Welcome back to the second installment of my mock draft for the 2022 NHL Draft.
Compared to my first mock draft, there has been quite a bit of movement and new players getting into the first round. Shane Wright continues to be at the top of the list, but a new team has entered the fold to select the promising young centreman.
Once again, this mock will include all 32 teams and their selection with the best player available. The placements are all based on points percentage in the standings and not based on overall points. If there were any picks traded, they are included to reflect the current team selecting and the team where they received the pick.
There will be plenty more mock drafts done at The Hockey Writers as fellow draft expert, Matthew Zator, will be taking part with mock drafts of his own. Be sure to watch out for that as well as our draft profiles as we kick off our draft season.
Final Note: The statistics, standings and order are up to date as of Feb. 28, 2022 before puck drop.
Without further ado, let the second mock draft begin!
1. Arizona Coyotes: Shane Wright, C, Kingston Frontenacs (OHL)
Despite the below average production for a first overall pick, Shane Wright’s production has increased dramatically. He has vaulted himself into the top-15 in scoring in the Ontario Hockey League with 57 points in 40 games. Since January 18th, he has 32 points in 19 games, going pointless only five times in that span and is on-pace for 92 points for the season. Impressive considering the talk about him not being a first overall pick. Now that the production is there, maybe fans shouldn’t write him off just yet as he’s gaining his confidence.
2. Montreal Canadiens: Logan Cooley, C, USNTDP (USHL)
After a five-game winning streak, the Canadiens are not the first overall team. But, they will still get a corner stone centre. Logan Cooley continues to dominate for the National Development Team Program as he has 44 points in 31 games. He’s an offensive catalyst and has the same qualities as Wright, albeit plays with a little more intensity. His speed, hands and hockey sense are all excellent qualities that he possesses, as he continues to make his case to try and dethrone Wright.
3. Seattle Kraken: Simon Nemec, D, HK Nitra (Slovakia)
I had the Seattle Kraken take the promising Slovak defender in my first mock draft and I have them taking him again. Since Simon Nemec went pro last season, he hasn’t looked out of place as the 17-year-old continues to standout. He displays excellent poise and confidence when he has control of the puck and is a very high-end playmaker as he has 23 assists in 34 games. The Kraken are in a perfect spot to try and build their blue line for the future and Nemec will be highlighting that for years to come.
4. Buffalo Sabres: Juraj Slafkovsky, LW, TPS (Liiga)
Already with Owen Power in the system, the Sabres add to their impressive pipeline by selecting Juraj Salfkovsky– the MVP at the 2022 Beijing Olympics. He was absolutely impressive as a 17-year-old for Slovakia recording seven goals leading the way to a bronze medal. In the process, he tied the mark for most goals by a U18 player at the tournament. Slafkovsky already has the physical stature that makes him a menacing and tough winger to go up against. He has great strength to barge his way to the centre of the ice and powerful release and accuracy. Seeing him join a highly skilled and developing team in the Sabres would be fun to witness.
5. New Jersey Devils: Matthew Savoie, C, Winnipeg Ice (WHL)
Even though the Devils have Jack Hughes and Nico Hischier, it’s best they go for the best player available in Matthew Savoie. A very dynamic and offensive player, Savoie blends his skillset with a great level of compete and energy. He’s extremely deceptive with his movement and has excellent hands to go with his playmaking abilities. He also possesses a very quick and heavy shot, being a dual offensive threat at even strength and on the power play. Having his creativity and offensive awareness would make them that much more dangerous up the middle of the ice.
6. Philadelphia Flyers: Joakim Kemell, RW, JYP (Liiga)
Always displaying a shoot first mentality, Kemell has a quick release and tremendous power in his shot. He finds the open ice perfectly to either take the puck himself or get ready for a one-timer opportunity. He’s constantly involved with the play and is also a very strong playmaker. There are times where he does take an extra second to make a move and an opportunity is gone, but he’s always a threat on the ice. Before he went down with an injury, he was on-pace to break Aleksander Barkov’s U18 season for points.
7. Ottawa Senators: David Jiricek, D, HC Plzen (Czech)
Despite being on the shelf after undergoing surgery from an injury he sustained at the World Juniors, Jiricek is still being regarded as a potential top-10 pick. The Senators don’t have a lot of depth in terms of right-handed shooting defensemen. Jirircek would bring a high level of intensity and mobility from the back end along with a powerful shot from the point. The potential of a Jake Sanderson and Jiricek combination, would be very exciting to say the least.
8. Columbus Blue Jackets (from Chicago Blackhawks): Danila Yurov, RW, Stalnye Lisy Magnitogorsk (MHL)
Despite little to no production at the KHL level, I’m a big fan of Yurov. However, ever since he was sent to the MHL, Yurov has been absolutely dominant with his play and production getting top minutes as he has 36 points in 23 games. He’s averaging 1.57 points per game and a primary point per game average of 0.88. He’s a smooth skater and has amazing speed, making him lightning quick in transition. He has no problem in being able to go from end-to-end and take charge of a play every shift. He’s a strong playmaker, finding the seams and is extremely effective at protecting the puck.
9. New York Islanders: Brad Lambert, C/W, JYP (Liiga)
Lambert is no doubt one of the most polarizing players in the draft. He’s a very strong skater, displays excellent hands and great offensive IQ. However, his production hasn’t been consistent in his draft year. He only had six points in 24 games with JYP and has registered only one goal in 15 games since being transferred to the Pelicans. Once a player to challenge Shane Wright for the top spot, Lambert has fallen down since then. Though, it could benefit the Islanders as they got another player last year who was supposed to be a top prospect in Aatu Räty.
10. Detroit Red Wings: Jonathan Lekkerimäki, C/ RW, Djurgårdens IF J20 (Nationell)
Red Wings fans, how great would it be to a see a shoot first mentality and high-end goal scorer in Lekkerimäki play alongside a dual offensive threat in Lucas Raymond? The answer is very. After scoring 20 goals at the J20 level, Lekkerimäki’s quickly making his presence felt in the SHL as he has six tallies in 22 games. He’s a lethal sniper with a strong and powerful release and even better accuracy. Even when he doesn’t have anything, he has great patience to take his time to curl back and quickly attack the open lane when he sees it. When the puck is on his stick, look out because he’s going to wire it.
11. San Jose Sharks: Frank Nazar, RW, USNTDP (USHL)
Nazar does an excellent job at leading and carrying the offense and it shows in his production. He’s currently second on the USNDTP with 51 points. In 14 games tracked in the USHL this season, he has the third best P1/GP with 1.36. The offensive dynamo has been constantly gaining attention and has a great chance to crack the top-10. He’s quick, crafty and a complete offensive threat whenever the puck is on his stick.
12. Winnipeg Jets: Conor Geekie, C, Winnipeg Ice (WHL)
The fourth leading scorer (53 points) on a talented Ice team, Geekie has all the tools to be an effective centreman in the NHL. He has soft hands to make moves in tight spaces as well as a great release when he’s in the shooting lane. The downside to his game is his skating, but that it something that he continues to work on. They drafted a lethal scorer in Chaz Lucis last year, why not add a sleek playmaker like Geekie to give them a strong tandem up the middle.
13. Columbus Blue Jackets: Rutger McGroarty, C, USNTDP (USHL)
With Cole Sillinger and Kent Johnston in the pipeline as centremen, drafting McGroarty would give them tremendous depth in the middle of the ice. Already with an NHL-like frame at 6-foot, 205 pounds, he has tremendous strength and is a dual threat with his playmaking and goal scoring skillset. He struggled at times at the beginning of the season, but he has been better consistently in regards to his overall play and production as he ranks fifth on the NTDP with 43 points.
14. Anaheim Ducks: Ivan Miroshnichenko, LW, Omskie Krylia (VHL)
The Anaheim Ducks already have a bounty of forward talent in their system with Mason McTavish, Sasha Pastujov and Jacob Perrault. Bringing in a highly touted scoring threat in Miroshnichenko will give them great balance as they address the left-wing position. Goals are always on his mind as he has incredible speed and a wicked release. He has no problem in driving and attacking the net as he has the ability to shield and protect the puck.
15. Vancouver Canucks: Liam Öhgren, LW, Djurgårdens IF J20 (Nationell)
With the possibility of losing some quality wingers, the Canucks should look to bolster that position by bringing in Liam Öhgren. Öhgren has been unstoppable in the J20 league as he has 27 goals and 49 points in 26 games and 20 points over his last 10 games played. He plays with such a high level of pace, tracking loose pucks and is tenacious when engaging in a battle for possession. He’s a high-end playmaker and his shot is always on display.
16. Edmonton Oilers: Pavel Mintyukov, D, Saginaw Spirit (OHL)
Mintyukov can skate, he can shoot and he definitely has no problem making a big time hit when he needs to. He’s everything that you would want in a mobile, offensive defenseman. He’s an excellent transitional player with his speed to lead a rush and does a great job with his breakout passes. The defensive side is still a work in progress, though he does have the ability to deny entries and break plays. Adding another defenseman with Mintyukov’s potential to the Oilers definitely wouldn’t hurt at all. He currently ranks ninth among OHL defensemen in points with 38.
17. Buffalo Sabres (from Vegas Golden Knights): Seamus Casey, D, USNTDP (USHL)
Last time, I had the Sabres taking right-handed defender Ty Nelson. Well, why not go for another name in Seamus Casey. An extremely dangerous and two-way defenseman, Casey has the poise and confidence to be an impactful producer on the blueline. He displays excellent puck-moving skills and has the speed to be extremely effective in transition. Everything he does is flawless. He does need to get stronger, but the potential that he has is difficult to pass up. With Owen Power in the fold on the left side, Casey would be another important piece to the Sabres’ future.
18. Dallas Stars: Cutter Gauthier, LW, USA U18 (USHL)
The Dallas Stars had a very strong draft in 2021, selecting a strong two-way pivot in Wyatt Johnston. The Stars couldn’t pass up on the opportunity to draft a very strong and reliable winger. Gauthier is a two-way, goal scoring threat. He possesses an accurate and quick release while providing excellent awareness when he doesn’t have the puck. He does a great job of separating the player from the puck to gain possession.
19. Washington Capitals: Jimmy Snuggerud, RW, USA U18 (USHL)
Already with Hendrix Lapierre in their system they could add a highly effective point producer in Jimmy Snuggerud. He plays with a high level of intensity and compete, playing with conviction every time he’s on the ice. He can hurt you with his skating, his hands or his shot. He can score from anywhere on the ice as he has a quick wrist shot or can unleash a powerful one-timer. He currently is tied for third on the NTDP with 44 points and is fifth in goals with 17.
20. Nashville Predators: Gleb Trikozov, LW, Omskie Yastreby (MHL)
After taking a smart and reliable centreman in Fydor Svechkov at the same spot in 2021, adding a dynamic winger who can play with pace in Trikozov definitely would be a great addition. Tirkozov plays a very smart game like Svehckov as he’s responsible on both sides of the puck. He plays with great energy and has an exceptional work ethic not taking any shift off. He’s constantly involved with the play and has great awareness of where his teammates are.
21. Los Angeles Kings: Denton Mateychuk, D, Moose Jaw Warriors (WHL)
Mateychuk is a quick skating, smooth transitional player that plays with a high motor when at top speed. He’s always aggressive when it comes to carrying the puck and attacking the offensive zone with conviction. With his play style, he can get caught with his decision making and his defensive game needs work, but with teams wanting to get offense from the blue line, he will do just that.
22. Boston Bruins: Isaac Howard, LW, USNTDP (USHL)
Howard plays a high tempo game as he’s always in control of every shift that he’s on. Sounds very familiar to the way that Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak play. Howard has an insanely quick release while also displaying great positioning and puck protection skills in the offensive zone. He displays a strong ethic that teams like the Bruins would value and would have no problem taking him if he’s available. He’s currently tied with Nazar for the team lead with 48 points.
23. Minnesota Wild: Filip Mesar, C/W, HK Propad (Slovakia)
The Wild continue to build their prospect depth by adding another quick and agile player, by taking a forward in Mesar. A dynamic and shifty winger, his speed and puck control makes him a real threat when in transition and cycling around in the offensive zone. He plays with such conviction and purpose every time he’s on the ice. There’s room for improvement in his game, but the potential is there for him to be a real impact player.
24. Montreal Canadiens (from Calgary Flames): Nathan Gaucher, C, Quebec Remparts (QMJHL)
They drafted a talented centre with the second pick, why not take another with a great work ethic and ability to drive hard to the net. Gaucher plays a very sound two-way game, being a difference maker in all situations. He’s got the size and strength to be a factor along the boards while being tough to handle in front of the net. He plays an aggressive game, something the Canadiens have known to add to their game and be tough to play against.
25. New York Rangers: Marco Kasper, C, Rögle BK J20 (Nationell)
Seeing Kasper play, he shows no fear in any situation that he’s in while also playing a responsible game. He’s got great size (6-foot-1, 187 pounds) to be a factor in the corners and to provide a strong presence in front of the net. He’s relentless and can be a real pain to go up against in those situations as he has a great work ethic and motor to his game. He has the potential to be a great addition as a second or third line centreman.
26. Pittsburgh Penguins: Tristan Luneau, D, Gatineau Olympiques (QMJHL)
The prospect system continues to be bare for the Penguins. But, Luneau would be a good boost as they could use some defensive assurance. Describing himself as a two-way defender, he has great situational awareness and IQ in his own end being active in denying entries and breaking plays up. He’s a great skater in transition while also making crisp passes to find his teammates and a great shot from the point. He doesn’t get you out of your seat like other defenders in this draft, but is effective with every decision that he makes.
27. St. Louis Blues: Alexander Perevalov, LW, Loko Yaroslavl (MHL)
The Blues have some strong wing prospects in the system like Jake Neighbours. Drafting Perevalov would definitely make them more skilled on that left side with his high-end offensive arsenal. He has great puck skills, is a deceptive passer and has a powerful one-time shot. He’s not the quickest skater, but he still has decent speed, balance as well as the ability to gain an inside edge on his opponents. He continues to tear up the MHL with 48 points in 38 games.
28. Toronto Maple Leafs: Kevin Korchinski, D, Seattle Thunderbirds (WHL)
If the Maple Leafs do decide to hold onto their first-round pick, they should make it count by drafting the two-way mobile threat in Kevin Korchinski. He currently ranks third among WHL defensemen with 40 assists and is in the top-10 in points with 44. He displays excellent poise and confidence when he moves the puck. He’s great with his distribution making crisp tape to tape passes including stretching the play forward and making a breakout pass. His defensive game is just as strong, as he does have an active stick to break up plays and knows when to step up and apply pressure and force turnovers.
29. Buffalo Sabres (from Florida Panthers): Ryan Chesley, D, USNTDP (USHL)
The Sabres took Casey before, and I have them taking his teammate– Ryan Chesley. While some of the other defenders in this draft have the offensive potential to be big time producers, Chesley may fall short in that category. However, the IQ, positioning and awareness that he possesses makes him a very reliable defender in all three zones. He does a great job of breaking up plays and has the ability to transition quickly with a quick pass to his teammates. Once the offense does come around, he could be a very dangerous two-way threat.
30. Tampa Bay Lightning: Noah Östlund, C, Djurgårdens IF J20 (Nationell)
Östlund is the third member to suit up for the Djurgardens U20 team and has now cracked the list of being a potential first-round pick. He doesn’t have the scoring abilities of Lekkerimäki or Öhgren, but he’s a very sleek and agile playmaker with excellent vision and edgework.
He has a great work ethic and likes to control the pace of play every time he’s on the ice. Definitely a Lightning type of player.
31. Arizona Coyotes (from Carolina Hurricanes): Jiri Kulich, C, HC Energie Karlovy Vary (Czechia)
He may not be getting a lot of recognition, but Kulich should be as he’s impressing to be a first-round selection as his name is flying under the radar. He’s got great size, a strong ability to read the play and find the open lanes, great passing awareness and strong off the puck play. He’s a full package centreman and is doing very well in the Czechia league with 14 points in 45 games.
32. Arizona Coyotes (from Colorado Avalanche): Calle Odelius, D, Djurgårdens IF J20 (Nationell)
After taking two centremen, the Coyotes should look to bolster their blue line with their final pick. Look no further than Odelius as he’s a smooth skating two-way defender with excellent puck skills and awareness. What stands out the most with Odelius is the poise and confidence he displays when attacking. So far, 16 of his 22 points have been primary points, showing his ability to lead and take charge of an attack.
What do you think of your team’s selection? Is there another player you have in mind? Have your say in the comment section!
Statistics from Pick 224.
Peter is in his third year with The Hockey Writers, covering the Toronto Maple Leafs and heading the Draft and Prospects section. He has previously interned at The Hockey News and worked on Toronto Marlies broadcasts for Rogers TV. He currently is the co-host of the podcast Sticks in the 6ix and a frequent guest on Maple Leafs Lounge. Aside from hockey, he also enjoys drumming, animation and impressions/ voices.