2022 NHL Draft Fantasy Rankings

Peter Harling

2022-03-20

Welcome to my annual DobberProspects fantasy ranking for the NHL Entry Draft.

This draft ranking is specifically ranked for fantasy hockey purposes. There is no shortage of sources out there these days for ranking the up coming NHL Draft. The top destinations are The Hockey News, Elite Prospects, McKeens, the Athletic and of course right here at DobberProspects.

While all these outlets provide excellent rankings, analysis, and scouting reports on the top players in the draft, this is the ONLY place where the rankings are designed to help you have your own successful fantasy draft.

Another factor that helps make these rankings the best source for your draft research is the rankings are a consensus rankings with contributions from the above-mentioned sources. It takes all the hours of scouting and hockey watching from the experts and compiles them together for the best rankings for fantasy hockey you will find.

To determine the rankings, I assigned a point value to each ranking and the sum is the player’s overall score. Like Golf, the lower the score the better. For example, I ranked Shane Wright and Joakim Kemell first and second. Wrights scored 1 point and Kemell scored 2. If all eight contributors ranked Shane Wright first, his overall score would be eight. I will include each players score as well after their league.

I would like to thank this year’s contributors for their input.

Scott Wheeler – The Athletic@scottcwheeler

Russ Cohen – Elite Prospects, Sportsology@sportsology

Brock Otten – McKeens Hockey@BrockOtten

Steven Ellis – The Hockey News – @StevenEllisTHN

Victor Nuno – Fantasy Hockey Life on Fantrax, Hockey Writers – @VictorNuno12

Nick Richard – DobberProspects – @_NickRichard

Eetu Siltanen – DobberProspects – @siltaneneetu

Peter Harling – DobberProspects – @pharling

The fantasy rankings are based on dynasty leagues considering points only scoring formats.

  1. Shane Wright, C – Kingston Frontenacs (OHL) 11

 

He blends versatile skill with a heady, detailed game that will allow him to drive a line and be relied upon in all situations down the middle at the next level. – Scott Wheeler, Athletic

 

The shot is elite. The vision and decision making are elite. His projection is still that of a high-end top line center who can play any role asked of him.  – Brock Otten, McKeens

 

OHL exceptional status recipient may not have the fantasy upside of Connor McDavid or Steven Stamkos, but his Patrice Bergeron comparison give you an idea of what you will get if you win your draft lottery – Peter Harling, DobberProspects

 

The consensus #1 in this draft for a while now. I’m as confident in saying he will be an NHLer as I am that he will NOT be the best fantasy asset from this draft. If I had to choose, I’d easily take the field.   – Victor Nuno, Fantrax

 

Most complete player in the draft. Could be a two-way franchise player, with also great point production. NHL ready – Eetu Siltanen, DobberProspects

 

Whatever we see Wright doing on the ice is a portion of what he does off the ice. The one thing you never would question is his dedication to the sport and that will equate to a successful NHL career. – Russ Cohen, Elite Prospects

 

 

  1. Logan Cooley, C – U.S. National U18 Team (USDP) 29

 

Arguably the most electrifying player in the draft, Cooley can create his own opportunities with his great speed and work away from the puck. He can beat defender’s one-on-one, set up teammates, or finish plays himself. – Nick Richard, DobberProspects

 

Cooley is one of the most complete players in this draft. His skating, hockey IQ, shot, and defense and highly projectable to the NHL. His motor is outstanding and should help him generate points at the next level. – Victor Nuno, Fantrax

 

This is a player made to play in today’s NHL era. His elite quickness allows him to consistently keep defenders on their heels and his vision/skill are underrated IMO. His well-rounded profile does lead to him being compared to Matty Beniers, but I actually feel Cooley’s upside as an offensive player is slightly higher. – Brock Otten, McKeens

 

Electric center with good two-way game, who can both score goals and create chances. NHL ETA 1 year. – Eetu Siltanen, DobberProspects

 

As a potential top-six center in the NHL someday, speed is important. He was fast last year but that ability has reached another level. – Russ Cohen, Elite Prospects

 

  1. Joakim Kemell, RW – JYP (Liiga) 35

 

Kemell has been the biggest riser in public draft circles since the beginning of the season. He plays an energetic game and doesn’t shy away from the physical aspects but it his outstanding shot that will help him find success at the next level. – Nick Richard, DobberProspects

Kemell’s a slick, play-creating winger who excels in possession, carves teams up through coverage to take play from the flanks to the interior, and possesses quick, light hands. – Scott Wheeler, Athletic

 

One of the best shooters in the draft. He’s healthy and will only get better from here. – Steven Ellis, The Hockey News

 

Kemell is currently on pace for the 7th best points per game mark in Liiga history for a forward over 20 games played, better than Patrik Laine, Jesse Puljujarvi, Mikko Rantanen, Sebastian Aho, Roope Hintz, and Teuvo Teravainen – Victor Nuno, Fantrax

 

  1. Juraj Slafkovsky, LW – TPS (Liiga) 36

 

 

I’m concerned about his numbers in Finland, but the toolset is there. – Steve Ellis, The Hockey News

 

Had a coming out at the Olympics leading Slovakia to the Bronze Medal by scoring a tournament leading seven goals. At 6-4 he also hits adding value to bangers leagues. – Peter Harling, DobberProspects

 

Highly skilled winger with big frame. Very good puck skills and elite ability to protect it with body. Real potential to produce points. NHL ETA 1-2 years. – Eetu Siltanen, DobberProspects

 

The team that drafts him will be betting on his upside, which grades at or near the very top of this class. – Scott Wheeler, Athletic

 

  1. Matt Savoie, C – Winnipeg Ice (WHL) 37

 

when we talk about the draft’s highest upside offensive players, we have to mention Savoie near the top. His blend of small area quickness, skill, sense, and tenacity makes him an incredibly dangerous player inside the offensive zone. – Brock Otten, McKeens

 

Electric dual-threat, who can score a lot of goals and create scoring chances. Good value pick for fantasy leagues, as might have the highest offensive upside of the class. NHL ETA 0-1 years. – Eetu Siltanen, DobberProspects

 

I see a dynamic, high-tempo, top-six, goal-creating package. He’s an exciting talent in a draft that’s short on them. – Scott Wheeler, Athletic

 

Savoie is undersized but possesses high-end offensive ability. He is more elusive than he is fast, but he knows how to find and create space for both himself and his teammates. I’m not sure he sticks in the middle at the NHL level, but his offensive talents should translate. – Nick Richard, DobberProspects

 

  1. Frank Nazar, C/RW – U.S. National U18 Team (USDP) 62

 

 

Nazar will be one of those players that pundits look back on when they re-draft 2022 and decide that too many teams passed on him and then wonder how it happened. He’s that good. – Russ Cohen, Elite Prospects

 

His offensive tools are all excellent with maybe only his IQ being elite. He can do it all offensively and could end up being the highest point getter from this class – Victor Nuno, Fantrax

 

He’s not large and he will need to improve his ability to play through contact, but the offensive upside is probably as high as anyone in this draft class because of his skating ability, skill, creativity, and ability to blend all three. – Brock Otten, McKeens

 

Nazar is a shifty, versatile forward who plays the game at a high pace. He has great hands and can play through traffic in the offensive zone, but he is dangerous off the rush as well. He may take a bit longer to reach his potential, but he has plenty of it. – Nick Richard, DobberProspects

 

  1. Danila Yurov, RW – Metallurg Magnitogorsk (KHL) 72

 

Has first line potential, great vision, and offensive creativity. Inconsistency in decision making and performance raises some question marks. – Victor Nuno, Fantrax

 

Don’t let Yurov’s lack of KHL production fool you – this kid has plenty of offensive talent. He plays a bit more of a straight-ahead game but his pace and ability to make plays under pressure stand out. With greater opportunity, those talents will shine through. – Nick Richard, DobberProspects

 

Limited minutes in KHL have kept him off the score sheet, but 11 points in U18 and well over a point per game in the MHL. He is a player to watch when the WJC returns in August – Peter Harling, DobberProspects

 

He may not become a star, but he’s got projectable top-six tools. Now it’s just about getting a real opportunity in the KHL (one which has not been afforded to him to date). – Scott Wheeler, Athletic

 

  1. Jonathan Lekkerimaki, RW – Djurgardens IF (SHL) 85

 

Great goal-scorer with very good upside. Threat on even strength and PP. Has a good toolkit all-around. Needs 1-2 years before jumping to the NHL. – Eetu Siltanen, DobberProspects

He’s got A-level hands, a deceptive release, and a slyness to his game that allows him to get to spots to score with and without the puck. With the right development and patience, he’s got clear upside as a top-six creator off the flank. – Scott Wheeler, Athletic

Very young for this draft class (18 on July 24) so plenty of room to grow. If he hits his full potential, could be a 30-30 guy or more – Victor Nuno, Fantrax

Since 1990, only one U18 player has scored 10+ goals in the SHL (Markus Naslund). Lekkerimaki has a chance to hit that mark. Great company to keep. – Brock Otten, McKeens

  1. Simon Nemec, D – HK Nitra (Slovakia) 85

 

Best defender available in the draft. Great two-way skills and potential to produce points. One of the smartest players I’ve ever seen at this age. NHL ETA 0-1 years. – Eetu Siltanen, DobberProspects

Let me be clear. I think Nemec is the top defenseman available this year. He deserves to be in the top 5 of the draft. However, if we’re talking about points only future projection, he’s not at the top. – Brock Otten, McKeens

Nemec is a top five ranked prospect on almost every draft ranking. But this is a fantasy ranking and that drops his value. Let others in your league that did not read this article burn a top five pick on him. – Peter Harling, DobberProspects

 

  1. Brad Lambert, C/RW – Pelicans (Liiga) 86

 

 

You can’t deny Lambert’s talent base. Scouts know what he is capable of, and the tools are all there. It’s just a matter of time for it all to click. – Russ Cohen, Elite Prospects

 

Lambert was supposed to be a top-3 pick but after a difficult season and lots of red flags around him, I’m not sure about his point producing potential. More of a playmaker than a shooter, very strong transitional player. NHL ETA 1-3 years. – Eetu Siltanen, DobberProspects

 

The 18-year-old may be struggling on the big ice in the Liiga, but he exploded on smaller ice vs his peers in two WJC games with five points. He could be sneaky good fantasy value in a fantasy draft if he falls outside the top ten of your draft and then explodes on the small ice in the NHL – Peter Harling, DobberProspects

 

He’s an excellent skater and transition player. He needs to round out the rest of his game, but if he does, he could be a player teams regret passing on. – Victor Nuno, Fantrax

  1. David Jiricek, D – Skoa lzen (Czechia) 95

 

Two-way defender with good toolkit, great size and good physicality. Solid point-production upside. Not far from NHL ready but since he misses the whole second half of the season, he definitely needs a season in AHL or Europe before NHL. – Eetu Siltanen, DobberProspects

 

I think Jiricek is unquestionably one of the top defensemen available this year. However, it’s also fair to say that other defenders have higher offensive ceilings than him. The good news is that it sounds like he’ll be able to return to action before the U18’s, recovering from the knee injury he suffered at the WJC’s. – Brock Otten, McKeens

 

you could get amazing value for him if he falls to the latter half of the top 10 or even beyond 10 in your draft as he might fall in the NHL draft too. – Victor Nuno, Fantrax

 

  1. Conor Geekie, C – Winnipeg Ice (WHL) 103

 

He’s a legitimate prospect with a desirable set of skills, though — skills that give him clear middle-six upside and value at both ends, even if he’s not going to be a top-line player. – Scott Wheeler, Athletic

 

I think he can be a long-time pro player and someone who can be an integral part of an NHL lineup, but when it comes to offensive potential, he’s just a step below a few of the other top forwards available. – Brock Otten, McKeens

 

His skating stride and overall pace still require improvement but his puck skills, shot, and offensive vision are worth taking a swing on. It doesn’t hurt that he has the size NHL teams covet down the middle. – Nick Richard, DobberProspects

 

Big, strong center with great puck skills and ability to produce points, but problems with skating. Many NHL teams will be fighting over him, probably pretty high in the draft. NHL ETA 1-2 years. – Eetu Siltanen, DobberProspects

 

  1. Isaac Howard, LW – S. National U18 Team (USDP) 108

 

 

I’m a big believer in Howard. He’s a lethal offensive-zone player who gets to the home-plate area and has some of the better hands and instincts in the draft. – Scott Wheeler, Athletic

 

I’m a big believer in Howard. He’s a lethal offensive-zone player who gets to the home-plate area and has some of the better hands and instincts in the draft. – Nick Richard, DobberProspects

Has good offensive instincts. Is a bit undersized, which makes things slightly more difficult for him. He can be a bit inconsistent at times and that should be refined at Minnesota-Duluth. —Victor Nuno, Fantrax

 

In terms of ranking the NTDP forwards this year, Howard would probably be my least favourite of the big six. However, if we’re looking at just offensive upside, Howard needs to be ranked accordingly. – Brock Otten, McKeens

 

  1. Cutter Gauthier, C/LW – S. National U18 Team (USDP) 137

 

Gauthier has one of the best wrist shots in the 2022 NHL Draft. He’s already scored 26 goals already this season and is leading the U18 team with 26, 15 of them in USHL games. The puck is off his stick quickly, and his accuracy is exceptional. – Russ Cohen, Elite Prospects

 

 

 

There are a lot of Jake Guentzel like qualities to his game. Not only does he bring energy and intensity away from the puck in the offensive zone, but he’s a quick thinker and strong finisher. He will likely never be the focal point, but his combination of size and skill makes him a near sure bet to be a quality NHL player IMO. – Brock Otten, McKeens

 

Gauthier does a lot of things well, but his standout tool is his shot. He works hard off the puck and utilizes his teammates well to get himself into space for scoring chances. Probably not a game-breaking talent but I see him developing into a solid complementary player who can provide secondary scoring. – Nick Richard, DobberProspects

 

  1. Filip Mesar, C/W – Poprad (Slovakia) 143

 

Electric, fast skating forward. Has a quick release and ability to create scoring chances. Has played center in Europe but I would easily see him become a winger in the NHL. Pretty high offensive upside, NHL ETA 1-3 years. – Eetu Siltanen, DobberProspects

 

Our Slovak scout (Matej Deraj) and our video scout team at McKeen’s has been high on Mesar all year. It is easy to see why. His ability to create in transition and be dangerous on the counterattack is among the best in the draft. – Brock Otten, McKeens

 

He’s an A-level skater (or close) who thrives with the puck on his stick, can play on the perimeter or knife to the inside, and can use space to feed pucks into it or take it to use his versatile and deceptive shot. – Scott Wheeler, Athletic

 

Mesar is an exciting offensive talent who can beat defenders in a variety of ways. He is elusive with the puck on his stick, has good hands, and a quick release. Can try to do a bit too much at times but it’s always with the intention of creating offense. Mesar is a potential top-six scoring winger if he can continue to refine his game. – Nick Richard, DobberProspects

 

 

  1. Liam Ohgren, LW – Djurgardens (SHL) 144

Offensively skilled player with good size. Ability to score goals and create chances. Point production in U20 has been amazing but in the SHL, not so much yet. However, high offensive upside. NHL ETA 1-2 years. – Eetu Siltanen, DobberProspects

 

 

Ohgren is making history this year with his production in the J20 league in Sweden. No player in league history has ever averaged over two points per game, having played more than 20 games. While there is obviously significant upside with Ohgren, there is also a relative safeness to him because of his well-rounded profile. He’s just such a smart player. With a strong U18’s, he could make a serious push up rankings too. – Brock Otten, McKeens

 

Has a higher floor than most in this class, but also has a lower ceiling. – Victor Nuno, Fantrax

 

  1. Denton Mateychuk, D – Moose Jaw Warriors (WHL) 145

 

Behind Mintyukov, Mateychuk has the highest offensive upside of any defender IMO. Offensively, he is the complete package. High end skater. Moves the puck well. Can QB the powerplay. Has a good shot. If Mateychuk makes it as a top four defender at the NHL level, he will be a big time point producer in the same vein as a Morgan Reilly type. – Brock Otten, McKeens

 

Mateychuk blends elite skating ability with good vision and intelligent reads to drive play from the back end. He picks his spots well but has been more engaged offensively this season and his production reflects that. – Nick Richard, DobberProspects

 

Very young for this draft class, already established as a strong skater and defender. Loves to jump into the play and has the speed and instincts to recover when it doesn’t result in sustained offense – Victor Nuno, Fantrax

 

  1. Rutger McGroarty, C – S. National U18 Team (USDP) 158

 

He’s got raw skill that shows up in his great hands and maneuverability with the puck. His finishing touch around the net is definitely there. He can really thrill when he’s on and the ice normally tilts in his favour out there. He’s got surprising soft skill and dexterity. – Scott Wheeler, Athletic

 

McGroarty plays the game with pace and works hard away from the puck. He has a balanced offensive skillset that allows him to facilitate, finish scoring plays, and create chances with his slick puck-handling. I would rank him higher if I were more confident that he could be the main driver on his line rather than a strong secondary piece. – Nick Richard, DobberProspects

 

Strong, big center with great puck skills but a bit questionable skating ability. – Eetu Siltanen, DobberProspects.

 

  1. Seamus Casey, D – S. National U18 Team (USDP) 164

 

There is a lot of potential here and I think he explodes at Michigan next season, both in points and in development. Imagine where Luke Hughes would have gone if his last name wasn’t Hughes. – Victor Nuno, Fantrax

 

He’s undersized and will need to get stronger in college, but his feet, stick and intuition help mitigate those concerns. He has also comfortably played his offside (left side) with the program, providing added versatility. – Scott Wheeler, Athletic

 

He oozes confidence with the puck and his skating ability makes him an exit machine. And while he isn’t big, his sense and positioning in the defensive end make him a potential minute eater, nonetheless. Like Nemec and Jiricek, I think there are others who have higher offensive upsides though. – Brock Otten, McKeens

 

  1. Pavel Mintyukov, D – Saginaw Spirit (OHL) 168

 

 

I believe he has the highest upside of any defenseman available. His small area skill is just insane for a defender. He makes plays miss on a nightly basis and loves to play deep in the offensive zone. The building blocks are there for him to develop into the type of defender who consistently produces offensively at the NHL level. –  Brock Otten, McKeens

 

Mintyukov is an adept three-zone player who thrives in transition, defends at a high level, and can manage the offensive zone blue line. When he’s looking to be active, he can involve himself in all areas of the game. He’s also talented as both a handler and shooter. – Scott Wheeler, Athletic

 

Oozes raw talent, skating skill, vision, deception, offensively aggressive and defensively reliable. Sounds like an NHL defenseman to me. Not sure he has top pairing upside but will be one of the higher scoring defenders from this draft class. – Peter Harling, DobberProspects

 

  1. Jimmy Snuggerud, C/W – S. National U18 Team (USDP) 177

 

 

Powerful winger with a good release who creates space for his teammates with intelligent routes and strong center lane drives off the rush. Can generate offense off the cycle and has the ability to beat goaltenders from distance. – Nick Richard, DobberProspects

 

Snuggerud is a well-rounded three-zone player with a versatile offensive game. – Scott Wheeler,

Athletic

 

Could develop into a power forward or scoring winger in the NHL. – Victor Nuno, Fantrax

 

  1. Ty Nelson, D – North Bay Battalion, (OHL) 177

 

Nelson controls the game when he is on the ice. Skates well, commands the puck plays physical, has a bomb of a shot. If he were 6-3, he would be a top five pick. – Peter Harling, DobberProspects

 

When we’re talking about offensive defenders who could make a fantasy impact at the NHL level, we have to mention Ty Nelson. One of the more naturally gifted powerplay quarterbacks available this year, Nelson has an absolute howitzer from the point. – Brock Otten, McKeens

 

Nelson is an aggressive defenceman in practically every facet of the game. He pushes play from the back end with crisp, sometimes risky passes, and activates to join the rush whenever he sees an opening. His shot can be a weapon from the point as well and his physicality could add value in multi-category leagues. – Nick Richard, DobberProspects

 

  1. Luca Del Bel Belluz, C – Mississauga Steelheads (OHL) 195

 

Fantastic creativity and vision. Could be a tremendous complimentary player at the next level or possibly drive his own line. Needs to get bigger and stronger and if he does, he could have one of the highest offensive ceilings in the class. – Victor Nuno, Fantrax

 

Del Bel Belluz has had a massive season for the Steelheads, currently leading all OHL draft-eligible in scoring. His puck skills and timing in the offensive zone have elevated him into the discussion as a potential first-round pick in the NHL Draft. – Nick Richard, DobberProspects

 

 

May not be an NHL first round pick, but he should be a first-round pick in your fantasy draft. His offensive upside is relevant. – Peter Harling, DobberProspects

 

  1. Alex Perevalov, LW – Loko Yaroslavl (MHL) 196

 

Goal-scorer who can accomplish this feat in many ways. Has a great shot and knows how to use it to create deception and change angles. – Victor Nuno, Fantrax

 

A creative attacker in transition, he consistently creates space for himself to use his shot and is also an aggressive physical attacker who is not shy of playing through or initiating contact to get to space or pucks. – Brock Otten, McKeens