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Four Players Selected From NTDP in 1st Round of 2023 NHL Draft

By USA Hockey's NTDP, 06/28/23, 10:30PM EDT


NTDP produces top-5 pick for sixth consecutive year; five total NTDPers selected

PLYMOUTH, Mich. - Four National Team Development Program players and one program alum were selected in the first round of the 2023 NHL Draft Wednesday evening at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee. 

Forward Will Smith (Lexington, Mass.) was the first NTDP player selected as he went fourth overall to the San Jose Sharks. The pick marked the sixth consecutive draft that the NTDP produced a top-5 selection, extending an NHL Draft-record. 

Smith finished the season with 127 points (51g-76a) from 60 games played to rank second on the team in scoring. His 191 career points at the NTDP ranks second all-time to Jack Hughes' 228 (2017-19). 

2023 NHL Draft Hub

2023 NHL Draft Hub

Smith's linemate Ryan Leonard (Amherst, Mass.) was next off the board after he was selected by the Philadelphia Flyers at eighth overall. Leonard's 51 goals tied Smith for second on the U18s this season and his 77 career goals marked him seventh overall amongst all NTDP skaters. 

Oliver Moore (Mounds View, Minn.) followed at 19 overall as he was chosen by the Chicago Blackhawks. Moore, an alternate captain for the United States at the 2023 IIHF Under-18 Men's World Championship, finished the campaign with 75 points (31g-44a) in 61 games in 2022-23. 

The NTDP rounded out its Round 1 selections with Gabe Perreault (Hinsdale, Ill.), picked 23rd by the New York Rangers. Perreault will head to the Big Apple as the NTDP's all-time single-season points leader, racking up 132 (53g-79a) in 63 games this year. Perreault raced past Auston Matthews' record mark of 117 while at the U18 World Championship this past April. 

In addition to players selected directly from the National Team Development Program, alum Charlie Stramel (University of Wisconsin / NTDP 2020-22) was nabbed with the 21st pick by his hometown Minnesota Wild. Stramel, a Rosemount, Minn., native, was in his first year of NHL Draft eligiblity after playing the previous two seasons at the NTDP. 

Day 2 of the 2023 NHL Draft, which includes Rounds 2-7, begins tomorrow morning at 11:00 a.m. ET. The draft will broadcast live on NHL Network and be live-streamed on ESPN+. For all your 2023 NHL Draft NTDP coverage, click here to visit our live tracker.

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