2022 NHL Entry Mock Draft 1-11

by | Jul 6, 2022

By Darryl Houston Smith, Senior Writer for Canadian Teams.

The first day of Summer brings thoughts of bikinis, six-packs, and sunny days for most but not this hockey writer. The turn of the season brings with it the 2022 NHL Entry Draft. This might be one of the most crucial drafts of the early 21st century. The game is evolving at a faster and relentless pace. Despite what you might read elsewhere I want to be clear the class of 2022 will be remembered perhaps not for generational talents but for the depth of talent that will enter the league in just a few seasons to come.

Here are my 2022 NHL Entry Mock Draft first 11 picks. Go ahead print this up and put it aside because it should make fun reading in the fall of 2024 and beyond.

 

1. Montreal: Juraj Slafkovsky, LW, TPS-Liiga

Despite conventional wisdom, positional value does not always carry the day and this isn’t the slam dunk pick it was early in 2021. With the future of what was once the most storied franchise in sports hanging in the balance. The Habs will select a speedy hulk of a kid named Juraj Slafkovsky, the Slovak winger will anchor their top line for the next decade.

2. New Jersey: Shane Wright, C, Kingston-OHL

The former cover boy of the draft has shown a lot of mental toughness these past few seasons in the spotlight but although an outstanding natural playmaking center he is not a generational talent. Still, New Jersey gets a nice-two way center to add more depth down the middle to go along with Jack Hughes and Nico Hischier

3. Arizona: Logan Cooley, C, U.S. NTDP-USHL

The Pittsburgh native’s brand of instant offense is unequaled in this class and despite his lack of conventional size, he should be NHL-ready by spring 2023. Committed to the University of Minnesota for the 2022-23 season.

4. Seattle: Simon Nemec, RHD, Nitra-Slovakia

Nemec is a potential No. 1 defenseman who can play well at both ends of the ice and immediately becomes the Kraken’s top defensive lynchpin.

5. Philadelphia: David Jiricek, RHD, Plzen-Czechia

Jiricek is a bruising hulk of a defenseman in the classic Flyers mold. Better still for the long-suffering Black and Orange faithful he’s close to NHL-ready too.

6. Columbus: Cutter Gauthier, LW/C, U.S. NTDP-USHL

Columbus goes traditional and continues to build strength up the middle adding the highly talented Cutter Gauthier to a young and emerging stable that already includes Cole Sillinger and Kent Johnson.

7. Ottawa: Conor Geekie, C, Winnipeg, WHL

Geekie is a talented and NHL-sized volume shooter who should fit in well with the new shoot-first Senators. Averaged more than a point per game with Winnipeg of the WHL, where he ranked fourth on his team in scoring (24-46—70 in 63 GP) to help Winnipeg top the overall league standings in 2021-22.

8. Detroit: Joakim Kemell, RW, JYP-Liiga

Detroit continues to load up with outstanding shooters. This time the prize is arguably the best pure goal scorer in the draft. Key contributor to Finland’s bronze medal at the 2022 Under-18 World Championship where he tied for the team lead in points with 6-2—8 (5 GP), including capping a hat trick with an overtime winner to eliminate Canada in the Quarterfinals.

9. Buffalo: Kevin Korchinski, D, Seattle-WHL

Great natural hair with a flair for creating offensive. I have him at #9 with a bullet. The Saskatoon native is the real deal and will make some GM look like a genius. Nothing like a timely growth spurt to improve your earning potential.

10. Anaheim: Ryan Chesley, D, U.S. NTDP

This powerful dark horse fits the Anaheim mold to a tee. A mobile defenseman who can move the puck and brings a physical edge to the rink every day. Committed to the University of Minnesota for the 2022-23 season.

11. San Jose: Matthew Savoie, C, Winnipeg-WHL

Despite his size Savoie is the skilled playmaking center ever team chasing after. Led all WHL rookies and ranked seventh in the league with 35-55—90 in 65 games to help the Winnipeg ICE top the overall league standings in 2021-22.

 

 

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