When a generational talent headlines an elite crop of prospects, it’s really a race to be the second overall pick. With the Chicago Blackhawks making transactions with drafting Connor Beddard firmly in mind, the spotlight falls on the Anaheim Ducks, who hold the second overall pick. The Ducks have the option of two franchise centers at the top of the prospect pool. The types of franchise centers that all NHL teams intend to build their Stanley Cup-winning rosters around.

With the NHL schedule firmly in the off-season portion and the draft fast approaching, OnlineBettingSports is taking a special look at who will be selected second overall and the available betting odds in our NHL Draft prediction and preview.

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Info & Outlook

2023 NHL Draft

Where: Bridgestone Arena, Nashville, Tennessee.

Start Time: June 28th, 2023 | 7 P.M. ET

Watch: ESPN | Sportsnet | TVA Sports

Odds to 2nd Pick NHL Draft Betting Preview

Adam Fantilli – University of Michigan (NCAA) – Center

Adam Fantilli is the heavy favorite to be picked second overall in our NHL Draft prediction. Fantilli would be the consensus number-one ranked player in the 2023 crop of prospects if Connor Beddard didn’t exist.

The Anaheim Ducks trading the second overall pick is an unlikely scenario. Fantilli is the type of player that NHL teams cherish and intend to lock up long-term, intending to win a Stanley Cup by building around them. Fantilli comes with winning DNA, helping Team Canada to gold medals on the international stage.

As a puck-dominant player, Fantilli excels with the puck on his stick, moving at high speed building through the neutral zone and dissecting defensive formations. Fantilli’s excellent speed and constantly running motor pair excellently with his hockey intelligence, especially on the defensive side of the game, making him the most complete player available in the 2023 NHL Draft aside from Beddard. Fantilli is a physical player who drives to the net fearlessly.

Where Fantilli’s skills will shine the brightest will be in the NHL playoffs, which his game is tailor-made for.

  • Adam Fantilli: Height – 6’2”, Weight: 187 lbs, Shoots: Left
  • Fantilli was awarded the 2023 Hobey Baker Award as the top men’s player in NCAA Hockey
  • Fantilli’s University of Michigan Stats: GP: 36, G: 30, A: 35, TP:65, +/-: +31
  • Fantilli was a member of Team Canada that won gold at the World Junior Hockey Championships in 2023 
  • Big Ten Freshman of the Year, Big Ten First Team All-Conference, and Big Ten All-Freshman Team

Leo Carlsson – Örebro HK (SHL) – Center 

Leo Carlsson has taken a similar path to top-prospect and future NHL star as many Swedish players have before him. Carlsson was a child amongst men playing professionally in the SHL, moving through the Örebro HK talent feeding system, starting with the J18 team in 2020-21.     

Carlsson’s strong post-season solidified his elite prospect status, helping Örebro HK make it to the SHL semi-finals, losing to Skellefteå AIK in six games. Leo has an extensive international resume with Sweden’s under-18, under-20, and senior-level national teams. He helped team Sweden to a medal position in 2022 while being upset by Lativia in the 2023 World Championship.

Carlsson is the type of center with excellent on-ice vision and hockey sense, enabling him to find and exploit gaps in the defense, identify passing lanes, and use his speed to be on top of rotations and a physical game that finds Carlsson heading to the high-traffic, high-scoring areas on the ice without fear. Carlsson is the total package and, in another year, could be considered an excellent option for the first overall pick.

  • Leo Carlsson: Height: 6’3”, Weight: 194 lbs, Shoots: Left
  • Carlsson’s 2022-23 stats with Örebro HK (SHL): GP: 44, G: 10, A: 15, TP: 25, +/-: -5
  • Carlsson’s 2023 SHL playoff stats: GP: 13, G: 1, A: 18, TP: 9, +/-: +8
  • 2022 World Junior Hockey Championships Bronze Medalist (Sweden)
  • Competed for Team Sweden at the 2023 IIHF World Championships 

The Longshot: Matvei Mitchkov – SKA St. Petersberg/HK Sochi (KHL) – Right Wing

While highly unlikely, what if a team was interested in moving up to the second overall pick and filling a specific need on their roster and isn’t worried about any potential baggage a Russian-born or KHL prospect can bring? For any team in this situation, Matvei Mitchkov might be their target for the number 2 pick.

Mitchkov doesn’t have the elite-level International experience of Fantilli and Carlsson due to sporting sanctions on the Russian Federation, but had these sanctions not been in effect, Mitchkov would have shone for Team Russia. Mitchkov has some of the best puck skills in the 2023 NHL Draft, is among the best finishers, and has speed, problem-solving capabilities, and creativity that most players could only dream about. 

  • Matvei Mitchkov: Height: 5’10”, Weight: 148 lbs, Shoots: Left
  • Mitchkov’s 2022-23 stats with SKA St. Petersberg/Sochi HK (KHL): GP: 30, G: 9, A: 11, TP: 20, +/-: +1

Top Sportsbooks Odds

Betonline:  Adam Fantilli -1000

MyBookie: Adam Fantilli -549

BetUS: Adam Fantilli -700

Odds for this Matchup

Here are the current NHL odds for the second through sixth-ranked players to be picked second overall in the 2023 NHL Draft.

PlayerOdds to be Picked Second
Adam Fantilli-700
Leo Carlsson+300
Matvei Michkov+1500
Will Smith+3000
Andrew Cristall+3500

We have not included Will Smith or Andrew Cristall in our prediction as they are unlikely to be picked at two. That’s because two franchise centers will be available and trend as higher-end cornerstones for years to come. 

NHL Draft Prediction and Pick:

OnlineBettingSports NHL Draft Prediction is for the Anaheim Ducks or any team who pulls off a massive trade for the second overall pick to take Adam Fantilli from the University of Michigan. 

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