terrific for Vegas as he powered them to the Stanley Cup Final in their inaugural season. Three years later, he won the 2021 Vezina Trophy with a 1.98 GAA and a .928 save percentage.
Since then, Fleury made a brief stop in Chicago, and he has one more year left on his current contract with the Minnesota Wild. That will give him the chance to build upon his impressive career numbers that include 544 wins, 73 shutouts, and a .913 save percentage.
Eric Staal | C Pick: No. 2 overall Team: Carolina Hurricanes All-Star: 2007-2009, 2011, 2018, 2020
As a rookie in 2003-04, Staal tallied a modest 11 goals and 20 assists. That’s a solid – but not spectacular – rookie campaign. Staal took his game to an elite level in his second year with the Hurricanes.
That season, he scored 45 goals en route to totaling 100 points, winning the Stanley Cup, and finishing fourth in Hart Trophy voting. Staal was a star for Carolina in that playoff run, and his 28 points led all players in the postseason.
Staal spent the first 12 seasons of his career with the Hurricanes, and he notched 775 points in 909 games with the franchise. Since the Hurricanes traded him to the Rangers midway through the 2015-16 season, Staal has played for five different teams, spending four years with the Minnesota Wild from 2016 to 2020. Staal just recently completed the third Stanley Cup Final of his career with the Florida Panthers.
Scoring goals is pretty important in hockey, and Thomas Vanek was pretty good at that. Vanek scored at least 20 goals in each of his first 10 NHL seasons, and he was a lethal power play weapon for most of his 14-year career.
Vanek scored 25 goals in his rookie season with the Sabres, and he increased that total to 43 goals in the 2006-07 campaign. From the start of the 2005-06 season through the 2013-14 season, Vanek scored a total of 277 goals. That ranked eighth in that time frame and put Vanek ahead of players like Marian Hossa, Martin St. Louis, Vincent Lecavalier, and Daniel Sedin.
Vanek was traded twice during that 2013-14 season, and he spent the rest of his career as a hired gun, going to any team that needed some depth scoring. Vanek spent his final NHL season with the Detroit Red Wings in 2018-19, and he ended his career with 373 goals in 1,029 games.
Milan Michalek | LW Pick: No. 6 overall Team: San Jose Sharks All-Star: 2012
Michalek scored in his first NHL game with the San Jose Sharks, but he tore his ACL early in his second career game. That forced Michalek to miss the rest of the 2003-04 season, but he rebounded with 17 goals and 18 assists in the first season after the 2004-05 lockout.
In each of his next four seasons, including his first after being traded to the Ottawa Senators in 2009-10, Michalek eclipsed the 20-goal mark. After being limited to 66 games and 18 goals in 2010-11, Michalek exploded for 35 goals and 60 points in 2011-12, the best season of his career. He was named to the All-Star Game, but Michalek wouldn’t reach that level again.
In 2016, Michalek was dealt to the Toronto Maple Leafs, and he played a total of 18 games for the franchise before ending his NHL career in 2017.
Ryan Suter | D Pick: No. 7 overall Team: Nashville Predators All-Star: 2012, 2015, 2017
Suter didn’t play his first NHL game until the 2005-06 season, but has spent nearly two decades as a staple on blue lines ever since. The following season, Suter broke out for eight goals and 16 assists as he became one of the best defensive players for Nashville.
That is how things would remain through the 2011-12 season. Suter picked up some Norris Trophy votes on an annual basis while playing at an elite level. In 2010-11, Suter played an integral role in getting the Predators past the first round of the playoffs for the first time, and he did the same thing the following season when they defeated the Detroit Red Wings in the opening round.
In the summer of 2012, Suter signed a massive 13-year, $98 million contract with the Minnesota Wild. He played the next nine seasons as a top-pairing defenseman with the Wild before the team bought him out following the 2020-21 campaign. For the past two seasons, Suter has played for the Dallas Stars, and he still has two years remaining on his contract.
In 1,362 career games, Suter has tallied 103 goals, 561 assists, and 664 points. At this point, his case for the Hall of Fame has been all but solidified.
Dion Phaneuf | D Pick: No. 9 overall Team: Calgary Flames All-Star: 2007-2008, 2012
The 6-foot-4 Phaneuf was a highly-touted defensive prospect who had the size and scoring touch to play in the NHL. Early in his career with the Calgary Flames, things went according to plan for Phaneuf.
As a rookie in 2005-06, Phaneuf scored 20 goals and totaled 49 points. He earned first-team All-Rookie honors and finished third in Calder Trophy voting. Two seasons later, Phaneuf put up 60 points and a whopping 182 penalty minutes in 82 games, and he was the Norris Trophy runner-up to Nicklas Lidstrom in 2008.
The Flames traded Phaneuf to the Maple Leafs in January of 2010 as part of a blockbuster deal. Phaneuf played parts of seven seasons in Toronto, but the team only reached the postseason once in that time.
The Leafs traded Phaneuf the Ottawa Senators in 2016, and he was part of the team that went to the Eastern Conference Final in 2017. After spending two years with the Los Angeles Kings from 2017 to 2019, Phaneuf officially announced his retirement in 2021. He tallied 137 goals and 357 assists in 1,048 career games.
Jeff Carter | C Pick: No. 11 overall Team: Philadelphia Flyers All-Star: 2009, 2017
With Carter, we kick off a run of players with multiple Stanley Cup victories to their name. In 2005-06, Carter kicked off what would become a spectacular career with 23 goals and 42 points in 81 games. In his six seasons with the Flyers, Carter scored 181 goals, which ranked 17th in that time.
In 2010, Carter was injured for a portion of the Flyers’ Stanley Cup Final run, but he still scored five goals in 12 games.
The Flyers traded Carter to the Columbus Blue Jackets in June of 2011, but he didn’t stay there for long. The Jackets sent him to the Los Angeles Kings before the 2012 trade deadline, and he instantly became a key piece of their Stanley Cup team. Carter was tied for the league lead in playoff goals, along with teammates Dustin Brown and Anze Kopitar, as L.A. won its first Cup in franchise history.
Two years later, Carter helped lead the Kings to another Stanley Cup with 10 goals and 25 points in 26 playoff games. Carter went on to spend a decade with the Kings, and he scored 194 goals in 580 games.
Carter’s tenure with the Kings ended when he was traded to the Penguins in 2021, and he has one year left on his contract there.
Dustin Brown | RW Pick: No. 13 overall Team: Los Angeles Kings All-Star: 2009
Carter’s teammate on those Cup-winning teams, Dustin Brown, was selected just two picks after him in the 2003 draft. Brown, a star for the OHL’s Guelph Storm in junior hockey, didn’t take long to adapt to the professional level.
In 2005-06, his first full NHL season, Brown found the back of the net 14 times as he established himself within the Kings’ lineup. In 2008, Brown was named the 13th captain in Kings history, and he was named an NHL All-Star later that season.
Brown never put up eye-popping numbers, but he was a strong two-way forward for much of his career. In 2012 and 2014, Brown led the Kings to a pair of Stanley Cup championships. In the first of those runs, Brown put up 20 points in 20 games.
In the 2016 offseason, Brown was stripped of his captaincy and replaced by Anze Kopitar, but he remained with the Kings for the entirety of his career. Brown retired from the NHL following the 2021-22 season, after 325 goals and 712 points in 1,296 games. He became the third Kings player, along with Wayne Gretzky and Luc Robitaille to get a statue built in his honor.
Brent Seabrook | D Pick: No. 14 overall Team: Chicago Blackhawks All-Star: 2015
Three-time Stanley Cup winner Brent Seabrook was drafted immediately behind two-time winner Dustin Brown in the middle of the first round. Talk about a deep draft, and we aren’t even close to done.
Along with fellow defenseman Duncan Keith, Seabrook was one of the first real building blocks of the Blackhawks’ dynasty that ran from 2010 to 2015. Seabrook fully entrenched himself as an everyday NHL defenseman in 2006-07, and he was an absolute workhorse for the Blackhawks for the next dozen seasons. From 2006-07 to 2018-19, Seabrook played in 1,013 games, which was second only to Patrick Marleau.
In each of Chicago’s three Stanley Cup runs, Seabrook averaged at least 23:05 of ice-time per game. In Game 7 of the Hawks’ second-round series against the Detroit Red Wings in 2013, Seabrook scored the overtime winner to send them to the Western Conference Final.
Injuries marred the last couple seasons of Seabrook’s career, and his contract was traded to the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2021. Once that deal expires after the 2023-24 campaign, Seabrook will officially retire.
Zach Parise | LW Pick: No. 17 overall Team: New Jersey Devils All-Star: 2009
It took a whole three picks to find another All-Star. Coming out of the University of North Dakota, Parise quickly evolved into an elite offensive weapon for the New Jersey Devils. In 2006-07, just his second NHL season, Parise scored 31 goals.
That kicked off a run of four straight seasons in which Parise piled up 146 goals, which ranked sixth in the NHL over that span. A torn meniscus at the start of the 2010-11 season ended that streak by limiting Parise to 13 games played, but he rebounded in a big way the following season. Parise scored 31 goals in the regular season before leading the Devils to the 2012 Stanley Cup Final.
That was Parise’s last season with the Devils because he joined Ryan Suter in signing a 13-year deal worth $98 million with the Minnesota Wild in the summer of 2012. Parise’s time in Minnesota was hampered by injuries at times, but he still managed to score 199 goals in nine seasons.
After the Wild bought out Parise’s contract in 2021, he found a home with the New York Islanders, where he has extended his career. Parise scored 21 goals with the Isles in 2022-23 and is set to become a free agent on July 1.
Ryan Getzlaf | C Pick: No. 19 overall Team: Mighty Ducks of Anaheim All-Star: 2008-2009, 2015
Throughout his junior hockey career with the Calgary Hitmen, Getzlaf was an ill-tempered two-way center, and he brought that game to the NHL after getting drafted by the Ducks. Getzlaf spent the entirety of his career bullying opponents and getting under their skin after the whistle.
In just his second NHL season, Getzlaf played a significant role in the Ducks winning their first Stanley Cup in team history. He totaled 58 points in the regular season, and Getzlaf put up seven goals and 10 assists in 21 playoff games.
Getzlaf never won another Cup in his career, all of which was spent in Anaheim, but he got agonizingly close. The Ducks lost in Game 7 of the second round twice, and they lost in the Western Conference Final twice more. In his 125 career playoff games, Getzlaf notched 37 goals and 83 assists for 120 points.
Following the 2021-22 season, Getzlaf retired as the Ducks’ all-time leader in games played (1,157), assists (737), and points (1,019).
Burns made his name as a defenseman for the San Jose Sharks, but he was drafted as a winger, and he spent some time switching between forward and defense in the early portion of his career with the Wild. Burns eventually stuck on the blue line, and that played out quite nicely for him.
Throughout his seven seasons in Minnesota, Burns developed into a strong offensive defenseman, but his career took the next step after he was traded to the Sharks during the 2011 NHL Draft. For much of his tenure with San Jose, it seemed like Burns just continued to improve every season. That culminated in the 2016-17 season when he won the Norris Trophy and finished fourth in Hart Trophy voting after tallying 29 goals and 72 points in 82 games.
With the Sharks rebuilding, they traded Burns to the Carolina Hurricanes last summer, and he had a resurgent season with his new team. Despite turning 38 late in the season, Burns still managed to produce 61 points in top-pairing minutes. Expect him to be a big part of Carolina’s defense again next season.
Ryan Kesler | C Pick: No. 23 overall Team: Vancouver Canucks All-Star: 2011, 2017
Kesler, who spent time with the under-18 U.S. national team and Ohio State University before getting drafted, was a bit of a late bloomer. He didn’t really break out at the NHL level until the 2007-08 season, but once he did, Kesler became a key player on great teams for the Vancouver Canucks and Anaheim Ducks.
In that 2007-08 campaign, Kesler notched 21 goals in 80 games and became a steady two-way presence in the Vancouver lineup. In 2011, Kesler won the Selke Trophy as the NHL’s best defensive forward while helping the Canucks win the President’s Trophy and reach the Stanley Cup Final, where they lost to the Boston Bruins in seven games.
Kesler was traded to the Ducks in 2014 and was immediately named an alternate captain. In his first three seasons with Anaheim, Kesler scored 63 goals and totaled 153 points while finishing top-three in Selke voting twice. In that span, the team went to the Western Conference Final twice, but it lost both times.
After the 2016-17 season, a hip injury derailed Kesler’s career, and he played his last NHL game in 2019. He retired with 573 points in 1,001 games played.
Mike Richards | C Pick: No. 24 overall Team: Philadelphia Flyers All-Star: 2008
The Flyers were able to select Jeff Carter and Mike Richards in the same draft, just 13 picks apart, and both players are two-time Stanley Cup winners. Unfortunately for Philadelphia, they won those Cups with the Los Angeles Kings.
Richards scored 21 goals combined in his first two seasons with the Flyers, and he broke out for 28 goals and 75 points in the 2007-08 season. In September of 2008, Richards was named the 17th captain in Flyers history. In the 2010 playoffs, Richards captained Philadelphia to the Stanley Cup Final and recorded 23 points in 23 games.
In 2011, the Flyers traded Richards to the Kings, where he would eventually be reunited with Carter. In his first year with Los Angeles, Richards totaled 44 points before adding 15 more in the team’s run to a Stanley Cup. Two years later, Richards produced 10 points in the Kings’ second Stanley Cup run.
Richards’ time with the Kings came to an end following an off-ice incident in 2015, but he signed a one-year contract with the Washington Capitals in January of 2016. He played 39 games in Washington before ending his career.
Brian Boyle | C Pick: No. 26 overall Team: Los Angeles Kings All-Star: 2018
Few players in this draft class are as well-traveled as Brian Boyle. A solid bottom-six forward, Boyle bounced around as an NHL journeyman throughout his career and created value for himself by playing a strong two-way game.
Boyle spent just two seasons with the Los Angeles Kings before getting traded to the New York Rangers in 2010. In his second season with the Rangers, Boyle recorded a career-high 21 goals and played a key role for the team until he signed with the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2014.
That kicked off a North American tour for Boyle that resulted in him playing for seven teams in the final seven seasons of his career. In the 2017-18 season, Boyle went to his first and only All-Star Game with New Jersey after beating cancer and returning to score 13 goals in 69 games.
Boyle retired in March of 2023, and even though he never won a Stanley Cup, he had his share of deep playoff runs. In fact, Boyle made back-to-back Cup Final appearances in 2014 and 2015.
Corey Perry | RW Pick: No. 28 overall Team: Mighty Ducks of Anaheim All-Star: 2008, 2011-2012, 2016
The Ducks selected Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry just nine picks from one another. The 2003 draft was a pretty good day at the office for GM Bryan Murray.
Perry scored 30 goals in his first two NHL seasons, and he tallied 15 points in the Ducks’ 2007 Stanley Cup run. He really broke out in the 2007-08 campaign, when he piled up 29 goals and 54 points in 70 games played. Three years later, Perry won the Hart Trophy after an exceptional season that included 50 goals and 98 points.
Perry wound up spending 14 seasons in Anaheim, where he ranks second all-time in goals (372), third in points (776), and second in games played (988). In the summer of 2019, Perry signed with the Dallas Stars and went to the Stanley Cup Final in the NHL bubble that year. The next season, with the Montreal Canadiens, Perry lost to the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Cup Final for the second year in a row.
Taking a join them if you can’t beat them approach, Perry spent the last two years with the Bolts and lost his third consecutive Stanley Cup Final in 2022. This past season, Perry totaled 12 goals and 25 points in 81 games.
We are finally out of the first round, but there is still a long way to go. For now, we’ll take a look at Loui Eriksson who was a regular 20- to 30-goal scorer at his peak.
From 2008-09 to 2011-12, Eriksson was an exceptional top-six forward for the Dallas Stars. In those four seasons, he scored 118 goals, which ranked 19th in that time. Eriksson also established himself as a defensively responsible forward who could be trusted in all three zones.
On the Fourth of July in 2013, Eriksson was traded to the Boston Bruins in a blockbuster trade that saw Tyler Seguin going the other way. Eriksson’s first season in boston didn’t go as planned, but he tallied 52 goals and 110 points from 2014 to 2016.
In the 2016 offseason, Eriksson signed a six-year contract with the Vancouver Canucks, but his tenure there never really worked out. He scored 38 goals in 252 games with the Canucks and was traded to the Arizona Coyotes in 2021. Eriksson went to play in his home country of Sweden in 2022.
Patrice Bergeron | C Pick: No. 45 overall Team: Boston Bruins All-Star: 2015-2016, 2022
One of the biggest steals in draft history — and there were several of this in this class — came when the Boston Bruins called Patrice Bergeron’s name in the second round. They wound up getting a franchise player and perhaps the best two-way forward ever to play the game.
Bergeron made the Bruins’ roster as a rookie, and he finished eighth in voting for the 2004 Calder Trophy after notching 16 goals and 23 assists that season. Bergeron found the back of the net 31 times in the 2005-06 season, and he was off and running from there.
Over the last 19 seasons, Bergeron has earned a reputation as one of the smartest players and most relentless defenders in the NHL. In his 1,294 career games, Bergeron has totaled 427 goals, 613 assists, and six Selke Trophy wins, including after the 2022-23 season.
Bergeron’s combination of leadership, skill, and tenacity has led the Bruins to a Stanley Cup in 2011, and Boston has been back to the Stanley Cup Final twice since then. Bergeron has played a whopping 170 playoff games, and he has 128 points in that time.
The Predators didn’t land just one franchise defenseman in the 2003 draft. They landed two. After getting Ryan Suter at No. 7 overall, the Preds also got Shea Weber in the middle of the second round.
Weber made his NHL debut in the 2005-06 season, but he carved out a regular role for himself in 2006-07. That year, Weber scored 17 goals in 79 games, and he looked like a budding star. Weber spent 11 seasons with the Predators, became the franchise’s sixth captain in 2010, and was a perennial Norris Trophy candidate. While he was with Nashville, Weber became a major power play weapon, and he has scored almost as many goals on the power play (106) as he has at even strength (113) throughout his career.
In the summer of 2016, Weber was part of the stunning trade that saw him go to Montreal with P.K. Subban coming to Nashville. Weber continued to play at a high level in his first four seasons with the Habs, and he helped the team reach the Stanley Cup Final in 2020. Unfortunately, injuries derailed his career in 2020-21, and he has not played in the last two seasons. His contract currently sits with the Arizona Coyotes.
Corey Crawford | G Pick: No. 52 overall Team: Chicago Blackhawks All-Star: 2015, 2017
Crawford spent the first five seasons of his professional career developing with the AHL’s Norfolk Admirals and Rockford IceHogs. By the time Crawford took over the crease in Chicago, he was more than ready for the NHL level.
In 2010-11, Crawford started 55 games and posted a 2.30 GAA with a .917 save percentage. Just a couple of years later, Crawford started all 23 games in the 2013 postseason as he backstopped the Blackhawks to the Stanley Cup. His GAA was a minuscule 1.84, and his save percentage was a terrific .932.
Two years after that, Crawford did it again as he posted a pair of shutouts in 19 playoff starts. For the second time in three years, Crawford played a huge role in helping Chicago lift the Stanley Cup.
Crawford held strong for a few more seasons in Chicago, but his performance dipped in 2018-19, and he played his final game for the Blackhawks in 2020. That summer, Crawford signed with the New Jersey Devils but retired before ever playing a game for them.
David Backes | RW Pick: No. 62 overall Team: St. Louis Blues All-Star: 2011
David Backes was the third future captain to be taken in the second round of the 2003 draft, joining Weber and Bergeron. He scored 10 goals as a rookie in the 2006-07 season and quickly became an integral part of the Blues organization.
Backes recorded a 31-goal season in 2008-09, and he became the 21st captain in St. Louis history prior to the 2010-11 season, which became his second 31-goal campaign. Backes wound up spending a decade with the Blues, and he ranks in the top-10 of numerous categories in the franchise record books.
In 2016, Backes signed with the Boston Bruins and spent parts of four seasons there. In 2019, Backes reached the Stanley Cup Final with the Bruins, and he totaled five points in 15 playoff games. Backes was traded to the Anaheim Ducks in 2020, and he signed a one-day contract to retire with the Blues in 2021. Backes finished his career with 248 goals and 561 points in 965 games.
Jimmy Howard | G Pick: No. 64 overall Team: Detroit Red Wings All-Star: 2012, 2019
Howard didn’t play his rookie season until 2009-10, but he burst onto the scene with a 2.26 GAA and .924 save percentage. Howard finished second in Calder Trophy voting and eighth in Vezina Trophy voting.
Howard took over the starter’s crease in Detroit for the next decade, and he compiled 246 wins, 24 shutouts, a 2.62 GAA, and .912 save percentage in 543 games played. Howard backstopped the Red Wings in seven different postseasons, but he never reached the Western Conference Final.
The Red Wings didn’t re-sign Howard after the 2019-20 season, and Howard announced his retirement in January of 2021.
Joe Pavelski | C Pick: No. 205 overall Team: San Jose Sharks All-Star: 2016-2017, 2019, 2022
There may be no better steal in NHL Draft history than Joe Pavelski going to the Sharks in the seventh round. Pavelski just completed his 17th NHL season, and he posted 77 points while playing on the best line in the league.
Pavelski played his rookie season in 2006-07, and he notched 28 points in 46 games. After that season, his role with the Sharks would only continue to grow until he rose to the status of a franchise player. Pavelski played 963 games in San Jose and led the team to the Stanley Cup Final in 2016. In the franchise record books, Pavelski still ranks second in goals (355), fourth in assists (406), and third in points (761).
Following the 2018-19 season, Pavelski signed with the Dallas Stars as a free agent, and he has somehow taken his game to the next level. In his four seasons with the Stars, Pavelski has 240 points in 287 games. This past postseason, Pavelski totaled nine goals and 14 points in 14 games. He re-signed with the Stars on a one-year, $3.5 million contract for the 2023-24 season.
Tobias Enstrom | D Pick: No. 239 overall Team: Atlanta Thrashers All-Star: 2011
We have now entered the eighth round of the 2003 draft, which is a round that no longer exists and we’re on to a pick from a team that anymore either. Atlanta didn’t uncover any All-Stars in the first seven rounds, but they found one here.
Enstrom made the Thrashers’ roster in 2007-08, and he put up 38 points in 82 games on the blue line. Those numbers earned him first-team All-Rookie honors, and Enstrom finished sixth in Calder Trophy voting. In 2010-11, Enstrom was selected to the All-Star game while he was in the midst of a career year, but he wasn’t able to play in the game due to injury.
Enstrom spent his entire 11-year NHL career with the Thrashers/Winnipeg Jets franchise, and he left the NHL following the 2017-18 season, when he went back to play in Sweden.
Dustin Byfuglien | D Pick: No. 245 overall Team: Chicago Blackhawks All-Star: 2011, 2015-2016
Just six picks after Enstrom, the Blackhawks selected Dustin Byfuglien, who would become a key member of the 2010 Stanley Cup team. Drafted as a defenseman, Byfuglien would do much of his damage in Chicago while on the wing.
Byfuglien spent his first five NHL seasons with the Blackhawks, and his tenure there culminated with that special 2009-10 season. He scored 34 points in 82 games, and he added 16 points in 22 playoff games. After that season, Chicago traded Byfuglien to the Trashers, were he returned to the blue line and became a force on defense.
In his nine seasons with Atlanta and Winnipeg, Byfuglien tallied 416 points in 609 games, and he helped the Jets reach the Western Conference Final in 2018. Byfuglien’s time with the Jets ended on a sour note, and he hasn’t played since April of 2019.
Jaroslav Halak | G Pick: No. 271 overall Team: Montreal Canadiens All-Star: 2015
As if the eighth round wasn’t late enough, Halak heard his name called by the Montreal Canadiens in the ninth round of the draft. That’s a decent value for a goalie who just completed his 17th NHL season.
Halak has bounced around quite a bit throughout his NHL career, playing mostly in a backup role, but he has taken on a starter’s workload here and there. On two separate occasions, Halak has been part of a goaltending tandem that won the Jennings Trophy for the fewest goals allowed.
In the 2014-15 season, while Halak was with the New York Islanders, he earned an All-Star appearance by posting a GAA of 2.43 and a save percentage of .914. Since then, Halak has primarily been a veteran backup for various teams, most recently the New York Rangers in 2022-23.
Brian Elliott | G Pick: No. 291 overall Team: Ottawa Senators All-Star: 2012, 2015
Elliott was selected with the second-to-last pick in the 2003 draft. All he has done since then is play 16 seasons in the NHL.
Much like Halak, Elliott spent time alternating between backup and starter. The best seasons of his career came when he was a member of the St. Louis Blues. In the 2011-12 campaign, Halak finished the year with a GAA of 1.56 and a save percentage of .940. Both of those numbers led the league. Just a few years later, in 2014-15, Elliott posted a 2.26 GAA and a .917 save percentage.
For the past two seasons, Elliott has backed up Andrei Vasilevskiy as a member of the Tampa Bay Lightning. In 2021-22, Elliott reached the Stanley Cup Final for the first time in his career.
The first round of the 2023 NHL Draft is in the books, and now it’s time to evaluate the highs and lows of the evening. Several teams walked away with their heads held high, but that was not the case for everyone at Bridgestone Arena.
The Chicago Blackhawks were certainly the happiest franchise on Wednesday night. They had the privilege of drafting Connor Bedard, who will immediately change the outlook of the franchise’s future. Just two picks later, the Columbus Blue Jackets had a similar feeling.
On the other end of the spectrum, at least one team might have reached a couple of times in a first round that was littered with talent at every position. Plus, fans hoping for some wheeling and dealing on the draft floor were left very disappointed by the severe lack of action on the trade market.
Let’s take a look at the biggest winners and losers from the first round of the 2023 NHL Draft.
Winner: Chicago Blackhawks This one is obvious, but it’s true. The Blackhawks picked up a generational talent in Connor Bedard, and they were the envy of the other 32 franchises. Bedard’s pre-draft resume compares very favorably to the likes of Connor McDavid and Auston Matthews, and he will supercharge Chicago’s rebuild.
On top of getting Bedard with the No. 1 overall pick, the Blackhawks also drafted Oliver Moore of the U.S. National Development team with the No. 19 overall selection. By all accounts, Moore is a high-end speedster, and he put up 25 points in 23 games in the USHL last season. If he and Bedard live up to their potential, that will be a lethal one-two punch in Chicago for a very long time.
Loser: Arizona Coyotes The Coyotes had two picks in the top 12 picks of this draft, and both picks wound up being surprises for the wrong reasons. With the No. 6 overall pick, the Yotes took Russian defenseman Dmitriy Simashev, and the selected Russian winger Danil But at No. 12 overall. Both of those players are currently locked into KHL contracts, which muddles their NHL timeline a little bit.
Both of those players are plenty skilled enough to become big-time contributors for the Coyotes, but in a draft where teams seemed desperate to trade up, the Yotes could have taken advantage of that. There is a chance Arizona could have gotten a haul of future assets for one of their first-round picks and still gotten one of either Simashev or But. Of course, hindsight is 20/20.
Winner: Columbus Blue Jackets The Anaheim Ducks pulled off a slight surprise when they selected Leo Carlsson with the No. 2 overall pick, and that allowed the Blue Jackets to slide in behind them and select Adam Fantilli with the No. 3 overall pick. Fantilli was considered by many to be the obvious No. 2 player in the draft class, so the Blue Jackets got a decent consolation prize for missing out Bedard.
In the 2022-23 season, his first with the Michigan Wolverines, Fantilli totaled 65 points (30 goals and 35 assists) in just 36 games. That earned him the Hobey Baker Award and Big Ten Tournament MVP honors. In other years, that type of pedigree would be good enough to make Fantilli the top selection in the draft, but this year, he was behind Bedard. That wound up benefitting the Blue Jackets, who have experienced poor luck in the draft lottery.
Loser: The trade market In the hours leading up to the first round, there were multiple reports about teams desperately trading up into the top five or top 10 picks. There were also rumblings that the Toronto Maple Leafs might be dangling their first-round pick while trying to make a splash. Unfortunately, none of that drama came to fruition.
The San Jose Sharks and Montreal Canadiens made their selections at No. 4 and No. 5 overall, respectively. The Maple Leafs held onto the 28th pick and chose Easton Cowan of the London Knights. In what was considered to be a loaded draft year, teams didn’t feel the need to sell the farm and do anything drastic. Everyone seemed content to sit at their current draft position and load up their prospect pool.
Winner: Philadelphia Flyers One of the teams reportedly trying to trade up were the Flyers, who wanted to improve their draft position to make sure they got the guy they wanted. As it turned out that ended up happening anyway, and Philadelphia didn’t have to give up anything to make it happen.
Matvei Michkov was considered one of the most skilled players in this draft class but fell to No. 7 overall due to concerns about his contract in the KHL and the general geopolitical climate as far as Russia is concerned. That said, the Flyers were willing to take a swing on Michkov, and they might have gotten incredible value. If Michkov gets over to North America in the next couple of years and delivers on his talent level, Philadelphia will have a superstar on its hands.
Loser: Legendary goaltenders announcing picks Carey Price and Pekka Rinne have both put on some incredible performances in front of thousands of fans before. They probably feel comfortable in the spotlight of an NHL arena, but they both provided some unintentional humor during the first round of the 2023 draft.
Price went up with the Montreal Canadiens’ brass to announce the No. 5 overall pick, and it was a cool moment for the franchise, at least until the iconic goaltender forgot David Reinbacher’s last name. Eventually, GM Kent Hughes went up to the mic and gave him some help.
David Reinbacher – joins Thomas Vanek as the highest selected Austrian players ever. 🇦🇹#NHLDraft | @CanadiensMTL pic.twitter.com/DMUQ9gN7hc
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) June 28, 2023 Some 19 picks later, Rinne had the honor of announcing the Nashville Predators’ pick at No. 24 overall. Rinne had no trouble with Tanner Molendyk’s first name, but he needed a reminder about how to pronounce the last name. After a brief pause, Rinne remembered the full name, and Molendyk was able to celebrate the moment in front of his new hometown fans.
Kentucky basketball had both a brilliant offseason and a terrible offseason, one marred by injuries to big men while in the process looking like a well-constructed team in winning a gold medal earlier this summer at the GLOBL JAM. John Calipari and his staff addressed the former to sustain momentum of the latter on Tuesday, landing a commitment from Croatian big man Zvonimir Ivisic to give UK a key piece of size and depth for its frontcourt in 2023-24.
“I got the offer for a scholarship by Coach Calipari to attend the University of Kentucky,” Ivisic announced on social media. “I’m excited to tell that I accepted the scholarship and will play there next season.”
He chose Kentucky over reported interest from Memphis.
Ivisic is a 7-foot-1, 220-pound center who profiles as a do-it-all big capable of playing both inside and out. On the FIBA circuit this summer in the U20s, he shot 74.1% from 2-point range and 34.4% from 3-point range on 32 total attempts across seven games. He also added 11.4 points and 5.3 rebounds per game.
Kentucky was smacked with the injury bug to its frontcourt repeatedly this offseason with five-star freshman Aaron Bradshaw and second-year breakout candidate Ugonna Onyenso both sustaining lower body injuries that required surgery. Bradshaw’s injury forced UK to go out and add Tre Mitchell from West Virginia out of the portal, and Onyenso’s injury during the GLOBL JAM trip prompted UK to again add to its ranks with both he and Bradshaw out indefinitely.
Kentucky was the biggest riser in Gary Parrish’s most recent Top 25 (And 1) rankings of the offseason, jumping eight spots after landing Mitchell and sitting comfortably in the top 25 at No. 17. With Ivisic and Mitchell in tow to complement the hopeful returns of Bradshaw and Onyenso, UK should have enough size to buttress a guard-heavy roster led by five-star newcomers Justin Edwards and DJ Wagner, who figure to be key pieces for the Wildcats this season.