After the World Juniors were unfortunately cut short due to Covid protocols, it is time to look ahead towards the NHL draft. Although teams only played in 2 games, we were able to get a
glimpse of the impact some of the 2022 draft-eligible players could have in the future. So for the fans of teams that are ready to throw in the towel, here is a way to early mock draft that is sure
to look completely off by July 2022, when the draft takes place.
1. Arizona Coyotes – Shane Wright, C Kingston (OHL) Dobber Rank: 1
The clear choice at number one is potential franchise center Shane Wright. The Arizona Coyotes are in an obvious rebuild, hoping to build around core players like Jakob Chychrun, Dylan Guenther and Clayton Keller. The one piece every rebuilding team looks for is a franchise center and Wright falls into the laps of the Coyotes. Wright has had a somewhat disappointing season and followed it up with an okay performance at the World Juniors. Although Wright was awarded exceptional player status for the OHL, he shouldn’t be compared to Connor McDavid. His style of game is more suited to the likes of Jonathan Toews and Patrice Bergeron, which is not a bad type of player to build a franchise around.
2. Montreal Canadiens – Matthew Savoie, C/W Winnipeg (WHL) Dobber Rank: 3
After a thrilling run to the Stanley Cup last year, Montreal finds themselves near the bottom of the standings in the NHL. Looking at the current roster, they could really use a burst of offense and there is almost no better offensive player in this class than Savoie. The undersized forward is a fantastic playmaker with high-end offensive instincts. He currently leads all draft-eligible players in points in the CHL with 52 points in 34 games played so far. While he is playing center now, a move to the wing is more likely for him, when he makes it to the NHL. Overall, Savoie will provide a much-needed offensive flare to the Canadiens lineup.
3. Ottawa Senators – Brad Lambert, C JYP (Liiga) Dobber Rank: 13
I debated a lot between Lambert and Nemec for this spot, but ultimately chose Lambert. Ottawa has a ton of young and upcoming talent, but lack a true number one center. In steps Brad Lambert, the Finnish center has seen his draft stock all over the place in many public draft spheres, but re-assured his spot in the top of the draft with his explosive play at the World Juniors, leading all draft-eligible players with five points in two games. Yes, it is a small sample size, but there is more to Lambert’s game than just points. He plays an extremely refined transition game, always seeming to find a way to get the puck in the offensive zone.