It’s time for the release of the long awaited, 2022 NHL Mock Draft - Howies edition.
The buzz of the Stanley Cup is still very much alive. The Colorado Avalanche are plastered everywhere, and they earned it. There’s no greater accomplishment than getting your name engraved into the silver and nickel treasure that is the Stanley Cup, touched by the greats before you. But while Landeskog and the boys are still celebrating their victory, next season’s draft is already in the works and will be taking place this Thursday and Friday, July 7th & 8th. And there seems to be one prediction that not many disagree on:
1. Shane Wright 🇨🇦 - Kingston Frontenacs (Center)
This 18 year old forward appeared at the top of many lists for the upcoming 2022 NHL draft. A Canadian native, Wright most recently played for Ontario’s Kingston Frontenacs. At 6’0”, 198 lbs, Wright is a dynamic playmaker with an insane shot. With his sniper release, Wright finds a way to tuck it in from virtually anywhere in the zone. The Montreal Canadiens need a strong center, and they would be foolish to look left, and past Wright.
photo credit: ESPN
2. Logan Cooley 🇺🇸 - University of Minnesota (Center)
Another strong center, Cooley hopes to be the highest drafted player to come out of Western Pennsylvania. With a smaller frame, Cooley relies more on his high-level hockey IQ. He has great spacial awareness and creates plays off the rush, something the New Jersey Devils seem to be intrigued by. Cooley is a two-way forward that has the potential to create many scoring opportunities. His dynamic skill and level of play might be the right fit for the Devils.
3. Simon Nemec 🇸🇰 - HK Nitra (Defenseman)
A potential dark horse pick for the Arizona Coyotes, Nemec is a larger defenseman with great mobility and puck handling skills. They say he lets his game do his talking. Nemec is what you would call an offensive defenseman. He’s a solid points player, with 17 points in the last 19 games. Nemec could be a great addition to the Coyotes, if they decide to take the defensive route with their first selection.
photo credit: Mario Hommes/DeFodi Images
4. Juraj Slafkovsky 🇸🇰 - TPS (Left Wing)
Only having recently turned 18, this Slovakian born left wing is a whopping 6’4” and 218 lbs! He is absolutely one of the biggest forwards that we will see in this year's draft. His long stick and larger body make him top notch at protecting the puck. Slafkovsky carries great strength and with that great balance, making him difficult to knock off the puck. Overall a solid player that the Seattle Kraken might consider growing with.
5. Cutter Gauthier 🇺🇸 - Boston College (Center/Left Wing)
Physical and focused, Gauthier would be a good choice for the Philadelphia Flyers. The 6’3” forward has immense drive and focus, a real pro-style game if you will. Gauthier exhibits quick stops and starts, and has precise edgework and agility. He put up nine points in six games at this year's IIHF U18 World Championships! Gauthier knows how to play his size and easily wins battles. If you saw him and didn’t know any better, you’d probably think he’s already a part of the NHL!
6. Matthew Savoie 🇨🇦 - Winnipeg Ice (Center)
With the 6th pick of the draft, the Columbus Blue Jackets should be looking at Savoie. While on the smaller side, Savoie has noticeable maneuverability. His explosiveness allows him to win races, and his work ethic is always present. He knows how to set the pace and would bring great vision and hockey IQ to the Blue Jackets.
7. Isaac Howard 🇺🇸 - University of Minnesota - Duluth (Left Wing)
Howard is an agile skating machine. He also has an arsenal of shots, from wristers to slap shots. Howard, or Howie as we know him here at the office, is a great passer with a knack for finding open spots. His ability to put himself in the right position makes him extremely hard to defend. The Ottawa Senators could use his peppering abilities.
photo credit: Rena Laverty
8. Joakim Kemell 🇫🇮 - JYP (Right Wing)
We just know the Detroit Red Wings would love to have right wing Kemell on the roster next season. He is a talented play maker with some silky mitts. Not to mention his wrister, which is a threat no matter where he is positioned on the ice. Kemell is just an absolute sniper with some real power behind his shot. He has the potential to put up a lot of points and we’re confident he’s on the Red Wing’s radar.
9. Marco Kasper 🇦🇹 - Rogle BK (Center)
The elusive ‘diamond in the rough’, Kasper seems to be a likely pick for the Buffalo Sabres. He’s a smart player who works hard. Kasper has great net front presence and battle winning ability. He could potentially get picked a little higher, but we feel comfortable with our decision.
10. Jonathan Lekkerimaki 🇸🇪 - Djurgårdens IF (Right Wing)
This Swedish winger is one of the draft's best shooters. His power is unmatched. Although his strength and precision is outstanding, Lekkerimaki doesn’t have quite the finesse as some of the names listed above him. With the Anaheim Ducks having the 10th overall pick, we can see Lekkerimaki fitting in here. He is only seventeen years old, afterall.
photo credit: Otto Marand / Djurgarden