The 2023 NHL Draft might have been boring because there weren't any trades, but there was still plenty of drama and movement on the board. And because of that some teams walked into a top-quality player they didn't think they'd have a chance drafting.
Here's a look at the winners and losers from the first round of the 2023 NHL Draft.
The Flyers Won the NHL Draft 2023: Winners
With the seventh pick on the night, Danny Briere and his Flyers organization didn't think they'd have any shot at stealing the draft, but they did exactly that.
By selecting Russian forward Matvei Michkov Philadelphia got - arguably - the best player in the draft.
#FueledByPhilly select Matvei Michkov 7th overall. I ranked him 1st overall.— Patrick Bacon (@TopDownHockey) June 29, 2023
His draft year NHLe is 2nd all time by my model. He scored KHL points in his draft year at a higher rate than Ovechkin. There are concerns across the board, but make no mistake: the kid's a freak. pic.twitter.com/q3bYhVM8W2
Philly clearly wasn't scared that Michkov has a three-year deal with SKA St Peterburg that he'll have to see through before making the jump to the NHL. The other teams ahead of them weren't ready to take that risk, for no good reason really. Even Bedard isn't going to make Chicago Stanley Cup contenders right out of the gate.
Big "W" for the Flyers who are still in the "tearing it down" phase of the rebuild. Incredible.
Montreal Has Worst Moment Of 2023 NHL Draft: Losers
I feel for Carey Price. Forgetting a name happens. We've seen it countless times at the draft. But the worst part of Montreal selecting David Reinbacher wasn't Carey's flub, but how GM Kent Hughes tried to save the Habs legend by saying: "We planned it that way."
The Canadiens select David Reinbacher fifth overall and Carey Price has some trouble with his name 😅 pic.twitter.com/vTwWBPkpWz— B/R Open Ice (@BR_OpenIce) June 28, 2023
Excuse me? You did what? I don't want to believe Hughes but if what he said is true and I were Reinbach I'd immediately ask for a trade. You purposefully turned my big night into a meme. Why?!
Bettors Who Backed Leo Carlsson's Second Overall Odds: Winners
As the draft got closer the odds that Leo Carlsson would go second overall got shorter and shorter. Adam Fantilli was always the favorite but Carlsson crept up on him.
|Player||Midnight June 27||Noon June 28|
Per our odds calculator, Fantilli's implied odds of going second overall fell by 20% in 12 hours.
For anyone backing Carlsson to go second overall, you won big. Especially if you backed him as late as the day before the draft.
Also, this is a big win for Columbus. Fantilli can be a true number-one center in this league eventually. Something the Blue Jackets have never had. Big dub for the Jackets.
Nashville Can't Make Splash With Trade: Losers
Hosts Nashville wanted to make a big splash at the draft by trading up from the 15th spot. We know this because new Preds GM Barry Trotz said he was "trying like crazy".
Barry Trotz confirms the #preds did everything they could to acquire one of the top-four picks: "I was trying like crazy."— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) June 29, 2023
The Preds even dangled the best goalie not playing in the NHL in Yaroslav Askarov. It seemed like the perfect fit for Montreal. But no one was bitting.
The Preds got a good player in Matthew Wood, but they clearly didn't get their number 1 target. And I bet Askarov feels really good about his future in Smashville. So that's an L for Nashville for not achieving their goal and another L for the Habs.
Dmitriy Simashev Surprised To Hear His Name: Winner
The Arizona Coyotes were the first team to go off the board. With the number six pick, the 'Yotes took Russian defenseman Dmitriy Simashev. Even the kid himself was surprised to go that early.
Even Dmitri Simashev himself was shocked. 😮 pic.twitter.com/fevrDsDvYu— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) June 29, 2023
Simashev is a fine prospect but he should not have gone sixth overall or even in the top 10. His odds to be one of the first 10 players drafted was +175. So this is a BIG win for him.
Goalies Can't Remember Names
David Reinbacher wasn't the only first-rounder to have his name forgotten. Getting up to the podium for the second time on the night Nashville had their 24th overall pick called by Roman Josi and Pekka Rinne. Just like Price before him, Rinne forgot Tanner Molendyk's name.
Carey Price and Pekka Rinne with one last legendary battle…— /Cam Robinson/ (@Hockey_Robinson) June 29, 2023
The battle to see who can butcher the draft call worse.
Poor Tanner Molendyk
At least Rinne's flub was accidental and they just rolled with it, unlike the Habs. But still, it's a bad look when the organization has this big reveal and then can't remember who they're taking.