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2023- The Year of the Generational Talent

by J.T. Toth

Photo of Victor Wembanyama in a Spurs jersey. Courtesy of ESPN.

The NFL draft has come and gone, and there was a wealth of talent in this draft class. In football, it is hard to say if somebody will be a “generational talent” like a Barry Sanders, Tom Brady, or even a Lawrence Taylor. The other major sports leagues this year may be like no other with game changing talent throughout each sport.

The 2023 NHL Draft has a group of top 5 prospects that could go down as one of the best in recent memories. Top pick, Connor Bedard, just finished up his junior hockey career with 271 points in 134 games. Bedard is said to be a sure fire superstar in the NHL, and with the Chicago Blackhawks owning the #1 pick, they will be sure to put him in the spotlight instantly. Bedard along with McDavid will assume the reins from Crosby and Ovechkin and move the NHL into a new era. Adam Fantilli who is the consensus #2 pick in this draft would go #1 in most years' drafts. Scouts say that Bedard and Fantilli could be the best 1-2 since Ovechkin and Malkin in 2004.

What about Major League Baseball? Dylan Crews? Paul Skenes? Wyatt Langford? Max Clarke? Remember these names for the next 3-5 years. Dylan Crews is said to be a Mike Trout type player, Paul Skenes has been called the best collegiate pitcher since Stephen Strasburg, and Max Clarke could be the best high school hitter in the past couple of decades.

The Pittsburgh Pirates, with the first selection overall, can solidify their rebuild with Crews and bring “steel town” their best collegiate outfielder since selecting Barry Bonds in the first round in 1985. This year's MLB draft, like the NHL's, has a top 5 that are said to all have potential superstars and has depth we haven’t seen in some time.

The unicorn is a mythical animal that is highly desirable and difficult to find or obtain. The NBA may have found just that in Victor Wembanyama out of France. Never in any of our lifetimes have we seen a player like Wembanyama. He's 7’4” and able to shoot from anywhere on the court with ball handling skills and shot blocking skills that could lead him to NBA Defensive Player of the Year awards.

On NBA Today this past week, ex-NBA star, Richard Jefferson, said if Lebron James at age 18 came out this season with Wembanyama in the same class, the Unicorn would be more worthy of a first overall pick than LeBron. Wembanyama could be a weapon we have never seen before. How do you defend a 7’4” athletic player who can shoot from behind the arc? Gregg Popovich of the San Antonio Spurs is a perfect fit for Wembanyama. Popovich, one of the greatest coaches of all time, should help mold the Unicorn into a complete player.

Connor Bedard, Dylan Crews and Victor Wembanyama. Have we ever seen three #1 overall picks this good? In 1984, the Penguins took Mario Lemieux, the Bulls took Michael Jordan, but in baseball the Mets selected OF-Shawn Abner. The 1984 drafts also brought us these players:

NBA- Charles Barkley, Hakeem Olajuwon, John Stockton

NHL- Patrick Roy, Luc Robitaille, Brett Hull

MLB- Mark McGwire, Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine

1984 will be a tough year to compete against, but with the depth and superstar potential of these classes, 2023 may give us a fighting chance to do something we haven’t seen in almost 40 years.

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