2022 NHL Mock Draft: Predicting Each of the First Two Rounds
2022 NHL Mock Draft: Predicting Each of the First Two Rounds
Matt MacKay predicts every first and second-round draft pick in the upcoming 2022 NHL Draft. By assessing the top-ranked prospects in each position, the draft order, and team needs, Matt will make his most accurate predictions for where each player will be taken.
2022 NHL Mock Draft
1. MONTREAL CANADIENS: SHANE WRIGHT, C, KINGSTON (OHL)
Montreal takes the top North American center in the draft, Shane Wright, with the No. 1 overall pick. Wright may not excite Canadiens fans with flashiness, but his fundamentals are sound, and he's equipped with a long-range shot and elite vision. Wright should slot in nicely behind Nick Suzuki on the second attack line.
2. NEW JERSEY DEVILS: JURAJ SLAFKOVSKY, LW, TPS (FIN)
New Jersey elects to take Juraj Slafkovsky with the second overall pick, solidifying their first-line attack alongside star center Nico Hischier. Slafkovsky is a towering 6-4, 230-pound left wing with impressive puck handling and high hockey IQ to establish intelligent possessions. However, However, Slafkovsky needs to develop more aggression and physicality with his frame.
3. ARIZONA COYOTES: LOGAN COOLEY, C, USA U-18 (NTDP)
Cooley has minimal flaws in his game, making him an easy pick to upgrade the depleted roster of the Arizona Coyotes. His lack of size is not an issue, and his speed, handles, and vision will earn Cooley massive minutes in the Desert.
4. SEATTLE KRAKEN: SIMON NEMEC, D, NITRA (SLVK)
The Kraken got off to a slow start during their inaugural season, with glaring weaknesses in their defense. However, Simon Nemec is the antidote needed to improve Seattle's outlook in 2022, as he plays with a fascinating mixture of speed and skating that allows him to be an asset on both ends of the rink. Nemec amassed 17 points across 19 games while playing for Nitra in Slovakia.
5. PHILADELPHIA FLYERS: DAVID JIRICEK, D, PLZN (CZREP)
The second defenseman off the board will be David Jiricek. The Flyers desperately need to improve their porous defense that surrendered dozens of shots per night to their goaltenders. Jiricek will bring speed and physicality to the back-end of Philadelphia's defense that will sear its bad habits.
6. COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS: CUTTER GAUTHIER, LW/C, USA U-18, (NTDP)
Columbus gets one of the best overall players in Cutter Gauthier's offensive zone. He's 6-2, 200-pounds and can shift between wing and center, offering a versatile skill set and an aggressive shot to strengthen Columbus' attack next season.
7. OTTAWA SENATORS: MATTHEW SAVOIE, C, WINNIPEG (WHL)
Only three players exceeded 20 goals for Ottawa in 2021, so the Senators elect to draft WHL center Matthew Savoie. He's smaller but has a quality shot and high-caliber passing to improve the third-line attack in Ottawa.
8. DETROIT RED WINGS: JOAKIM KEMELL, RW, JYP (FIN)
Dylan Larkin, Tyler Bertuzzi, and Lucas Raymond get another talented offensive weapon in Joakim Kemell. The Finnish winger has a strong shot, speed, and puck handling to insert himself on the Red Wings' top-three lines quickly.
9. BUFFALO SABRES: FRANK NAZAR, C, USA U-18 (NTDP)
Buffalo takes a shot on the undersized American, Frank Nazar, a shifty, high-motor player who uses his speed to position himself for scoring opportunities. Nazar could usurp Dylan Cozens as the second-line center for the Sabres in 2023 after playing for a year at the University of Michigan.
10. ANAHEIM DUCKS: PAVEL MINTYUKOV, D, SAGINAW (OHL)
Pavel Mintyukov is a defender with elite skating and scoring ability, making him a priority target for Anaheim. He scored 62 points, including 17 goals, for Saginaw and is a big-bodied defender with high-end mobility.
11. SAN JOSE SHARKS: DANILA YUROV, RW, MAGNITOGORSK (RUS)
The Sharks need a third or fourth scorer to rely on after a top-heavy presence made itself felt in 2021. Danila Yurov is a development project, but he's talented enough to have averaged 1.57 points across 23 games in Russia's junior league.
12. COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS: LIAN BISCHEL, D, LEKSANDS (SHL)
Columbus gets their second pick inside the top-12 and pivots to address their defense, selecting defenseman Lian Bischel. He's a towering 6-5, a 216-pound prospect that is a textbook defender due to his mobility, size, and reach.
13. NEW YORK ISLANDERS:JIMM MARCO KASPER, C, ROGLE (SWE)
Marco Kasper flies off the board at 13th to the New York Islanders. He has a powerful shot and a blend of speed and puck handling that will be a fantastic addition to a starved offense that the Islanders relied on last season.
14. WINNIPEG JETS: CONOR GEEKIE, C, WINNIPEG (WHL)
Conor Geekie stays in Winnipeg and adds more depth to their offense with many quality areas in his game. Geekie's most notable skills show up with his puck handling and shot-taking, while his skating will need to improve at the next level to beat defenders in transition.
15. VANCOUVER CANUCKS: RYAN CHESLEY, D, USA U-18 (NTDP)
Ryan Chesley has committed to the University of Minnesota for the 2022-23 season, but his talent is too good to pass up. Vancouver narrowly missed the playoffs, and adding Chesley provides an enforcer with the speed that transfers on both ends of the rink.
16. BUFFALO SABRES: BRAD LAMBERT, RW, PELICANS LIIGA (FIN)
Another first-round pick for Buffalo will send Brad Lambert to beef up their attack. The Sabres will relish Lambert's unique combination of puck handling and speed to set up scoring possessions.
17. NASHVILLE PREDATORS: OWEN PICKERING, D, SWIFT CURRENT (WHL)
Owen Pickering measures 6-4 and will be an excellent investment for Nashville to make for the future of their franchise. Pickering can learn behind star defenseman Roman Josi and develop his game, which yielded nine goals and 24 assists last year in the WHL.
18. DALLAS STARS: LANE HUSTON, D, USA U-18 (NTDP)
Lane Hutson facilitated offense well during his time in the US NTDP program, scoring 63 points and 53 assists last season. The defenseman is undersized, but his high motor and elite offensive talent will make him an asset in one of the Stars' top three defensive pairings.
19. LOS ANGELES KINGS: JIMMY SNUGGERUD, RW, USA U-18 (NTDP)
Jimmy Snuggerud will add youthful scoring to an older Los Angeles Kings roster beginning in 2023 after his year at the University of Minnesota concludes.
20. WASHINGTON CAPITALS: OWEN BECK, C, MISSISSAUGA (OHL)
Adding a two-way player like center Owen Beck, who scored 51 points in 2021 in the OHL, will help Washington add a quality depth piece to its offense in 2022.
21. PITTSBURGH PENGUINS: RUTGER MCGROARTY, LW, USA U-18 (NTDP)
Rutger McGroarty is the reigning goal-scorer in the US NTDP, finishing with 35 goals across 54 games. He's going to be the future of Pittsburgh as stars Sidney Crosby, Kris Letang, and Evgeni Malkin are all at least 34 years old.
22. ANAHEIM DUCKS: JIRI KULICH, LW/C, KARLOVY VARY (CZE)
Anaheim is the third time with multiple first-round draft capital at this juncture, resulting in their decision to draft Jiri Kulich. He has the experience and skillset to be a valuable contributor during his first year with the Ducks.
23. ST. LOUIS BLUES: SEAMUS CASEY, D, USA U-18 (NTDP)
The Blues felt the impact of their injuries mostly on defense in 2021, so they opt to draft Seamus Casey. An undersized defenseman, Casey's appeal lies in his high-end skating and IQ, allowing him to create plenty of scoring opportunities. He also uses his strength to stave off opposing attacks in the defensive zone.
24. MINNESOTA WILD: DENTON METEYCHUK, D, MOOSE JAW (WHL)
Minnesota's defense consistently showed an inability to contribute within the offensive zone in 2021. The Wild drafted Denton Meteychuk out of the WHL as a more undersized defenseman with a playmaking ability to create more scoring chances on their defensive rotations.
25. TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS: MATTIAS HAVELID, D, LINKOPING JR. (SWE)
Most of Toronto's assists came from the offensive attack lines, while only Morgan Rielly scored double-digit goals (10) for the Maple Leafs during their 2021 season. Mattias Havelid offers a steady dose of offense but is a strong protector in the defensive zone. Havelid scored four goals and eight assists during Sweden's win at the U-18 international tournament.
26. MONTREAL CANADIENS: TRISTAN LUNEAU, D, GATINEAU (QMJHL)
Tristan Luneau gets drafted to the Canadiens after being named defensive rookie of the year(ROTY) during the 2020-21 season, where the talented defenseman scored 12 goals and over 30 assists for Gatineau in the QMJHL. His scoring ability will help Montreal immensely.
27. ARIZONA COYOTES: TY NELSON, D, NORTH BAY (OHL)
Arizona gets three first-round picks and elects to use their second on defenseman Ty Nelson. He's excellent at his primary duty, defending the defensive zone, sealing off counterattacks, and showing his transition skills.
28. BUFFALO SABRES: LUCA DEL BEL BELLUZ, C, MISSISSAUGA (OHL)
Buffalo finishes their third and final opening-round pick by drafting center Luca Del Bel Belluz. He has an innate vision and high hockey IQ, which allows him to get into a position to be a contributor in the offensive zone during high-percentage plays.
29. EDMONTON OILERS: JAGGER FIRKUS, RW, MOOSE JAW (WHL)
Scouts admire Jagger Firkus and his quick, accurate shot. He's undersized at 5-10, 153-pounds, but Firkus will be a welcome addition to Edmonton's depth chart, creating an equal redistribution of talent across their roster.
30. WINNIPEG JETS: JULIAN LUTZ, LW, MUNCHEN (DEL)
Julian Lutz has strong speed, puck handling, and shooting to make the Winnipeg Jets interested in his services. The effort can sometimes wane, but he has the skill set and profile to develop into a talented professional.
31. TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING: ISAAC HOWARD, LW, USA U-18 (NTDP)
Isaac Howard is a talented scorer who will add excellent depth to one of the best rosters in the league. Tampa Bay will enjoy his deking and decision-making to propel its lower lines during Howard's acclimation process.
32. ARIZONA COYOTES: LIAM OHGREN, LW, DJURGARDEN JR. (SWE)
The Coyotes complete their three first-round picks by selecting Swedish winger Liam Ohgren. He scored a whopping 33 goals and 25 assists in 30 games during play in the Swedish junior leagues.
2022 NHL Mock Draft Round 2
33. MONTREAL CANADIENS: JONATHAN LEKKERIMAKI, RW, DJURGARDEN (SWE)
Montreal continues building its offense with right-wing Jonathan Lekkerimaki out of Sweden. Lekkerimaki is a slight build at 5-10, 165-pounds but uses his elite shot-making ability to make himself an asset within the Canadiens' offense in 2022.
34. ARIZONA COYOTES: IVAN MIROSCHNICHENKO, LW, OMSK KRYLIA (RUS)
Arizona continues to hammer offense with its wealth of draft capital, selecting left wing Ivan Miroschnichenko. He's a player with few flaws and possesses a high-caliber shot to play a strong brand of hockey. His recent Hodgkin's lymphoma diagnosis is the primary reason he slips into the second round to Arizona, as his future in the league is not a certainty.
35. SEATTLE KRAKEN: NATHAN GAUCHER, C, QUEBEC (QMJHL)
The Kraken draft Nathan Gaucher to center one of their top three lines, as he does everything well and commits few mistakes. Gaucher is not going to take over any game with high-end scoring, but he is a quality player in establishing scoring possessions.
36. ARIZONA COYOTES: ELIAS SALOMONSSON, D, SKELLEFTEA JR. (SWE)
Elias Salomonsson will continue to join the pool of prospects drafted to Arizona. The Swedish defenseman offers a strong one-timer shot and finesse passing on offense while using his strength to collapse opposing counterattacks in the defensive zone.
37. NEW JERSEY DEVILS: CALLE ODELIUS, D, DJURGARDEN JR. (SWE)
New Jersey has to wait a while after drafting their top prospect Juraj Slafkovsky, but they finally get on the board again and take defenseman Calle Odelius. Odelius is not an enforcer but has top-end skating and a good hockey IQ that affords him the ability to be an asset on both ends of the ice.
38. CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS: RIEGER LORENZ, LW, OKOTOKS (AJHL)
Chicago needs to add more scorers to their roster outside Patrick Kane and Alex DeBrincat, so they draft Rieger Lorenz out of the AJHL. Lorenz has a lot of skill to offer in the offensive zone, but he does not always make the best decisions regarding his IQ. Shooting and puck handling are desirable attributes to entice the Blackhawks.
39. OTTAWA SENATORS: GLEB TRIKOZOV, LW, OMSK 2 (RUS)
Gleb Trikozov is a left-wing prospect out of Russia, but he will likely transition into a much-needed right wing for Ottawa in 2022. Trikozov has excellent vision, puck handling, and shooting to offer to the Senators.
40. DETROIT RED WINGS: FILIP BYSTEDT, C, LINKOPING JR. (SWE)
The Red Wings add center Filip Bystedt out of Sweden. This pick shows that Detroit is willing to invest in the 6-3, 187-pound prospect as a high-upside development project on a young roster.
41. BUFFALO SABRES: NOAH OSTLUND, C, DJURGARDEN JR. (SWE)
Buffalo rejoices at landing center Noah Ostlund this late in the draft. He's a player with seemingly no weaknesses and has already competed professionally in several overseas leagues.
42. ANAHEIM DUCKS: ALEXANDER PEREVALOV, LW, YAROSLAVL 2 (RUS)
Anaheim struggled with scoring in 2021, so they go out and add left-wing Alexander Perevalov out of Russia. He's a big-bodied winger with a robust collection of shots to be a contributor in the offensive zone, assuming the Ducks can develop his skating ability.
43. ARIZONA COYOTES: SAM RINZEL, D, CHASKA (HIGH-MN)
Sam Rinzel is a 6-4, 177-pound defenseman who will be an excellent asset for Arizona in the offensive zone. He will need to become a bit more physical to avoid being a liability when defending the zone.
44. COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS: MAVERIC LAMOREUX, D, DRUMMONDVILLE (QMJHL)
Columbus bolsters their defense with Maveric Lamoreux out of the QMJHL. He's a mobile, explosive, physical defenseman who can skate well despite measuring 6-6, 200-pounds.
45. ARIZONA COYOTES: FILIP MESAR, RW, POPRAD (SLK)
Arizona cashes in on yet another draft pick and selects Filip Mesar to add speed to their offense. The right winger out of Slovakia has high-caliber playmaking ability that should quickly earn him minutes on an offensively-starved team like the Coyotes.
46. WASHINGTON CAPITALS: TOMAS HAMARA, D, TAPPARA JR. (FIN)
Washington does not have a lot of draft capital, so they elect to focus on improving their leaky defense from a year ago. Thanks to quality skating, Tomas Hamara can run interference and deliver pucks on the net.
47. MINNESOTA WILD: MATYAS SAPOVALIV, C, SAGINAW (OHL)
Minnesota is loaded at wing, but their rostered centers are underwhelming. They elect to draft Matyas Sapovaliv out of the OHL, a left-handed center that can create, distribute, and finish possessions efficiently. His skating difficulties are why he drops to the Wild in the middle of the second round.
48. VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS: KIRILL DOLZHENKOV, RW, CSKA 2 (RUS)
Vegas finally makes their first pick in the 2022 NHL Draft and elects to take a bruising winger, Kirill Dolzhenkov, to develop into a better skater. He's 6-6, 234-pounds, and has a high motor and good vision to be a solid player in the offensive zone.
49. SEATTLE KRAKEN: OTTO SALIN, D, HIFK JR. (FIN)
Seattle continues to focus on their defense and drafts Otto Salin out of Finland. Salin struggles to create separation but is a quality puck handler in open ice and can extend plays.
50. DALLAS STARS: FRASER MINTEN, C, KAMLOOPS (WHL)
Dallas will quickly pounce on center Fraser Minten. He offers scoring and deking, which the Stars could use more of heading into 2022.
51. LOS ANGELES KINGS: JANI NYMAN, RW, ILVES (FIN)
The Kings gravitate towards Jani Nyman due to his quality shooting and puck handling abilities. Nyman is a 6-2, 212-pound winger who is a natural playmaker.
52. DETROIT RED WINGS: NOAH WARREN, D, GATINEAU (QMJHL)
The Red Wings attempt to strike gold with 6-4, 216-pound defenseman Noah Warren out of the QMJHL. He's more of a piece to shore up the defensive zone than an offensive asset at this time.
53. ANAHEIM DUCKS: QUINN FINLEY, LW, MADISON (USHL)
Finley has the speed and can finish at the net to make him an attractive prospect for the Ducks this late in the draft. While Finley did commit to the University of Wisconsin, he has all of the requisite skills to be an excellent offensive weapon in a couple of years.
54. BOSTON BRUINS: FABIAN WAGNER, C, LINKOPING JR. (SWE)
Boston will make its first draft pick late but make the most of it by drafting center Fabian Wagner. Wagner has speed and a high motor to compensate for his 5-10, 170-pound frame.
55. WINNIPEG JETS: MICHAEL BUCHINGER, D, GUELPH (OHL)
Winnipeg desperately needs better defensemen, and Michael Buchinger could be enough to resolve their weakness. He's good at mitigating opponents' attacks and is a quality playmaker in transition.
56. MINNESOTA WILD: JACK HUGHES, C, NORTHEASTERN (H-EAST)
Hughes can score goals, display creativity in the offensive zone, and easily control the puck. Minnesota will draft this 5-11, 170-pound left-handed center primarily for his motor and physicality.
57. CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS: ARTEM DUDA, D, CSKA 2 (RUS)
Artem Duda is not speedy but has good puck handling and is an asset in the offensive zone, which is why Chicago will draft him. However, Duda needs to improve his skating and vision to earn 20-plus minutes.
58. SEATTLE KRAKEN: JULIAN LUTZ, LW, MUNCHEN (GER)
After an injury kept Julian Lutz out for most of the season, he returned and displayed his puck handling and skating to create quality shots on the net. Seattle needs playmakers like Lutz, so they draft him to build their scoring depth.
59. CALGARY FLAMES: CRUZ LUCIUS, RW, USA U-18 (NTDP)
Skating and a wrist injury are the only reasons Cruz Lucius falls this far to Calgary as the 59th overall draft pick. Lucius has solid scoring and aggression to make him an asset in the Flames' lineup for years to come.
60. CAROLINA HURRICANES: ADAM ENGSTROM, D, DJURGARDEN JR. (SWE)
Carolina drafts Adam Engstrom due to his size (6-2, 185-pounds) and his ability to rip high-quality shots in the offensive zone. He has good passing skills that will allow the Hurricanes to create more scoring chances in transition on their lower lines.
61. SEATTLE KRAKEN: MIKO MATIKKA, RW, JOKERIT JR. (FIN)
Miko Matikka is a goal-scoring machine and is a good skater in tight spaces. Seattle will draft Matikka as a future asset to improve their scoring, as he's already committed to the University of Denver for the 2022-23 season.
62. MONTREAL CANADIENS: DANIL ZHILKIN, C, GUELPH (OHL)
Montreal gets another quality center after opening up the draft with Shane Wright, drafting Danil Zhilkin out of the OHL to improve their scoring depth. Zhilkin is not fast or consistent enough with his physicality, but his offensive skill set cannot be denied.
63. NEW YORK RANGERS: HUNTER HAIGHT, C, BARRIE (OHL)
Puck handling and vision are Hunter Haight's most distinct attributes, creating enough draw for the New York Rangers to draft him near the end of the second round. Once again, Haight's size drops him down draft boards into a team with a roster built to win in 2022.
64. NEW YORK ISLANDERS: MATTHEW POITRAS, C, GUELPH (OHL)
Matthew Poitras has excellent hockey IQ and skill within the offensive zone, making himself a desirable prospect for the New York Islanders to draft. Poitras is a grinder but does not have the top-end speed to be valued as an "elite" player in this draft class.
65. OTTAWA SENATORS: VIKTOR NUECHEV, LW, YEKATERINBURG 2 (RUS)
Ottawa finishes the second round of the 2022 NHL Draft with Viktor Nuechev. The Russian winger shoots left-handed and has a strong shot that carries from all over the offensive zone. Not only is he a good scorer, but Nuechev also possesses excellent vision and can execute incredible passes to create good plays for the offense.
Matt is an avid writer, editor, and researcher. He enjoys analyzing the game within the game which is fantasy sports and sports betting. Music is another constant in his daily life. Matt loves spending time with his wife and three pets. He likes to read, listen to podcasts, and is constantly motivated to create the most accurate and engaging content in the sports betting industry.