Sharks receive 4th pick in 2023 draft lottery

We're number 4! We're number 4! The Sharks have received the fourth pick in the NHL draft. A look at how some of the pros think the draft will shake out.

Sharks receive 4th pick in 2023 draft lottery
Photo by Junaid Ahmed / Unsplash

Hey Sharks fans! The bouncing balls have spoken and the Sharks are slated to pick fourth in the 2023 NHL Draft. While the actual players will not be picked until June 28-29 at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, the speculation starts now.

In the grand scheme of things, this is exactly where the Sharks deserved to pick. After all, the team finished fourth to last in the league, picking fourth seems to fit.

Here's the draft order as it was announced earlier today:

  1. Chicago Blackhawks (I'll get to this in a minute.)
  2. Anaheim Ducks
  3. Columbus Blue Jackets
  4. San Jose Sharks
  5. Montreal Canadiens
  6. Arizona Coyotes
  7. Philadelphia Flyers
  8. Washington Capitals
  9. Detroit Red Wings
  10. St. Louis Blues
  11. Vancouver Canucks
  12. Arizona Coyotes (Originally Ottawa's pick)
  13. Buffalo Sabres
  14. Pittsburgh Penguins
  15. Nashville Predators
  16. Calgary Flames

A bit of a soapbox since I'm trying to deal with feelings. Skip down to the next section if you don't want to hear my brief rant.

The way the draft shook out is pretty upsetting. I don't believe it's rigged – though it is amazing the luck the Chicago Blackhawks have. I did not anticipate how difficult it would be to swallow the results.

It was only a year and a half ago that we learned about Kyle Beach and the horrific things he endured while playing for the Blackhawks. It was only last year that Rocky Wirtz, who still owns the team despite what happened, told reporters to get over it essentially.

"I think the report speaks for itself. The people that were involved are no longer here. We're not looking back at 2010, we're looking forward. And we're not going to talk about 2010," Wirtz told reporters in early 2022. (Source: Sports Illustrated)

Wirtz spoke directly to the reporter who asked the question.

"You don’t work for the company," Wirtz continued. "If somebody in the company asks that question, we’ll answer it. And I think you should get on to the next subject. We’re not going to talk about Kyle Beach. We’re not going to talk about anything that happened. Now we’re moving on. What more do I have to say?"

A few days later, Wirtz apologized, but honestly, who cares? He knew exactly what he was saying; he just didn't think it would go down as poorly as it did.

So, it makes me sick to see that less than two years later, the Blackhawks are rewarded for covering up something as heinous as this. Or maybe a better term for it is they were never truly punished. As better reporters than me have pointed out, this is just another example of the arbitrary way the NHL doles out justice.

Connor Bedard is the clear number one pick

Okay, rant over. Back to hockey.

Just like another Connor before him, Bedard is the across the board clear number one pick. The 17-year-old (he'll be 18 on July 17) scored 143 points (71 G, 72A) for the Regina Pats in the WHL this season.

In a similar fashion to previous first-round picks like Connor McDavid and Sidney Crosby, Bedard is considered to be a generational player that will transform a team the instant he steps onto the ice.

That's a lot to expect from a teenager who isn't even considered an adult yet, but congrats Chicago. He's all yours.

Ranking the other draft prospects

After Bedard, there's a mix of other prospects that are also considered top-line players if/when they enter the NHL.

The 2023 draft is deep, which means that the Sharks are more likely than not to draft a potential NHL star.

Fear the Fin will dive into some of the more likely picks for the team a little closer to the draft. Right now, let's just get a lay of the land.

‌‌Jason Bukala of SportsNet looked at a player's skills, Hockey IQ, physicality, offense and defense, specifically in relation to his peers. Here's what he came up with:

  1. Connor Bedard
  2. Adam Fantilli
  3. Leo Carlsson
  4. Matvei Michkov
  5. Ryan Leonard
  6. Will Smith
  7. Zach Benson
  8. David Reinbacher
  9. Colby Barlow
  10. Dalibor Dvorsky

The Athletic's Corey Pronman‌‌
Corey Pronman of The Athletic spends a lot of time evaluating and re-evaluating the prospects. His latest list was updated on May 3 and saw Fantilli switch spots with Michkov and Smith move up the list.

Here's his top 10:

  1. Connor Bedard
  2. Adam Fantilli
  3. Matvei Michkov
  4. Leo Carlsson
  5. Will Smith
  6. Nate Danielson
  7. David Reinbacher
  8. Dalibor Dvorsky
  9. Danil But
  10. Dmitry Simashev

The Athletic's Scott Wheeler
‌‌Pronman isn't the only one at The Athletic who spends hours pouring over the prospects. Scott Wheeler does as well. It's no surprise that Wheeler has Bedard and Fantilli leading the pack; it's lower down the list where things get interesting.

  1. Connor Bedard
  2. Adam Fantilli
  3. Matvei Michkov
  4. Leo Carlsson
  5. Will Smith
  6. Zach Benson
  7. Oliver Moore
  8. Gabe Perreault
  9. Dalibor Dvorsky
  10. Matthew Wood

If you're interested in a more in-depth deep dive on draft prospects, check out Wheeler's mailbag.

Elite Prospects‌‌
Over at Elite Prospects, it's a similar story. The top is set (though there seems to be some debate about who goes third and who goes fourth), and after that, it's up in the air.

  1. Connor Bedard
  2. Adam Fantilli
  3. Leo Carlsson
  4. Matvei Michkov
  5. Zach Benson
  6. Oliver Moore
  7. Ryan Leonard
  8. Andrew Crystal
  9. Will Smith
  10. Dmitri Simashev

Daily Faceoff‌‌
There are a lot of other lists out there, such as's list of the Top North American Players or Tankathon's Big Board. However, we'll wrap things up with Daily Faceoff's list of top draft prospects.

  1. Connor Bedard
  2. Adam Fantilli
  3. Matvei Michkov
  4. Leo Carlsson
  5. Will Smith
  6. Ryan Leonard
  7. Zach Benson
  8. David Reinbacher
  9. Oliver Moore
  10. Axel Sandin Pellikka

So, who is your fantasy pick for the Sharks?