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Mock Drafts All Over the Map for Red Wings’ First Round Picks

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Connor Bedard, Canada

School’s out for nearly everyone. But for one class, studying, and test anxiety, are the order of the day. Red Wings scouts and team executives are cramming for their final exam.

The most studious folks are the pundits trying to predict, and team officials participating in, the 2023 NHL Draft, to be held in Nashville at the end of the month.

The top five teams should be getting easy A’s in their picks. Connor Bedard, Adam Fantilli, Leo Carlsson, Matvai Michkov, and  Will Smith, in that order, are expected by most to be the first five players taken.

The Red Wings had a small shot at winning Bedard in the lottery, but continued their luck drought in draft lotteries.

For the Red Wings, who draft at No. 9 and No.17, their homework assignments will continue for the next two-plus weeks, possibly up to the first round on Thursday, June 28, and Friday, June 29.

The Red Wings have two picks in the first round, their own at No. 9 overall, and the No. 17 pick they received as part of the Filip Hronek trade with Vancouver at the deadline last winter.

After a little research, you learn what the Wings already know —there are some quality prospects available. We all know that the likelihood of Steve Yzerman tipping his hand on the subject boils down to two chances: Slim and fat.

Here is what the mock drafts are saying:

No. 9 pick

Oliver Moore, C, USA NTDP. Speedy center with playmaking ability should make an impact sooner rather than later. One mock has him going as high as No. 5.

David Reinbacher, D, Kloten (NL): Two years in Switzerland saw the Austrian native develop to the point where he could contribute to an NHL team as soon as this season, although that’s far from a certainty.

Axel Sandin PellikkaD, Skellefteå AIK (U20 Sweden): He and Reinbacher head the class on defense in the early rounds. A good skater who handles the puck well.

Zach Benson, C, Winnipeg (WHL): Speed and skating ability have him tabbed as going as high as No. 6 in two mocks.

Gabe Perreault, RW, USNTDP (U18): The all-time scoring leader for the NTDP, making the most of his time on a line with Will Smith and Ryan Leonard, who are both expected to be gone by the time the Red Wings make their selection.

Eduard Sale, RW, Brno (Czechia) – Consistency is the biggest question surrounding his game.

Dalibor Dvorsky, C, AIK (Allsvenskan): The young center has excelled during international play for Slovakia. Might be more of a long-term project, but has plenty of upside.

Colby Barlow, LW, Owen Sound (OHL): Another offensive threat whose draft spot depends on what teams see in the rest of his game.

No. 17 pick

(Some early mock draft only listed only the top 16)

Nate Danielson, F, Brandon (WHL): A two-way player who could be a very solid pick for teams with two first-round selections, like the Red Wings.

Quentin Musty, LW, Sudbury (OHL): More than doubled his point total in his second season with the Wolves. His upside is considered sky-high.

Tom Willander, D, Rogle (J20 Sweden): Solid two-way defender who can lead an attack. Likely to blossom as he adjusts to the pro game.

Daniil But, LW, Loko Yaroslavl (MHL): A big man who will be formidable once he learns to use his 6-5 frame more effectively.

Otto Stenberg, C, Frolunda (J20 Sweden): Played well against his own age group at the U-18 World Championships. Should continue to develop.

Red Wings Projections by Website

Daily Faceoff — 9: Moore (only 16 rounds). Full mock draft

The Hockey News — 9:.  Sandin-Pellikka; 17: Musty.  Full mock draft

Peter Baracchini, The Hockey Writers — 9: Barlow; 17: Stenberg. Full mock draft

Logan Horn, The Hockey Writers — 9: Perrault, listed only top 16 picks.   Full mock draft

Montreal Hockey Now — 9: Dvorsky; 17: Honzek. Full mock draft

NHL.com — 9. Benson (Adam Kimelman); Moore (Michael G. Morreale. Draft 16 rounds only. Full mock draft

The Sporting News —  9. Sale; 17: Danielson.  Full mock draft

Sportsnet — 9: Barlow; 17: Yager. Full list of prospects

Yahoo! — 9: Reinbacher; 17: Danielson. Full list of prospects