Looking Ahead to the 2022 Upper Deck NHL Draft

NHL Public Relations

The 2022 Upper Deck NHL Draft will be held at Bell Centre in Montreal over two days. Round 1 will begin at 7 p.m. ET on Thursday, July 7 (ESPN, ESPN+, Sportsnet, TVA Sports), followed by Rounds 2-7 starting at 11 a.m. ET on Friday, July 8 (NHL Network, ESPN+, Sportsnet, TVA Sports).
 

* The Order of Selection was announced Wednesday, June 29. Click here to see notable picks by each team in their current selecting position (as of June 30).

2022 NHL Draft Prospect Bios: 60+ Profiles and Scouting Reports

NHL Ties & Bloodlines: A list of ranked prospects with family ties to the NHL

Career Leaders Among Players Drafted By Franchise: Top all-time/active players drafted by each team in specific statistical categories
 

MONTREAL IS FIRST NHL DRAFT HOST WITH No. 1 PICK IN OVER 37 YEARS
The Canadiens are set to become the first NHL Draft host city to select a player with the No. 1 overall pick since the Maple Leafs chose Wendel Clark at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre in 1985. Clark went on to skate parts of 13 seasons across three different stints with the franchise, including three where he donned the “C” as team captain (1991-92–1993-94).
 


* The NHL Draft has been held in Montreal a total of 27 times (including 2022), by far the most of any NHL city. Each Amateur Draft from 1963 to 1979 took place at either the Queen Elizabeth Hotel, Mount Royal Hotel or NHL Montreal Office – the Forum hosted eight editions of the Entry Draft (1980–Present), while Bell Centre has done so twice.

* The Canadiens have held the first overall pick five times, the most by any franchise in NHL history. In that slot they have selected the first No. 1 pick in NHL Draft history, Garry Monahan (1963), the first goaltender ever selected No. 1 overall in Michel Plasse (1968), five-time Stanley Cup champion Rejean Houle (1969), all-time franchise points leader and five-time Stanley Cup champion Guy Lafleur (1971) and Doug Wickenheiser (1980).


CANADIENS GM NOT THE ONLY HUGHES FAMILY MEMBER SET TO HAVE A BIG DRAFT
The Canadiens have 14 picks entering the 2022 Upper Deck NHL Draft, which would be tied for the most by a team through the first seven rounds with the Blackhawks in 2004 (the seven-round format has been used since 2005). Among the draft-eligible players is Jack Hughes (No. 26-ranked NA skater), son of Canadiens general manager Kent Hughes and a forward for Northeastern University.

* There have been two instances of a general manager selecting their son in an NHL Draft. Also of note, Chuck Grillo was the Sharks’ director of player personnel when they picked his son Dean at No. 155 in 1991 (the elder Grillo was named co-GM of the club a year later on June 26, 1992).
 


DEVILS, COYOTES, KRAKEN AND FLYERS ALSO HAVE TOP-FIVE PICKS
New Jersey (No. 2), Arizona (No. 3), Seattle (No. 4) and Philadelphia (No. 5) are set to round off the top-five picks after Montreal chooses a player with the first overall selection.

* The Devils franchise has selected a player with a top-two pick eight times in club history. New Jersey nabbed Jack Hughes (No. 1 in 2019), Nico Hischier (No. 1 in 2017), Brendan Shanahan (No. 2 in 1987) and Kirk Muller (No. 2 in 1984), while the Colorado Rockies chose Rob Ramage (No. 1 in 1979) and Barry Beck (No. 2 in 1977) and the Kansas City Scouts selected Barry Dean (No. 2 in 1975) and Wilf Paiement (No. 2 in 1974).
 

* Arizona has picked a player with a top-three selection four times in franchise history. The Coyotes chose Dylan Strome (No. 3 in 2015) and Kyle Turris (No. 3 in 2007), while the original Winnipeg Jets took Dale Hawerchuk (No. 1 in 1981) and Dave Babych (No. 2 in 1980).

* The Kraken, who selected Matty Beniers second overall in 2021, can become the 14th franchise with a top-five pick in each of their first two NHL Drafts and first since the Atlanta Thrashers. Atlanta, which contested its inaugural season in 1999-00, picked Patrik Stefan (No. 1 in 1999) and Dany Heatley (No. 2 in 2000).

* Philadelphia has selected a player with a top-five pick in an NHL Draft seven times. The Flyers nabbed Nolan Patrick (No. 2 in 2017), James van Riemsdyk (No. 2 in 2007), Joni Pitkanen (No. 4 in 2002), Mike Ricci (No. 4 in 1990), Ron Sutter (No. 4 in 1982), Mel Bridgman (No. 1 in 1975) and Serge Bernier (No. 5 in 1967).

WRIGHT ENTERS DRAFT AS TOP-RANKED NORTH AMERICAN SKATER
No. 1-ranked North American skater Shane Wright can become the highest-selected player from the OHL’s Kingston Frontenacs, a distinction currently held by Erik Gudbranson and Chris Gratton who went third overall in the 2010 and 1993 NHL Draft, respectively. The Frontenacs’ franchise history includes the current incarnation (1989-90–Present), the Kingston Raiders (1988-89) and Kingston Canadians (1973-74–1987-88), the latter of which has been considered a resuscitation of the Montreal Junior Canadiens club after a one-year hiatus.
 


* Gratton (214-354—568 in 1,092 GP) is one of four players to record 500 career NHL points after being drafted from a team based in the Limestone City, with the others being Bernie Nicholls (475-734—1,209 in 1,127 GP), Tony McKegney (320-319—639 in 912 GP) and Syl Apps Jr. (183-423—606 in 727 GP). Craig Muni (1987 EDM, 1988 EDM, 1990 EDM), Mike Zigomanis (2009 PIT), Jay Wells (1994 NYR) and Jeff Chychrun (1992 PIT) are the only Stanley Cup winners that were drafted from a Kingston club.

* Wright averaged 1.49 points per game during the 2021-22 regular season and finished eighth in scoring in the OHL with 32-62—94 (63 GP). During the Frontenacs’ playoff run, Wright also averaged over a point per game (3-11—14 in 11 GP) and scored the series-clinching overtime goal in Game 6 to propel his club into the second round. Leading into the 2021-22 campaign, Wright captained Team Canada to a gold medal at the 2021 Under-18 World Championship. He concluded the tournament with the highest points-per-game rate (2.80) and finished tied for second in scoring with 9-5—14 (5 GP).

* Wright can become the 21st player to go No. 1 overall from the OHL or its antecedent league, the OHA (since 1969 when the Amateur Draft expanded to cover any amateur player of qualifying age throughout the world). The last player to do so was Connor McDavid, who was chosen by the Oilers in 2015 – the seven years since an OHL/OHA player went first overall is the second longest such drought in NHL Draft history (12 years between Bobby Smith in 1978 & Owen Nolan in 1990).

* Wright can become the fourth individual to be selected with the No. 1 pick in the NHL Draft after being granted exceptional player status by Hockey Canada. Joe Veleno (No. 30 in 2018) and Sean Day (No. 81 in 2016) were also drafted after receiving the distinction, while Connor Bedard and Michael Misa are eligible in 2023 and 2025, respectively.
 


SLAFKOVSKY, NEMEC CAN SET NHL DRAFT MARK FOR SLOVAKIAN-BORN PLAYERS
Juraj Slafkovsky (No. 1-ranked International skater) and countryman Simon Nemec (No. 3-ranked International skater) can become the highest-selected Slovakian-born players in an NHL Draft, currently held by Marian Gaborik who was grabbed by the Wild with the third overall pick in 2000. Gaborik was born in Trencin, Czechoslovakia, which is part of present-day Slovakia.
 

* Slafkovsky spent the majority of the 2021-22 season with TPS of the Finnish Elite League (5-5—10 in 31 GP) and also averaged nearly two points per game in 11 appearances with their junior team (6-12—18 in 11 GP). Nemec, a defenseman who made his debut with Nitra’s senior club team in 2019-20 at just 15 years of age, spent the entire 2021-22 campaign in Slovakia’s top professional league where he registered 1-25—26 (39 GP) and ranked second on his team in playoff points, regardless of position (5-12—17 in 19 GP).

* Slafkovsky and Nemec won a bronze medal with Slovakia in the 2022 Winter Olympics at Beijing, which marked the country’s first-ever Olympic medal for ice hockey. Slafkovsky (7-0—7 in 7 GP) was named tournament MVP after leading all players in goals and points (tied) – he tallied twice including the bronze medal clincher as Slovakia skated to a 4-0 win in its tournament finale versus Sweden, which featured several recent NHLers such as Christian FolinJacob de la RoseAnton LanderLucas Wallmark and Oscar Fantenberg as well as Stanley Cup winner Joakim Nordstrom.

* The last player to win a medal at the Winter Olympics before being selected in an NHL Draft was Roman Cechmanek, who was picked by Philadelphia during the sixth round in 2000 (171st overall) two years after capturing gold with Czechia at Nagano. Four of his tournament teammates were taken in the 1998 NHL Draft (Jaroslav SpacekJiri DopitaPavel Patera & David Moravec).
 

USA HOCKEY’S NTDP CAN PRODUCE ANOTHER TOP-FIVE PICK
With three of the top-10 ranked North American skaters coming out of USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program’s Under-18 Team in Logan Cooley (No. 2), Cutter Gauthier (No. 3) and Isaac Howard (No. 9), the 2022 Upper Deck NHL Draft could be a historic one for the program. A top-five pick has been selected from the program in each of the past three years (Luke Hughes: No. 4 in 2021; Jake Sanderson: No. 5 in 2020; Jack Hughes: No. 1 in 2019; Alex Turcotte: No. 5 in 2019) – should it happen again, they would become the first team to produce a top-five draft pick in at least four consecutive years (excluding relocations).
 


* The NTDP is the only club to produce a top-five draft pick in three straight years on multiple occasions. The first instance occurred from 2005 to 2007, when James van Riemsdyk (No. 2 in 2007), Erik Johnson (No 1. in 2006) and Jack Johnson (No. 3 in 2005) were all top-five selections. Johnson and Johnson recently won the Stanley Cup with Colorado.

* With six top-10 picks coming from the program over the past three years, the NTDP could become the first amateur team to produce at least seven such selections over a four-year span. Outside of the Hughes brothers, Turcotte and Sanderson, the other top-10 selections since 2019 include Tyler Boucher (No. 10 in 2021) and Trevor Zegras (No. 9 in 2019).

SABRES, COYOTES LOOK TO MAKE BIG SPLASH WITH THREE FIRST-ROUND PICKS EACH
The 2022 Upper Deck NHL Draft may feature at least two teams with three first-round picks as both the Sabres and Coyotes are each currently slated to select three times in the opening round. It will be the fourth NHL Draft to feature multiple teams with three first-round selections, joining 2020 (OTT & NJD), 2013 (CBJ & CGY) and 2007 (EDM & STL).

* Arizona will select third, 27th and 32nd, marking the first time in Coyotes/Jets history that the club has had three first-round picks. The franchise has made two selections in the opening round 10 times, most recently in 2016 when they chose Clayton Keller (No. 7) and Jakob Chychrun (No. 16). The pair are both key pieces to Arizona’s current roster, with Keller finishing as the team leader in scoring three times since he entered the NHL including this past season (2021-222018-19 & 2017-18).

* The Sabres will have the ninth, 16th and 28th picks at the Bell Centre on July 7. Buffalo has chosen thrice in the opening round two other times in franchise history, which occurred in 1983 and 1982. In the first year, the Sabres made three picks in the opening round by selecting Phil Housley (No. 6), Paul Cyr (No. 9) and Dave Andreychuk (No. 16). Housley went on to tally 66 points in his rookie year, which stands as the third most in a single season in franchise history. Both Andreychuk and Housley remain on a number of the Sabres’ all-time lists, sitting second and fourth in assists and second and fifth in points, respectively, while Andreychuk also places third in goals.

* In 1982, the Sabres selected Tom Barrasso (No. 5), Normand Lacombe (No. 10) and Adam Creighton (No. 11). Barrasso went on to earn 124 wins for the club, which stands as the fifth most in Sabres history. At 19 years of age, Barrasso (pictured below) captured the Calder Trophy and Vezina Trophy – he remains the only teenager to ever be awarded the Vezina Trophy.

Attachments:

2022 NHL Draft – Stats Pack.pdf

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