The 2022 NHL Draft will take place at Bell Centre, home of the Montreal Canadiens, from July 7-8. Here is who 2022 NHL Mock Draft:
Pick #1: Montreal Canadiens – Shane Wright, C, Kingston (OHL)
The Canadiens have three options slated at the first pick, the all-around center Shane Wright, the goal-scoring winger Juraj Slafkovsky, or the skilled center Logan Cooley. In the end, however, the Canadiens will select the safe pick Shane Wright who will create a fantastic 1-2 punch in Montreal with Nick Suzuki for years to come.
Pick #2: New Jersey Devils – Juraj Slafkovsky, LW, TPS (Liiga)
The Canadiens' selection of Shane Wright leaves the Devils with an easier choice with the second pick. Considering they have a strong center core led by Jack Hughes and Nico Hischier, the Devils will take a risk and select Juraj Slafkovsky, a big Slovakian winger who will fit in perfectly in New Jersey.
Pick #3: Arizona Coyotes – Logan Cooley, C, USA U18 (USHL)
With two of the consensus top three off the board, the Arizona Coyotes are left to take Logan Cooley, considered the most skilled player in the draft. Through the draft process, the Coyotes appeared to be highly interested in the American center, and with Cooley being the best player on the board, it is the best pick for Arizona.
Pick #4: Seattle Kraken – Simon Nemec, RD, HK Nitra (Slovak Extraliga)
After the top three picks, now the draft board opens up. The inaugural season for the Seattle Kraken did not go as planned but their last year's second overall pick Matty Beniers showed a ton of promise. With their #1 center of the future already sorted, the Kraken should build up their defense by selecting the best defenseman in the class, Simon Nemec.
Pick #5: Philadelphia Flyers – Cutter Gauthier, LW, US U18 (USHL)
Cutter Gauthier is a name that has flown up draft rankings leading up to July 7th draft. Although the Flyers could use a defenseman more than a forward, Gauthier fits perfectly into the Flyers system, being a physical goal-scoring forward. Gauthier is considered one of the best goal scorers in the class, making him a great pick for the Flyers at five.
Pick #6: Columbus Blue Jackets (via Chicago) – David Jiricek, RD, Plzen (Czech Extraliga)
At last year's draft, the Columbus Blue Jackets traded away defenseman Seth Jones for a haul, which included this pick (Blackhawks 2022 first-round pick). Now with this pick, the Blue Jackets will draft Jones' replacement in David Jiricek who is a big defenseman with a powerful shot from the point.
Pick #7: Ottawa Senators – Joakim Kemell, RW, JYP (Liiga)
The Senators were linked to many big-name wingers such as Kevin Fiala, Clayton Keller, and others prior to the draft. Instead of trading for a top-six winger, the Senators will go the route and take the best winger on the board and develop him into a top-line contributor. When healthy, Kemell is seen as the best goal scorer in the class.
Pick #8: Detroit Red Wings – Matthew Savoie, C, Winnipeg Ice (WHL)
The Detroit Red Wings are progressing well in their rebuild, acquiring skilled players at every position. One position they need to address is center and Savoie could be the answer. Savoie is a skilled forward with tremendous offensive upside. The only reason he fell this far is his small 5'9 frame which might scare off teams.
Pick #9: Buffalo Sabers – Frank Nazar, C, USA U18 (USHL)
The Buffalo Sabers are looking for some more talent up front and Nazar brings just that. Nazar's play style would thrive in today's game, being a shifty playmaker with a combination of great speed and puck skills. Although he is on the smaller side, he does play aggressive and is a nightmare to play against.
Pick #10: Anaheim Ducks – Danila Yurov, RW, Magnitogorsk (KHL)
Danila Yurov is an all-around winger who plays hard and fast, perfect for what the Ducks need next to their skilled forwards. Although he couldn't prove much in the KHL playing in a limited role, his MHL stats make up for it. He has the potential to be a top ten player in the draft but with the controversy revolving around Russian NHL players, he could fall even further.
Pick #11: San Jose Sharks – Jonathan Lekkerimaki, RW, Djurgårdens IF 20 (J20 National)
The San Jose recently announced the hiring of GM Mike Grier and with Grier's first-ever selection in the draft, he will take a natural goal scorer in Jonathan Lekkerimaki. Lekkeriamki is a goal-scoring beast who would fit perfectly next to the Sharks' 2021 first-round pick, fellow Swede William Eklund.
Pick #12: Columbus Blue Jackets – Marco Kasper, C, Rogle (SHL)
After selecting a defenseman with their first selection, the Blue Jackets should address their biggest need and take Marco Kasper, a very sound defensive center who can pitch in offensively. Marco isn't a flashy player but he uses his Hockey IQ, big frame, skating, and consistency to guide his play.
Pick #13: New York Islanders – Brad Lambert, LW, Pelicans (Liiga)
Brad Lambert was a player who was ranked extremely high in the draft rankings at the start of the season but after a shaky year, he's fallen down quite a bit. But the potential in Lambert's game is still very evident. The Islanders are a team that could take a gamble on Lambert, especially since they hired his uncle Lane Lambert as the coach.
Pick #14: Winnipeg Jets – Conor Geekie, C, Winnipeg Ice (WHL)
Conor Geekie fittingly falls to his hometown team, the Winnipeg Jets. Geekie is a big power forward but has the skills of a crafty playmaker. The Jets could use more bodies at center amidst trade rumors around their two current star centers Pierre-Luc Dubois and Mark Scheifele.
Pick #15: Vancouver Canucks – Lian Bichsel, D, Leksands IF (SHL)
The Canucks desperately need to improve defensively so they take the best defensive defenseman on the board, Lian Bichsel. Bichsel stands at 6'5, plays a physical style of hockey, and overall is a defensive monster. Bischel would be an ideal defensive partner for Quinn Hughes.
Pick #16: Buffalo Sabers (via Vegas) – Pavel Mintyukov, LD, Saginaw Spirit (OHL)
After taking Nazar with their first pick, the Sabers should take the best player available which would be Mintyukov. Mintyukov has the potential to be an elite puck-moving defenseman in the NHL. Mintyukov would add a different dynamic to the Sabers's defense alongside Owen Power and Rasmus Dahlin
Pick #17: Nashville Predators – Isaac Howard, LW, USA U18 (USHL)
Isaac Howard is an offensive weapon, dangerous with his shot and his playmaking abilities. The Predators could use some more offensive firepower, especially if Filip Forsberg decides to leave in free agency, which paves a way for Howard to make a significant impact on the Predators roster.
Pick #18: Dallas Stars – Kevin Korchinski, LD, Seattle Thunderbirds (WHL)
The Stars are expected to lose defenseman John Klingberg in free agency next week, so drafting his replacement only makes sense. Korchinski is a two-way defenseman with great skating and puck skills for a defenseman his size. He could be an impactful piece on the Stars' future blueline.
Pick #19: Minnesota Wild (via Los Angeles) – Jiri Kulich, C, HC Energie Karlovy Vary (Czech Extraliga)
The Minnesota Wild desperately need help at center, so taking the best center available is the only logical choice. The Wild take Kulich who is a Czech-born center with an elusive play style, which makes him a dangerous force offensively. The Wild could use someone like Kulich to fill their second-line center gap.
Pick #20: Washington Capitals – Rutger McGroarty, LW, USA U18 (USHL)
Rutger McGroarty would be a perfect fit in Washington as a physical winger (that can also play center). McGroarty has all the tools to become a premier power forward in the league with his aggressive play, goal-scoring ability and Hockey IQ. The only thing that sticks out about McGroarty is his questionable skating.
Pick #21: Pittsburgh Penguins – Noah Ostlund, C, Djurgårdens IF J20 (J20 National)
With long-time center Evgenii Malkin potentially leaving, the Pittsburgh Penguins should look for a long-term replacement in Noah Ostlund. Ostlund is a reliable two-way center with good skating. In two to three years, Ostlund could be the center replacement the Penguins are looking for.
Pick #22: Anaheim Ducks (via Boston) – Ryan Chesley, RD, US U18 (USHL)
Just like other teams, after picking a forward with their earlier pick, now the Ducks will take the best defenseman available in Ryan Chesley. Chesley could do it all, projected as a strong defenseman who can pitch offensively. Chesley's defensive game is also nothing to shy about.
Pick #23: St: Louis Blues – Owen Pickering, LD, Swift Current (WHL)
The Blues' only immediate need is a top-four defenseman which could end up being Owen Pickering. The huge Canadian defenseman plays a physical and aggressive style of defense but what is impressive about Pickering is his vision and skating for a defenseman his size and frame.
Pick #24: Minnesota Wild – Jimmy Snuggerud, RW, USA U18 (USHL)
With no centers worth taking at this spot, the Wild go with the best player available in Snuggerud who is an under-noticed contributor. Snuggerud is phenomenal around the net and has a great shot combined with a competitive nature. The Wild could use a guy like Snuggerud in their middle six to bring some energy.
Pick #25: Toronto Maple Leafs – Jagger Firkus, RW, Moose Jaw Warriors (WHL)
The Maple Leafs are always looking out for players with high potential that can play with their stars and Firkus fits the build. The winger has a solid shot and playmaking abilities, making him a potential middle-six winger. The big downside with Firkus however is his size, as he stands at 5'10 and 151 pounds.
Pick #26: Montreal Canadiens (via Calgary) – Jack Hughes, C, Northeastern (NCAA)
The chances of this happening aren't too high but could you imagine if new Montreal Canadiens GM Kent Hughes selects his son Jack Hughes in the first round. Hughes could be worth it at this spot due to his versatility and his defensive potential. This pick would be a cool story on draft night if came true.
Pick #27: Arizona Coyotes (via Carolina) – Ivan Miroshnichenko, LW, Omskie Krylya (VHL)
Miroshinchenko was a projected top ten selection in the draft earlier in the year but after running into some serious health problems, Miroshinchenko fell heavily in the rankings. The Russian left-winger is still a very intriguing selection, and for the Coyotes who have several first-round picks, they could take a swing for the fences.
Pick #28: Buffalo Sabers (via Florida) – Denton Mateychuk, LD, Moose Jaw Warriors (WHL)
With two great picks in the first round, the Sabers can go with the best player available. Mateychuk could definitely go higher but luckily for Sabers fans, he fell right into their laps. Mateychuk is an undersized defenseman but has very good vision and stick skills making him effective defensively.
Pick #29: Edmonton Oilers – Ty Nelson, RD, North Bay Battalion (OHL)
Oilers don't have any significant holes to address, meaning they take the best player available at their pick Ty Nelson is a great offensive defenseman that can thrive in Edmonton alongside Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl. Nelson could potentially be a Tyson Barrie replacement for the Oilers in a few years.
Pick #30: Winnipeg Jets (via NYR) – Seamus Casey, RD, USA U18 (USHL)
After picking a forward earlier in the draft, the Winnipeg Jets still need to address their defensive needs. Casey is a dynamic offensive defender, something the Jets currently lack on the back end. Casey could turn out to be a top-four defenseman and a powerplay quarterback for the Jets in the near future.
Pick #31: Tampa Bay Lightning – Filip Mesar, RW, Poprad (Slovak Extraliga)
The Lightning don't have any glaring needs to fill so they take a player with high upside in Filip Mesar. The winger's small frame allows him to fly on the ice with a ton of offensive potential. Mesar could hopefully contribute sooner rather than later in Tampa Bay as a middle-six scoring player.
Pick #32: Arizona Coyotes (via Colorado) – Nathan Gaucher, C, Quebec Remparts (QMJHL)
The Coyotes should take the best player at each pick so they go with Nathan Gaucher, a responsible two-way center from the QMJHL. Gaucher has the ability to shut down opponents' stars with his size and strength. He could turn out to be a solid middle-six player in Arizona in the future.
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