Welcome back to The Journey, where we follow hockey prospects and their paths to the NHL, providing Fantasy predictions and analysis along the way.
This week, we will complete the first half of the 2022 NHL Draft preliminary top-30 and evaluate the talent available outside of the top-5. Even after last week's article outlining the first five selections of 2022, the talent pool is still overflowing. To compare, I believe that a handful of players available at this point would have gone first overall in the 2021 NHL Draft.
This year is no joke in terms of first-round talent depth, and it will be very difficult to split between prospects in the top 15. the idea is to create a starting point from which to adjust the rankings as the season goes on and players develop. Without further explanations, here are the selections:
Prospects selected in the top 5 (from last week's article):
- Shane Wright, C – Kingston Frontenacs
- Šimon Nemec, RD – HK Nitra, Slovakia
- Ivan Miroshnichenko, LW – Omskie Krylia, VHL
- Matthew Savoie, C/RW – Winnipeg Ice, WHL
- Brad Lambert, C/RW – JYP, Liiga
- Juraj Slafkovsky, LW – TPS Turku, Liiga
The Slovak winger barely misses out on the top-5, but truly has some game-breaking skills that could make him a dangerous player at the NHL level. On top of his impressive frame (6-4, 225 pounds), Slafkovsky can skate very well using strong strides and refined mechanics to win puck races and outpace defenders on the rush. He can deke his way through or around opponents with ease, using his head and shoulders to misdirect defenders and gain a couple of inches of ice to work with. His shot is heavy and he scores goals in a variety of ways, excelling in a net-fr