2022 NHL Mock Draft: Final Mock 7 Rounds
Round 1 Picks 1-16
The 2022 NHL Entry Draft is much deeper than the 2021 NHL Entry Draft. Heck, this draft may be more top heavy than 2020 despite not being as deep of a class.
Chris Ransom follow @DraftUtopia Last Updated: July 7, 2022.
Montreal Canadiens: Shane Wright, C, Kingston Frontenacs (OHL)
- My final top 32 big board for the 2022 NHL Draft is now up. Shane Wright edged out Juraj Slafkovsky for the top spot.
- Montreal is getting a really good player at 1 that's a really complete player going from picking at 30 in 2021 to 1 in 2022. The Montreal Canadiens surpassed the 2003-2004 Oakland Raiders as the biggest first to worst turnaround as that Raider team went from losing Super Bowl 37 to picking second overall in the 2004 NFL Draft. Shane Wright is better defensively and on face offs then first line center Nick Suzuki. Shane Wright and Cole Caufield is gonna give Montreal a deadly first line center and right winger tandem that may one day rival what Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane have done in Chicago unless Cole Caufield plays left wing while Mike Hoffman remains at right wing giving Shane Wright two wingers he can depend on.
- The 6-1 187 lb Shane Wright had 39 goals, 27 assists, and 66 points as a 15-year-old rookie in 2019-2020 which was more than Connor McDavid in his rookie year with the Erie Otters after being the first touted rookie since McDavid to gain exceptional status. Even with no OHL season this year due to Covid-19, he still put together 9 goals, 5 assists, and 14 points in 5 games as captain for Team Canada at the 2021 Under-18 World Junior Championships. Shane Wright was a first line center on both the Kingston Frontenacs and Canada during the World Junior Championship, and a year later he captained Canada at the 2022 Under-18 World Junior Championships.
- Shane Wright had 32 goals, 62 assists, and 94 points during the regular season in 2021-2022 while posting 3 goals, 11 assists, and 14 points in 11 OHL playoff games during the 2022 OHL Playoffs. Shane Wright also had the only goal as the team captain for Team Red in the 2022 CHL Prospects Game after the best time for Weave Agility and Transition Agility with the puck during combine drills. Shane Wright finished in the top 5 in five of the ten Combine drills leading up to the 2022 CHL Propsects Game while also finishing fifth overall among every player competing in the individual drills at the 2022 CHL Prospects Game. He's the top ranked prospect for the 2022 NHL Entry Draft in all 15 different scouting services for the 2022 NHL Entry Draft. Rumor has it that Shane Wright and Logan Cooley are the top 2 players on Montreal's big board. While there's traction for Cooley building, it's safe to say that Shane Wright will be picked first because Cooley is going the NCAA route for a year. As far as Wright goes, he's pretty much a lock for the Montreal Canadiens at 1 in the 2022 NHL Entry Draft where he could be a first line center.
- Shane Wright has the speed, explosion, burst, agility, skating, foot speed, playmaking, passing, sniping, wrist shot power, wrist shot accuracy, slap shot power, slap shot accuracy, vision, offensive awareness, defensive awareness, and hockey IQ to succeed in the NHL. I wrote this three years ago in my 2019 OHL Draft Results page after Shane Wright led the Don Mills Flyers to an OHL Cup prior to the 2019 OHL Priority Selection.
- Shane Wright still has those traits three years later. He also compares to the last four exceptional status centers that got drafted number one overall in their respective NHL Drafts.
- Shane Wright has the best playmaking of a center since Connor McDavid the top pick in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft, the best shot from a center I've seen since Steven Stamkos the top pick in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft, the best work ethic from a center since Nate MacKinnon the top pick in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft, and the best leadership I've seen since John Tavares current team captain of the Toronto Maple Leafs as well as former team captain of the New York Islanders who was drafted by the New York Islanders with the first pick in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft.
- Shane Wright has traits that McDavid, Stamkos, MacKinnon, and Tavares all possess, but the one player of those four that is the most similar to him in terms of playoff success entering their NHL Draft year is Steven Stamkos. He's confident in his skill set, but humble. He's also his own individual. Wright is the guy every rebuilding team is trying to land.
- I've got a Shane Wright Scouting Report. I'll be updating SWOT reports for Canadian prospects with a Shane Wright SWOT report in the link above.
New Jersey Devils: Juraj Slafkovsky, LW, TPS (SM Liiga)
- Back in October, I had Juraj Slafkovsky to New Jersey at 6. Right player wrong spot. I don't think that Devils fans are complaining about taking Slafkovsky though. This team really needs one more winger to pair with Holtz on the first line next to either Jack Hughes or Nico Hischier starting in 2022-2023. New Jersey has two centers and two number one picks at center that can play on the first or second line with Hughes or Hischier. That's why the Devils get the top left winger in the draft when they take Juraj Slafkovsky sixth overall.
- New Jersey would have Pavel Zacha at left wing, Nico Hischier at center, and Alexander Holtz their 2020 first round pick at right wing on their first line. New Jersey would have Juraj Slafkovsky at left wing, Jack Hughes at center, and Jesper Bratt a 2016 sixth round pick, who led the Devils with 72 points in 2021-2022 at right wing on their second line. New Jersey would have Nolan Foote who they got in a trade with the Tampa Bay Lightning at left wing, Jesper Boqvist a 2017 second round pick at center, and Dawson Mercer at right wing on their third line. New Jersey also has Michael McLeod whose a good fourth line center. The addition of Juraj Slafkovsky completes their top 6, gives New Jersey three good lines of forwards at left wing, center, and right wing, and gives the New Jersey Devils 10/12 quality forwards when fully healthy.
- The 6-4 225 lb Juraj Slafkovsky is from Slovakia, but plays for TPS in Finland. He's the biggest left winger to enter the NHL Draft since Alexander Ovechkin the first pick in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft. Slafkovsky impressed in the World Junior Championships last year before earning a promotion from the TPS Under 18-Team to the TPS Under 20-Team where he had 8 goals, 5 assists, 13 points, and a +4 +/- ratio in 16 regular season games for the TPS Under 20-Team.
- Juraj Slafkovsky will play against men this year. He will play against grown men in Finland rather than players his own age which is something that Brad Lambert has done for the past two seasons. Slafkovsky has a chance to sneak into the top 5 with a strong season.
- Slovakia has made the biggest statement at the Hlinka Gretzky Cup defeating USA 5-2 before embarassing Germany 12-2. Juraj Slafkovsky is playing like a man on mission determined to crack the top 5.
- Slafkovsky had 5 goals, 5 assists, and 10 points in 31 regular season games against men in Finland in his 31 career Liiga games. Slafkovsky showcased the versatility to play left wing, center, and right wing mainly lining up as a second line right winger on a TPS team that made the Championship round in Liiga where he had 2 goals, 5 assists, and 7 points in 18 Playoff games. Slafkovsky is now considered the consensus top International prospect in the 2022 NHL Entry Draft, and the favorite to be drafted second overall by the New Jersey Devils where he'd be a second line winger at either left wing or right wing.
- Slafkovsky has the speed, explosion, burst, agility, skating, foot speed, playmaking, passing, sniping, wrist shot power, wrist shot accuracy, slap shot power, slap shot accuracy, vision, offensive awareness, defensive awareness, and hockey IQ to succeed in the NHL. He needs to improve his upper body strength, but was a first line left winger on the TPS Under 20-Team last year.
- New Jersey could also consider Logan Cooley the consensus second best overall prospect, but the Devils are stacked at center. There's also reports that Juraj Slafkovsky is second on the New Jersey Devils big board behind Shane Wright whose the overwhelming favorite to go first overall.
- I've got a Juraj Slafkovsky Scouting Report. I'll be updating SWOT reports for Scandinavian prospects where Slafkovsky will be my top Scandinavian player for the 2022 NHL Entry Draft. If you click on the link to Slafkovsky, it will take you to my SWOT report of him.
Arizona Coyotes: Logan Cooley, C, USNTDP (USHL)
- Arizona missed out on Shane Wright after missing out on Connor McDavid in 2015, the hometown Auston Matthews in 2016, and now Shane Wright in 2022. The Coyotes are now the front runner to land the highly touted Connor Bedard in the 2023 NHL Entry Draft. My impression from Bill Armstrong's pre-draft press conference is that Shane Wright is first on the Coyotes big board with Logan Cooley second and Juraj Slafkovsky third. Whichever one of those three falls to this selection will be Arizona's pick here at 3. In this case, that selection is Logan Cooley. Armstrong also stated that the Coyotes have begun scouting for both the 2023 and 2024 NHL Entry Drafts.
- Logan Cooley is a true blue chip center prospect from West Mifflin PA who began playing Sidney Crosby’s Little Penguins Learn to Play program before going to the Pittsburgh Penguins Under-16 Team which plays at the Mario Lemieux Sports Complex in Cranberry Township PA, before going to the United States National Team Developmental Program in 2020.
- The 5-10 179 lb Logan Cooley came in and won the first line center job beating out the highly touted Rutger McGroaty for the position. Cooley had 15 goals, 13 assists, and 28 points in 2020-2021 for the United States National Team Developmental Program in the USHL taking over the position Matthew Beniers held a year ago prior to enrolling into Michigan. Cooley also had 16 goals, 16 assists, and 32 points n the USNTDP Under-17 team while also posting 4 goals, 10 assists, and 14 points on the USNTDP Under-18 Team at the age of 16.
- Logan Cooley improved in his second USHL season with 13 goals, 23 assists, and 36 points in 24 USHL games 2021-2022. He also posted 27 goals, 48 assists, and 75 points on the USNTDP Under 18-Team in 2021-2022.
- The biggest reason he's still a top 5 prospect is because Cooley is the best center at winning face offs in the entire 2022 NHL Entry Draft winning 63.75% of his face offs in 2021-2022. Cooley's faceoff winning ability will allow an NHL team to create a lot of scoring chances once he arrives. Cooley also has a hockey scholarship to Minnesota after originally committing to Notre Dame. If the Arizona Coyotes took him third overall in the 2022 NHL Entry Draft, he'd go to Minnesota for a year, and would probably be a first line center on the Coyotes by the 2023-2024 NHL Season at the very latest, unless Arizona managed to win the 2023 NHL Draft Lottery ending up with a duo of Connor Bedard and Logan Cooley.
- Cooley has the speed, explosion, burst, agility, skating, foot speed, playmaking, passing, sniping, wrist shot power, wrist shot accuracy, slap shot power, slap shot accuracy, vision, offensive awareness, defensive awareness, and hockey IQ to succeed in the NHL. Logan Cooley reminds me of Auston Matthews as a prospect.
- I've got a Logan Cooley Scouting Report. I'll be updating SWOT reports for United States prospects and there's a link to my Logan Cooley SWOT report if you go back to the top of the third pick.
Seattle Kraken: Simon Nemec, D, HK Nitra (Tipos)
- Seattle has a good core of defensemen, but their team lacks a two-way defenseman that can anchor the blue line with offensive defenseman Adam Larsson and defensive defenseman Jamie Oleksiak anchoring their first line on defense. Seattle Kraken GM Ron Francis says Seattle has narrowed their options for 4 down to 8 and my educated guess is that Shane Wright is first on Seattle's board followed by Juraj Slafkovsky at 2, and Simon Nemec at 3 since Ron Francis emphasized the imporantance of getting an NHL ready player with this pick at 4. Some of the players at the top of Seattle's board will get picked in the top 3, but Seattle is gonna create their list outside of the top 8 in June. Like the Arizona Coyotes, the Seattle Kraken have also done work on the 2023 NHL Entry Draft and are beginning scouting on the 2024 NHL Draft.
- This draft has anywhere from 2 to 5 NHL ready players with Shane Wright, Juraj Slavkovsky, Simon Nemec, Matthew Savoie, and David Jiricek all being players that potentially fit this category. Last year I said Ron Francis is going to see himself in Matthew Beniers, the player Seattle drafted second overall in the 2021 NHL Entry Draft. He's gonna see flashes of Paul Coffey, his Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman teammate with HK Nitra defenseman Simon Nemec.
- The 6-1 192 lb Simon Nemec had 3 assists and a +2 +/- ratio in 12 games with HK Nitra with Slovakia as a rookie in 2019-2020. Nemec had 2 goals, 17 assists, 19 points, and a -10 +/- ratio in 2020-2021. He's an elite skater for a defenseman. He played on the first line anchoring the blue line for HK Nitra.
- He had more minutes in his second season with 2 goals, 17 assists, 19 points, and a -10 +/- ratio 2020-2021. Simon Nemec broke out in year three with 1 goal, 25 assists, 26 points, and a +13 +/- ratio during the regular season. Simon Nemec had 5 goals, 12 assists, 17 points, in 19 playoff games getting HK Nitra to the Championship Round in Tipos. Simon Nemec had the responsibility of being the defenseman that anchored the blue line as a rookie. He got demoted to the second line at the beginning of the season, but played outstanding and earned the first line defenseman role back during HK Nitra's deep playoff run.
- Simon Nemec is a better passer than Owen Power was. He got a lot more consistent as a defender after being inconsistent as a rookie and gave up much less break aways in year two. He does have the upside to become an elite shot blocker. I did see him block a shot on tape.
- I had Nemec fourth overall to Anaheim in October and still have him going fourth overall to a team that needs a super star blue liner to compliment Matthew Beniers who won the first line center job at the end of this season with the Seattle Kraken. Simon Nemec is the best shot blocker on tape that I've seen from a defenseman in years. You have to go all the way back to 2008 and 2009 when defensemen like Drew Doughty along with Victor Hedman were drafted second overall to find a shot blocker on par with Simon Nemec heading into their draft year.
- Simon Nemec has the speed, explosion, burst, agility, skating, foot speed, playmaking, passing, sniping, wrist shot power, wrist shot accuracy, slap shot power, slap shot accuracy, vision, offensive awareness, defensive awareness, and hockey IQ to succeed in the NHL. Nemec is my top defenseman in the 2022 NHL Entry Draft.
- Simon Nemec has a great floor. If he adds more muscle he could reach his ceiling like Miro Heiskanen did, as this was his one issue outside of defense heading into 2021-2022. Simon Nemec fixed his defense, but he could still add some muscle. Unlike Miro Heiskanen, who is my comp for Nemec, I believe Nemec is NHL ready right now. He could start out anchoring the second line learning under Adam Larsson a true offensive defenseman and Jamie Oleksiak a true defensive defenseman while playing with a veteran like Vince Dunn on the second line of this defense which allows William Borgen and Carson Soucy, the line two defensemen when Dunn was injured to play on the third line. By 2023-2024, Simon Nemec would be the number one defenseman on the Seattle Kraken with Oleksiak complimenting him on the Seattle Kraken's first line of defense while Vince Dunn and Adam Larsson play on second line.
- Simon Nemec will be my top European player as the link for SWOT reports for European prospects is now up. Right now my player comparison for him would be Miro Heiskanen.
Philadelphia Flyers: David Jiricek, D, HC Skoda Plzen (Extraliga)
- Philadelphia should take Matthew Savoie in my honest opinion. However it sounds like Cutter Gauthier or David Jiricek will end up going fifth overall to the Philadelphia Flyers. My guess is Philadelphia ends up taking David Jiricek at 5.
- Philadelphia would have Ivan Provorov and Ryan Ellis defending on the first line, Rasmus Ristolainen and Travis Sanheim would be defending on the second line, and Philadelphia's third line would feature Cam York a 2019 first round pick and David Jiricek. David Jiricek is rawer than Simon Nemec, but has the upside and potential to compliment Ivan Provorov on this blue line down the road. Having those six defensemen would take so much pressure off of goalie Carter Hart which might allow him to revert to his strong play in 2019-2020 when the Flyers were the top seed in the Eastern Conference during the Covid-19 bubble two years ago.
- The 6-3 176 lb David Jiricek had 3 goals, 6 assists, 9 points, and a +13 +/- ratio in 2020-2021 on a first line. David Jirceck improved slightly with 5 goals, 6 assists, 11 points, and a +/- ratio of 0 in 2021-2022 on a second line.
- David Jiricek has the speed, explosion, burst, agility, skating, foot speed, playmaking, passing, sniping, wrist shot power, wrist shot accuracy, slap shot power, slap shot accuracy, vision, offensive awareness, defensive awareness, and hockey IQ to succeed in the NHL. He has the best shot of any defender in this draft. He's not the shot blocker that Simon Nemec is, however you can argue that Jiricek hits harder then Nemec and he trys to put you in the second row.
- David Jiricek can be fearless at times plus he plays hard and he's strong. Jiricek has the best shot of any defenseman in the 2022 NHL Entry Draft along with a tendency to go for the big hit or big play which can limit what the opponent does. That can also put Jiricek out of position too which is something Nemec does a better job in right now. Jiricek's SWOT report is up.
- I've got a David Jiricek Scouting Report posted. I've also posted David Jiricek's SWOT report.
Columbus Blue Jackets: Matthew Savoie, C, Winnipeg Ice (WHL)
- Last year there were rumors that Columbus was going to take Mason McTavish who went third overall or Simon Edvinsson at 5. Columbus opted for Michigan left winger Kent Johnson with the fifth overall pick in the 2021 NHL Entry Draft.
- Columbus interviewed a lot of players at the 2022 NHL Combine like Cutter Gauthier, Frank Nazar, and Joakim Kemmell. Gauthier and Nazar can play center. Columbus is looking for a superstar fist line center that would allow team captain Boone Jenner to move back to right winger. Matthew Savoie is the only center available that fits this category.
- Columbus gets a true first line center at 6 allowing Boone Jenner to move back to a winger role that suits him better. Having Savoie on the first line with Cole Sillinger on the second line gives Columbus incredible forward depth at all three spots with outstanding play at left wing, center, and right wing.
- Matthew Savoie may have been a line 2 center behind Shane Wright at the 2022 CHL Prospects Game, but you have to look past that since he had the best athletic performance in four of the ten drills in the 2022 CHL Prospects game including the Weave Agility Drill with the Puck, the Transition Agility Drill, the Reaction With the Puck drill, and the 30 meter forward skate with the puck drill. Matthew Savoie also finished in the top five in two more drills finishing in the top 5 in 6/10 drills during the 2022 CHL Prospects Game.
- The 5-9 181 lb Matthew Savoie had 7 assists in 22 games in 2019-2020 as a rookie on the second line at center behind Peyton Krebs who was the Vegas Golden Knights 2019 first round pick. Savoie did much better as a first line forward when being loaned to the Dubuque Fighting Saints in the USHL last year where he had 21 goals, 17 assists, 38 points, and a +11 +/- ratio in 34 games in the 2020-2021 Season. Matthew Savoie had 35 goals, 55 assists, 90 points, and a +54 +/- ratio in 2021-2022. Matthew Savoie had 6 goals, 6 assists, and 12 points in 10 games during the 2022 WHL Playoffs.
- Matthew Savoie has the speed, explosion, burst, agility, skating, foot speed, playmaking, passing, sniping, wrist shot power, wrist shot accuracy, slap shot power, slap shot accuracy, vision, offensive awareness, defensive awareness, and hockey IQ to succeed in the NHL. I wrote this three years ago in my 2019 WHL Draft Results page. My NHL comparision for Matthew Savoie is Matthew Barzal of the New York Islanders.
- Matthew Savoie spent most of his time on the Winnipeg Ice as a first line center before Winnipeg traded for Jack Finley. He got second line minutes after that. I see him as a guy who can play on the Blue Jackets first line.
- I've got a Matthew Savoie Scouting Report. I've also posted Matthew Savoie's SWOT report.
Previous Pick: David Jiricek, D, HC Skoda Plzen (Extraliga)
Chicago Blackhawks: Joakim Kemell, RW, JYP (SM Liiga)
- There are reports that Ottawa wants to trade the seventh pick in the 2022 NHL Draft for a player that will help them win now much like Vancouver did a year ago when they traded the ninth pick in the 2021 NHL Entry Draft to get Oliver Ekman-Larsson. Ottawa traded this pick, their 2022 second rounder, and a 2024 third round pick to Chicago for Alex DeBrincat.
- Chicago should get the best player on the board with Joakim Kemell, whose ranked as high as third overall on one scouting service that covers the 2022 NHL Entry Draft. Chicago goes for value by drafting Joakim Kemell who came into this season as a line 2 right winger behind Brad Lambert before beating out Lambert for the first line right winger role on JYP after Lambert was getting the hype of a top 3 player.
- The 5-11 176 lb Joakim Kemell only had 1 goal in 1 game on JYP's main roster against men in 2020-2021. Kemell had 15 goals, 8 assists, and 23 points on JYP's main roster against men in 2021-2022.
- Joakim Kemell has the speed, skating, agility, playmaking, sniping, passing, wrist shot power, wrist shot accuracy, slap shot power, slap shot accuracy, release, offensive awareness, hockey IQ, stick handling, ability to dominate on the power play, ability to dominate as a penalty killer, and ability to win faceoffs. He's a sniper with amazing hands and elite stick handling that can do everything you want a line 1 right winger to do on tape, but he needs to improve his defensive awareness in order to play on a first line in the NHL. Luckily Kemell goes to a team that has some stability at right winger with Drake Batherson on the first line.
- Joakim Kemell can develop his defensive awareness at JYP in 2022-2023. He'll be ready to play next to Tim Stuzle as a second line right winger by either 2023-2024 once Kemell improves his defensive awareness or 2024-2025 when Joakim Kemell's contract for JYP expires following the 2023-2024 Liiga Season in SM Liiga if JYP makes him honor his contract before going to North America. Outside of the defensive awareness, Joakim Kemell has NHL ready traits in every other category. Chicago is gonna have three quality right wingers with Patrick Kane, Lukas Reichel, and Joakim Kemell down the road.
- I've got a Joakim Kemell Scouting Report. I've also posted Joakim Kemell's SWOT report.
Detroit Red Wings: Jonathan Lekkerimaki, RW, Djurgardens IF (Elitserien)
- Detroit will have Tyler Bertuzzi at left wing, Dylan Larkin at center, and Lucas Raymond at right wing back for his second season on the first line. Detroit will have Jakub Vrana at left wing, Pius Suter at center, and Filip Zadina at right wing on the second line with the former sixth overall draft pick in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft taking over for Sam Gagner after having a career high 10 goals, 14 assists, and 24 points in 74 regular season games playing on all of Detroit's top three lines at winger. Detroit will have Jonatan Berggren at left wing, Michael Rasmussen at center, and Oskar Sundqvist at right winger on the third line next season. Detroit's first line of defense will feature Moritz Seider and 2021 first round pick Simon Edvinsson.
- Detroit could address a need and take a second line center for the future. Instead, Detroit goes for value by drafting a second line right winger here at 8. I would take Frank Nazar or Cutter Gauthier here, but Detroit Red Wings General Manager Steve Yzerman has gone with an International player in the NHL Draft in each of his first three seasons with the Red Wings. Jonathan Lekkerimaki will be the selection if that trend continues.
- The 5-11 172 lb Jonathan Lekkerimaki would be an ideal player for the Detroit Red Wings to get as a replacement to second line right winger. Jonathan Lekkerimaki had 8 goals, 4 assists, and 12 points as a line 2 center on the Djurgardens IF Under 20 Team in 2020-2021. Bob McKenzie rated him as the thirteenth best player in October when posting his first rankings for the 2022 NHL Draft. Now he's a consensus top 10 prospect in many mock drafts as well as the consensus best overall prospect from Sweden in this years NHL Draft.
- Jonathan Lekkerimaki made the transition to right wing when he got promoted to the Djurgardens IF team in the SHL. Jonathan Lekkerimaki had 7 goals, 2 assists, and 9 points in 2021-2022 as a line 2 right winger next to San Jose Sharks 2021 first round pick William Eklund who played both left winger and center on Djurgardens IF's second line.
- Jonathan Lekkerimaki has the speed, explosion, burst, agility, skating, foot speed, playmaking, passing, sniping, wrist shot power, wrist shot accuracy, slap shot power, slap shot accuracy, vision, offensive awareness, defensive awareness, and hockey IQ to succeed in the NHL. One thing Jonathan Lekkerimaki needs to do is get stronger. He will be ready for the NHL by the 2023-2024 NHL Season since his contract with Djurgardens IF expires following the 2022-2023 SHL Season.
- I think Yzerman gives Filip Zadina, the former Halifax Moosehead one last chance to try to break out with Sam Gagner Detroit's second line right winger set to be an unrestricted Free Agent this Summer. If Zadina isn't at 11 goals and 15 assists showing improvement by the 2023 NHL Trade Deadline assuming Detroit's out of playoff contention once again, then I believe Detroit moves Zadina at the deadline and Yzerman ends up bringing a player like Jonathan Lekkerimaki up to be the new second line right winger in Detroit who replaces Filip Zadina for the 2023-2024 NHL Season.
- I've got a Jonathan Lekkerimaki Scouting Report. I've also posted Jonathan Lekkerimaki's SWOT report.
Buffalo Sabres: Frank Nazar, RW, USNTDP (USHL)
- Buffalo will have Jeff Skinner at left wing Tage Thompson at center, and Victor Olofsson on their first line. Buffalo will have Peyton Krebs at left wing, Casey Mittelstadt at center, and Kyle Okposo at right wing on the second line. Buffalo will have Rasmus Asplund at left wing, Dylan Cozens at center, and Alex Tuch at right wing on the third line. Buffalo will have Anders Bjork at left wing, Zemgus Girgensons at center, and Jack Quinn their 2020 first round pick at right wing on the fourth line.
- Buffalo will have Rasmus Dahlin and Mattias Samuelsson back on their first line of defense with Henri Jokiharju and Owen Power on their second line of defense. Assembling the third line of defense and finding a long-term starting goalie are the two last steps the Sabres need to take to contend if their contempt with the forwards they have.
- Buffalo will be looking for a player with star power at 9. Both Frank Nazar and Cutter Gauthier from the USNTDP team in the USHL are guys who will go to the NCAA for a year before potentially signing their rookie deals for the 2023-2024 NHL Seasons.
- Frank Nazar versatile enough to play both winger and center. Buffalo is looking at Frank Nazar, Marco Kasper, Joakim Kemell who already got picked by Ottawa at 7, and Cutter Gauthier as potential options at 9. Frank Nazar makes the most sense here among those four players.
- The 5-9 163 lb Frank Nazar had 20 goals, 16 assists, 36 points, and a +7 +/- ratio in 2020-2021 with the United States National Team Developmental Program in the USHL. Frank Nazar also had 28 goals, 27 assists, and 55 points on the USNTDP Under-17 Team absolutely dominating against kids his own age in 2020-2021. Frank Nazar had 15 goals, 20 assists, and 35 points on the USNTDP team in the USHL in 2021-2022 while also showing the skill set and versatility to be a second line center behind Logan Cooley. Nazar also had 28 goals, 42 assists, and 70 points in 56 games with the USNTDP Under-18 Team.
- Frank Nazar has the has the playmaking, sniping, passing, wrist shot power, wrist shot accuracy, slap shot power, slap shot accuracy, offensive awareness, defensive awareness, hockey IQ, speed, skating, agility, and stick handling. Frank Nazar gives Buffalo a quality first line right winger that can be a long-term asset for the Buffalo Sabres. Nazar has a hockey scholarship to Michigan starting in 2022-2023.
- Frank Nazar is a better overall prospect than his teammate Cutter Gauthier in my opinion because he has two years of experience as a first line right winger. However, Gauther is just as deserving of a spot in the top 10 as both wingers could be in the NHL by the 2023-2024 NHL Season after one year of College Hockey in the NCAA.
- I've got a Frank Nazar Scouting Report. I've also posted Frank Nazar's SWOT report.
Anaheim Ducks: Cutter Gauthier, LW, USNTDP (USHL)
- Cutter Gauthier, Connor Geekie, and Pavel Mintyukov are three players I heard Anaheim is looking at with the tenth selection. If Buffalo chooses Frank Nazar over Cutter Gauthier, then I'd imagine Anaheim is running up to the podium and pouncing on the opportunity to draft Cutter Gauthier at 10.
- Cutter Gauthier was a late first round pick back in October, but he fixed his defense and took a huge leap showing that he can compliment center Logan Cooley and right winger Frank Nazar quite effectively on the first line.
- The 6-2 190 lb Cutter Gauthier has experience as a first line left winger on the United States National Team Devlopmental Program in the USHL. Cutter Gauthier had 12 goals, 9 assists, 21 points, and a -28 +/- ratio in 32 USHL games in 2020-2021. Cutter Gauthier broke out on the USNTDP USHL Team with 19 goals, 9 assists, 28 points, and a +14 +/- ratio in 2021-2022 after fixing his defense. Cutter Gauthier also played on the US Under 18 Team with 34 goals, 31 assists, and 65 points in 54 games with the Under 18 Team in 2021-2022.
- Cutter Gauthier skates well. He may have the best wrist shot power and wrist shot accuracy out of any player in this class, but the rest of his game needs development despite playing on the first line and breaking out for the United States National Team Developmental Program on their USHL team in 2021-2022.
- Cutter Gauthier has a hockey scholarship to Boston College where he's going to make the transition to center. He needs to go to Boston College for a year to refine his game. Anaheim needs a first line left winger in the worst way possible. Cutter Gauthier could either be a first line left winger next to Trevor Zegras or a third line center behind Trevor Zegras and Mason McTavish the third overall pick in the 2021 NHL Entry Draft as early as the 2023-2024 NHL Season in a year from now.
- I've got a Cutter Gauthier Scouting Report. I've also posted Cutter Gauthier's SWOT report.
San Jose Sharks: Danila Yurov, RW, Metallurg Magnitogorsk (KHL)
- San Jose hired Mike Grier as their new General Manager. Right now, I have to think San Jose is drafing a right winger at 11 even though they should go with a defenseman. The reason I say that is because one player that's been rumored to be picked by San Jose at 11 is Danila Yurov, the top Russian prospect in the 2022 NHL Entry Draft.
- San Jose has Erik Karlsson and Brent Burns on the first line of their blue line as Karlsson has a no movement clause and Burns has a modified no trade clause meaning San Jose can only move Burns if he signs off on the team San Jose trades him to. Marc-Edouard Vlasic their second line defenseman has a no movement clause while Radim Simek also got extended. Mario Feraro and Ryan Merkley currently play on the third line on defense. If San Jose is content with that blue line, which they shouldn't be then drafting a right winger at 11 makes the momst sense.
- The 6-1 172 lb Danila Yurov has more KHL experience than preseason top 10 pick Ivan Miroshnichenko. Yurov also has the versatility to play both left winger and right winger. Yurov had 1 goal, 1 assist, and 2 points in 21 KHL games in 2020-2021. Yurov didn't have a single point this season in the KHL, but he still had 13 goals, 23 assists, and 36 points in the MHL in 2021-2022.
- Yurov has 42 games in the KHL while Ivan Miroshnichenko has 0 games in the KHL so far. San Jose drafts Danila Yurov at 11 to bolster thier offense.
- Danila Yurov has the speed, explosion, burst, agility, skating, foot speed, playmaking, passing, sniping, wrist shot power, wrist shot accuracy, slap shot power, slap shot accuracy, stick handling, deking, vision, offensive awareness, defensive awareness, and hockey IQ to succeed in the NHL. He was considered the seventh best player in the 2022 NHL Entry Draft before Russia infiltrated Ukraine and could go anywhere between picks 8 and 18 in the 2022 NHL Entry Draft. San Jose gets this guy here hoping for a future first line or second line right winger.
- San Jose will have Tomas Hertl as their first line center, Logan Couture as their second line center, Thomas Bordelau their 2020 second round pick as their third line center, and Nick Bonino playing in a fourth line center role. Timo Meier and Alexander Barabanov will remain first line wingers at left wing and right wing. This means that William Eklund San Jose's 2021 first round pick can play in a line two left winger role where Nick Boninno played last year while Danila Yurov can play in a line 2 right winger role or take over for Alexander Barabanov when his contract is up in 2024.
- Danila Yurov is my top Russian prospect. I've got a Danila Yurov Scouting Report. I've also posted Danila Yurov's SWOT report in the link at the top of this pick which will take you to our Russian prospects page.
Previous Pick: Denton Mateychuk, D, Moose Jaw Warriors (WHL)
Columbus Blue Jackets: Kevin Korchinski, D, Seattle Thunderbirds (WHL)
- The Columbus Blue Jackets get a defenseman at 12 after getting a center like Matthew Savoie at 6. Kevin Korchinski is the most NHL ready defenseman of the players left on the board at 12.
- Right now Columbus has their 2015 draft picks Zach Werenski their 2015 first round pick out of Michigan with 47 points and Vladislav Gavrikov the Blue Jackets 2015 sixth round pick who was second among defenseman behind Werenski in points among defenseman with 33 points in 2021-2022 anchor the first line.
- Jake Bean who was third among Blue Jackets defensemen in points with 23 points and Adam Boqvist who had 11 goals, 11 assists, and 22 points compliments Bean quite well. Andrew Peeke showed he could do well anchoring the third line of this Columbus blue line with Gavin Bayreuther complimenting Peeke third line of this Blue Jackets defense after having a meager 0 goals and 8 assists for only 8 points in 43 games.
- Vladislav Gavrikov is now a fan favorite among Blue Jackets fans after showing he could play with Werenski on the second line enters a contract year. Gavrikov brought more energy to Columbus at times desptie Werenski getting a huge extension. Elvis Merzlikins the starting goalie and Gavrikov both became fathers last season and that boosted their team chemistry both as players and as men.
- Gavin Bayreuther on the other hand is expendable. In fact, I can see Kevin Korchinski beating out Gavin Bayruther for that final spot on the Columbus Blue Jackets defense as an 18-year-old rookie since Korchinski had a greater impact in two years with the Seattle Thunderbirds then Bayruehter had last season should Columbus draft Korchinski and sign him as a rookie right away, but you also don't need to put that kind of pressure on Korchinski.
- Kevin Korchinski is a no brainer pick at 12. Kevin Korchinski was drafted tenth overall by the Seattle Thunderbirds in the 2019 WHL Draft.
- Kevin Korchinski would go back to the WHL for one more year if he cannot crack the Columbus Blue Jackets roster. If you give him one more year in the WHL, he will have an easier time transitioning to the NHL. He could end up taking over for Vladislas Gavrikov if Columbus can't pay him what he wants in 2023 if he becomes a UFA.
- The 6-2 185 lb Kevin Korchinski had 10 assists in 2020-2021. Kevin Korchinski had 4 goals, 61 assists, 65 points, and +36 +/- ratio in 67 WHL regular season games. Kevin Korchinski had 6 goals, 13 assists, and 19 points in 25 WHL Playoff games. Korchinski got the Seattle Thunderbirds to the 2022 WHL Championship as a first line defenseman where he compliments team captain Tyrel Bauer, Winnipeg's 2020 sixth round pick.
- Kevin Korchinski has the skating, foot speed, playmaking, passing, sniping, wrist shot power, wrist shot accuracy, slap shot power, slap shot accuracy, vision, offensive awareness, defensive awareness, and hockey IQ to succeed in the NHL. You'd like to see more explosion at times with Kevin Korchinski, but most of the traits you want from a first line defenseman are there.
- My player comparison for Kevin Korchinski is an old school one as this guy reminds me of former Dallas Stars defenseman Darryl Sydor. Sydor was a first line defenseman on the Dallas Stars team that won the Stanley Cup in 1998-1999.
- I've got a Kevin Korchinski Scouting Report. I've also posted Kevin Korchinski's SWOT report.
Previous Pick: Connor Geekie, C, Winnipeg Ice (WHL)
New York Islanders: Pavel Mintyukov, D, Saginaw Spirit (OHL)
- New York can either get a center or a defenseman here at 13. If New York wants the best International player on the board, then Marco Kasper is an option, but Matthew Barzal, Brock Nelson, and Jean Gabriel-Pageau the top three centers on the New York Islanders are all under contract until 2025 with Barzal being an RFA in 2023.
- New York gets a defenseman here at 13 even if Connor Geekie is your top North American skater with Marco Kasper being your top International skater because New York has depth at center while the blue line is kind of thin after trading Nick Leddy to Detroit. Right now Adam Pelech and Ryan Pulock are the only defensemen on the New York Islanders secured long-term with Scott Mayfield being the guy who anchors the second line in a contract year. Other young restricted Free Agents ike Noah Dobson finally broke out with a team best 51 points best among defensemen on the New York Islanders showed he could anchor the blue line, play on the power play, or play on the second line after paying Pelech and Puloch long-term deals. Sebastian Aho, Robin Salo, and Parker Wotherspoon are also RFA's, but Aho is the only one of those three that played in the NHL last season.
- New York has their pick between Pavel Mintyukov and Denton Mateychuk at 13. New York drafts Pavel Mintyukov here.
- The 6-1 174 lb Pavel Mintyukov could end up anchoring the blue line of the Saginaw Spirit this season after showing promise in 2020-2021. Pavel Mintyukov broke out with 17 goals, 45 assists, 62 points, and a -14 +/- ratio in 67 games in 2021-2022 after getting promoted to the first line, but he's not someone who anchors the blue line yet on the Saginaw Spirit's first line.
- Pavel Mintyukov has the playmaking, sniping, passing, wrist shot power, wrist shot accuracy, slap shot power, slap shot accuracy, offensive awareness, hockey IQ, speed, skating, agility, and stick handling. He reminds me of Mikhail Sergachev in the sense that he may be NHL ready from an offensive standpoint, but he's going to need one or two years to develop from a defensive standpoint on the Saginaw Spirit before you call him up to the NHL. Sergachev went back for a year of development in the OHL after getting drafted by Montreal ninth overall in 2016 to fix his defense only to be called up by the Tampa Bay Lightning after Steve Yzerman traded draft bust Jonathan Drouin to Montreal to get Sergachev, whose been a pretty consistent 30 to 40 point player in the NHL with a +/- rating in the positive in every season Sergachev played in the NHL.
- With Michael Misa the front runner to be picked first overall in the 2025 NHL Entry Draft joining the Saginaw Spirit in the OHL in 2022-2023, Mintyukov will get an opportunity to aid Misa on the power play while mentoring him since Mintyukov does anchor the blue line on the power play for the Saginaw Spirit.
- Pavel Mintyukov won a few team awards for the Saginaw Spirit. Two of those awards included Defensive Player Of The Year on the Saginaw Spirit and MVP for the Saginaw Spirit. Pavel Mintyukov could be ready for the NHL by 2023-2024 if his career goes down the same path as Mikhail Sergachev next season.
- The New York Islanders top 4 defenseman in 2023-2024 would be Noah Dobson, Adam Pelech, Ryan Puloch, and Pavel Mintyukov. I think New York can get back to competing for a playoff spot with a top 4 like that if fans are willing to remain patient with new head coach Lou Lambert taking over for Barry Trotz on the New York Islanders.
Previous Pick: Kevin Korchinski, D, Seattle Thunderbirds (WHL)
Winnipeg Jets: Jimmy Snuggerud, RW, USNTDP (USHL)
- Winnipeg drafts the best available player at 14. Winnipeg has 2019 first round pick Ville Heinola at defenseman, Cole Perfetti their 2020 first round pick at left wing, and Chaz Lucius their 2021 first round pick at center all arriving in the NHL next season with their only unrestricted Free Agent being second line center Paul Stastny who left the Vegas Golden Knights after the 2020 season to sign a two year deal with Montreal. Getting a right wing prospect for the future is a route Winnipeg could explore. One guy building a lot of momentum right now leading up to the 2022 NHL Entry Draft is Jimmy Snuggerud.
- Winnipeg interviewed two players including Owen Pickering and Adam Ingram at the 2022 NHL Combine. Neither prospect is as talented as Jimmy Snuggerud, but both of those players could be candidates to be picked with Winnipeg's second first round pick at 30 if either makes it to that spot.
- The 6-2 185 lb Jimmy Snuggerud may be the most versatile player on the United States National Team Developmental Program since he can line up at left wing, center, or right wing on the second line in the USHL. Jimmy Snuggerud has the playmaking, passing, sniping, wrist shot power, wrist shot accuracy, slap shot power, slap shot accuracy, vision, and offensive awareness you want a forward to have.
- Jimmy Snuggerud had 7 goals, 7 assists, 14 points, and a -3 +/- ratio in 2020-2021 in the USHL. Jimmy Snuggerud had 6 goals, 20 assists, 26 points, and a +15 +/- ratio in 26 USHL games in 2021-2022 averaging around 1 point per game while gaining some first line experience with Cutter Gauthier and Logan Cooley on the first line so the upside to be a first line right winger in the NHL is there once Snuggerud develops at Minnesota for a few years in the NCAA.
- Draft Prospects Hockey's 2022 NHL Draft Simulator gave Jimmy Snuggerud the only five star grade with the stars symbolizing special abilities the player could have in the NHL. That and Winnipeg potentially wanting Snuggerud were the two biggest reasons why I moved Jimmy Snuggerud into the top half of the 2022 NHL Draft.
Vancouver Canucks: Marco Kasper, C, Rogle BK (Elitserien)
- The 6-1 183 lb Marco Kasper only had 1 assist in 2020-2021. Marco Kasper had 7 goals, 4 assists, and 11 points in 46 SHL games in Sweden against men. Marco Kapser also showed the versatility to play left wing, center, or right wing on film. He's a consensus top 20 pick in 8/15 scouting services including us now. While he's more NHL ready then a lot of centers in the 2022 NHL Entry Draft, he's also got a limited ceiling .
- Vancouver has Elias Petersson and Bo Horvat as their top two centers. Vancouver also interviewed Marco Kasper and he impressed the Canucks at the 2022 NHL Combine. Something tells me, Marco Kasper ends up in Vancouver.
- Marco Kasper has the versatility, playmaking, passing, offensive awareness, defensive awareness, and hockey IQ to succeed in the NHL. He needs to release his shot a little bit quicker. His wrist shot and slap shot both have room for improvement in terms of power and accuracy.
- He's got the ceiling to be a second line left winger or a second line center in the NHL. However, you'll get the most out of him if you make him a third line center. Vancouver drafts their third line center here.
Buffalo Sabres: Isaac Howard, LW, USNTDP (USHL)
- Buffalo uses this first round pick that they got from the Vegas Golden Knights in the Jack Eichel trade hoping to get a an impact player at 16.
- The Buffalo Sabres are looking at Isaac Howard, Jiri Kulcich, and Rutger McGroaty as potential options at 16. Isaac Howard makes the most sense here.
- The Sabres use this pick to get a future first line left winger. Isaac Howard will take over the first line left winger role for Dylan Duke in 2021-2022 on the United States National Team Developmental Program. He also shares the same birthday with teammate Rutger McGroaty.
- The 5-10 174 lb Isaac Howard had 16 goals, 17 assists, 33 points, and a +3 +/- ratio in 2020-2021 on the second line of the United States National Team Developmental Program in the USHL. Howard had 11 goals, 26 assists, 37 points, and a +18 +/- ratio splitting line 1 left winger time with Cutter Gauthier in 2021-2022.
- Isaac Howard has the has the playmaking, sniping, passing, wrist shot power, wrist shot accuracy, slap shot power, slap shot accuracy, offensive awareness, hockey IQ, speed, skating, agility, and stick handling. Isaac Howard got a hat trick for USA in an international game against Finland. He's got a hockey scholarship to Minnesota-Duluth starting in 2022-2023 meaning he could be ready for the NHL as early as 2023-2024.
Previous Pick: Connor Geekie, C, Winnipeg Ice (WHL)
Other 2022 NHL Mock Drafts