Peter Harling filed this report from Montreal….
Round one of the 2022 NHL Draft was a wild ride. The host city Montreal owned the first overall
selection and blew the roof off by selecting Juraj Slafkovsky first overall. Then Montreal added 2019
third overall selection Kirby Dach in a trade with the Chicago Blackhawks, and finally Filip Mesar later
with the 26th selection.
Heading into the Draft, the consensus top-ranked prospect was Kingston Frontenacs center Shane
Wright. Wright had been a long-standing contender and favorite for the first overall selection in the
2022 Draft since being granted exceptional status to enter the OHL early as a 15-year-old.
TSN Analyst Bob McKenzie released his final draft ranking and had Slafkovsky at the number one
position. Having such a prominent media outlet having Slafkovsky as the top ranked prospect may have
made it easier for Montreal GM Kent Hughes to not select Wright.
The Montreal fanbase was all onboard for Montreal to select Shane Wright, and when the pick was
announced as Slafkovsky, there was cheering from the hometown crowd, but there was an undertone of
Holding the second overall selection the New Jersey Devils went to address an organizational need on
defense and selected another Slovakian in Simon Nemec, allowing Wright to slip again.
The Arizona Coyotes also passed on Wright in favor of American-born Logan Cooley from the US
National Team Development Program.
Seattle with the fourth overall pick finally selected Shane Wright. “We thought it was possible for
sure…unlikely but possible” said Seattle Scout Mike Dawson.
“Definitely going to have a chip on my shoulder from this” Wright said about sliding in the draft. We got a glimpse of that chip as Wright walked by the Canadiens draft table and gave them a glaring look that suggested he plans to make them pay.
Next up the Philadelphia Flyers went to the NTDP as well selecting big winger Cutter Gauthier, who followed by the Columbus Blue Jackets selected the other big D in David Jiricek.
The Ottawa Senators made a big trade to add more excitement to the evening by trading the seventh
overall selection to the Chicago Blackhawks along with a 2022 second round, and a 2024 third round for
Alex Debrincat. The Hawks used their newly acquired pick on big 6-2 Kevin Korchinski from the Seattle
The Detroit Red Wings have an excellent track record in the past few first rounds and look to maintain
that standard with Swiss forward Marco Kasper at the eight overall.
The Buffalo Sabres ended up with three first-round picks and made their first selection at ninth overall
with center Matt Savoie from the Winnipeg Ice. Buffalo selected again at 16 and selected another skilled
forward in Noah Ostlund. Finally, they picked another offensive forward who was dominant at the U-18 in Czech winger Jiri Kulich.
The Anaheim Ducks walked away with a pair of new prospects as they added Russian defenseman Pavel
Mintyukov with the 11 th overall selection, and big forward Nathan Gaucher at 22.
After adding Cooley at three, the Arizona Coyotes were back up two more times and drafted some big
players in 6-4 center Conor Geekie from the Winnipeg Ice, and 6-7 towering defender Maveric
The Columbus Blue Jackets made their second pick of the night with another defenseman in Denton
Mateychuk. The combination of Jiricek and Mateychuk gives the Columbus prospect pool an injection of
top prospects for the blue line in the future.
The Chicago Blackhawks walked away with three new prospects to kick start their rebuild as they enter a scorched earth era. After adding Korchinski they followed that up with offensive center Frank Nazar with the 13th overall pick, and the defenseman Sam Rinzel who was not a first-round rank pick on some
With two picks in the first round, the Winnipeg Jets made their first selection at 14th overall selecting big Rutger McGoarty and then the most contentious prospect in this draft with Brad Lambert at 30th.
Lambert had at one time been considered a possible first overall ranked prospect but slipped down the
rankings after two difficult seasons.
The Russian factor is back, but there were two more Russians selected in the first round as the
Washington Capitals selected Ivan Miroshinchenko at 20, and the Minnesota Wild added Danila Yurov at 24. The Wild had a second pick as well and added Liam Ohgren at the 19th selection.
Two wingers with goal-scoring ability slipped down in comparison to many rankings. The Vancouver
Canucks picked Swedish sniper Jonathan Lekkerimaki at 15th, and the Nashville Predators picked Finnish goal scorer Joakim Kemell at 17th. Both should provide good value in a few years.
The Toronto Maple Leafs made a trade, moving down 13 spots out of the first round in a trade that
sends goalie Petr Mrazek to the Chicago Blackhawks. The move will open the cap space Toronto needs
for either Jack Campbell or another option.
Heading into day two of the Draft the top-ranked players remaining on the board include Jagger Firkus,
Lane Hutson, Gleb Trikozov, Calle Odelius, and Owen Beck.
The last two NHL Drafts were not live as the COVID pandemic would not allow an in-person event. The
combination of the host city owning the first overall pick, the drama around the selection, the trades
and unpredictable nature of the draft class made this Draft one of the more exciting, fun, and