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Can Fantilli claim to surpass Bedado for No. 1 in 2023?

Adam Fantilli looks poised to have one of the best NCAA freshman seasons after getting off to a ridiculously hot start at the University of Michigan. (Photo courtesy of Michigan Photography for NHL.com)

When it comes to 2023 NHL Draft prospects, Adam Fantilli is no consolation prize. Fantilli, a physically mature and elite skater, has set his NCAA on fire as a rookie, showing NHL Draft pundits that Conor his Bedard isn’t the only superstar he’s waiting for this year. .

In six games as an NCAA rookie at the University of Michigan, Fantilli has scored 15 points, leading his team and country in scoring. His squad includes former NHL players such as forward Frank Nazar (13th overall in 2022), Rutger McGrotty (14th overall in 2022) and Mackey Samoskevic (21st overall in 2021). Considering how many first-round picks there are, it’s quite a feat even among Michigan Wolverines players.

To beat them, and many old NHL picks and NCAA veterans show where Fantilli’s development is. It looks like it will be ready for the NHL in a month’s time.

Despite his historic start, Fantilli continues to focus on external results over personal achievements and improvement over results.

“…when it comes to personal goals, I’m not very results-oriented right now. We focus on the processes that enable us to achieve.

In the original Yahoo Sports NHL Draft Rankings, Fantilli was second to Connor Bedard. Bedard has scored 21 points in his first 12 games with Regina in his putts in the WHL.

However, according to scouts and prospect writers, the gap between Fantilli and Bedard isn’t as big as some portrayals, and the team that chose Fantilli still has a superstar.

“Fantilli is the only player with hopes of challenging Conor Bedard for first overall in the 2023 Draft,” wrote Hockey News Draft and Prospect writer Tony Ferrari. “His combination of size, speed, power and skill has not been seen since Ouston Matthews’ draft year. Fantilli’s stat output is similar to Jack Eichel’s collegiate output.” Fantilli could very well be a runaway number 1, but instead, he’ll rightfully challenge what we consider to be a ‘generation’ player. ”

Beyond Bedard and Fantilli, a number of potential first-round picks have shown early on that there is depth in this draft class. In the SHL he’s competing with his top non-NHL professional players, Leo Carlsson has produced in recent years at a pace unseen by Swedish prospects. Through 12 matches, Carlsson has scored his 10 points with Orebro HK in Sweden’s top professional league. In contrast, last year’s ninth overall Jonathan Lekelimaki scored nine points in 26 SHL games, while the other three Swedish first-round picks (Filip Bistedt, Noah Ostlund and Liam Ogren) ) scored only four points in a total of 51 games in the SHL. In the 2021 draft year, Lucas’ Raymond, his fourth overall pick, needed him 33 games to put together his 10 points that Carlson already has. Combine that with Carlson’s NHL-ready 6-foot-3 frame, and he’s a rising prospect.

Like Fantilli, another NCAA prospect, Matthew Wood, is advancing in draft status with seven points in his first eight games in Connecticut, while forwards Will Smith, Andrew Crystal and Kane Ziemer are all on the move. We are off to a blistering start.

On the flip side, there are other prospects slated for the opening round of the draft in the preseason rankings, including Zev Forsfjal, Kaspar Harthunen, Charlie Strummel and Oliver Bonk. Luckily, we still have eight months until Draft Day. As soon as the hot start cools down, other prospects can find their way and climb the ranks rapidly as the season progresses.

Yahoo Sports’ Top 10 NHL Prospects for October 2022

  1. Conor Bedard

  2. Adam Fantilli

  3. Matvey Michkov

  4. Leo Carlson

  5. Dalibor Dvorsky

  6. Braden Yeager

  7. Eduard Serre

  8. Zach Benson

  9. Matthew Wood

  10. Cameron Allen

Other articles on Yahoo Sports

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