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NHL Draft

MHN 2022 Mock Draft: Lottery Edition

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NHL Draft

With the NHL Draft Lottery around the corner, Montreal Hockey Now prepared a full simulation of the Lottery and broke down how the first 16 picks could go down on July 7th.

With the help of Tankathon, the simulation took place at random and provided the following outcome. The Seattle Kraken won the 1st overall pick, while the Montreal Canadiens won the 2nd overall pick. Picks 3 to 16 are then given to the remaining teams who did not win the Lottery in reverse order of the NHL standings.

Based on the MHN’s NHL Draft Rankings, the following Mock Draft was created based on the players available at each position. Organizational needs factored into the decision for some selections, but only if the feeling was that two or more prospects had similar potential.

 

MOCK 2022 NHL DRAFT

 

1. Seattle Kraken – Shane Wright

The Seattle Kraken win another NHL Draft Lottery this year, but, this time, it’s the 1st overall selection in the 2022 NHL Draft. With very little center depth for the future outside of 2021 1st round pick Matty Beniers, Seattle doesn’t get cute here and selects Shane Wright.

Having a combo of Wright and Beniers down the middle would provide Seattle with the necessary building blocks for the future, as settling your future at center is a proven recipe for success in the NHL.

2. Montreal Canadiens – Logan Cooley

The Montreal Canadiens drop one spot and narrowly miss out on the Wright Sweepstakes, but end up selecting an equally exciting prospect in Logan Cooley. The speedy and dynamic center is precisely what Montreal is lacking in their forward pool at the moment; elite offensive skill and a mature two-way game that will solidify their top-6 for years to come.

Cooley’s game would fit right in with what general manager Kent Hughes has said he’d like to do; make his club faster and more skilled. Having a player like Cooley to complement Nick Suzuki would give the Habs the perfect mix of centers for the next decade.

3. Arizona Coyotes – David Jiricek

The 3rd overall pick is historically the most complex pick in every NHL Draft, as the viable options begin to increase. With the Arizona Coyotes set to be bottom feeders for the foreseeable future and likely gunning for a top pick in the 2023 NHL Draft (which is loaded at forward), they think strategically here and go for the rare commodity of a potential top-pair, right-shooting defenceman.

David Jiricek’s knee injury is behind him, and he looks to have come back better than ever. He possesses the dynamic skill and physical attributes to be an all-around defenceman capable of playing top minutes in all situations, and he still has room to grow. His long reach, impressive size, great mobility and cannon of a shot make him a very attractive player at this junction of the Draft.

4. Philadelphia Flyers – Juraj Slafkovsky

The Philadelphia Flyers run up to the podium and select the 6’4 225lbs power-forward Juraj Slafkovsky without thinking twice. The Flyers have an immediate need for tough, scoring forwards with size, and Slafkovsky fits the bill quite nicely.

He plays a very much on-brand style for the Flyers, and he could be NHL-ready almost immediately, which would fit in with general manager Chuck Fletcher’s desire to be competitive as of next season.

5. New Jersey Devils – Simon Nemec

The New Jersey Devils are loaded at forward, but lack a top piece coming up on the right-hand side of their defensive corps. Although 2021 1st round pick Luke Hughes can play on the right side, almost all of the young, top-end blueliners in the Devils’ system are left-handed shots.

Simon Nemec is more than worthy of a top-5 selection, having broken U-20 scoring records for defencemen in the Slovak Extraliga this season and playoffs. Nemec plays a very intriguing offensive game that would fit with what the Devils have been building for the last five years.

6. Columbus Blue Jackets (via Chicago) – Matthew Savoie

The Blue Jackets debate for a while over two very talented forwards, but ultimately settle on the more dynamic and electric player in Matthew Savoie. The youngster possesses the speed, skill and shooting ability needed to thrive, be it at center or right-wing, in the NHL. He plays a very gritty game for a 5’9 forward and isn’t shy about getting his nose dirty when it matters most.

He would be a perfect complement to a nifty playmaker like Cole Sillinger down the line.

7. Ottawa Senators – Joakim Kemell

The Ottawa Senators go for goal-scoring immediately and select Finnish winger Joakim Kemell. The talented forward has wowed many fans with his eye-catching shooting mechanics, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see him make some noise in the NHL, playing alongside gifted playmakers like Josh Norris or Tim Stützle.

Kemell plays that very rare combo of power and skill in his game, where he’s able to attack open ice with authority, only to create the prettiest play out of it, rather than the predicted crash toward the net. That unpredictability makes him extremely deceptive and almost impossible to defend, especially on the rush.

8. Detroit Red Wings – Frank Nazar

Steve Yzerman and the Red Wings have settled their defence over the last few years and now ensure their future at the center position by drafting hometown boy, Frank Nazar. Nazar plays a 200-ft game predicated on top speed and excellent anticipation.

He uses his high Hockey IQ to read plays and make the opposition pay dearly for their mistakes. Headed to the University of Michigan this fall, Nazar will continue to grow and learn the rigours of the center position before making the jump to the NHL, much like Red Wings captain Dylan Larkin did many years ago.

9. Buffalo Sabres – Conor Geekie

The Buffalo Sabres traded away Jack Eichel and will want to shore up their center-line position moving forward. Geekie has the best overall potential at this rank and could truly emerge as a top C if he is able to continue improving his skating over the next few years.

Having Geekie in the fold in a few years would give them a 1-2 punch with Tage Thompson at C, while allowing Dylan Cozens and Casey Mittelstadt to play off the wings and truly load up the Sabres’ top-6 for years to come.

10. Anaheim Ducks – Jonathan Lekkerimäki

The Anaheim Ducks continue adding dynamic forwards to the fold with their selection of Swedish standout Jonathan Lekkerimäki. The gifted forward plays a very intelligent game predicated on sound decision-making and elite puck protection. He helps a line to generate offence on a consistent basis, and his high Hockey IQ helps him make those around him better.

Anaheim would solidify the forward position for a long while, giving franchise centerman Trevor Zegras a running man to create havoc in the offensive zone with for years to come.

11. San Jose Sharks – Kevin Korchinski

The times, they are a-changing. The San Jose Sharks have an aging defensive corps that requires an influx of youth, and there is likely no defenceman available at this rank that would be more electric and impactful than Kevin Korchinski. The Seattle Thunderbirds’ rearguard has exploded up the ranks due to his rapid growth and ability to impact the play in all three zones.

A player like Korchinski would help prepare the retooling Sharks for the post-Burns/Karlsson/Vlasic era; as they shift gears towards playing a more skilled and speed-oriented style of hockey. Korchinski would provide them with that presence on the blueline capable of enabling rapid breakouts and sustainable offensive pressure.

12. Columbus Blue Jackets – Brad Lambert

Over the last year, Brad Lambert has raised many questions, having played for three different teams in the Finnish Liiga in the previous two years. That will not intimidate general manager Jarmo Kekäläinen in any way, as he picks the clear best player available at this rank.

Lamber plays a game predicated on speed and skill, capable of making plays at top speed without breaking stride or form. He is a very dangerous playmaker that can play both center and wing; which could provide the Blue Jackets with many options down the line as their young forward corps continue to grow.

13. NY Islanders – Cutter Gauthier

The New York Islanders will look to add of size and skill to their top-6, and Gauthier could be exactly what the doctor ordered. He projects to be a top-6 power forward capable of owning the boards and being very effective in front of the net.

Yet another member of this year’s USNDT, Cutter Gauthier, is a fast winger capable of playing a solid 200-ft game and has the skills to be so much more. His combination of speed and skill is very dangerous when combined with his fearless hunger for the high danger area.

14. Winnipeg Jets – Denton Mateychuk

The Winnipeg Jets have a clear need on defence for mobile, offensive D capable of playing on the right side. Although Mateychuk is a left-shooting defender, he played on the right side for the whole season for the Moose Jaw Warriors and was one of the highest scoring defencemen in all of Canadian Major Junior.

Mateychuk plays a game predicated primarily on elite transition. He can carry a puck end to end seamlessly and set up offensively. His edgework and crossovers are a thing of beauty as his dynamic skating ability really explodes off the rush.

15. Vancouver Canucks- Pavel Mintyukov

The Vancouver Canucks have a glut of top-end forwards that have made their way into the lineup, but continue to have difficulty building out a consistent defensive corps outside of Quinn Hughes and the emerging Jack Rathbone. Mintyukov could bring some of that dynamic offensive and transition ability to help take a load off Hughes moving forward.

Capable of playing both left and right, Mintyukov has a penchant for transition, as he loves to bring the pucks up the ice himself or initiate the quick breakout with ease. He loves to jump into the rush and carry the puck into the offensive zone himself. Despite not having elite speed, he moves up the ice so effortlessly that it’s fun to see him move around on the ice. He would certainly fit into what the Canucks are trying to build.

16. Buffalo Sabres (Via Vegas) – Liam Öhgren

The Sabres go back to selecting forwards at this rank and pick one of the most dynamic scorers in the draft in Liam Öhgren. He would help the Sabres in all situations, while providing them with a fine replacement for Victor Olofsson, should the Sabres decide to move on from him before his next contract.

Öhgren has a knack for scoring goals and has one of the deadliest wrist shots in the entire draft. His combination of shooting arsenal and speed make him a can’t miss in the first round, as those are clear skills that separate him from other prospects in this draft.

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habbernack

Rodney Kidney is having a big night.

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