by Dan Adkisson
Every year, the NHL Draft draws in fans from all over North America as they wait to see who their favorite team will select. In advance of the 2022 Draft, teams spent months scouting out the best talent around.
In this blog post, we’ll look at the top five picks from the 2022 NHL draft. Stay tuned for updates on these talented young players, who could very well become fan favorites on Sports interaction Canada and other sportsbooks.
1. Montreal Canadiens: Juraj Slafkovsky, LW, TPS (Liiga)
Big, powerful forward Juraj Slafkovsky has great shooting. He dominated the Olympics, which significantly improved his standing.
Slfkovsky offers Montreal a strong flank option to play with diminutive forwards like Cole Caufield and Nick Suzuki, and he has a high ceiling. He didn’t have a particularly strong regular season with Liiga. At the Olympics, he also didn’t face the top competitors, so there was some risk associated with the selection, but he was chosen first.
2. New Jersey Devils: Simon Nemec, D, Nitra MHC (SVK)
The New Jersey Devils picked 18-year-old Slovakian native Simon Nemec with the second overall pick in the 2022 NHL Draft. Additionally, the young defenseman, who is a much-needed addition to the Devils group of future blueliners, stands 6-foot tall at 190 pounds, and had six points in eight games during the recent World Championship tournament.
Nemec is a right-handed shooter who moves well, has good stickhandling skills, and contributes well on power plays. Also, Nemec doesn’t play with much-attacking aggression, but he has a good hockey IQ and is effective in transition.
3. Arizona Coyotes: Logan Cooley, C, USA U-18 (NTDP)
The top American prospect, Logan Cooley, was chosen by the Coyotes. Although he is a smallish, muscular, two-way center, he is said to possess a very high hockey IQ. Even though Cooley and Wright both play the same position, he is a solid pick and still would have earned the Coyotes an A for this selection, even if Wright had gone first overall.
4. Seattle Kraken: Shane Wright, C, Kingston Frontenacs (OHL)
Shane Wright, the best player available on many scouting lists, joins the Kraken. They choose to ignore positional needs and persist with selecting the player at the top of their draft board. Despite concerns, they added Wright to a prospect pool that includes Matty Beniers, a center, selected by Seattle at No. 2 in the previous draft.
Wright may not have been expected to tumble this far, but the Kraken now have two incredibly potent, two-way centers to rely on. Also, Wright has all the necessary skills to succeed in the NHL, despite his offensive output this season being a little underwhelming.
5. Philadelphia Flyers: Cutter Gauthier, LW, USNTDP
The Philadelphia Flyers selected Cutter Gauthier, an American of Swedish descent, with the fifth overall pick in the 2022 NHL Draft. He is 18 years old. Additionally, the youthful left winger is 6-feet-2 and 189 pounds. Given his stature and quick shot release, he should be a great addition to the Flyers roster.