1. The centers are flying off the board at the 2023 NHL Draft.
The first round of the draft featured 32 players get drafted into the NHL. Of those 32 players, 12 of them were centers. It seemed like every team was desperate to get their organization someone who can play down the middle for years to come, and a lot of teams found centers who could be part of their future plans.
The top four players taken in the draft are all listed as centers. Bedard, Carlsson, Fantilli and Smith all could very well be first line centers on their respective teams in the future. In some seasons, teams value some component more than in other years.
We saw that this year with the Montreal Canadiens shocking a lot of fans when they drafted defenseman David Reinbacher fifth overall when he was not projected to go that high. The Canadiens needed a defenseman, and they got one in Reinbacher, even if he was not projected to go in that position.
Now entering day two of the draft, it will be interesting to see what different teams value going forward. Teams like Chicago have added a lot of skill and speed in years past and in Round 1 yesterday, but now they might want to adjust and start adding a little more size into their organization. Others might still focus on taking players that match into a playoff type mold, guys who play physical and can thrive in a best of seven series.