The Montreal Canadiens have a big decision to make on July 7 when they select 1st overall at the 2022 NHL Draft, and top prospect Logan Cooley sees himself as a viable candidate to help the team turn things around.
With the 2022 NHL Draft just a few weeks away, Logan Cooley dropped in to discuss his U-18 World Championship performance and his experience at the NHL Combine. Cooley currently finds himself in the top-3 of almost every single 2022 NHL Draft ranking and is one of the most interesting players in the 2022 NHL Draft. After an electrifying U-18 tournament for Team USA, Cooley returned home and quickly made his way to Buffalo for the NHL Combine.
“Going into the combine, I had the chance to talk to Cale Makar, who’s in the same agency as me,” said Cooley about his preparation for the NHL Combine earlier in June. “He walked me through what to expect, like some of the questions I could get. Also the testing; he said the bike test was pretty hard; which it was. Meeting the teams, like Montreal, Arizona and New Jersey, possible options where you can go. Just getting to know them more, seeing what they think of you as a player and person, it was pretty cool.”
Cooley was not only able to meet with the Montreal Canadiens during the interview process at the NHL Combine, but also joined Canadiens management for dinner; a sign that the club holds Cooley in high regard. Cooley believed he made an impact during his time with the Canadiens and appreciated the opportunity to get to know them better as the NHL Draft nears.
“It went really well. They were really easy to talk to,” said Cooley on meeting with the Montreal Canadiens, “I got a pretty good meal out of it too and I didn’t have to pay for it either! It was nice, I had a meeting with them the same day and then had a chance to go out to dinner and talk hockey, personal life too, and family stuff. It was really nice.”
However, Cooley is not letting the NHL Draft’s gravitas occupy all of his time, as he’s hard at work improving his game. One aspect of his game that former USNDT head coach Adam Nightingale had evoked during a previous conversation was Cooley’s need to attack the middle of the ice more often. When questioned on the matter, Cooley identified this area of weakness immediately and pointed to improving that aspect of his game as one of his priorities this summer as he prepares for college hockey at Minnesota University.
“One thing I want to work on and I think I need to do, especially at the NHL level, is to take the puck to the net more often,” said Cooley about what he feels he needs to improve in his game. “I need to get to the inside a little more. It’s something I want to continue to do. You can’t stay on the outside and the perimeter; you need to attack the middle. That’s where the dangerous chances are, and you don’t get too many of those at the next level.”
When picking a player at 1st overall, the Montreal Canadiens have to make the right choice in terms of on-ice ability and off-ice characteristics. It’s no secret that Montreal Canadiens general manager Kent Hughes is looking for someone who can help the team redefine the club’s culture, and Cooley feels he has the tools to achieve just that.
“Winning a Stanley Cup, or any championship, it takes more than just on-ice play,” said Cooley. “You have to be a good guy in the locker room, you have to bring character, you have to bring a winning attitude, and that’s what helps you win championships. I feel like that’s the player I am. I want everyone to have success and I want to have team success.”
Whether or not the Montreal Canadiens decide to pick Cooley 1st overall, the youngster seems set for a bright future in the NHL.
To watch the full interview between Montreal Hockey Now’s Marco D’Amico and Logan Cooley, see below: