Broad Strokes: Breaking down the best picks at the 2022 NHL Draft
The 2022 NHL Draft came to an end on Friday and with each team adding a new crop of prospects into their organization it’s time to look at some of the more valuable picks that each organization made.
Keep in mind that this isn’t the “best prospect” each team selected but rather the prospect that I think has the best mix of value and talent.
The Anaheim Ducks have had a knack for finding great value with their draft classes lately and they had a strong class again this year. For their best value pick, I think Tristan Luneau was a fantastic pick in the second round (No. 53). At one-point Luneau was a potential first-round talent but injuries riddled his season and cause him to miss a decent amount of time. If Luneau can return to his top form, the Ducks got a potential top-four defenseman in the second round, adding another talented blue liner to a group consisting of Jamie Drysdale, Olen Zellweger, Pavel Mintyukov, and Noah Warren.
|4||107||ANA||Ben King||C||224||RED DEER||WHL||6-3||205||R||96||NA|
|5||139||ANA||Connor Hvidston||LW||245||SWIFT CURRENT||WHL||6-2||164||L||107||NA|
|5||154||ANA||Michael Callow||RW||NR||ST. SEBASTIANS||HIGH-MA||6-4||181||R||131||NA|
The Arizona Coyotes made 10 picks in the 2022 NHL Draft, so they have a lot of options here. To me it comes down to Logan Cooley (No. 3) and Julian Lutz (No. 43). I’ll go with Cooley by the smallest of margins. He was in consideration for the first overall pick, and was the top-ranked prospect by some people in the scouting community. By taking him over Shane Wright, the Coyotes signaled that they had him as their top center in this year’s class and picking him up at third overall was great value by Arizona. With Cooley, the Coyotes have a potential No. 1 center and add another talented prospect to a pool already consisting of Dylan Guenther, Josh Doan, Barrett Hayton and more. Arizona nailed their top pick and made some other fantastic picks at this year’s draft.
|1||3||ARI||Logan Cooley||C||2||USA U-18||NTDP||5-10||174||L||2||NA|
|2||36||ARI||Artyom Duda||D||75||CSKA 2||RUS-JR.||6-1||187||L||28||EU|
|3||67||ARI||Miko Matikka||RW||87||JOKERIT JR.||FIN-JR.||6-3||187||R||32||EU|
|3||94||ARI||Jeremy Langlois||D||91||CAPE BRETON||QMJHL||6-0||186||L||60||NA|
|5||131||ARI||Matthew Morden||D||NR||ST. ANDREWS COLLEGE||HIGH-ON||6-4||203||L||190||NA|
|7||204||ARI||Adam Zlnka||RW||NR||SIOUX FALLS||USHL||6-0||173||R||NR||NR|
The Boston Bruins didn’t pick until the second round and, as good as Matthew Poitras is, I think they got even better value in the fourth round when they took Cole Spicer at No. 117. Spicer was the 90th-ranked skater in FCHockey’s Final ranking for the 2022 draft, and to get him 27 spots below that was tidy work by general manager Don Sweeney and the Bruins’ scouting staff. With Spicer they get a talented goal scorer who will brings great versatility and work ethic to the ice. Boston has had some hiccups in their recent draft history, but Spicer in the fourth round could go down as one of their more underrated selections.
|4||117||BOS||Cole Spicer||C||90||USA U-18||NTDP||5-10||175||L||121||NA|
|4||119||BOS||Dans Locmelis||C||179||LULEA JR.||SWE-JR.||6-0||170||L||NR||NR|
|6||183||BOS||Reid Dyck||G||120||SWIFT CURRENT||WHL||6-3||190||L||8||NA|
The Buffalo Sabres had a strong 2022 NHL Draft, their three first-rounders Matthew Savoie, Noah Ostlund, and Jiri Kulich were all strong selections. They went a little off the board grabbing Topias Leinonen — the first goalie taken, and at No. 41 — but it was their 74th overall selection that I loved the most. Viktor Neuchev is a high-ceiling prospect who just knows how to put the puck in the back of the net. He scored 40 goals in MHL action, while no one else on his team had more than 16 goals. There’s a risk involved as we all know, but if Neuchev continues to develop and makes his way to North American he could be a steal for Buffalo.
|1||16||BUF||Noah Ostlund||C||24||DJURGARDEN JR.||SWE-JR.||5-11||163||L||18||EU|
|1||28||BUF||Jiri Kulich||C||27||KARLOVY VARY||CZE||6-0||172||L||13||EU|
|2||41||BUF||Topias Leinonen||G||151||JYP JR.||FIN-JR.||6-4||214||L||1||EU|
|3||74||BUF||Viktor Neuchev||LW||58||YEKATERINBURG 2||RUS-JR.||6-2||165||L||34||EU|
|6||187||BUF||Gustav Karlsson||C||238||OREBRO JR.||SWE-JR.||6-1||165||L||59||EU|
|7||202||BUF||Joel Ratkovic Berndtsson||RW||215||FROLUNDA JR.||SWE-JR.||6-0||179||L||NR||NR|
The Calgary Flames only had three selections in this year’s class and I think they reached on two of the three. While Topi Ronni and Parker Bell can be nice prospects, their value didn’t really match up with where they were selected in my mind. I think they did a solid job with their seventh-round pick Cade Littler though. The center from Wenatchee of the BCHL was taken at No. 219, but was ranked 201st in FC’s final rankings. While the Flames are a talented roster, they are in danger of potentially losing a few key pieces and needed to do a little better with their minimal draft capital, but Littler was a nice gamble in the final round in my opinion.
|2||59||CGY||Topi Ronni||C||105||TAPPARA JR.||FIN-JR.||6-2||179||L||31||EU|
The Carolina Hurricanes have been great when it comes to drafting value in recent years and this year was no different. Carolina nabbed a potential first-round talent in the second round when they grabbed Gleb Trikozov. Trikozov, ranked No. 21, was drafted with the 60th overall pick and could be a home run for Carolina. Other factors came into play, but the Russian issue likely played the biggest role in Trikozov’s fall, but the Hurricanes haven’t been shy about drafting Russians and this year was no different. They always seem to swing for the fences with their picks and while it’s way too early to declare it a home run…it’s hard to say anything negative about drafting a potential first-round talent late in the second round.
|2||60||CAR||Gleb Trikozov||LW||21||OMSK 2||RUS-JR.||6-1||185||R||15||EU|
|3||71||CAR||Alexander Perevalov||LW||69||YAROSLAVL 2||RUS-JR.||6-0||191||R||14||EU|
|4||124||CAR||Cruz Lucius||RW||63||USA U-18||NTDP||6-0||178||R||41||NA|
|5||156||CAR||Vladimir Grudinin||D||47||CSKA 2||RUS-JR.||5-10||158||L||53||EU|
|6||171||CAR||Jakub Vondras||G||NR||PLZEN JR.||CZ-JR.||6-3||180||R||10||EU|
The Chicago Blackhawks were extremely busy at the NHL Draft, acquiring a ton of draft picks with their roster decisions. While Frank Nazar, Kevin Korchinski, and Paul Ludwinski are all worthy options options, I’ll give the nod to the No. 25 pick in Sam Rinzel. Rinzel has everything you want in a prospect, he has a raw skillset that can be molded into a potential stud blue liner and he has the physical traits that all NHL GMs love. It will take some time and a lot of work to get him where he needs to be, but if everything works out Rinzel could be an excellent pick at the back half of the first round for the Blackhawks.
|1||13||CHI||Frank Nazar||C||7||USA U-18||NTDP||5-10||175||R||21||NA|
|2||57||CHI||Ryan Greene||C||168||GREEN BAY||USHL||6-1||174||R||46||NA|
|6||188||CHI||Nils Juntorp||LW||246||HV 71 JR.||SWE-JR.||6-1||185||R||NR||NR|
|7||199||CHI||Riku Tohila||C||NR||JYP JR.||FIN-JR.||6-5||167||R||NR||NR|
The defending champion Colorado Avalanche only had two picks in this class after trading all their picks away to stock up for their cup run so it’s tough to pick a favorite, but I really liked Ivan Zhigalov. His numbers in Sherbrooke aren’t eye-popping but with his size and athleticism he could turn into a decent prospect for the Avs in the future.
|6||193||COL||Christopher Romaine||D||NR||MILTON ACADEMY||HIGH-MA||6-0||190||R||114||NA|
Columbus Blue Jackets
The Columbus Blue Jackets had an awesome first round, and draft class overall. I loved grabbing David Jiricek at sixth overall for a variety of reasons. He was one of the top available players in this class and adding him to their pool was great work by Jarmo Kekalainen. The other reason I love this pick is because it was gifted them by the Blackhawks in the Seth Jones trade. The Blue Jackets were able to grab one of the better players in this class and it was with a pick that wasn’t originally theirs so I think it was a massive win for Columbus.
|1||12||CBJ||Denton Mateychuk||D||17||MOOSE JAW||WHL||5-11||188||L||14||NA|
|2||44||CBJ||Luca Del Bel Belluz||C||43||MISSISSAUGA||OHL||6-1||175||L||8||NA|
|4||109||CBJ||Kirill Dolzhenkov||RW||126||CSKA 2||RUS-JR.||6-6||234||L||22||EU|
|5||138||CBJ||Sergei Ivanov||G||161||SKA ST. PETERSBURG 2||RUS-JR.||5-11||165||L||NR||NR|
|7||203||CBJ||James Fisher||RW||NR||BELMONT HILL||HIGH-MA||6-2||170||R||99||NA|
The Dallas Stars grabbed Christian Kyrou with the No. 50 pick and that was my favorite pick of the entire draft. Kyrou is a player I am willing to go to battle for, as he’s an excellent skating blue liner who can drive transition play and put up points from the backend. I love his skillset and how his game will translate to the next level, Dallas needs more exciting players and Kyrou is definitely an exciting player. I think Dallas fans will love this player and it won’t take long for them to realize it.
|3||83||DAL||George Fegaras||D||192||NORTH YORK||OJHL||6-1||188||R||82||NA|
|5||147||DAL||Maxim Mayorov||G||NR||TOGLIATTI 2||RUS-JR.||6-6||196||L||NR||NR|
Detroit Red Wings
The Detroit Red Wings added a number of solid prospects to their organization at this year’s draft but I think Marco Kasper at No. 8 was my favorite selection of theirs. He was my surprise top-10 candidate before the draft kicked off and I think he will mesh with Detroit perfectly. He has great offensive tools and a relentless work ethic that will not be matched. Steve Yzerman is never shy of going a little off the board with his picks and has had amazing success, I think Kasper will continue that trend.
|2||40||DET||Dylan James||LW||NR||SIOUX CITY||USHL||6-0||177||L||NR||NR|
|2||52||DET||Dmitri Buchelnikov||LW||113||SKA ST. PETERSBURG 2||RUS-JR.||5-10||168||R||NR||NR|
|4||105||DET||Anton Johansson||D||NR||LEKSAND JR.||SWE-JR.||6-4||172||R||68||EU|
|4||129||DET||Maximilian Kilpinen||LW||NR||OREBRO JR.||SWE-JR.||6-0||165||L||61||EU|
|5||137||DET||Tnias Mathurin||D||170||NORTH BAY||OHL||6-3||200||L||126||NA|
|7||212||DET||Brennan Ali||C||141||AVON OLD FARMS||HIGH-CT||6-0||193||L||83||NA|
Reid Schaefer may have been drafted earlier than he was predicted to, but I love what the Edmonton Oilers are getting in him. He had great production in the WHL during his draft year and brings tremendous size and strength to the Oilers prospect pool. The Oilers only had one pick in the first four rounds, and I really like what Schaefer can bring to them in the future.
|5||158||EDM||Samuel Jonsson||G||NR||BRYNAS JR.||SWE-JR.||6-3||190||L||NR||NR|
|6||190||EDM||Nikita Yevseyev||D||NR||BARS KAZAN||RUS-2||6-1||187||L||80||EU|
The Florida Panthers had no picks in the first two rounds, but that didn’t matter because they grabbed a really strong talent with the No. 221 pick in Jack Devine. A member of the NCAA Champions, Devine has great playmaking and work ethic that will endear him to his teammates and coaches. He was ranked No. 77 in FCHockey’s final rankings so getting him in the seventh round is tremendous value for the Panthers.
|5||157||FLA||Sandis Vilmanis||LW||248||LULEA JR.||SWE-JR.||6-1||192||L||39||EU|
|6||186||FLA||Josh Davies||LW||203||SWIFT CURRENT||WHL||5-10||197||L||69||NA|
|6||189||FLA||Tyler Muszelik||G||194||USA U-18||NTDP||6-3||195||L||4||NA|
Los Angeles Kings
Already owning one of the better prospect pools in the NHL, the Los Angeles Kings grabbed a great prospect at No. 51 when they drafted Jack Hughes from Northeastern. I love Hughes’ game. He’s a great two-way player who has strong puck skills and can impact the game at both ends of the ice. Los Angeles added another quality player in the second round with this pick and their already impressive group of prospects continued to grow with their draft picks this year.
|5||148||LAK||Otto Salin||D||66||HIFK JR.||FIN-JR.||5-11||187||R||23||EU|
|6||180||LAK||Jack Sparkes||D||NR||ST. MICHAELS||OJHL||6′ 7.75″||227||R||127||NA|
|7||215||LAK||Kaleb Lawrence||RW||NR||OWEN SOUND||OHL||6-6||225||L||NR||NR|
The Minnesota Wild had a solid draft, they had tremendous luck in the first round with Liam Ohgren and Danila Yurov but grabbing Mikey Milne at No. 89 was easily my favorite pick of theirs. Milne was one of Winnipeg’s best players in the WHL, and for Minnesota to grab a player with his potential and production in the third round was a great pick in my opinion. The Wild continue to do great work through the draft, and Milne is just another name on an already impressive list for them.
|1||19||MIN||Liam Ohgren||LW||18||DJURGARDEN JR.||SWE-JR.||6-0||187||L||8||EU|
|4||121||MIN||Ryan Healey||D||265||SIOUX FALLS||USHL||6-0||172||R||70||NA|
|6||185||MIN||Servac Petrovsky||C||123||OWEN SOUND||OHL||5-10||172||L||58||NA|
The host Montreal Canadiens made splash after splash and while I wasn’t the biggest fan of Juraj Slafkovsky at No. 1, I loved what the Canadiens did with the rest of their picks. Filip Mesar and Owen Beck were awesome picks, but I absolutely loved the Lane Hutson selection with the No. 62 pick. He has all the potential to turn into a dynamic offensive defenseman, if he learns to handle the strength and physicality of the NHL, he will be a star in the league before we know it.
|2||62||MON||Lane Hutson||D||31||USA U-18||NTDP||5-9||148||L||25||NA|
|3||92||MON||Adam Engstrom||D||NR||DJURGARDEN JR.||SWE-JR.||6-2||185||L||38||EU|
|4||127||MON||Cedrick Guindon||LW||150||OWEN SOUND||OHL||5-10||170||L||59||NA|
While Joakim Kemell at No. 17 was an awesome pick for the Nashville Predators, I loved Adam Ingram getting taken with the 82nd overall pick. Ingram is a true power forward with an elite shot that will give goalies fits at the next level. I thought he’d be an early second round pick so by grabbing him in the third round I think the Predators did an amazing job and have a potential star on their hands with Ingram.
|3||84||NSH||Kasper Kulonummi||D||65||JOKERIT JR.||FIN-JR.||6-0||178||R||29||EU|
New Jersey Devils
While I thought they’d go Wright with the second pick, I loved the New Jersey Devils going away from the conventional rankings and grabbing Simon Nemec at No. 2. Not only was it a cool story to see Slovakians go one and two, but I think the Devils got a potential star defender with Nemec. He has all the tools and physical traits to be a mainstay on the Devils blue line, which already has young talent at both the NHL level and within their prospect pool (Luke Hughes anyone?). Nemec was a great choice and New Jersey will be thrilled with him.
|2||46||NJD||Seamus Casey||D||32||USA U-18||NTDP||5-10||162||R||29||NA|
|4||102||NJD||Tyler Brennan||G||96||PRINCE GEORGE||WHL||6-4||184||L||1||NA|
|4||126||NJD||Charlie Leddy||D||159||USA U-18||NTDP||6-1||184||R||117||NA|
|5||141||NJD||Petr Hauser||RW||254||SPARTA JR.||CZ-JR.||6-3||200||R||100||EU|
|6||166||NJD||Josh Filmon||LW||98||SWIFT CURRENT||WHL||6-2||160||L||38||NA|
|7||198||NJD||Artyom Barabosha||D||NR||CSKA 2||RUS-JR.||6-3||189||R||95||EU|
New York Islanders
The New York Islanders traded their No. 13 pick for Alexander Romanov, but that didn’t stop them from making a splash with their first pick in this draft. I really enjoyed Calle Odelius at No. 65. He will bring a steadying presence to that blue line while providing some spark from the back end every now and again. I think New York did tidy work to help shore up the future of the blue line with the Romanov deal and the Odelius pick. Islanders fans should be excited about their defensive future, especially after getting burned on the Devon Toews trade.
|2||65||NYI||Calle Odelius||D||40||DJURGARDEN JR.||SWE-JR.||5-11||185||L||16||EU|
New York Rangers
The New York Rangers did tidy work by grabbing Adam Sykora in the second round at No. 63 overall. The Slovakian presence was strong in this class, and I think Sykora has the chance to be a really strong NHL player one day. I love his skillset and the goal scoring ability he will bring to the Rangers organization. The Rangers didn’t have an overly flashy draft, but they did solid work and this class will be headlined by Sykora. I would be shocked if anyone overtook him as the best Rangers prospect from 2022.
|3||97||NYR||Bryce McConnell-Barker||C||67||SAULT STE. MARIE||OHL||6-1||193||L||34||NA|
While they shipped off their first round pick for Alex Debrincat, the Ottawa Senators managed to have a very solid draft class anyways. I think the Tomas Hamara pick will be a fan favorite in a few years. He has all the tools to be steady two-way defender who drives transition from the back end. Senators fans will love his ability to move the puck and help suppress the oppositions attack. They have a few solid defensive prospects in the system already and grabbing Hamara is a great addition.
|2||64||OTT||Filip Nordberg||D||198||SODERTALJE JR.||SWE-JR.||6-4||207||L||52||EU|
|3||72||OTT||Oscar Pettersson||RW||222||ROGLE JR.||SWE-JR.||6-2||198||R||43||EU|
|3||87||OTT||Tomas Hamara||D||56||TAPPARA JR.||FIN-JR.||6-0||185||L||21||EU|
|5||143||OTT||Cameron O’Neill||RW||NR||MOUNT ST. CHARLES||HIGH-RI||6-0||182||R||77||NA|
|5||151||OTT||Kevin Reidler||G||NR||AIK JR.||SWE-JR.||6-5||176||L||NR||NR|
|6||168||OTT||Theo Wallberg||D||NR||SKELLEFTEA JR.||SWE-JR.||6-3||187||L||NR||NR|
Cutter Gauthier and Devin Kaplan are great picks, but the No. 133 overall selection of Alex Bump was easily my favorite selection the Philadelphia Flyers made. He has tremendous offensive upside and has the potential to be an impact player in a Flyers organization that is desperate for elite offensive talent. Bump has strength, tenacity and an elite shot that will make him a fan favorite in Philadelphia.
|1||5||PHI||Cutter Gauthier||LW||6||USA U-18||NTDP||6-2||189||L||3||NA|
|3||69||PHI||Devin Kaplan||RW||60||USA U-18||NTDP||6-2||199||R||61||NA|
|5||133||PHI||Alex Bump||LW||102||PRIOR LAKE||HIGH-MN||6-0||195||L||63||NA|
|7||197||PHI||Santeri Sulku||LW||146||JOKERIT JR.||FIN-JR.||6-3||185||L||54||EU|
The Pittsburgh Penguins locked up Kris Letang and had him announce their first selection in this year’s draft. Owen Pickering is going to be wonderful player for the Penguins in a few seasons. He has grown — literally and figuratively — immensely since his WHL draft year and has blossomed into a high-end prospect that can become a true top-four defender in Pittsburgh. Pickering has everything you want in a defender, he has the size, skating ability and all-around instincts that will let him play in all situations. The Penguins have a great one in Pickering and will find out soon enough.
|1||21||PIT||Owen Pickering||D||19||SWIFT CURRENT||WHL||6-4||178||L||15||NA|
|4||118||PIT||Sergei Murashov||G||244||LOKO-76 YAROSLAVL||RUS-JR.||6-0||167||R||7||EU|
|6||182||PIT||Luke Devlin||C||NR||ST. ANDREWS||HIGH-ON||6-3||181||L||NR||NR|
|7||214||PIT||Liam Arnsby||C||124||NORTH BAY||OHL||5-10||181||R||115||NA|
San Jose Sharks
Mike Grier, a rookie general manager, did a great job in his first draft with the San Jose Sharks. He had some solid value in this class, but my favorite selection was their third round pick in Michael Fisher. He was one of the most electrifying players in high school hockey, producing a ton of points for St. Mark’s School. Fisher is a long-term project, but he has all the potential in the world to be an elite offensive blue liner for years to come in the NHL.
|1||27||SJS||Filip Bystedt||C||35||LINKOPING JR.||SWE-JR.||6-3||187||L||17||EU|
|2||34||SJS||Cameron Lund||C||131||GREEN BAY||USHL||6-2||185||R||40||NA|
|2||45||SJS||Mattias Havelid||D||42||LINKOPING JR.||SWE-JR.||5-9||165||R||19||EU|
|3||76||SJS||Michael Fisher||D||NR||ST. MARK’S||HIGH-MA||6-2||193||R||52||NA|
|7||217||SJS||Reese Laubach||C||NR||NORTHSTAR U18||HIGH-MN||5-11||167||R||192||NA|
This was arguably the strongest draft class of all 32 teams in my opinion, but I have to go with the Seattle Kraken grabbing Wright at No. 4 as my favorite Seattle pick. With Wright, the Kraken now have another true top-six center prospect in the fold to join Matty Beniers. Wright was the No. 1 rated player in this class up until the last minute, so grabbing him at fourth is amazing for the Kraken and could end up being the steal of the draft if Wright hits the true ceiling we know he’s capable of.
|2||35||SEA||Jagger Firkus||RW||25||MOOSE JAW||WHL||5-10||153||R||12||NA|
|2||58||SEA||Niklas Kokko||G||182||KARPAT JR.||FIN-JR.||6-3||184||L||9||EU|
|3||68||SEA||Ty Nelson||D||41||NORTH BAY||OHL||5-10||196||R||32||NA|
|3||91||SEA||Ben MacDonald||C||NR||NOBLE & GREENOUGH||HIGH-MA||6-0||165||L||50||NA|
|4||100||SEA||Tyson Jugnauth||D||149||WEST KELOWNA||BCHL||5-11||155||L||66||NA|
|6||164||SEA||Barrett Hall||C||NR||GENTRY ACADEMNY||HIGH-MN||6-0||167||L||NR||NR|
|7||196||SEA||Kyle Jackson||C||220||NORTH BAY||OHL||6-2||191||L||158||NA|
St Louis Blues
In its entirety, I wasn’t the biggest fan of the St. Louis Blues draft, but of their six picks I really liked their first-round selection of Jimmy Snuggerud. I think Snuggerud has the potential to be a really strong impactful winger for the Blues. He isn’t the most flashy player but he has strong offensive instincts and an elite shot that would allow him to mesh nicely with the players the Blues have in their system like Jordan Kyrou and Robert Thomas. He went a little earlier than I would have thought, but when you’re a perennial playoff team like the Blues have been in recent years you can take risks with your first-round picks and this risk could pay off big time.
|1||23||STL||Jimmy Snuggerud||RW||38||USA U-18||NTDP||6-1||186||R||11||NA|
|3||73||STL||Aleksanteri Kaskimaki||C||70||HIFK JR.||FIN-JR.||6-0||181||L||25||EU|
|4||120||STL||Arseni Koromyslov||D||81||SKA ST. PETERSBURG 2||RUS-JR.||6-3||180||L||50||EU|
Tampa Bay Lightning
Isaac Howard was a great pick at the end of the first-round, but I loved the Tampa Bay Lightning selection of Lucas Edmonds in the third round at No. 86. The 21-year-old had a dominant season for the Kingston Frontenacs and looks like he has the scoring potential to turn into a solid NHL player. The Lightning always seem to find a vital member of their team later in the NHL Draft, and I think Edmonds will be that guy for them.
|1||31||TBL||Isaac Howard||LW||22||USA U-18||NTDP||5-10||182||L||9||NA|
|7||224||TBL||Klavs Veinbergs||LW||NR||RIGA 2||RUS-JR.||6-3||198||L||NR||NR|
Toronto Maple Leafs
They traded out of the first-round, but the Toronto Maple Leafs still managed to have an impressive draft class. I think they got a really solid prospect in Nicholas Moldenhauer in the third round at No. 95. He missed some time due to injury but he was a vital member of the Chicago Steel’s offensive attack once he got back into the lineup. I think he got a strong chance to prove himself when he played at the World Under-18’s for Canada and he should take another big leap forward this season. Toronto got a good one, and new assistant general manager Ryan Hardy likely had some influence on this pick.
|4||122||TOR||Dennis Hildeby||G||NR||FARJESTAD JR.||SWE-JR.||6-5||209||L||NR||NR|
|5||135||TOR||Nikita Grebyonkin||RW||NR||MAGNITOGORSK 2||RUS-JR.||6-2||183||L||51||EU|
The Vancouver Canucks had a nice draft class, Jonathan Lekkerimaki and Elias Pettersson were solid picks who can turn into nice players, but I loved the fourth-round pick Daimon Gardner. He has all the tools you want in a prospect — a big frame, impressive offensive traits, and scoring potential. He’s raw and needs time to find his game, but the Canucks took a big swing on Garnder and I love the idea of taking home run cut in the later rounds of the draft.
|3||80||VAN||Elias Pettersson||D||129||OREBRO JR.||SWE-JR.||6-2||185||L||37||EU|
|5||144||VAN||Ty Young||G||266||PRINCE GEORGE||WHL||6-3||181||L||6||NA|
|6||176||VAN||Jackson Dorrington||D||216||DES MOINES||USHL||6-2||192||L||71||NA|
|7||208||VAN||Kirill Kudryavtsev||D||143||SAULT STE. MARIE||OHL||6-0||200||L||108||NA|
Vegas Golden Knights
The Vegas Golden Knights didn’t have a first-round pick because of the Jack Eichel trade, but I think they got a great value pick in Matyas Sapovaliv at No. 48. The Saginaw Spirit had a rough season, but Sapovaliv managed to be a consistent performer for them. He has offensive upside, an NHL ready frame that should allow him to translate well to the next level. His biggest thing will be finding a way to put all of his tools together and become a bigger impact player, but I expect him to take a big step this season. Vegas did really well by taking a chance on him, and it should help them start to restock their prospect pool that has been depleted by their constant trades.
This was an easy decision for me Ivan Miroshnichenko was an absolutely amazing pick at 20th overall and just feels like a perfect fit for the Washington Capitals. If not for some health concerns and the Russian factor, we are talking about a potential top-10 talent in this draft and Washington now has another big Russian power forward they can mentor. He’s already starting to get back onto the ice and train so the worries over his battle with Hodgkin’s lymphoma are lessened. If he gets back to his original form Washington has a potential top-six scoring winger that can be a star in their organization.
|1||20||WAS||Ivan Miroshnichenko||LW||23||OMSK KRYLIA||RUS-2||6-1||185||R||11||EU|
|2||37||WAS||Ryan Chesley||D||20||USA U-18||NTDP||6-0||195||R||18||NA|
|3||70||WAS||Alexander Suzdalev||LW||84||HV 71 JR.||SWE-JR.||6-2||172||L||26||EU|
|3||85||WAS||Ludwig Persson||LW||88||FROLUNDA JR.||SWE-JR.||6-0||178||L||46||EU|
|7||213||WAS||David Gucciardi||D||NR||MICHIGAN STATE||BIG10||6-1||185||L||57||NA|
The Winnipeg Jets had two first-rounders and both were great picks. Their entire draft, in fact, was actually very strong. I have to go with Brad Lambert at No. 30 here though. I love the Jets taking the big gamble of Lambert — he has immense talent but just hasn’t found a way to translate it to the scoring sheet yet. His size, strength, skating ability, and puck skills are all amongst the best in the class, but his downward trajectory over the last few years really plummeted his draft stock. Winnipeg took a big swing and if Lambert can find a way to capture the form he had in his brief World Juniors appearance in December, the Jets will be getting tremendous value late in the first round.
|1||14||WPG||Rutger McGroarty||RW||15||USA U-18||NTDP||6-1||200||L||22||NA|
|2||55||WPG||Elias Salomonsson||D||48||SKELLEFTEA JR.||SWE-JR.||6-0||172||R||12||EU|
|4||99||WPG||Garrett Brown||D||NR||SIOUX CITY||USHL||6-2||178||R||102||NA|
|6||175||WPG||Fabian Wagner||C||93||LINKOPING JR.||SWE-JR.||5-11||170||L||27||EU|
|7||207||WPG||Domenic Divincentiis||G||213||NORTH BAY||OHL||6-2||184||L||24||NA|