With the New York Rangers completing their comeback against the Carolina Hurricanes, the Montreal Canadiens now know where they’ll be picking with their first three selections in the 2022 NHL Draft.
The 2022 NHL Draft will be a very important first step for general manager Kent Hughes and the Montreal Canadiens on their road to rebuilding the roster into a yearly contender. The first three picks in this draft could go a long way in helping the Canadiens reach their goal, and, now that their rank is known, it will give the Canadiens the visibility they need to plan their draft strategy moving forward.
The Montreal have known since the end of the NHL Draft Lottery that they’ll be picking 1st overall at home on Day 1 of the 2022 NHL Draft. The speculation as to whom the Montreal Canadiens could be taking with the pick has been running rampant as the names of Shane Wright, Juraj Slafkovsky, Logan Cooley and more have been floated around as potential selections at that rank. The Montreal Canadiens are currently at the combines right now finishing up their final evaluations and getting in their customary combine interviews before heading home and focusing on the rest of the draft.
The 2022 1st round pick that the Montreal Canadiens acquired from the Calgary Flames in the Tyler Toffoli deal earlier this year did not have an official rank until the end of the Rangers-Hurricanes series on Monday night. With the last four picks in the Draft (32 to 29) given to the final four teams left in the playoffs, an eliminated divisional champion like the Florida Panthers, Calgary Flames and now Carolina Hurricanes would pick immediately after (picks 28 to 26). Having accrued the least amount of points of the divisional champions, the Flames would consequently have their 1st round pick land earlier than Florida and Carolina, which directly benefited the Montreal Canadiens.
Due to the events of Monday night, the Flames’ 1st rounder is confirmed for 26th overall and here’s how it plays out:
- 32nd overall: Stanley Cup Champion
- 31st overall: Runner-Up
- 30th overall: Conference Final Loser With Most Points
- 29th overall: Conference Final Loser With Least Points
- 28th overall: Divisional Champion With Most Points (Florida Panthers –> Buffalo Sabres)
- 27th overall: Divisional Champion With 2nd most points (Carolina Hurricanes-> Arizona Coyotes)
- 26th overall: Divisional Champion With 3rd most points (Calgary Flames –> Montreal Canadiens)
The Montreal Canadiens knew they had the 33rd overall selection, the first selection in the 2nd round of the 2022 NHL Draft, after securing a last-place finish prior to the end of the 2021-2022 season. Unlike the 1st round, the order of the first 16 in rounds 2 to 7 is determined by regular-season standings. With a bit of luck from the NHL Draft Lottery, the Montreal Canadiens are now guaranteed to pick first in each round in the 2022 NHL Draft, but the 33rd overall pick is likely the most intriguing of the bunch. In every draft, there are always extremely talented players that fall out of the 1st round for one reason or another and develop into excellent players.
Confirming the rank of these three picks will now help the Montreal Canadiens shape their Draft Day strategy and provide them with more clarity moving forward on which prospects to target with these very valuable picks.