December 5, 2021

Top 2022 NHL Draft eligibles of the month for November

FCHockey’s scouts can be found in all corners of the globe, watching players at the professional level, right down to junior.

They see a countless number of players in action, but there are always those that shine.

Through the 2021-22 hockey season, our team will collect the names of those prospects that have caught their eyes. From standing out in their leagues to impressing at tournaments, from making history to accomplishing remarkable feats for their age, we’ll take a look at the 2022 NHL Draft-eligibles making waves in the hockey world each month.

Here are FCHockey’s top-five draft-eligible prospects for November 2021, alphabetically listed.

Filip Bystedt, C, Linkoping J20 (J20 Nationell)

FCHockey rank: 27th

November stat line: 8GP (J20 Nationell) – 5G, 5A, 10PTS; 1GP (J18 Region) – 1G, 1A, 2PTS; 4GP (Four Nations) – 2G, 1A, 3PTS

A big riser in FCHockey’s Winter ranking up to 27, Filip Bystedt‘s big November definitely weighed in on his moving into the first round of FC’s draft board. The big 6-foot-4 forward spent time in both the J18 Region and the J20 Nationell, plus attended the Four Nations tournament. On top of proving that he can put up points no matter how he’s used or what team he’s playing with, Bystedt has shown that he loves to shoot the puck, recording 27 shots through just his J20 games.

Bystedt has very much entered the conversation as the top Swedish forward available and could continue to rise up draft boards as the season rolls on. He has played in nine SHL games this season and has looked good. If he can continue that, he could enter the top-20 discussion.

“Bystedt is a big two-way center that plays with a lot of power and strength in his game and does always seem to find his way to the hot spots on the ice,” said Swedish scout Fredrik Haak. “He shows surprisingly great puckhandling skills for his size/coordination, covers the puck really well and can often pressure himself through opponents. Bystedt is a big asset on the power play and carries the puck easily through the neutral zone and into the offensive zone to start the play.”

Rieger Lorenz, C, Okotos Oilers (AJHL)

FCHockey rank: 38th

November stat line: 11GP – 7G, 8A, 15PTS

The AJHL has seemed to have a top prospect in both of the last two NHL Drafts, with Carter Savoie and Corson Ceulemans getting drafted from the Alberta league. This year, Rieger Lorenz has that spot locked down already. The forward is now up to 41 points in 29 AJHL games and has definitely been catching the eyes of FCHockey’s Western Canada scouts.

Through November, he had the second-most points of any draft-eligible. He could be a candidate to push up into the first round as the season continues, as he’s shown tremendous offensive ability so far in the season.

“Lorenz is an incredibly smart and polished winger who already displays a lot of pro tendencies,” head Western Canada scout Derek Neumeier recently reported. “He’s the type of prospect who always knows what his next move should be in the play and he applies himself on a consistent shift-by-shift basis. He’s a very quick and fluid skater who can both create space for himself with the puck, as well as keep a tight gap to take space away from his opponents.

“His play without the puck is superb, whether it’s taking away passing lanes, applying pressure on his man, or using his sharp hand-eye coordination to steal pucks and turn them back up ice.”

Rutger McGroarty, C, USNTDP (USHL)

FCHockey rank: 10th

November stat line: 1GP (USHL) – 1G, 1A, 2PTS; 4GP (Four Nations) – 4G, 4A, 8PTS

While Rutger McGroarty isn’t the top American on FCHockey’s board any more, that hasn’t stopped him from being an offensive juggernaut. While he played just five games this past month, he has a remarkable 2.00 point-per-game average through those games. The prospect is an offensive weapon and can burn you with a sweet goal or a great passing play. This season, he’s collected 25 points (11 goals, 14 assists) in 16 USDP games and shows no signs of slowing down.

While he did slide a couple of spots on FCHockey’s draft board, he remains a top-10 prospect in this class.

“McGroarty is one of the smartest players on his team,” reported crossover scout Sebastian Death.” He has a knack for thinking a couple steps ahead of the play and keeps his feet moving all the time. He will recognize holes in defensive coverages and strategically move into open ice to exploit them. He can dissect defenses with his positioning and passing. He has a soft touch and keeps his head up, getting off accurate passes quickly.”

Matthew Savoie, C, Winnipeg Ice (WHL)

FCHockey rank: 2nd

November stat line: 10GP – 7G, 14A, 21 PTS

For the second month in a row, Matthew Savoie is one of the most impressive draft eligibles on the planet. The Winnipeg Ice forward has been remarkable this season and November was no different, collecting over two points per game. His 14 assists and 21 points were the most of any draft-eligible through the month, and his season total of 39 points (13 goals, 26 assists) leads the entire WHL.

There are a few players that are in the No. 2 conversation, but Savoie is the clear-cut leader of that group for FCHockey. He may have been left off Team Canada’s camp roster for the 2022 World Junior Championships, but the forward is one of the best U20 players in the world right now.

“Savoie is a savvy playmaking center who makes his teammates around him better in all three zones due to his work ethic,” reported Western Canada scout Kurt Pohs. “His vision in the offensive zone is elite; he seems to be omniscient with the puck on his stick and being able to create scoring chances by finding his teammates at the perfect time. Despite his smaller stature, he works hard to help his team in the neutral and defensive zone by backchecking hard and working to win puck battles.”

Shane Wright, C, Kingston Frontenacs (OHL)

FCHockey rank: 1st

November stat line: 11GP – 6G, 8A, 14PTS

There has been some talk about top 2022 NHL Draft-eligible prospect Shane Wright falling to No. 2 in this draft. His response? He’s been turning it on in the OHL, going over a point-per-game through November. Let’s not forget that this is a prospect who lost his entire 2020-21 season due to the OHL season cancellation. Wright looks to be finding his game after a quiet first month, and could very well be on his way to the season we all expected of him.

Wright is now up to 24 points in 20 games and has been invited to Team Canada’s camp for the World Juniors – a roster that he very much should make. Don’t let anyone tell you differently – Wright is still very much the top prospect in this class.

“Wright is an elite two-way center with incredible offensive ability,” said one FCHockey scout. “His intelligence on the ice is second to none and on full display in his playmaking, his lane pursuit, and his awareness. His vision stands out in his ability to find teammates through dense traffic and seemingly making no-look passes often. Wright plays like he has eyes on the back of his head at times.

“He has a full arsenal of passes and his hands are quick enough to pull them off in tight spaces since he is often double- or triple-teamed.”

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