The 2022 NHL Entry Draft is within the books.
The Bell Middle was rocking on Thursday for the extremely anticipated first-overall choice from the Montreal Canadiens. Day 2 produced a little bit of the whole lot. 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 in the case of the entry draft. It by no means will get outdated seeing the joy on the faces of prospects and their members of the family after their names are referred to as.
Congratulations to town of Montreal. One among my favourite scouting locations on the planet delivered what we anticipated they might: A incredible occasion hosted by one of many classiest hockey cities in hockey.
This is a have a look at some intriguing picks from every spherical:
Properly 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 exterior noise, and strain, and went with the participant that they consider will help essentially the most in taking the group to a different stage.
This choice stated one thing to me about Jeff Gorton and Kent Hughes: that they’ve their very own imaginative and prescient of how they wish to construct their crew. There have been drafts previously 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 Middle 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.
Properly 62: Lane Hutson, Montreal Canadiens
I completely love this decide. Hutson is a extremely expert transitional “D” who makes performs off the push and quarterbacks the facility play. There was a time, not so way back, that gamers like this had been handed over by NHL golf equipment because of their lack of dimension and physicality. Hutson made it recognized 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 peak 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.
Properly 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 powerful skater who sees the ice and distributes very nicely. He scored 44 factors (5 targets, 39 assists) this previous season and was deployed in all conditions. There’s an actual probability the Blues have discovered a second-pairing NHL defender with the number of Buchinger.
Properly 122: Dennis Hildeby, Toronto Maple Leafs
Hildeby is an fascinating decide within the fourth spherical and well worth the gamble. He is a 20-year-old European who had a breakout marketing campaign in 2021-22. On the SHL stage taking part in for Farjestad, he had a goals-against common of 1.93 and his save share was .931. He is an absolute large within the internet, standing 6-foot-6 and weighing 236 lbs.
Goalies take longer to develop than skaters and that’s the reason I consider within the technique of this choice. Hildeby shall be in Sweden for at the very least another season earlier than doubtlessly 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 shall be 24 and doubtlessly getting into the NHL part of his improvement.
Properly 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 targets, 19 assists) in his rookie OHL season with Hamilton this 12 months. 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 stage. He skates very nicely, shops responsibly, has good dimension (6-foot-1, 183 lbs.) and can solely get stronger. He’ll seemingly see some power-play time in junior however I am not seeing him as a slot in that function 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 will put the work in. This decide has Senators scout Don Boyd written throughout it and it is a good one.
Properly 179: Matt Seminoff, Dallas Stars
It isn’t typically groups can discover a participant at this stage of the draft with the form of affect offensively that Seminoff had final 12 months with Kamloops within the WHL. He logged 26 targets and 31 assists, with six of his targets 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 may be very sturdy as nicely. 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.
Properly 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 would possibly, actually, fly beneath the radar as a little bit of an afterthought, however I truly 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 supplies opponents a unique look when directing pucks on internet.
Former NHL goalie Jocelyn Thibault is the proprietor of the crew in Sherbrooke, so I am positive 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 workers 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 all over the world shall 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 Pink Deer, Alberta on the annual Hlinka/Gretzky Cup.