The 2022 NHL Entry Draft is within the books.
The Bell Heart was rocking on Thursday for the extremely anticipated first-overall choice from the Montreal Canadiens. Day 2 produced a little bit of all the things. Some groups exchanged draft picks. Others made roster trades. Lastly, the announcement that Duncan Keith had determined to retire after a storied profession additionally made waves on the ground.
It is my opinion that no different skilled league does it higher than the NHL with regards to the entry draft. It by no means will get previous seeing the joy on the faces of prospects and their members of the family after their names are known as.
Congratulations to town of Montreal. Considered one of my favourite scouting locations on the earth delivered what we anticipated they might: A unbelievable occasion hosted by one of many classiest hockey cities in hockey.
Here is a have a look at some intriguing picks from every spherical:
Nicely 1: Juraj Slafkovsky, Montreal Canadiens
The Montreal Canadiens did their due diligence and settled on Slafkovsky over the likes of Shane Wright, Logan Cooley, and Simon Nemec. The administration group in Montreal eradicated any outdoors noise, and stress, and went with the participant that they imagine will help essentially the most in taking the group to a different degree.
This choice mentioned one thing to me about Jeff Gorton and Kent Hughes: that they’ve their very own imaginative and prescient of how they need to construct their staff. There have been drafts up to now the place groups cave and take the consensus No. 1. This wasn’t a kind of moments.
An remark: Watching Slafkovsky get paraded across the Bell Heart for media interviews and the followers clamoring to get an image, fist pump, or autograph was one thing to behold. He is already a rock star in Montreal.
Nicely 62: Lane Hutson, Montreal Canadiens
I completely love this decide. Hutson is a extremely expert transitional “D” who makes performs off the frenzy and quarterbacks the facility play. There was a time, not so way back, that gamers like this have been handed over by NHL golf equipment as a result of their lack of measurement and physicality. Hutson made it identified to groups on the mix in Buffalo that he hasn’t stopped rising and has an opportunity to get to round 5-foot-10. His top would not hassle me, however he might want to add weight as he matures.
Hutson is a distinction maker. He is uber aggressive and desires the puck on his stick in key conditions.
Nicely 88: Michael Buchinger, St. Louis Blues
This was a savvy pickup for the Blues. Buchinger is a “glue man” for the Guelph Storm within the OHL. The 2-way defenseman is a robust skater who sees the ice and distributes very properly. He scored 44 factors (5 objectives, 39 assists) this previous season and was deployed in all conditions. There’s an actual likelihood the Blues have discovered a second-pairing NHL defender with the choice of Buchinger.
Nicely 122: Dennis Hildeby, Toronto Maple Leafs
Hildeby is an fascinating decide within the fourth spherical and definitely worth the gamble. He is a 20-year-old European who had a breakout marketing campaign in 2021-22. On the SHL degree taking part in for Farjestad, he had a goals-against common of 1.93 and his save share was .931. He is an absolute big within the web, standing 6-foot-6 and weighing 236 lbs.
Goalies take longer to develop than skaters and that’s the reason I imagine within the technique of this choice. Hildeby will probably be in Sweden for at the least yet another season earlier than probably coming to North America. When NHL groups draft gamers from Europe, they maintain their rights for 4 years of improvement time in comparison with two years for main junior gamers in North America. By the point his 4 years have expired, Hildeby will probably be 24 and probably coming into the NHL part of his improvement.
Nicely 136: Jorian Donovan, Ottawa Senators
The son of Senators Director of Participant Improvement Shean Donovan, Jorian is a pleasant addition within the fifth spherical. He scored 22 factors (three objectives, 19 assists) in his rookie OHL season with Hamilton this yr. What I like most about this choice is Donovan can be utilized in quite a lot of roles. I am projecting him to attain extra as he matures on the OHL degree. He skates very properly, retailers responsibly, has good measurement (6-foot-1, 183 lbs.) and can solely get stronger. He’ll probably see some power-play time in junior however I am not seeing him as a slot in that position as a professional.
Generally nepotism can sneak into some choices that organizations make. This is not an instance of that. Donovan has an opportunity to be greater than only a backside pairing “D” as a professional. I am assured saying he’ll put the work in. This decide has Senators scout Don Boyd written throughout it and it is a good one.
Nicely 179: Matt Seminoff, Dallas Stars
It isn’t usually groups can discover a participant at this stage of the draft with the form of impression offensively that Seminoff had final yr with Kamloops within the WHL. He logged 26 objectives and 31 assists, with six of his objectives approaching the facility play. Seminoff brings extra than simply offense, too. He’s a accountable participant who’s above the sport when opponents have the puck and reliably defends his zone. His small-area recreation could be very sturdy as properly. He has the creativity to spin off checks in tight quarters and take the play to the web or distribute. His quickness should enhance however it is a good discover for Stars director of scouting Joe McDonnell.
Nicely 225: Ivan Zhigalov, Colorado Avalanche
A tall (6-foot-3), lean (167 lbs.), athletic goalie who performs for Sherbrooke within the QMJHL. He was the final decide of the draft and may, actually, fly below the radar as a little bit of an afterthought, however I really just like the upside of this choice. Zhigalov has fast ft and pads, he is able to making response saves in scramble mode and he is a southpaw who catches together with his proper hand, which provides opponents a special look when directing pucks on web.
Former NHL goalie Jocelyn Thibault is the proprietor of the staff in Sherbrooke, so I am certain the Avalanche consulted with him to get some extra background on Zhigalov.
This concludes the scouting cycle for the 2021-2022 season.
There was a time when employees took break day following the draft to take pleasure in what summer time has to supply. That is not the case any longer.
Prospects from world wide will probably be attending improvement camps beginning Sunday July 10 and Monday July 11 for all NHL golf equipment.
The 2022-23 beginner scouting calendar begins July 31 in Crimson Deer, Alberta on the annual Hlinka/Gretzky Cup.