The Best Young Players to Sign in NHL 23 Franchise Mode

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When it comes to setting up a Franchise Mode in NHL 23, many players want to create a franchise that will dominate for a prolonged period.

To do this, you need to include several young prospects in your team. Selecting young players who are already at the top of the game is a fantastic way to add further longevity to your team while also ensuring you are competitive in the present day.

This article will highlight the best young players to sign in NHL 23 Franchise Mode, to help you create an incredible young team hungry for championships.

As the average age in the NHL is 28, we have chosen any players below this average in this list.

Best Young Left Wingers

Firstly, let’s focus on the best young left-wingers in NHL 23 Franchise Mode. Signing one of these players for your team is sure to improve your chances on offense and make the game even more fun to play.

Kirill Kaprizov – Russia – Minnesota Wild – 91 OVR – 25 Years Old

The first young left winger to make this list is Kirill Kaprizov. At 25, Kaprizov is one of the youngest left-wingers in the league, but he already has an impressive overall score of 91.

Going forward, Kaprizov has some incredible skills at his disposal. He has 96 offensive awareness, 94 passing, and 94 puck control. 

These statistics ensure Kaprizov is one of the best at bringing the puck up the ice effectively, making it hard for defenders to dispossess him.

On top of that, he also has excellent shooting abilities, with 93 slapshot accuracy and 92 wrist shot accuracy.

All of this makes Kaprizov one of the most effective left-wingers in the game.

Key Statistics:

  • Passing: 94
  • Offense Awareness: 96
  • Puck Control: 94
  • Slapshot Accuracy: 93
  • Wrist Shot Accuracy: 92

Matthew Tkachuk – America – Florida Panthers – 90 OVR – 25 Years Old

Another excellent young player option for your NHL Franchise Mode game is Matthew Tkachuk. As with Kaprizov, despite only being 25, Tkachuk has already risen to become of the best left-wingers in the game and is an essential part of the Florida Panther’s offense.

Tkachuk also has highly impressive offensive statistics, including 92 offensive awareness, 91 passing, and 91 puck control.

With such great statistics, it is no surprise that defenders struggle to deal with Tkachuk when he gets going.

He also has excellent slapshot accuracy at 91 and wrist shot accuracy at 92. 

Plus, if you enjoy a scrap on the ice from time to time, Tkachuk can handle himself comfortably, with 80 fighting skills.

Key Statistics:

  • Passing: 91
  • Offense Awareness: 92
  • Puck Control: 91
  • Slapshot Accuracy: 91
  • Wrist Shot Accuracy: 92

Kyle Connor – America – Winnipeg Jets – 90 OVR – 26 Years Old

If you want to start your franchise mode with the Winnipeg Jets, you will be pleased to find you have Kyle Connor on your roster.

Connor is an excellent young left-winger, who has quickly risen to one of the most effective left-wingers in the NHL.

With 95 offensive awareness, Connor is perfectly suited to play at left-wing in the league and always looks for an opening in the defense to explore. On top of this, he also possesses 92 passing, 92 puck control, 92 slapshot accuracy, and 93 wrist shot accuracy.

These impressive statistics make Kyle Connor a great pick-up for any starting team or choosing Winnipeg Jets as a great option.

Key Statistics:

  • Passing: 92
  • Offense Awareness: 95
  • Puck Control: 92
  • Slapshot Accuracy: 92
  • Wrist Shot Accuracy: 93

Best Young Right Wingers

Next, let’s look at the other wing. If you manage to secure one of the best young left-wingers for your team, you will want a similarly powerful and skillful right winger on your roster to ensure you can attack your opposition from both sides.

Mikko Rantanen – Finland – Colorado Avalanche – 91 OVR – 26 Years Old

Next up are the best young right-wingers for you to add to your team. Mikko Rantanen is the first Finnish player to make this list and is a fantastic pick-up for any franchise.

With a 95 score for offensive awareness, Rantanen has an excellent brain for attack and often makes high IQ plays on the ice.

He also has a 93 passing, 93 puck control, 92 slap shot accuracy, and 93 wrist shot accuracy.

On top of these fantastic traits, Rantanen also has a 90 Endurance score, which allows you to utilize him for many minutes in the game, and take advantage of everything he has to offer.

Key Statistics:

  • Passing: 93
  • Offense Awareness: 95
  • Puck Control: 93
  • Slapshot Accuracy: 92
  • Wrist Shot Accuracy: 93

Andrei Svechnikov – Russia – Carolina Hurricanes – 88 OVR – 22 Years Old

Next up, it’s the second Russian player to make this list and the first Carolina Hurricanes player. Since his introduction to the league, Svechnikov has taken to the ice like he has been there for years. 

At just 22 years old, Svechnikov has plenty of years to progress even more, and his 88 OVR is sure to rise in seasons to come. He is a fantastic young player to focus your Franchise team around.

Even though he’s so young, he already has 92 offensive awareness, 91 passing, and 92 puck control. These statistics rival the best right-wingers in the game. 

On top of that, he has 92 slap shot and wrist shot accuracy. Also, if Svechnikov gets into a fight on the ice, he will be able to handle himself, with a 75 fighting skill.

Key Statistics:

  • Passing: 91
  • Offense Awareness: 92
  • Puck Control: 92
  • Slapshot Accuracy: 92
  • Wrist Shot Accuracy: 92

Jordan Kyrou – Canada – St Louis Blue – 87 OVR – 24 Years Old

Unbelievably, Jordan Kyrou is the first Canadian player to make this list, but it was well worth the wait, as Kyrou is a fantastic pick-up for any franchise.

He has an overall rating of 87, but at just 24 years old, that is sure to increase over the coming seasons.

With a 92 offensive awareness, Kyrou is one of the best attacking options on the right wing and has a 93 passing score, 92 puck control, 88 slap shot, and wrist shot accuracy.

All these attributes ensure Kyrou is one of the most powerful and effective right-wingers in the game.

Key Statistics:

  • Passing: 93
  • Offense Awareness: 92
  • Puck Control: 92
  • Slapshot Accuracy: 88
  • Wrist Shot Accuracy: 88

Best Young Left Defenders

Now that we have taken care of the wingers for your franchise let’s look at the best young defenders. Focusing first on the left-hand side of the defense, there are many young talented players to pick from.

Miro Heiskanen – Finland – Dallas Stars – 88 OVR – 23 Years Old

Next up, we have another Finnish player, this time from the Dallas Stars. Miro Heiskanen was an easy selection for this list, as not only does he have an overall score of 88, but he is also just 23 years old.

With 93 endurance, 91 shot blocking, and 90 defensive awareness, Heiskanen is solid as a rock at the back and will ensure your opponents find it difficult to score. He also has a 92 passing statistic, making him a useful player for creating attacks as well.

Key Statistics:

  • Endurance: 93
  • Shot Blocking: 91
  • Defensive Awareness: 90
  • Passing: 92

Rasmus Dahlin – Sweden – Buffalo Sabres – 88 OVR – 22 Years Old

If you are on the hunt for a young talent in left defense that is sure to be a star for many years to come, you may want to opt for Rasmus Dahlin.

The Swedish player is at Buffalo Sabres, and at just 22 years old he already has an overall rating of 88.

With 90 defensive awareness, 88 endurance, 89 shot blocking, and 91 passing, he is an extremely well-rounded defender and one that is sure to improve your franchise if you do sign him.

Key Statistics:

  • Endurance: 88
  • Shot Blocking: 89
  • Defensive Awareness: 90
  • Passing: 91

Quinn Hughes – American – Vancouver Canucks – 87 OVR – 23 Years Old

If a strong young defense is what you are after, the Vancouver Canucks might be the right team for you to start with, as they have both Quinn Hughes and the excellent young goalie Demko.

At just 23 years old, Hughes is one of the younger defenders in the league, but he has already established himself as one of the most important players for the Canucks.

With 87 Endurance, 85 shot blocking, 88 defensive awareness, and 94 passing, he is a fantastic option at left-defense for any team.

He also has fantastic puck control at 94, making him a solid option for building attacks from the back.

Key Statistics:

  • Endurance: 87
  • Shot Blocking: 85
  • Defensive Awareness: 88
  • Passing: 94

Best Young Right Defenders

After tackling the left-defense position for your franchise, you should shore up your defense with another top player on the other side. Here are three of the best young right defenders in the game for you to try and add to your roster.

Cale Makar – Canada – Colorado Avalanche – 94 OVR – 24 Years Old

Despite only being 24 years old, Cale Makar is the highest-rated right defender in NHL 23, with a 94 overall rating. 

The Colorado Avalanche is a fantastic franchise to choose if you want a team that will be dominant down the right, with Makar in the right defense and Rantanen on the right wing. 

They are a nightmare for defenses, and both are early in their NHL careers.

With 90 endurance, 89 shot blocking, 95 defensive awareness, and 96 passing, it is clear to see Makar is highly rated in this game.

Key Statistics:

  • Endurance: 90
  • Shot Blocking: 89
  • Defensive Awareness: 95
  • Passing: 96

Adam Fox – America – New York Rangers – 90 OVR – 24 Years Old

However, if you would rather opt for an American team as your starting franchise, you might be tempted by the New York Rangers, who have Adam Fox at right defense. Although he is only 24, he has established himself as the league’s second-best right defender and teams up with Shesterkin, another young player on this list.

Key Statistics:

  • Endurance: 87
  • Shot Blocking: 88
  • Defensive Awareness: 91
  • Passing: 93

Moritz Seider – Germany – Detroit Red Wings – 87 OVR – 21 Years Old

The final right defender on this list is also the only German player and the only player from the Detroit Red Wings franchise. 

He is also the youngest player to feature on this list, with an impressive 87 overall rating at 21 years old. 

He definitely needs to work on his face-offs, but other than that, he has some excellent in-game statistics.

Key Statistics:

  • Endurance: 85
  • Shot Blocking: 88
  • Defensive Awareness: 90
  • Passing: 89

Best Young Centers

With the wide positions sorted and the defense solidified, let’s look at the best young centers in the game for you to pick from. These players are all great choices for someone to dictate your playstyle and bring more power and skill to your team.

Connor McDavid – Canada – Edmonton Oilers – 95 OVR – 25 Years Old

No list of top young players is complete without including Connor McDavid. As his stats would suggest, he is one of the best players in the game, with a 95 overall score.

His offensive skill set, with a 98 offensive awareness, passing, and puck control statistic. He also has an incredibly accurate shot, with a 94 slap shot accuracy and a 97 wrist shot accuracy.

As you can see from these stat lines, he has incredible potential going forwards.

He is not only excellent going forward, though, as he also has excellent defensive awareness at 90.

Key Statistics:

  • Offensive Awareness: 98
  • Passing: 98
  • Puck Control: 98
  • Slap Shot Accuracy: 94
  • Wrist Shot Accuracy: 97
  • Defensive Awareness: 90

Auston Matthews – America – Toronto Maple Leafs – 94 OVR – 25 Years Old

If Connor McDavid is the best young center in the game, then he is closely followed by Austin Matthews. Like McDavid, Matthews has some excellent offensive statistics, including a 97 offensive awareness, 93 passing, 95 puck control, 96 slap shot accuracy, and 97 wrist shot accuracy.

Matthews is also a fantastic defender, with 94 defensive awareness and 90 discipline, so you can rely on him to perform at either goal.

At just 25 years old, Matthews has plenty of years remaining at the top of his game, making him an ideal young player to sign in NHL Franchise Mode.

Key Statistics:

  • Offensive Awareness: 97
  • Passing: 93
  • Puck Control: 95
  • Slap Shot Accuracy: 96
  • Wrist Shot Accuracy: 97
  • Defensive Awareness: 94

Sebastian Aho – Finland – Carolina Hurricanes – 89 OVR – 25 Years Old

The final young center to make this list is Sebastian Aho, a 25-year-old center from the Carolina Hurricanes.

If you want to start a Franchise Mode, you might want to start with the Carolina Hurricanes, sa you get Aho and Svechnikov in your starting team, a perfect platform for many years to come.

Sebastian Aho boasts 92 offensive awareness, 93 passing, 92 puck control, 92 slap shot accuracy, and 91 wrist shot accuracy.

He is also very capable on defense, with a 90 defense awareness.

Key Statistics:

  • Offensive Awareness: 92
  • Passing: 93
  • Puck Control: 92
  • Slap Shot Accuracy: 92
  • Wrist Shot Accuracy: 97
  • Defensive Awareness: 94

Best Young Goalies

Finally, we have the goalies. They might be last on this list, but they are certainly not the least important. Having a great shot-stopper in your team is essential and can get you out of plenty of tricky situations. The average age of goalies in the NHL is a little higher, so the players listed here are slightly older.

Igor Shesterkin – Russian – New York Rangers – 92 OVR – 27 Years Old

The New York Rangers have a long history of having some of the best NHL goalies in the game, and Shesterkin is quickly on his way to becoming another New York Rangers hero.

He is a fantastic goalkeeper with excellent skills, including Contortionist, Post to Post, and Whirlwind.

On top of that, he has 93 shot recover, 93 glove-side low, 94 stick-side low, 94 five-hole, and 93 rebound control.

Key Statistics:

  • Shot Recover: 93
  • Glove side Low: 93
  • Stickside Low: 94
  • Five Hole: 94
  • Rebound Control: 93

Thatcher Demko – America – Vancouver Canucks – 89 – 27 Years Old

Despite being one of the younger goalies in the league, the Vancouver Canucks shot-stopper has grown into one of the most reliable and dependable goalies in the league.

Demko is a solid option for any franchise and offers plenty of security at the back with his excellent shot-stopping statistics.

While Demko does not possess the skills that Shesterkin has, he is still an excellent player, with 91 shot recover, 92 glove-side low, 92 stick-side low, 90 five hole, and 91 rebound control.

Key Statistics:

  • Shot Recover: 91
  • Gloveside Low: 92
  • Stick side Low: 92
  • Five Hole: 90
  • Rebound Control: 91

Juuse Saros – Finland – Nashville Predators – 89 OVR – 27 Years Old

Another excellent goalkeeping option for your team is Juuse Saros, who plays for the Nashvill Predators.

He is not the youngest goalie in the game at 27, but he is below the NHL average, and with an 89 overall rating, he has plenty to offer any franchise.

His skills include post to post, dialed in, handled it, last stand and whirlwind, and he has some excellent statistics.

With 92 shot recover, 89 gloveside low, 93 stickside high, 92 five hole, and 92 rebound control.

Key Statistics:

  • Shot Recover: 92
  • Glove side Low: 89
  • Stickside Low: 93
  • Five Hole: 92
  • Rebound Control: 92

Final Thoughts

There are so many top-level young players plying their trade in NHL 23 that you can try out for your Franchise Mode team. If you prefer to play Hockey Ultimate Team, you might want to consider purchasing the X-Factor edition of the game.

Which franchise you choose will have a big influence on how many of these players you can get into your team. If you choose a team that already has some excellent young players, it will be much easier to create a fantastic young team.

However, if you want a real challenge, select a team with almost no good young players, and work your way up from nothing.


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