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Six Americans Selected in First Round of 2023 NHL Draft

By USA Hockey, 06/28/23, 9:30PM MDT


NTDP Makes NHL Draft History with a Top-Five Pick in the last five Years

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo.  – Six Americans were selected in the first round of the 2023 NHL Draft tonight at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee, and, for the fifth straight year, a player from USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program was among the top five picks. Will Smith (Lexington, Mass.) was selected fourth overall by the San Jose Sharks.

USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program made NHL Draft history as the first team to produce a top-five NHL Draft pick in five consecutive years. In addition, this year’s draft marks the sixth-straight year an American was selected in the top five.

Smith, who played for the NTDP in 2022-23, tallied 127 points (51G, 76A) in 60 games, 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. Smith was named tournament MVP and a media all-star, and earned the Directorate Award for best forward.

Ryan Leonard (Amherst, Mass.) was selected eighth overall by the Washington Capitals. Leonard, a fellow Boston College commit, skated alongside Smith at both the NTDP and on the 2023 U.S. Under-18 Men’s National Team. At the NTDP, he posted 51 goals and 43 assists for 94 points in 57 games. 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 and was named one of Team USA’s three best players of the tournament.

Oliver Moore (Mounds View, Minn.) joined his NTDP and 2023 IIHF Under-18 Men’s World Championship teammates as the next American called, going 19th overall to the Chicago Blackhawks. Moore is committed to the University of Minnesota.

Charlie Stramel (Rosemount, Minn.) of the University of Wisconsin was selected with the 21st pick by the Minnesota Wild. Also a product of the NTDP, Stramel helped team Team USA to a bronze medal at the 2023 IIHF World Junior Championship.

The New York Rangers selected Gabe Perreault (Hinsdale, Ill.) with the 23rd pick. He set the NTDP record for most points (132) and assists (79) in a single season in 2022-23. Perreault, another Boston College commit, recorded 22 points, including seven goals, in eight games at the 2023 IIHF Under-18 Men’s World Championship.

The sixth American selected in the first round was Quentin Musty (Hamburg, N.Y.) by the San Jose Sharks with the 26th pick.

The NHL Draft continues tomorrow (June 29) at 11 a.m. ET with rounds 2-7, and coverage will air live in the U.S. on NHL Network.

NOTES: The six players drafted represent four different states, including Illinois (1), Massachusetts (2), Minnesota (2), and New York (1) … Five of the six American players drafted tonight have spent time with USA Hockey's National Team Development Program … The USHL, the only Tier I hockey league in the United States, had six first round draft picks, tied for the most of any league.

First Round Picks

Will Smith 1 (4) San Jose Sharks Lexington, Mass. USA Hockey's NTDP
Ryan Leonard 1 (8) Washington Capitals Amherst, Mass. USA Hockey's NTDP
Oliver Moore 1 (19) Chicago Blackhawks Mounds View, Minn. USA Hockey's NTDP
Charlie Stramel 1 (21) Minnesota Wild Rosemount, Minn. University of Wisconsin (Big 10)
Gabe Perreault 1 (23) New York Rangers Hinsdale, Ill. USA Hockey's NTDP
Quentin Musty 1 (26) San Jose Sharks Hamburg, N.Y. Sudbury Wolves (OHL)

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