The 2021-2022 season has been quite the year for draft-eligible prospects. With many leagues finally returning to a normal schedule, scouts were able to get a clear picture of prospects for the first time in a few years. With that being said, there were still some difficult evaluations this season. Here are a few noteworthy details that I took into consideration during evaluations this season.
- There is some solid talent available in this draft. While many players in the top-10 could be impact NHL players, it’s unlikely any will be slam dunk superstars at the NHL level. There are no generational talents or franchise players available this draft, unlike next year with the likes of Connor Bedard available.
- Draft analysis continues to be a difficult process due to the fall-out of the COVID-19 pandemic. Even though scouts do have a clearer picture of players, COVID still made evaluations difficult. For example, many players who are eligible for the draft this year from the OHL did not play at all the season before because their league was shut down. Usually having an extra season helps scouts determine progress statistically or otherwise. In most cases, draft-eligible OHL players are being evaluated on this season alone. The World Junior Championship was also postponed until August due to COVID outbreaks. Some players excelled in limited games before the tournament was shut down, but others struggled. Situations like this have still made evaluation processes difficult at times. On a positive note, it appears that many of these issues will be in the rearview mirror in future seasons.
- Shane Wright has competition for the number one slot. Logan Cooley and Juraj Slafkovksy both made late season pushes but Wright has still managed to stay atop my rankings.
- Two defensemen, Simon Nemec and David Jiricek, are likely to go in the top 10 and are considered significantly ahead upside-wise of their peers.
- This year is a goalie “light” draft, meaning only three goalies are in my top 100 and are all likely to be taken in later rounds of the draft.
Without further ado, here are my final rankings for the 2022 NHL Draft.
1. C Shane Wright 6’0 191 OHL 63-32-62-94-22
Wright has been on the radar of scouts for a long-time now. He received exceptional status to play in the OHL as a 15-year-old and put up amazing numbers at the time. Unfortunately, he did not play last season because of COVID restrictions in Ontario. Despite the missed time, Wright captained Canada to an Under-18 Gold Medal in 2021 and put up 94 points this season.
Wright is potentially the most well-rounded player in the draft. He does everything really well, in all zones. He plays a mature game and has strong leadership qualities. Wright originally looked like more of a goal-scorer in his 15-year-old season, but he has rounded out his playmaking as well in the past year or so. He finished top 10 in OHL scoring.
Wright’s biggest asset is his shot and his ability to generate scoring opportunities. He can drive a line on his own, making him a potential number one center at the NHL level. Some scouts question his offensive ceiling for a potential number one pick, but he could easily put up 30 goals and 70 points at the NHL level with regularity. Wright should jump into full-time NHL duty next season.
2. Juraj Slafkovksy 6’4 224 FIN 31-5-5-10-33
Slafkovksy dominated the international scene this past season, solidifying himself as my number two pick in the NHL draft this season. Over the last year, Slafkovksy played at the World Juniors, the Olympics, and World Championships. His most dominating performance came at the Olympics, where he led Slovakia to a Bronze Medal and received MVP honors, a remarkable feat for an 18-year-old.
Slafkovksy is an intriguing prospect with an absurd overall physical and offensive package. At 6’4 and well over 200 pounds, Slafkovsky is strong on the puck and uses his frame in a physical manner. Yet, he has incredible hands and can make plays in-tight like few players can in this draft class. This is what makes Slafkovksy so unique. He’s a player with size and high skill that can dominate down-low or in open ice.
While he dominated at the international level against men, Slafkovksy struggled to put up points at times in Finland’s top league. However, scouts aren’t too concerned and believe higher numbers will come with time. Slafkovksy may make the jump to the NHL immediately next season due to his physical maturity but will likely need at least another season of development to further his offensive game.
3. C Logan Cooley 5’11 174 NTDP 51-27-48-75-67
A small, speedy center, Cooley dominated the USHL and solidified himself in my top five as the season progressed. Cooley consistently took over games using his excellent speed and instincts.
More of a playmaker than a goal-scorer, Cooley can drive a line on his own. He can run a powerplay and isn’t afraid to put himself in harm’s way to make a play. He is also a relentless forechecker and possession driver. Cooley plays with high tempo and energy. Not only is he a great skater, but he is also incredibly agile and uses this ability to elude defenders. He is also excellent defensively and is rarely a liability in his own zone. Cooley makes excellent transition plays and finds ways to utilize all his teammates on a regular basis. He has shown he can drive a line and there is a dynamic quality to his game.
Cooley is a likely top-five pick and could go as high as number two. He is slated to attend the University of Minnesota next season. Cooley is likely one year away from NHL duty.
4. D Simon Nemec 6’0 190 SLO 39-1-25-26-20
Few players have been as dominant at the pro-level before their 18th birthday as Simon Nemec. With a whopping 65 points in 112 games as a defenseman, Nemec has shown his game is mature enough to play against men.
Nemec has all the makings of a modern-day first-pairing defenseman. An excellent skater, Nemec has a strong first pass and can keep and drive possession with his excellent instincts and puck mobility in the offensive zone. While strong offensively, he isn’t a liability defensively either. He anticipates the play well defensively and has excellent gap control. Nemec rarely panics under pressure with the puck and makes excellent seam passes when being forechecked against. He also has excellent hands, making him a strong two-way threat whenever he is on the ice.
Some scouts have David Jiricek above Nemec in this draft, but due to his proven production, I think Nemec has a slightly higher upside. He is likely a year away from NHL duty and projects as a top-pairing defender.
5. C Matthew Savoie 5’9 180 WHL 65-35-55-90-32
I’ve been high on Savoie all season and my impressions of him have not changed. A small, diminutive center, Savoie is a well-rounded offensive-minded player. He plays with high pace and tenacity as well, making him a formidable opponent.
Last season, Savoie dominated the USHL, and this season, he put up 90 points in the WHL, showing an ability to put up points at high levels of competition. Savoie has a reputation for anticipating the play well and making plays at top speed with ease. Savoie uses his edges well in-tight. He projects more as a playmaker at the NHL level and can be used in all offensive situations. He appears to have the ability to drive a line and make those around him better.
Savoie’s biggest question mark is his size. There are few NHL centers below 5’11. However, his skill and speed significantly make up for his lack of height. He is also strong on his skates and has excellent balance. His speed and hockey sense can get him out of sticky situations quickly. His offensive versatility also means he could potentially play the wing, though most teams that draft him would likely prefer him to be a center.
Savoie will likely need another season or two of seasoning and strength building to be NHL-ready. He projects as a top-six forward at the NHL level.
6. D David Jiricek 6’3 196 CZE 29-5-6-11-49
Similar to Nemec, Jiricek plays a mature game for his age. While Nemec is a better skater, Jiricek plays a more complete physical game. Jiricek is a hard-hitter and loves to engage physically. His defensive game is his calling card, and he uses his frame well to break up plays.
He also has a tremendously hard shot, perhaps the hardest slap shot of any defenseman in this draft. Jiricek is an asset in all three zones, whether with or without the puck, making him a coveted player in the draft. He also excelled playing against men in the Czech Republic’s top league. He doesn’t bend under pressure and makes excellent puck decisions.
A serious knee injury derailed much of his season, but he has appeared to make a full recovery. Jiricek has some raw tools, plays with high pace, and is physically mature. His overall game needs to be more consistent, but that will come with time and maturity. He is likely two years away from full-time NHL duty and projects as a top-four defenseman at the NHL level.
7. W Joakim Kemell 5’11 174 FIN 39-15-8-23-2
Kemell burst onto the scene this season in Finland, scoring at a torrid pace and looking to smash some records in the country’s top league for teenagers. However, his game cooled off significantly in the second half of the season and he struggled at times to create offense. Regardless, 15 goals for a draft-eligible player competing against men is no small feat.
Goal-scoring is clearly Kemell’s greatest strength. He has an excellent wrist shot and loves to set up for one-timers on the powerplay. Kemell is a volume shooter and finds ways to get to open ice to create scoring opportunities with ease. He doesn’t have high top speed, but he has an excellent first step which gives him time and space in the offensive zone.
Kemell will need to work on his overall consistency and will likely need at least two years of extra development before being NHL-ready. He projects as a top-six winger at the NHL level.
8. W Jonathan Lekkermaki 5’11 172 SWE 26-7-2-9-0
Lekkermaki is a fun prospect, and he draws many comparisons to Kemell’s game. Also a goal-scorer, Lekkermaki excels at finding and creating space for himself to get off a quick shot. He is an excellent skater that uses his edges well. He loves to shoot off the rush and scores with ease. Lekkermaki has excellent puck skills and can drive play. He is a constant scoring threat in all situations.
Lekkermaki’s biggest area of improvement is rounding out his offensive game. There is no question he already has an NHL-ready shot. However, sometimes he shoots too quickly from the perimeter. Driving the net more and attempting to create offense from tougher areas in-tight could go a long way in developing his game. He will need some time to develop his overall game. He projects as a top-six goal-scorer at the NHL level and is likely 2-3 years away from NHL duty.
9. C/W Cutter Gauthier 6’3 190 NTDP 54-34-31-65-49
Gauthier is a player that matured and progressed as the season went along. He jumped up my list rather quickly and solidified himself in my top 10. Gauthier’s biggest weapon is his shot. His wrist shot is heavy, accurate, and powerful. The combination of his size and shot make for a formidable offensive weapon. He is an above-average skater as well and he proved last season he can play in all situations. Gauthier can score down low, using his size to protect the puck or rip one from the face-off dots. This ability will be appealing to teams early in the draft.
Gauthier’s solid season means he is a potential top 10 in this year’s draft. Gauthier projects as a top-six forward at the NHL level. He is likely 1-2 years away from NHL duty.
10. C/W Frank Nazar 5’11 175 NTDP 56-28-42-70-20
Scouts are all over the place when evaluating Nazar. I’ve seen him as high as three on some lists and as low as the high 20’s. Personally, I’m really high on Nazar for two reasons: His elite skating and his drive with the puck.
Nazar is a relentless skater and forechecker. He never stops moving. He plays with high energy and pace and loves to accelerate with the puck on his stick. Versatility is a strong suit for Nazar as well. He has played both the wing and center over the past year and excelled playing in all situations. Nazar also has an excellent shot and loves to rip it from far off. Overall, he is a player you would love to have on your team based on his combination of speed, puck pursuit, creativity, and skill.
Some scouts question his overall offensive ceiling. At worst he projects as a middle-six forward and at best a top-six forward. Nazar will have the opportunity to play for Michigan next season. He is likely 2-3 years away from NHL duty.
11. C Brad Lambert 6’1 175 FIN 49-4-6-10-43
Lambert may be the most divisive prospect in this year’s draft. After a stellar 16-year-old season, playing against men in Finland’s top league, Lambert took a huge step back this season. He jumped around teams quite frequently and only managed 10 points this season.
He did, however, look rather solid in Finland’s 2 games at the World Junior Championship, posting 5 points in 2 games. Lambert is a highly skilled offensive forward when on his game. He has excellent speed and quick hands. He can run a powerplay, slow down play with his puck skills, or beat you on the rush. When on the top of his game, Lambert’s skill and creativity help his team maintain possession and there are times it would appear that he can drive a line on his own.
However, consistency is a huge hurdle in his game at the moment. When he’s on his game, he looks like a top-5 talent. When he’s off, he can be a defensive liability at times. Lambert has also bounced around teams and leagues quite a bit over the last few seasons. Playing for one team, consistency may help with some of these issues next season.
If all the tools come together, Lambert could easily be a top-six forward at the NHL level. That being said, he has major boom or bust potential, meaning if he doesn’t pan out in this role, he’s unlikely to be a regular NHL player. He is like 2-3 years away from full-time NHL duty.
12. W Danila Yurov 6’1 172 KHL 21-0-0-0-2
Yurov is the highest skilled Russian available in this draft. It’s hard to know whether or not NHL teams will take a chance on Russian players due to some uncertainty in the KHL and the war in Ukraine. Young players also play lower minutes in the KHL, which can stunt development. Those factors are hard to predict, but a player like Yurov does have first-round potential and may find his names called in the early to mid-first round.
Yurov has a highly well-rounded offensive tool kit. He can drive play, create chances off the rush, and is solid in the defensive zone as well. He is also physically strong for his age and uses his size and strength to his advantage. While he struggled to score in limited minutes in the KHL, Yurov has put up high point totals against his peers and internationally. Yurov plays with pace and tenacity and is an excellent combination of high-end tools and effort.
Whether or not Yurov will get to play meaningful minutes next season is a question mark. This, in turn, can make his development hard to predict. If he finds a way to play regular minutes next season, Yurov could progress quickly and be NHL-ready in 2-3 years. Regardless of time, if the package comes together, Yurov projects as a top-six forward at the NHL level.
13. D Kevin Korchinski 6’2 185 WHL 67-4-61-65-40
Korchinski started the season outside the first round on most draft lists. However, his stock climbed quickly with a stellar performance for Seattle in the WHL this season. Averaging almost a point-per-game, Korchinski plays a well-rounded offensive game. He moves the puck up the ice quickly to his teammates and has an excellent first pass.
Korchinski is an elite skater and loves to fly through the neutral zone. At 6’2, he has the physical tools to excel at the NHL level. He is excellent in transition. Korchinski has a quick stick defensively and can neutralize play through his quick first step and strong positional awareness. He had a low goal total this season, which has some scouts question his offensive ceiling. However, his overall toolkit leaves teams a lot to work with, especially with his high-end passing ability.
Korchinski projects as a top-four defender at the NHL level. He is likely 2-3 years away from NHL duty.
14. W Isaac Howard 5’10 182 NTDP 60-33-49-82-42
Howard is higher on my list than others, but there is a reason for that. The top scorer for the U.S. NTDP, Howard has some of the best hands in the draft. He is incredibly quick and agile with the puck on his stick.
Howard also has high-end offensive instincts and timing in the offensive zone. He is a creative and fun player to watch. He has the skills to drive play and run a powerplay.
The biggest question regarding Howard is his size or lack thereof. Some scouts have concerns that Howard won’t be able to deal with bigger and stronger players at the NHL level. I, for one, believe that Howard’s skill set is more than enough to compensate for his lack of size. He will need some development time, but projects as a top-six forward who is 2-3 years away from NHL duty.
15. D Denton Mateychuk 5’11 186 WHL 65-13-51-64-15
A stereotypical modern-day defender, Mateyhcuk averaged a point-per-game in the WHL and his offensive game stood out leaps and bounds.
Mateychuck is a highly intelligent player and an excellent passer. His speed stands out and he loves to use it to get out of trouble in the defensive zone and to move the puck up the ice quickly in the offensive zone. Highly mobile, Mateychuk plays an overall mature game. While his offense stands out clearly, he is solid defensively as well. He has excellent gap control and breaks up plays with ease.
Overall, Mateychuck projects as a top-four defender at the NHL level. He needs to gain some strength, but his size shouldn’t be an issue at the NHL level. He is likely 2-3 years away from NHL duty.
16. D Pavel Mintyukov 6’2 190 OHL 67-17-45-62-28
Similar to Korchinski, Mintyukov started the season outside the first round for many, and just like Korchinski, his offensive production made it impossible for scouts not to notice him. Mintyukov averaged almost a point-per-game in the OHL, and on a struggling team.
Mintyukov is a well-rounded offensive player and showed he can drive play at times in the OHL. He is comfortable rushing the puck and he is an excellent skater. He has a decent point shot as well and quarterbacks a powerplay with ease.
Mintyukov’s biggest area of improvement is defensive awareness. It certainly isn’t a weakness, but further awareness is needed in the defensive zone, and he needs to learn to pick his spots better when joining the rush. Overall, he projects as a top-four defender. He is likely three years away from NHL duty. His combination of size and offensive ability should make him an early mid-round target for teams.
17. C Marco Kasper 6’1 183 SWE 46-7-4-11-17
Kasper is a player that is likely to be taken around the tenth pick in the draft, even with low offensive numbers. The Austrian played in all situations in Sweden’s top league, however, and showed an ability to play a strong two-way game.
Kasper plays center, which will bode well for his name being called early in the 2022 draft. Overall, Kasper plays a well-rounded game in all three zones. He’s tenacious on the forecheck, competes at a high level, and is defensively responsible. Scouts have made note all season that Kasper plays a highly mature game. He is patient with the puck as well and can set up and break up plays with ease. Kasper loves to play close to the blue paint and isn’t afraid to chase pucks into tough areas. He did this against men last season and was dominant at times, meaning he could continue to be dangerous this way at a higher level as he develops.
The biggest question surrounding Kasper is his upside, particularly his offensive ceiling. Kasper projects as an NHL player, but there are questions as to whether he is a top-six or bottom-six forward. I personally project Kasper as a middle-six forward at the NHL level, a player who can pitch in offensively while simultaneously remaining defensively sound. He is likely 2-3 years away from NHL duty.
18. W Jagger Firkus 5’10 160 WHL 66-36-44-80-34
My favorite name in the draft, Firkus had a stand-out season for Moose Jaw in the WHL. Firkus’ puck skills stand out immediately when watching him play. He also has strong hockey sense and is highly confident with the puck on his stick. Firkus pulled off the Michigan during a playoff game, showing both creativity and a healthy dose of self-confidence in his abilities.
Firkus is unique offensively in that he has a knack for scoring goals but is also a skilled playmaker. This skill set will go a long way in making him a threat at the NHL level. There are a few questions surrounding his strength and height. He is considered slight by most standards and relies heavily on the deceptive nature of his offensive game to avoid contact and having to lean on bigger players. Some question whether or not that will translate well to the NHL level. However, his skill set is worth the risk in this area.
19. C Conor Geekie 6’4 205 WHL 63-24-46-70-49
Whether you are looking for him or not, it’s impossible to not notice Conor Geekie when watching the Winnipeg Ice this season. While teammate Matthew Savoie stands out for his offense and agility, Geekie stands out for his size. At 6’4, Geekie towards over many of his peers and uses his size to his advantage.
Averaging over a point per game, Geekie has excellent puck skills for a big player. He excelled on the powerplay last season and protects the puck well. Geekie excels at drawing players to himself and then moving the puck to the open space he has just created. He also has a decent shot, though he does project more as a playmaker at the NHL level.
The biggest question surrounding Geekie is his skating. He can get around okay but lacks high-end speed and his acceleration needs work. If he can improve even a little bit in this area, Geekie should settle in as a middle-six forward with offensive upside at the NHL level. He is likely 2-3 years away from NHL duty.
20. C/W Liam Ohgren 6’1 190 SWE Jr. 30-33-25-58-6
The 2022 draft is a little light on high-end Swedish prospects. That being said, there are still a few options available for teams in the first round, and Liam Ohgren is at the top of my list. Ohgren is a strong, prototypical Swedish forward. He is a well-rounded offensive player with a strong release and excellent offensive instincts. He also isn’t a liability defensively. More of a goal-scorer, Ohgren disguises his shot well and can rip it from anywhere with ease. He is physically mature and is closer to NHL-ready than many of his peers.
Scouts have some questions surrounding his offensive ceiling, especially considering his struggle to put up points when he did play games in Sweden’s top league. However, the combination of size and shot make him a strong first-round candidate with middle-six potential at the NHL level. Ohgren is likely 2-3 years away from NHL duty.
21. D Lane Hutson 5’9 148 NTDP 60-10-53-63-51
If Hutson was 6’0, he would easily be in conversation as a top-10 pick in the draft. Whenever I watched him play this season, he stood out. Hutson is a highly skilled offensive defenseman. Hutson is an elite skater and uses his edges well to create space for himself, particularly on the blue line in the offensive zone. He has elite hockey sense as well with an uncanny ability to find open players with both short and long passes in all three zones.
Hutson plays a confident offensive game, can run a powerplay, and moves the puck up the ice with ease. The biggest question surrounding Hutson is his size. There aren’t many defenders under 5’10 at the NHL level. While some scouts hope Hutson has a bit of room to grow, there’s some concern regarding his reach and whether he will struggle to break up plays defensively. If Hutson gets stronger, I think his size becomes less of an issue and his offensive tool kit means his teams frequently have possession of the puck, also taking away many issues defensive liabilities could have.
Hutson projects as an offensive-minded top-four defender. He is likely 3-4 years away from NHL duty.
22. C David Goyette 5’11 172 OHL 66-33-40-73-33
I’ve been high on Goyette all season and my opinion of him hasn’t changed given his high point totals and his strong overall play this season. Goyette’s biggest asset is his skating. He has an effortless stride and can fly up and down the ice with ease. He also put up decent point totals, showing an ability to create offense.
Goyette struggled at times at the Under-18s, which dropped his stock a bit amongst scouts. While there aren’t questions about his skating, there are some about his offensive ceiling. In the OHL, Goyette can blow by opponents and score off the rush. Will he be able to do this at the NHL level? Likely not with the same ease, and he may struggle with the physicality based on his slight frame.
That being said, there is a lot to like about this player. Even if he doesn’t become a top-six forward, he can still contribute up and down a lineup. My guess is he will likely be taken in the second round. Regardless, he looks like a solid middle-six forward prospect. He is 3-4 years away from NHL duty.
23. C Rutget McGroarty 6’1 204 NTDP 54-35-34-69-65
Another player with a fun name, the Lincoln, NB native had a solid season for the U.S. National Development Program. McGroarty is known for his competitive nature and two-way play. He is also known for his strong character, making him an ideal candidate for a future captain at the NHL level. McGroarty rarely, if ever, takes a night off. He is also a strong finisher and showed flashes of potential offensive brilliance throughout the season.
Some questions surround whether or not McGroarty has a high enough offensive ceiling to be a first-round pick. He does have the tools to put up some offense, but he may struggle to drive a line on his own at the next level. Regardless of ceiling, McGroarty will likely play in the NHL. I believe he will thrive as a middle-six forward. He is likely 2-3 years away from competing for an NHL spot.
24. C Noah Ostlund 5’10 163 SWE Jr. 32-9-33-42-6
Ostlund is a creative playmaking center that had an up and down season in Sweden. Ostlund played in both the SWEHL and for his club’s junior team. While he excelled offensively for the junior squad, Ostlund struggled to keep up in the SWEHL.
Ostlund boasts a high skill level and he is creative with the puck. He finds ways to find open teammates and makes difficult passes look easy. Ostlund anticipates the play well in the offensive zone and has quick hands. Unfortunately, consistency was an issue last season. He would disappear for long periods of time and struggle with his play away from the puck at times.
In order for Ostlund to compete for a middle-six NHL role, he will need to get stronger and work on consistent effort game-in and game-out. If everything comes together, Ostlund should compete for an NHL spot in 3-4 years.
25. C Owen Beck 6’0 185 OHL 68-21-30-51-14
Owen Beck has drawn comparisons to Anthony Cirelli at times this season. Any team that picks a player like Beck would love to have a player of that skillset at the NHL level.
Beck is a strong two-way forward. He excels at faceoffs and in defensive shut down situations. He is an excellent skater and highly competitive. Some scouts question Beck’s offensive ceiling, but he still managed to put up 51 points while playing some of the toughest minutes of any player in the OHL this season. Beck’s offensive opportunities will likely increase next season and he has some strong offensive tools that could translate well to the next level.
If everything comes together for Beck, he projects as a middle-six forward at the NHL level. He is likely 3-4 years away from competing for a full-time NHL spot.
26. D Ty Nelson 5’10 196 OHL 66-9-42-51-39
Ty Nelson is a small, skilled blue-liner with high offensive skill. Unlike Lane Hutson however, Nelson is physically strong, and his lack of size appears to be less of an issue with his game. Nelson’s calling card is his offensive game, and he plays a high-risk-high reward style of play. He also isn’t afraid to engage physically, and his strong balance allows him to out-muscle taller opponents.
Some scouts have concerns surrounding Nelson’s skating, especially his top speed. That being said, he isn’t necessarily a bad skater either. Nelson’s style of play fits his skating ability, making him less of a liability. He can quarterback a powerplay as well and relishes the role.
Nelson projects as a second-pairing defender at the NHL level. He is likely 3-4 years away from competing for an NHL spot.
27. W Ivan Miroshnichenko 6’1 185 Rus2. 31-10-6-16-6
An exceptionally hard player to evaluate, Miroshnichenko had an up and down season. He was also diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma, a type of cancer, that sidelined him for a large portion of the season. When the year began, Miroshnichenko was a top-five pick on most public lists. His combination of size, skill, and offensive ability appeared to make him a bonafide top 10 pick.
However, before the diagnosis, Miroshnichenko struggled to put up points in Russia. This doesn’t mean he doesn’t have the tools to succeed, however. Similar to Yurov, Miroshnichenko has a well-rounded offensive game. He is a powerful skater with the puck on his stick and loves to tee up for one-timers. He has an excellent release and isn’t afraid to enter into tough areas on the ice.
There are continuing questions surrounding Miroshnichenko’s health, as well as questions regarding his status playing in Russia next season. He has tried to play in North America in the past, and perhaps there’s a path forward this season, which could help his draft stock somewhat. If everything comes together, Miroschnichenko is a potential top-six forward at the NHL level. He is likely 3-4 years away.
28. D Owen Pickering 6’4 178 WHL 62-9-24-33-39
There’s a lot to like about Pickering, and it begins with his 6’4 frame and long skating stride. He also has some offense to his game, which makes Pickering a potential mid-round first-round pick.
Pickering’s stock rose significantly as the season progressed. In the day of smaller, more skilled blueliners, tall ones with a long reach that can skate are becoming more of an oddity. Pickering can also carry the load to some extent offensively. He isn’t afraid to rush or carry the puck and he doesn’t panic under pressure.
Because of Pickering’s rise, he is still considered to be a player with a lot of underdeveloped tools. Whoever drafts him will need time to give him ample development time. Pickering projects as a second-pairing defender and he is likely 3-4 years away from competing for a roster spot at the NHL level.
29. W Filip Mesar 5’10 172 SLO 37-8-8-16-8
Mesar is a player whose stock rose as the season progressed, but some scouts still have some concerns regarding the small, skilled forward. Mesar played in Slovakia’s top league and didn’t look out of place as a teenager. That being said, he frequently shows flashes of offensive brilliance, but then disappears for large periods of time.
If Mesar finds another level of consistency in his game, he could find himself in a top-six role. He’s quick and has exceptional hands. However, if he isn’t able to put it all together, he may struggle to stick in an NHL line-up in a bottom-six role.
Mesar’s skating alone makes him a solid NHL prospect. He will likely be a late first-round pick. Mesar projects as a middle-six forward and is likely 3-4 years away from NHL duty.
30. W Jimmy Snuggerud 6’2 186 NTDP 59-24-39-63-32
Snuggerud’s biggest asset stands out immediately: his shot. He has an absolute cannon and one of the best shots in the draft. Snuggerud scores from distance with ease and has a quick release. He is big and strong for his age and uses his frame well.
The biggest question for Snuggerud is his foot speed. He isn’t the fleetest of feet and could use some improvement on quickening his first step. If he can improve in this area, a team could find themselves a potential scoring threat in the mid to late first round. Snuggerud projects as a middle-six forward at the NHL level. He will need development time and is likely 2-3 years away from NHL duty.
31. D Lian Bichsel 6’5 216
Bichsel stands out immediately when you watch him play, primarily because of his size. At 6’5, Bichshel moves up and down the ice quite well. He has a long reach and uses it to help close gaps and strip opponents of pucks.
Bichsel played in Sweden’s top league last season and didn’t look out of place. While he may not have eye-dropping offensive skills, he makes an excellent first pass and has shown some offensive prowess at times. He has an excellent first step and uses his combination of speed and size to his advantage in all situations.
Bichsel’s season ended with a concussion, and scouts hope he will be able to bounce back. His skill makes him a potential second-pairing defender at the NHL level.
32. C/W Jiri Kulich 6’0 172 CZE 49-9-5-14-4
Kulich is a player that could be taken anywhere in the first round of the draft. This is a testament to his well-rounded skill set and versatility. Kulich can play center or wing. More of a goal-scorer than a playmaker, he creates space for himself well with his skating and has excellent hands and excels in one-on-one situations. He excels in making plays off the rush.
Kulich’s well-rounded, versatile nature makes him a coveted prospect. There are some questions regarding his ceiling and whether or not he will develop into a second line scoring type. Regardless, he is a rather “safe” pick for whatever team drafts him. He projects as a middle-six forward and is 2-3 years away from NHL duty.
33. D Ryan Chesley 6’0 187 NTDP 59-12-17-29-69
A solid two-way defender can play in some situations. Offensive ceiling is a question at the next level.
34. C Nathan Gaucher 6’3 207 QMJHL 66-31-26-57-74
Combination of size, strength, and skill makes Gaucher a potential first-round pick. Considered by many to be a lower-risk pick and a potential middle-six forward.
35. C Luca Del Bel Belluz 6’1 178 OHL 68-30-46-76-28
Had a strong offensive season. Possesses strong offensive instincts. Skating needs some improvement.
36. D Seamus Casey 5’10 162 NTDP 48-10-23-33-14
Small, skilled offensive blueliner had an up and down season. Strong skater with some dynamic qualities but needs some rounding out defensively.
37. W Reid Schaefer 6’3 213 WHL 66-32-26-58-88
Big winger plays a power-forward type game. Has an excellent shot and goal-scoring ability.
38. D Tristan Luneau 6’2 174 QMJHL 63-12-31-43-20
Two-way defender has some questions regarding offensive upside. Overall has a solid toolkit and is likely to play NHL games.
39. C Jack Hughes 6’0 165 HE 39-7-9-16-28
Son of Canadiens GM Kent Hughes. Well-rounded player has middle-six potential and can play in all situations.
40. W Jordan Dumais 5’8 165 QMJHL 68-39-70-109-6
Hard to argue with 109 points. Small forward needs to work on his skating stride but has some strong offensive tools. Plays with tenacity and pace.
41. D Mattias Havelid 5’10 170 SWE Jr. 29-10-9-19-2
Another small blueliner, Havelid put up high point totals at the under 18’s. Can run a powerplay and contribute offensively.
42. D Sam Rinzel 6’4 180 USHS 27-9-29-38-22
Tall, lanky defender has decent puck skills and some offensive prowess. Needs some work rounding out his overall game. May find himself a late first-round pick thanks to a combination of size and skill.
43. W Alexander Perevalov 6’0 191 MHL 42-25-50-75
Skilled Russian put up high numbers in Russian lower leagues. The KHL will be a test next season. Has middle-six offensive potential if development goes as planned.
44. C Jordan Gustafson 5’11 177 WHL 58-23-29-52-16
Strong skater can play in all situations. Projects as a two-way, middle-six forward at the NHL level.
45. D Calle Odelius 6’0 182 SWE Jr. 43-7-23-30-24
Elite skating defender has some strong offensive tools and isn’t a defensive liability. Overall upside may be limited, making him a likely second rounder rather than a first.
46. C Filip Bystedt 6’4 204 SWE Jr. 40-16-33-49-40
Big and strong well rounded center projects as a third-liner at the NHL level. Could find himself closer to a first-round pick based on size.
47. C Danny Zhilkin 6’2 185 OHL 66-23-32-55-24
Russian-born Canadian had an up and down season. High skill level and likely a playmaker at the next level. Needs to work on consistency.
48. W Julian Luntz 6’2 180 GER 14-1-2-3-8
Injury limited games for the young German. Excelled at the under-18s. Has some flash to his game. Could be a second-round steal.
49. C Cam Lund 6’2 185 USHL 62-25-25-50-49
Up and down season for goal-scorer with an excellent shot. Will need time at Northeastern to further development but has some strong tools.
50. C Matthew Poitras 5’11 170 OHL 66-21-29-50-58
Tied for team scoring lead in Guelph. Smart player and playmaker. Could have a major break-out year after missing last season in the OHL shutdown.
51. W Gleb Trikozov 6’1 185 MHL 35-23-45-78
Russian winger has high-end offensive skill. Didn’t play much against high competition. Will need plenty of time but has high upside.
52. D Mats Lindgren 6’0 173 WHL 68-5-39-44-42
Offensive defenseman put up decent numbers in the WHL. Struggles defensively and needs work on gap control.
53. C/W Matyas Sapovaliv 6’3 183 OHL 68-18-34-52-26
Czech Center had a decent first year in the OHL on a terrible team. Can slow down the play well and has good puck skills. Skating needs some work. Break-out candidate in the OHL next season.
54. C/W Matthew Seminoff 5’11 183 WHL 64-26-31-57-8
Highly competitive center does everything well. Excellent skater who has played three WHL seasons already.
55. C Adam Ingram 6’2 165 USHL 54-26-29-55-30
St.Cloud State commit has an excellent shot and put up good numbers in the USHL. Hockey sense needs to catch up with skating and skillset.
56. D Noah Warren 6’5 225 QMJHL 62-5-19-24-52
Tall, strong defender has an adept physical tool kit and defensive awareness. Offensive ceiling is a question.
57. C/W Fraser Minton 6’1 185 WHL 67-20-35-55-57
The well-rounded player does everything well. Projects more of a bottom-six forward who can contribute offensively at times.
58. D Maveric Lamoureux 6’7 196 QMJHL 54-4-20-24-69
Tallest defenseman in the draft. Skates well. Questions surround other parts of his game, including defensive awareness.
59. C Rieger Lorentz 6’2 185 AJHL 60-38-47-85-54
Denver commit has a good combination of size, puck skills, and awareness. Offense is unlikely at the next level and will need ample development time.
60. W Jani Nyman 6’3 217 FIN2. 34-18-17-35-20
Big, strong goal-scoring winger projects as a secondary scoring option. Skating needs work.
61. C Bryce McConnel-Barker 6’1 194 OHL 63-23-26-49-14
Player with strong two-way tools needs to work on offensive consistency.
62. D Elias Salomonsson 6’2 181 SWE Jr. 35-11-11-22-10
Up and down season led to being ranked all over the place on different lists. Has the tools to be a solid NHL player with higher consistency and on-ice offensive awareness.
63. W Adam Sykora 5’10 172 SLO 46-10-7-17-6
Smallish, skilled forward put up excellent numbers playing against older competition and looked strong in international competition.
64. W Antonin Verreault 5’8 162 QMJHL 56-14-32-46-12
Had an incredible start to the season and tailed off significantly. Had a strong playoff. Has shown flashes of high-end offensive skill.
65. D Christian Kyrou 5’10 182 OHL 68-18-42-60-44
66. D Isaiah George 6’0 195 OHL 67-6-17-23-32
67. C Hunter Haight 5’11 175 OHL 63-22-19-41-13
68. W Cruz Lucius 6’0 183 NTDP 23-9-9-18-10
69. C Ryan Greene 6’1 180 USHL 59-19-32-51-53
70. D Simon Forsmark 6’2 191 SWE Jr. 39-0-3-3
71. D Tomas Hamara 5’11 170 Fin Jr. 32-6-19-25-16
72. W Dylan James 6’0 181 USHL 62-28-33-61-39
73. D Michael Buchinger 6’0 185 OHL 63-5-39-44-47
74. W Josh Filmon 6’2 159 67-23-22-45-26
75. W Lucas Edmonds 5’11 183 OHL 68-34-79-113-14
76. W Vinzenz Rohrer 5’11 168 OHL 64-25-23-48-14
77. G Tyler Brennan 6’3 190 WHL 37 gp, 3.58 .899
78. D Kirill Kudryavtsev 5’11 200 WHL 68-5-34-39-10
79. W Jack Devine 5’11 175 NCHC 36-3-16-19-16
80. C Aleks Kaskimaki 6’0 183 FIN Jr. 31-19-21-40-20
81. C Ben MacDonald 5’11 165 USHS 22-14-15-29
82. D Otto Salin 5’11 192 FIN 6-0-1-1-2
83. C Paul Ludwinski 5’11 172 OHL 67-16-27-43-20
84. D Vlad Grudinin 5’10 160 MHL 18-2-11-13-0
85. C Toppi Ronni 6’2 181 FIN Jr. 30-11-29-40
86. G Tobias Leinonen 6’5 233 FIN Jr. 21gp, 2.28 .916
87. D Artyom Duda 6’1 180 MHL 52-14-41-55
88. W Viktor Neuchev 6’2 165 MHL 61-40-67-107-14
89. W Nick Moldenhauer 5’10 170 USHL 41-18-43-61-4
90. C Mathew Ward 5’8 160 WHL 64-22-35-57-96
91.W Justin Cote 5’6 163 QMJHL 64-26-30-56-14
92. D Jake Livanavage 5’10 160 USHL 61-3-42-45-40
93. G Brett Brochu 5’11 176 OHL 43 2.75 .911
94. W Devin Kaplan 6’3 200 NTDP 22-8-10-18-36
95. W Brandon Lisowsky 5’8 171 WHL 68-33-25-58-34
96. W Cole Knuble 5’10 174 USHL 62-20-29-49-14
97. D Jorian Donovan 6’1 182 OHL 64-3-19-22-29
98. C James Stefan 6’0 173 WHL 68-34-45-79-42
99. D Marek Alscher 6’3 196 WHL 61-7-9-16-48
100. W Gavin Hayes 6’2 177 OHL 65-19-30-49-18