With the NHL draft only a few days away, it’s time to take a look at the long run stars of the league and the draft class of 2022.
The Colorado Avalanche are the brand new Stanley Cup Champions after defeating the two-time defending champions Tampa Bay Lightning. Led by a number of former first-round draft picks in Gabriel Landeskog (2011 – 2ND general), Nathan MacKinnon (2013 – 1st general), Mikko Rantanen (2015 – 10th general) and Cale Makar (2017 – 4th general), the Avalanche had been capable of flip their draft picks into crew leaders and finally, Stanley Cup Champions.
Listed below are the highlights and upside of this 12 months’s NHL picks.
Odds of being 1st general decide (courtesy: Fanduel)
Shane Wright -280
Juraj Slafkovský +140
Logan Cooley +2000
Šimon Nemec +10000
Joakim Kemell +10000
With Shane Wright being the oddsmakers’ favourite to go first general to the Montreal Canadiens, there’s nonetheless an out of doors likelihood the Habs may very well be leaning in the direction of presumably taking Juraj Slafkovský or a extra outdoors shot of taking Logan Cooley.
Let’s break down the talents and upside of the potential top-five picks within the 2022 NHL Draft.
1. Shane Wright – Heart — OHL Kingston – Montreal Canadiens
Search for Shane Wright to go first general to the Canadiens. He has dominated at each degree, together with this 12 months, the place he scored 32 targets and added 62 assists in 63 video games with Kingston within the OHL, which put him eighth within the league and third for undrafted gamers.
For years, Wright has been regarded as the primary general decide in his draft-eligible 12 months. He was simply the sixth participant (becoming a member of names like McDavid and Tavares) to be granted distinctive standing to enter the Canadian Junior ranges a 12 months sooner than allowed.
2. Juraj Slafkovský – Left Wing — TPS Finland – New Jersey Devils
The New Jersey Devils decide second general, and if Shane Wright is off the board, search for them to pick Juraj Slafkovský out of Finland.
The Devils have depth down the center, so passing on Logan Cooley is sensible. Slafkovský, at 6-foot 4 inches and weighing near 230 kilos, is already constructed for the NHL sport. On the Beijing Olympic video games this 12 months, he was the youngest participant within the event, and named the Most Worthwhile Participant after main the event with seven targets in seven video games.
3. Logan Cooley – Heart — USA U-18 NTDP – Arizona Coyotes
A two-way playmaking middle is what Logan Cooley will deliver to the NHL. Whereas he’s already dedicated to the College of Minnesota subsequent season, that won’t deter his would-be suitors.
On the 2022 IIHF Juniors Match, Cooley helped the USA end second with 10 factors (3 targets, 7 assists) in six video games. As a member of the NTDP final season, he completed second in crew scoring with 27 targets and 48 assists in 51 video games.
4. Šimon Nemec – Defenseman — Nitra Slovakia – Seattle Kraken
Search for Šimon Nemec to be the primary defenseman taken within the draft, forward of one other standout defenseman in David Jiricek.
Nemec has performed the previous three seasons in Slovakia’s prime males’s league, beginning when he was 15 years previous. With a right-handed shot and talent to suppose on offense, Nemec possesses the talents to be a prime NHL defenseman.
Whereas enjoying within the 2022 IIHF World Championship, he tallied six factors (1 objective, 5 assists) in eight video games for Slovakia, that are probably the most ever by an 18-year-old defenseman within the event. His +/- final 12 months was +13.
5. Joakim Kemell – Proper Wing — JYP Finland – Philadelphia Flyers
One other potential star within the league is Joakim Kemmell out of Finland. Whereas he could also be undersized at 5-foot 9 inches, he has the entire means to search out the again of the web. And whereas a shoulder damage sidelined him for greater than two months, he nonetheless led all rookies in his league with 15 targets and was second with 23 factors in 39 video games.
All indicators level to Wright being cheered by the hometown crowd in Montreal as they get set to choose first general on Thursday night time.