Sportsnet’s first 2022 NHL Draft rankings were released Thursday. You can see them here.
While Shane Wright is No. A prospect who will go from wire to wire, there is a lot of volatility thereafter.
Take the Finn Brad Lambert, for example. He is No. 2 on our list. After scoring 15 points in 46 league games last season, Lambert has one point in nine games in 2021-22. He has a lot of money earned through his game last season, but he has to pick up his boots.
His teammate Joakim Kemell (No. 9), by contrast, leads the Liiga with 14 points in his first 12 games.
With OHLers trying to catch up and the international break less than a month away, the standings will look different in November.
It’s great to see Mason McTavish not only make the Ducks roster, but also score his first NHL goal in his first NHL game. Thanks to NHL statistics, at 18 years and 256 days old, McTavish became the youngest player in Ducks history to score a goal. He also added an assist.
McTavish, who shot 29 times when he was 16 in Peterborough with OHL’s Petes, went to his native Switzerland during the pandemic. In the professional league, McTavish scored nine times in 13 games, but where he really made his mark was at the U18 World Cup. In that event, McTavish showed that he could play center and be physical without sacrificing his opening. Without a doubt, he was the most talked about player after that event in Texas. With those added layers in his game, McTavish was third overall by the Ducks in the 2021 draft.
Pain in the neck
Washington’s Hendrix Lapierre also scored in his NHL debut, becoming the seventh teenager in Caps history to score in his first NHL game. Lapierre missed large periods of time in his draft minus 1 and draft year with what were thought to be symptoms resulting from concussions. While there was a concussion, the symptoms were more the result of a neck problem that was diagnosed by a specialist in Florida. Thanks to agent Phil Lecavalier’s hard work, dedication, perseverance and added support, Lapierre may end up being the steal of the 2020 draft, when Washington moved in to take him at 22.
As an aside and once again thanks to NHL statistics, Lapierre wore an Ovechkin jersey in his first NHL game as a child.
Hockey Canada bosses were put on alert this week when the NHL opening night rosters were announced. Several players eligible to represent Canada at the 2022 World Youth Cup in Edmonton remained with their respective NHL clubs.
Those players are: Seth Jarvis (CAR), Jake Neighbors (STL), Cole Sillinger (CLB), Cole Perfetti (WPG), Mason McTavish (ANA), Jamie Drysdale (ANA), Hendrix Lapierre (WSH) and Quinton Byfield (LAK , injured). Thanks to a new rule in place against the pandemic, Kingston’s Zayde Wisdom and Barrie’s Tyson Foerster, both Philadelphia prospects, have been assigned to AHL Lehigh Valley.
Last year’s WJC captain Bowen Byram played 19 games with the Colorado Avalanche during the 2020-21 season, giving two assists. The fourth overall pick in 2019 scored his first NHL goal in a 4-2 win over Chicago on Wednesday. He’s been overshadowed by Cale Makar, but Byram is a future star.
Sign me up
At the end of training camp there are always some surprises in terms of undrafted players who were invited to the fields and end up being signed. Here are a couple of examples from this season, and a great motivator for those who didn’t hear his name in either of the last two drafts. The path to the NHL is not always clear, and undrafted players accounted for 91 (12.6 percent) of the total players who made up an NHL opening night roster.
Montreal: Defender Arber Xhekaj of the Kitchener Rangers. A good skater, who at 6ft 3in and 204lbs plays the role of the nasty, hard to play defender against. Considering that he did not play in 2020-21 due to the OHL closure, this is a significant signing that speaks to the player’s dedication.
Toronto: Braeden Kressler Center of the Flint Firebrids. Kressler centers Flint’s top line alongside New York Rangers first-round player Brennan Othmann. He is a playmaking center that scored his first goal in his first OHL game of the season.
Arizona: Sarnia Sting’s goalkeeper Anson Thornton is a former teammate of Shane Wright, Brandt Clark and Brennan Othmann with the Don Mills Flyers. The Flyers won the OHL Cup in 2019. Thornton has the size and speed of the NHL, but the most impressive thing is that they did not choose him in the OHL Priority selection, but in the U18 supplemental draft after playing his 16-year season. in Loop AAA U18.
Stay or go
Vancouver prospect Danila Klimovich, who made his mark with six goals in five games for Belarus at the 2021 U-18 World Cup, is currently at Abbotsford, the Canucks’ AHL affiliate. He was injured near the end of camp and has yet to return, and if he returns to junior when healthy, Klimovich would join the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies in the QMJHL. The Huskies currently have the maximum allowed of two imports on their list and one of them would have to be released if it is loaned to Klimovich. While Rouyn-Noranda would love to have Klimovich’s skill, the rebuilding team would also be happy to keep compatriot Daniil Bourash, as he is a year younger and will likely be with the club for two to three more years, where Klimovich is probably one and done.
I couldn’t be happier for Niagara IceDogs goalkeeper Tucker Tynan, who was named OHL’s Goalkeeper of the Week that ended on October 10. Tynan suffered a life-threatening laceration to his thigh in a game on December 12, 2019. During the first week of the OHL season, Tynan supported the dogs in a pair of victories, with a GAA of 1, 44 and a save percentage of .950. Originally from Chicago, the 19-year-old was chosen in the 10th round of Niagara in 2018.
Boy to the roof
On October 28, the No. 4 worn by Guy Lafleur in his time with the Quebec Remparts will officially hang from the rafters and retire from the league. When planning this day, no one in the league currently uses the number. Fourteen players went to No. 4 during the shortened 2020-21 pandemic season.
He spoke to a key contact in Sweden this week and warned of inflated statistics in the Swedish U20 league. There is a general idea that lost development time has affected players’ ability to play a solid defensive game.
Keep an eye on Prince Albert’s defender, Terrell Goldsmith. The 6-foot-3, 2015-pound left-throwing defender is a throwback. Having benefited from playing at the Regina Hub as a 15-year-old last season, Goldsmith found himself embroiled in several battles on the ice with Las Vegas first-round pick and former Winnipeg Ice center Peyton Krebs.
Fantilli to the bay?
It seems we’ve always been talking about Adam Fantilli. The Chicago Steel forward was drafted into the OHL by the Saginaw Spirit, but his rights were recently traded for five draft picks. Does this mean it will eventually end up in North Bay? That remains to be seen. Michigan’s engagement is a late 2004 birthday, which means he is ineligible for the NHL draft until 2023, the same year as Regina’s Connor Bedard and Matvey Michkov of Russia. As the year progresses, expect Fantilli to enter the conversation as the first overall pick projected in 2023.
Do not forget me
Add Dalibor Dvorsky to your pool of players who will be mentioned with players like Bedard and Michkov in 2023. A scout told me this season that he looks as good as the top two prospects.
The great yachts
Best of luck to Mark Yates, who recently parted ways with InStat. If it hadn’t been for Mark’s help last season, working in the NHL Draft would have been next to impossible. Mark is a brilliant hockey mind with his sights set on helping a CHL franchise. Owners take note, Mark’s experience and keen eye would be an asset to any organization.
I can’t forget an old friend and a statistical genius in Geoffrey Brandow. Even though I’m not on Twitter, I constantly check their feed for amazing statistics on the CHL. Follow up. The fact that he doesn’t have a job on a major network or for a team is mind-boggling.
One group that will be sad, but extremely excited about the extension of Brady Tkachuk is the USNTDP U18 program. Until he signed his extension with the Ottawa Senators, Brady had been skating with the program in Plymouth, Michigan. Quinn Hughes and Elias Petterson also used USA Hockey facilities and skated with the team until they signed in Vancouver.