March 3, 2022

Top 2022 NHL Draft eligibles for the month for February

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 February 2022, alphabetically listed.

Kevin Anderson, F, Notre Dame Hounds (SJHL)

FCHockey rank: NR

February stat line: 14GP – 7G, 13A, 20PTS

This first name might be one you don’t recognize, but it’s a name you need to pay attention to. Kevin Anderson has been flying under the radar this season, which isn’t surprising given that he plays in the SJHL. There aren’t a large number of players selected from the Saskatchewan league to the NHL, but this Notre Dame captain could buck that trend.

With 70 points (25 goals, 45 assists) in 52 games, Anderson turned it on in February with his 20 points in 14 games. Committed to Princeton University, Anderson was named the SJHL’s Player of the Month, helping his team into the final spot in the playoffs. His point total led all draft-eligibles for February.

Brandon Lisowsky, C, Saskatoon Blades (WHL)

FCHockey rank: NR

February stat line: 12GP – 7G, 10A, 17PTS

Sticking in Western Canada, Brandon Lisowsky‘s performance in the Western Hockey League has been turning some heads. The Saskatoon Blades center is just getting better and better this season, with his 17 points in February bringing his season total to 49 points (28 goals, 21 assists) in 50 games.

Lisowsky is now playing nearly at a point-per-game pace this season and he’s been catching the eye of scouts. His point total led all draft-eligible WHL players in February. He sits third on the team in points on the campaign. Look for him to finish the season strong as he gears up for the 2022 NHL Draft.

Liam Ohgren, LW, Djurgardens J20 (J20 Nationell)

FCHockey rank: 32

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

Liam Ohgren makes this list for the second time this season, just continuing to impress FCHockey’s scouts. The Swedish winger played the entire month of February in the J20 Nationell, highlighted by a four-game point streak with three-straight games of four or more points.

He’s up to 49 points (27 goals, 22 assists) in 26 games. Ohgren leads the league in points-per-game (among those with at least three games) with 1.88. He’s tied third for goals, despite playing 20 and 12 games less than the two players ahead of him — and he only trails the top player by three goals. Yeah, he’s having a year you need to be paying closer attention to.

“Ohgren is a forward that has so many different layers to his game,” Swedish scout Fredrik Haak explained. “He could be the puck distributor that sets up his teammates with crisp passes, but he could also execute and score himself. He plays a key role on the power play from the circles or behind the net. Ohgren has a phenomenal way of changing tempo and taking advantage of it when he challenges a defender in the offensive zone.

“He continuously keeps his feet going and with playmaking and smooth puckhandling he could create a chance every shift. His hockey IQ and sense is well above average and he knows what to do in different situations. The powerful winger has good physics and, combined with a speedy and strong skating, he wins a lot of time and space when he wants to find open areas or when he forechecks or backcheck.”

Juraj Slafkovsky, LW, Team Slovakia (Olympic Games)

FCHockey rank: 8

February stat line: 7GP – 7G, 7PTS

Aright, this is an obvious one. Juraj Slafkovsky might be the biggest name in the draft right now, other than the projected first-overall pick who will appear later on this list. One of a handful of draft-eligibles representing their country at the 2022 Beijing Olympics, Slafkovsky took his game to another level, showing exactly what his potential is. And everyone has taken notice.

He put on his Slovak jersey and became a star on an international stage. His seven goals led the tournament. His seven points also led the Games. He was named tournament MVP and led the team to an Olympic bronze medal. Oh, and he was named to the tournament All-Star team, too. Slafkovsky has been a top-10 talent all season, but he’s likely played himself into the top-five — at least.

“He’s a big versatile winger, who can both dish the puck and finish the play himself,” Finnish scout Rasmus Tornqvist said in an Olympic scouting report. “His ability to create opportunities both for himself and for his teammates (continues) to impress me. Slafkovsky (shows) relentless effort on the backcheck… often the first forward back in the defensive zone to help his defenders.

“His physical game is decent, but given his size, he could become an even more scary opponent if he would further utilize his impressive frame when battling opponents near the boards.”

Shane Wright, C, Kingston Frontenacs (OHL)

FCHockey rank: 1

February stat line: 12GP – 6G, 13A, 19PTS

Shane Wright continues to do the Wright things. All those discussions about whether or not he’s the No. 1 pick? Yeah, those can be put to bed. It’s fun to think ‘who could overtake him,’ but at this point, it’s not happening. Wright may have started the season slow — once again reminding you that he missed a year of league play — but he’s been on ever since. That’s continued into February, with his 19 points.

This past month brings Wright up to 62 points (21 goals, 41 assists) on the season. At this point in the season, the question simply becomes, how many points can he put up? We’re just going to have to wait and see, but it’s going to be a fun ride.

“Wright is a two-way center who plays with pace and has a high understanding of the game. His on-ice awareness, vision and shot (stand) out,” OHL scout Mat Sheridan reported. “Wright consistently (moves) around the offensive zone, looking for open ice and (shows) his ability to find teammates through traffic with a quick pass.

“He’s hard on the forecheck, pressuring opponents to make plays under pressure. He has elite shooting mechanics, generating a ton of torque in his shot and he can shoot it off off both feet and in stride. He’s able to use his strong skating base to create separation between himself and others and takes direct routes to the puck.”

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