Detroit Red Wings select Nate Danielson with No. 9 pick in 2023 NHL draft

Detroit Free Press

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Detroit Red Wings selected center Nate Danielson at No. 9 in Wednesday’s opening round of the 2023 NHL draft.

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“To hear my name actually called by Steve Yzerman, I didn’t really believe it at first,” Danielson said. He had an inkling, though, that they were interested after a very good interview at the combine earlier this month. “I definitely thought it, but it doesn’t feel real until it actually happens.”

Danielson is 6 feet 2, 186 pounds and shoots right. He’s a highly skilled center with outstanding vision and the patience to wait until it’s the right moment to make the play. He led the Brandon Wheat Kings (Western Hockey League) with 78 points (33 goals, 45 assists) in 68 games. He’s versatile to the point he can play power play, penalty kill and be used in the last minute of tight games.

“I’m a very well-rounded player,” Danielson said. “I play well in all areas of the rink and offensively I’m very skilled and defensively, I’m responsible. I think just my all-around game is really strong.”

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The Edmonton, Alberta, native was a WHL East Division Second All-Star Team member and played in the CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game.

The selection addresses the Wings’ need to shore up the center position in their farm system.

Asked which NHL players appeal to him, Danielson cited Buffalo Sabres forward Dylan Couzens and Montreal Canadiens captain Nick Suzuki.

“I think I’m pretty similar to both of them,” he said. “I like to watch them both and pick things out of their game.”

The evening’s event at Bridgestone Arena began predictably enough with Connor Bedard going first to the Chicago Blackhawks, Leo Carsslon went at second to the Anaheim Ducks, and Michigan’s Adam Fantilli went third to the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Will Smith went fourth to the San Jose Sharks, and David Reinbacher went fifth to the Montreal Canadiens. Dmitriy Simashev went sixth to the Arizona Coyotes. Matvei Michkov went at seventh to the Philadelphia Flyers. Ryan Leonard went eight to the Washington Capitals.

This is Yzerman’s fifth draft in charge of the Wings. His prior first-round picks are: Defenseman Moritz Seider was the team’s top pick in 2019, followed by forward Lucas Raymond in 2020, defenseman Simon Edvinsson and goaltender Sebastian Cossa in 2021 and forward Marco Kasper in 2022.

Danielson said he is looking forward to one day playing with Moritz Seider and Lucas Raymond, “two of the younger guys that I’ve been following for quite a while.”

Contact Helene St. James at Follow her on Twitter @helenestjames.

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Her latest book, “On the Clock: Behind the Scenes with the Detroit Red Wings at the NHL Draft,” is available from  Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Triumph Books. Personalized copies available via her e-mail.

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