NHL Draft 2022: Updated Order, Top Prospects and 1st-Round Mock

Jake RillFeatured Columnist IIApril 20, 2022

NHL Draft 2022: Updated Order, Top Prospects and 1st-Round Mock

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    Claus Andersen/Getty Images

    There isn't much still to be decided during the 2021-22 NHL regular season. In the Eastern Conference, it's already known which eight teams are heading to the playoffs. As for the Western Conference, seven teams are battling for the final four postseason berths.

    So 13 NHL teams that have been eliminated from playoff contention, meaning they can focus on the future, starting with the 2022 NHL draft, which is set to take place July 7 and 8 at the Bell Centre in Montreal.

    Before then, the draft lottery will be held, although a date has not yet been set. That will determine the draft order for the 16 non-playoff teams. And whichever team ends up at No. 1 will get to pick from the talented pool of available players in this year's class.

    Here's the latest mock for how the first round of this year's draft could unfold. The order shown is courtesy of Tankathon's projections, but it is almost certain change based on results down the stretch and the outcome of the draft lottery.

1st-Round Mock Draft

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    Paul Sancya/Associated Press

    1. Arizona Coyotes: Shane Wright, C, Kingston (OHL)

    2. Montreal Canadiens: Logan Cooley, C, U.S. National Team Development Program

    3. Philadelphia Flyers: Juraj Slafkovsky, LW, TPS (FIN)

    4. Seattle Kraken: Simon Nemec, D, HK Nitra (SVK)

    5. Columbus Blue Jackets (via Chicago Blackhawks): Joakim Kemell, C, JYP (FIN)

    6. New Jersey Devils: David Jiricek, D, HC Plzen (CZE)

    7. Ottawa Senators: Brad Lambert, C/RW, Pelican (Liiga)

    8. Buffalo Sabres: Matthew Savoie, C, Winnipeg (WHL)

    9. Detroit Red Wings: Frank Nazar, RW, U.S. National Team Development Program

    10. San Jose Sharks: Conor Geekie, C, Winnipeg (WHL)

    11. Anaheim Ducks: Denton Mateychuk, D, Moose Jaw (WHL)

    12. Columbus Blue Jackets: Owen Pickering, D, Swift Current (WHL)

    13. Winnipeg Jets: Kevin Korchinski, D, Seattle (WHL)

    14. New York Islanders: Jonathan Lekkerimaki, C/RW, Djurgardens IF J20 (SWE)

    15. Vancouver Canucks: Danila Yurov, RW, Magnitogorsk (KHL)

    16. Buffalo Sabres (via Vegas Golden Knights): Lian Bichsel, D, Leksands IF J20 (SWI)

    17. Los Angeles Kings: Pavel Mintyukov, D, Saginaw (OHL)

    18. Dallas Stars: Jimmy Snuggerud, RW, U.S. National Team Development Program

    19. Nashville Predators: Cutter Gauthier, LW, U.S. National Team Development Program

    20. Edmonton Oilers: Liam Ohgren, LW, Djurgardens IF J20 (SWE)

    21. Pittsburgh Penguins: Rutger McGroarty, C, U.S. National Team Development Program

    22. Washington Capitals: Marco Kasper, C, Rogle BK J20 (SWE)

    23. Anaheim Ducks (via Boston Bruins): Luca Del Bel Belluz, C/LW, Mississauga (OHL)

    24. Tampa Bay Lightning: Sam Rinzel, D, Waterloo (USHL)

    25. St. Louis Blues: Isaac Howard, LW, U.S. National Team Development Program

    26. Minnesota Wild: Filip Mesar, C, HK Poprad (SVK)

    27. New York Rangers: Owen Beck, C, Mississauga (OHL)

    28. Toronto Maple Leafs: Calle Odelius, D, Djurgardens IF J20 (SWE)

    29. Montreal Canadiens (via Calgary Flames): Elias Salomonsson, D, Skelleftea AIK J20 (SWE)

    30. Arizona Coyotes (via Carolina Hurricanes): Seamus Casey, D, U.S. National Team Development Program

    31. Buffalo Sabres (via Florida Panthers): Ivan Miroshnichenko, LW, Omskie (MHL)

    32. Arizona Coyotes (via Colorado Avalanche): Alexander Perevalov, LW, Loko Yaroslavl (MHL)

Shane Wright, C, Kingston (OHL)

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    Most years, there's a consensus top prospect in the NHL draft class. And that's the case in 2022, as barring a huge surprise, Shane Wright will be going to whichever team lands the No. 1 overall pick.

    Wright got off to a bit of a slow start for Kingston in the OHL this season, but he soon picked it up to post some impressive numbers. The 18-year-old center has 32 goals and 62 assists in 63 games for the Frontenacs while also serving as the team's captain.

    Although Wright may not have the flashiest moves on the ice, he's a strong all-around player, which is why he remains the top player in the draft class, according to The Athletic's Corey Pronman.

    "He's a very well-rounded center who has no noticeable flaw in his skill set, but he also does not have a ton about his game that gets you overly excited," Pronman wrote. "He can skate and handle the puck like an NHLer. Wright's game translates because of his compete level and direct style of play."

    Based on that projection, Wright should be a safe pick for the team at No. 1, which is a reason he's likely to be the first player selected.

Logan Cooley, C, U.S. National Team Development Program

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    Logan Cooley is one of the top players for the U.S. National Team Development Program, and next season, he will be heading to the University of Minnesota. But before Cooley takes the ice for the Golden Gophers, he's going to be one of the first players selected in the NHL draft.

    Cooley is preparing to play in the 2022 IIHF U18 Men's World Championship with the U.S. He scored one of the Americans' goals in their final pre-tournament game against Finland recently, which they won 6-1.

    While Cooley will look to continue his stellar play, he's already solidified his spot as a top draft prospect. According to NHL Central Scouting, Cooley's top assets are his playmaking ability and his hockey sense, and he's "a dynamic skater, shifty with a great burst with the puck and plays above the pace."

    There's a good chance that Cooley will continue to have success at the college level considering he's a talented player joining one of the top programs in the country. It should be exciting to follow the center's career, which should result in him having success in the NHL.

Juraj Slafkovsky, LW, TPS (FIN)

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    Matt Slocum/Associated Press

    Over the past few months, one of the draft prospects who has been on the rise is Juraj Slafkovsky. The 18-year-old forward has impressed while playing in Finland, and he had a strong showing at the 2022 Winter Olympics, where he tallied seven goals in seven games while helping Slovakia win the bronze medal.

    Slafkovsky is likely going to be picked in the top five of this year's draft. But it's also possible that he goes as high as No. 2. In Pronman's rankings, he has Slafkovsky as the second-best player in the class behind Wright.

    "Slafkovsky has all the assets you're looking for in a top NHL forward," Pronman wrote. "He's a 6'4" winger who can beat opponents with speed and skill. He can use finesse to put pucks through opponents or power and quickness to get around defenders."

    As Pronman noted, Slafkovsky has the potential to develop into a star in the NHL, as he showed with his performance at the Beijing Games. So don't be surprised if he becomes a top offensive player for one of the teams picking early in this year's draft.