4 players who are 6’5″ or bigger to look at in the 2023 NHL Entry Draft

Photo credit:@_picks_pics on Instagram
By Faber
10 months ago
Let’s have some fun with the draft. This specific article has become one of my favourite ones to write over the past few years.
We are going to look at the biggest boys who we like from the 2023 NHL Entry Draft.
We had a list of 10 but ended up doing quite a bit of video work and narrowed it down to four. Certain players just had such poor skating that we wrote them off. It’s kind of expected that 6’5″+ players are going to be able to be physical and that’s just not enough to make our top-four. We wanted to see physicality plus another tool that we liked.
Aside from our first name, none of these players are expected to go in the first 100 picks of the draft. These are the type of players who you take a homerun swing on in the sixth or seventh round and hope that they can add to their toolkit and eventually just make it to the AHL and then let them develop/rise in the depth chart from there.
We’ve got seven big boys to talk about, so, let’s dive right in.
Daniil But, 6’5″, LW, MHL/KHL
We expect to see Daniil But go in the 25-50 range of the NHL draft and with that, we don’t expect the Canucks to be in on the top big man in the 2023 draft.
But is a great playmaker who also scored a pair of KHL goals this past season. A team may get bullish on the big body and spend a late first-round pick on But. We see him projecting as a bottom-six winger with middle-six upside. He moves extremely well for a player of his size but that agility will need to continue to improve for him to become an NHL regular.
A couple more seasons in the KHL should help him prepare for the NHL. He just isn’t on the radar at all for the Canucks right now with their current draft picks. But will be a good addition to a team’s prospect pool. Expect a team with multiple picks in the second round to take a shot on the big Russian — likely Seattle, Detroit, Buffalo or Chicago.
Ty Henricks, 6’5″, LW, Fargo Force & Muskegon Lumberjacks (USHL) committed to Western Michigan for 2023-24
After But, Ty Henricks has the best stat line of the big boys on this list. Henricks finished his USHL season with nine goals and 10 assists in 47 games. It’s certainly not numbers that get you too excited about his NHL projection but his 6’5″ size at least means that you should check in on the player when you’re looking at your own seventh-round pick.
Henricks is committed to Western Michigan and they have done a good job helping their young forwards succeed and grow their game in the NCAA for their jump to pro hockey.
We like the way that Henricks attacks the net, he uses his size well in terms of knowing where he can physically dominate — he spends a lot of time around the crease. He also loves to throw the body around and we’re curious to see how his physical play translates to the NCAA next season.
His hands are definitely below-average in the 2023 draft class but he does find the back of the net with his shot by the time he gets the puck to his forehand. He’s absolutely worth a seventh-round swing and if you like his hitting enough, he could be an option in the sixth round.
Konnor Smith, 6’6″, LD, Peterborough Petes, (OHL)
We’ve got another player to watch at the Memorial Cup with the left-shot defenceman Konnor Smith.
Smith’s season has been full of twists and turns, most notably, receiving multiple suspensions for hits to the head. He received a five-game suspension in February and then an eight-game suspension in March.
We like how Smith uses his size, when he’s not throwing hits to the head, he is aggressive with his long reach and even more aggressive anytime a player tries to cut into the centre of the neutral zone.
In terms of skating, Smith doesn’t look bad and you would probably say that for his size, he has a pretty good top speed.
His weakness is puck possession. Smith is very stiff when handling the puck and relies on his size to distance the puck from the opposition. We’re worried about him at the next level because evading forecheckers and board battling is going to be a lot harder in pro hockey than it is in the OHL.
Smith is a player we will be watching closely in the Memorial Cup. If he shows well, he’s certainly going to be drafted by an NHL organization. Without a strong performance in the Mem Cup, he may be a player who doesn’t hear his name called in next month’s draft. The kid might be worth a seventh-round pick. His willingness to throw the body in combination with his size and decent skating certainly makes him an interesting late-round prospect.
Matteo Fabrizi, 6’5″, LD, Red Deer Rebels (WHL)
There is no player on the NHL Central Scouting list who weighs more than Matter Fabrizi. The big left-shot defenceman is tipping the scales in Faber-country, coming in at 234 pounds.
I mean this is a nice way — Fabrizi is a bully.
He is bigger than anyone in the WHL and was sure to use that to his advantage this past season. He throws big hits every once in a while but he basically relies on his size for every board battle and can simply overpower any player he gets matched up with in the corner.
Fabrizi takes up a lot of space on the ice and scored a couple of nice goals this season with seeing-eye wrist shots from the point. His ticket to pro hockey is going to be his strength and reach because his skating is probably the poorest of the big boys on this list. His presence is intimidating in the WHL and players will literally skate away from danger areas when Fabrizi has an angle on them. He doesn’t look for big hits but instead allows them to come to him.
Overall, we don’t think he will ultimately be drafted but loved watching him play because it was pretty fun to watch WHLers just stay away from his corner of the ice after dump-ins. It’ll be interesting if he has a strong 2023-24 season. Perhaps Fabrizi shows up in next year’s article as a 19-year-old.
That wraps up our big boys list for the 2023 NHL draft. All but But seem to be seventh-round options. The bulk of the draft will be of players who are 6’4″ or shorter.

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