An active defenseman who is always looking to push the pace by jumping into and often leading the attack. Finished third among OHL defensemen in points in 2021-22 (17-45—62 in 67 GP).
Minnesota: Lian Bichsel, D, Leksand-SHL
A big, physical defenseman who spent the majority of the 2021-22 season patrolling the blue line for Leksand of the Swedish Hockey League (1-2—3 in 29 GP), while also appearing in 11 games with their junior team (3-4—7 in 11 GP).
Toronto: Liam Ohgren, LW, Djurgarden-Sweden Jr.
An effective goal scorer who is an explosive skater with speed, acceleration, and balance. Great offensive instincts but also knows his defensive duties. Captained Sweden to gold at the 2022 Under-18 World Championship where he tied for seventh in points with 3-6—9 in 6 GP, including two goals and an assist in the gold medal game to defeat Team USA.
Montreal: Rutger McGroarty, C, U.S. NTDP – USHL
Captained Team USA to a silver medal at the 2022 Under-18 World Championship where he was named a Top 3 Player on his team while posting 8-1—9 in 6 GP. His eight goals ranked second in the tournament behind Czechia’s Jiri Kulich (9).
Committed to the University of Michigan for the 2022-23 season.
A power forward who plays a 200-foot game and has an excellent competitive level with exceptional leadership qualities.
Arizona (Pick by NHL Source): Maveric Lamoureux, RHD, Drummondville-QMJHL
The top-rated QMJHL defenseman by NHL Central Scouting ranked second among blueliners on the Drummondville Voltigeurs with 4-20—24 in 54 games while leading his team with 69 penalty minutes. Lamoureux is a giant 6-foot-7, right-shot defenseman with solid skating and enough puck play and physicality for any fanbase to dream on.
Buffalo: Luca Del Bel Belluz, C, Mississauga-OHL
A high-end offensive center who is a responsible player that can be used in all situations. Del Bel Belluz led the Steelheads in assists and ranked second on his team in goals and points (30-46—76 in 68 GP). He also tied for the third-most game-winning goals in the OHL this season with eight.
Edmonton: Nathan Gaucher, C, Quebec, QMJHL
A good size center who brings a solid two-way game. Recorded 31-26—57 in 66 GP with the Quebec Remparts in 2021-22 to help his team to the top of the QMJHL regular-season league standings.
Winnipeg: Julian Lutz, LW, Munchen-DEL
The flashy Lutz is a big, fast winger who has the skill and can shoot the puck. Injuries (including a fractured back) shortened his past season. Could go anywhere from pick number 25-40. The talent is there.
Tampa Bay: Isaac Howard, LW, U.S. NTDP-USHL
A hard player to play against with high-end passion and competitive level. Howard led USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program’s Under-18 team in points with 33-49—82 in 60 games in 2021-22. Committed to the University of Minnesota-Duluth for the 2022-23 season.
Arizona: Filip Mesar, RW, Poprad-Slovakia
Slides to #32 due to an inconsistent season but the talent is there to make this pick a steal.