It's playoff time for 16 NHL teams in search of a Stanley Cup, but for the other half of the league the next event is the 2022 NHL Draft.
Bottom-dwellers such as the Canadiens, Kraken and Coyotes put themselves in a prime position to snag potential franchise player Shane Wright, but it was Montreal that came out on top in the . They own the first draft Denver Broncos Home Office pick for the first time since 1980 and likely will be the next destination for Shane Wright.
The Devils entered the lottery draft with the fifth-highest odds at the top pick, but ended up with the No. 2 pick. As a result, the Coyotes, Kraken and Flyers all dropped down a spot.
In addition to the Stanley Cup playoffs, all three CHL leagues are in their respective postseasons. These last contests of the season allow players to make one final lasting impre sion on scouts ahead of the draft in July.
There's some shifting that has happened throughout the entirety of this mock draft in comparison to our that came after the NHL trade deadline, with players rising and falling all over.
The top 16 teams are locked into their spots, barring any pre-draft day trades, but the bottom half will be determined by the results of the Stanley Cup playoffs.
Here's The Sporting News' post-trade deadline NHL Mock Draft.
NHL Mock Draft 2022 2.0 1. Montreal Canadiens: Shane Wright, C, Kingston Frontenacs (OHL)
Wright hasn't been overly impre sive in his draft year, but he's still the consensus No. 1 pick. He finished eighth in the OHL in regular-season scoring with 94 in 63 games, adding 11 points in nine games so far in the postseason. However, he's still an excellent playmaker who will join a very promising forward group in Montreal with Cole Caufield and Nick Suzuki.
2. New Jersey Devils: Logan Cooley, C, USA U18 (NTDP)
Cooley is arguably the best two-way center in this year's draft. The University of Minnesota commit has 70 points in 48 games with the U.S. U18 national Kary Vincent Jr. Jerseys team, including 10 points in six games at the IIHF Ice Hockey World U18 Championship. He's a smaller center (5-10) but he covers that with his smart decision-making. The Devils grab the opportunity to take Cooley after winning the No. 2 pick.
3. Arizona Coyotes: Juraj Slafkovsky, LW, TPS (Liiga)
Slafkovsky's stock keeps on rising. After recording just 10 points in 31 regular-season games with TPS, the 18-year-old registered Courtland Sutton Jerseys seven points in 17 postseason games. He grabbed people's attention with his seven goals and tournament MVP at the 2022 Winter Olympics. He's a big, power forward with slick hands and great release. Slafkovsky is by far my favorite player in this year's draft, and the Coyotes should jump all over the chance to take him.
4. Seattle Kraken: Simon Nemec, D, Nitra (Slovak Extraliga)
Nemec continues to impre s and solidify himself as the top defenseman available in this year's draft. He's a steady blueliner who ended the regular season with 26 points in 39 games with Nitra of the Slovak Extraliga, adding 10 points in 13 playoff games, helping Nitra to the finals. The Slovakian is a steady option on the blue line, with the ability to contribute in both ends. After taking a franchise forward last year in Matty Beniers, the Kraken addre s the blue line in 2022.
5. Philadelphia Flyers: Matthew Savoie, C, Winnipeg Ice (WHL)
There's no denying Savoie's goal-scoring ability. His speed/shot combination makes him dangerous whenever he's in the offensive zone. As a rookie in the WHL, he was seventh in the league and first among first-year players with 90 points in 65 games. Savoie's listed as a center, but there is speculation he's better suited to play wing at the NHL level. The Flyers lack depth down the middle Peyton Manning T Shirts and Savoie fits their need perfectly.
6. Columbus Blue Jackets (from Chicago Blackhawks): David Jiricek, D, Plzen (Czech Extraliga)
Jiricek had his season cut short when he suffered a knee injury at the 2022 World Juniors in December, requiring surgery to fix some ligaments. With that said, he's still considered the top defenseman by Central Scouting and ranked as the No. 4 skater out of Europe. The Czech defenseman is an offensive threat along the blue line with a bomb of a shot. He had 11 points in 29 games with Plzen of the Czech Extraliga before the injury. Had he played a full season, there's a chance he would have been the first blue liner off the board, but with his draft stock taking a slight hit, the Blue Jackets take advantage and snag him at No. 6.
7. Ottawa Senators: Joakim Kemell, RW, JYP (Liiga)
There's a lot to like about Kemell. He has an extremely active stick in both ends and a strong ability to handle the puck. His release makes him an excellent weapon on the power play. Kemell's ability to draw penalties reminds me a lot of Tim Sttzle.In his first season in Finland's Liiga, he had 15 goals and eight a sists in 39 games, and he potted six goals in five games at the U18 Worlds, including a hat trick against Canada.
8. Detroit Red Wings: Frank Nazar, C,USA U18 (NTDP)
I had Nazar as a fringe top-10 candidate in the last mock draft, but he's the real deal. The USNTDP DeMarcus Ware Jerseys product is so creative with the puck, and his ability to find teammates and create scoring chances is uncanny. He stands out on a U18 team loaded with talent, with 65 points in 53 games. Nazar is mainly a distributor, but his ability to score can't be disregarded, with 20 goals this season. He had an excellent showing at the U18 Worlds with three goals and six a sists in six games.
9. Buffalo Sabres: Danila Yurov, RW, Magnitogorsk (KHL)
There are still concerns about whether will be allowed to come to North America given the situation in Ukraine. Yurov is one of those players. However, with the Sabres owning three first-round picks, they can afford to take the risk by selecting the talented winger. Though he's pointle s in 21 games in the KHL, he's playing an extremely limited, bottom role with Magnitogorsk. Yurov put up 36 points in 23 games with the club's MHL team in Ru sia's major junior league. He plays hard and fast and comes with an excellent, well-rounded skill set.
10. Anaheim Ducks:Cutter Gauthier, LW,USA U18 (NTDP)
Gauthier is as complete a player as you will find in this draft. John Brown Jerseys He plays a strong 200-foot game and with his 6-3 frame, he is great along the wall when it comes to puck battles. He has flown under the radar on the NTDP team, overlooked for the likes of Cooley and Nazar, but he popped at the U18 worlds with three goals and six a sists in six games. The Boston College commit had 60 points in 51 games with the national program.
11. San Jose Sharks: Pavel Mintyukov, D, Saginaw Spirit (OHL)
The top-rated North American defenseman by Central Scouting, Mintyukov is a two-weapon on the blue line. His skating and poise with the puck allow him to jump up in the play and create chances off the