COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – A total of 49 Americans were selected in the 2023 NHL Draft that concluded this afternoon at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee, including 13 players from USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program.
Will Smith (Lexington, Mass.) and Ryan Leonard (Amherst, Mass.) were the first Americans chosen, with Smith selected fourth overall by the San Jose Sharks and Leonard going eighth to the Washington Capitals.
Smith tallied 127 points (51G, 76A) in 60 games in 2022-23 at the NTDP, the second-highest mark in a single season in program history. A Boston College commit, he also helped Team USA to a gold medal at the 2023 IIHF Under-18 Men’s World Championship, where he collected 23 points in eight games, including nine goals.
Leonard, also a Boston College commit, posted 51 goals and 43 assists for 94 points in 57 games with the NTDP in the 2022-23 season. As a member of the 2023 U.S. Under-18 Men’s National Team, Leonard tallied nine goals and nine assists in eight tournament games.
Oliver Moore (Mounds View, Minn.) joined his NTDP and 2023 IIHF Under-18 Men’s World Championship teammates as the next American name called in the first round, going 19th overall to the Chicago Blackhawks. Charlie Stramel (Rosemount, Minn.) was selected with the 21st pick by the Minnesota Wild. The New York Rangers selected Gabe Perreault (Hinsdale, Ill.) with the 23rd pick. Perreault set the NTDP record for most points (132) and assists (79) in a single season in 2022-23. The sixth American selected in the first round was Quentin Musty (Hamburg, N.Y.) by the San Jose Sharks with the 26th pick.
Five Americans were taken in the second round, kicked off by Gavin Brindley (Estero, Fla.), who went 34th overall to the Columbus Blue Jackets. Three of the remaining second-round selections played at the NTDP, including Trey Augustine (South Lyon, Mich.) at 41st overall, Brady Cleveland (Wausau, Wis.) at 47th by the Detroit Red Wings, and Danny Nelson (Maple Grove, Minn.) at 49th to the New York Islanders. Carey Terrance (Akwesasne, N.Y.) rounded out the second-round selections after being drafted by the Anaheim Ducks with the 59th pick.
Nine Americans were selected in the third-round and eight were drafted in the fourth. Among those selected were NTDP players Drew Fortescue (Pearl River, N.Y.) at 90th overall by the New York Rangers, Beckett Hendrickson (Minnetonka, Minn.) at 124th by the Boston Bruins and Aram Minnetian (Woodcliff Lake, N.J.) at 125th by the Dallas Stars.
An additional eight Americans were drafted in the fifth round, seven in the sixth and six in the seventh.
For a complete list of Americans taken in the 2023 NHL Draft, click here.
NOTES: The 49 players drafted represent 14 states, including Arizona (2), California (2), Colorado (1), Florida (3), Illinois (5), Maryland (1), Massachusetts (4), Michigan (5), Minnesota (14), New Jersey (3), New York (6), Pennsylvania (1), Virginia (1), and Wisconsin (1) … Of the 49 players drafted, 13 were full-time members of USA Hockey NTDP this season. In addition, 39 played the majority of the 2022-23 season in the USHL, the only Tier I junior circuit in the U.S., the most of any league in the world. In addition, one player chosen competed in the NAHL in 2022-23, the only Tier II junior league in the U.S.