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The Montreal Canadiens won the 2022 NHL Draft Lottery on Tuesday night after boasting an 18.5 percent chance to earn the first-overall pick.
Shane Wright of the Ontario Hockey League’s Kingston Frontenacs is considered the consensus favourite to be taken with the No. 1 pick, and has been the cohort’s frontrunner for as long as the age group has been tracked. Wright recorded 32 goals and 94 points in 64 games during the 2021-22 season.
It’s shaping up to be a raucous draft weekend, where Canadiens fans will surely greet Wright, a right-handed center with an excellent shot, with great fervor and anticipation at the Bell Centre on July 7, as the 18-year-old will immediately compete for a top-six spot.
The big winner — aside from the Canadiens — are the New Jersey Devils, who moved from the No. 5 spot to the No. 2 spot on Tuesday night. The Devils, who held the first-overall pick in 2017 (Nico Hischier) and 2019 (Jack Hughes), will look to add to a deep prospect pool that also includes 2020 No. 7 overall pick Alexander Holtz and 2021 No. 4 overall selection Luke Hughes, both of whom are expected to graduate to the NHL next fall.
Ahead of Tuesday’s lottery, the Canadiens held the best odds of winning the lottery at 18.5 percent, while the Seattle Kraken sported a 13.5 percent chance of securing the No. 1 pick. The full list of pre-draft odds can be found here:
— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) May 1, 2022
As of this year, teams cannot win the lottery more than twice over a five-year span. Since this rule was newly implemented, 2022 marks the first year the five-year span will be accounted for and previous victories prior to 2022 won’t count toward a team’s eligibility for the first overall pick.
Here is the full order of picks:
New Jersey Devils
Columbus Blue Jackets
Buffalo Sabres (via Vegas Golden Knights)
Who are the top prospects for the 2022 NHL draft?
Shane Wright, C, Kingston (OHL)
For as long as this age group has been tracked, Wright has been the consensus favorite to go first overall, and he’s solidified this position over the course of the season. Wright won’t blow you away with his speed but he possesses an outstanding release, playmaking ability and vision which should translate immediately to the NHL.
Juraj Slafkovsky, LW, TPS (Finnish Elite League)
Slafkovsky straight up dominated during the Olympics, winning tournament MVP after posting seven goals in seven games for Slovakia, helping his country win bronze, their first-ever medal in ice hockey. A towering winger with a booming shot, Slafkovsky could graduate to the NHL this fall.
Simon Nemec, D, HK Nitra (Slovakia)
Nemec is a smooth-skating, right-shot defenseman with remarkable poise and the ability to turn zone exits into genuine offensive chances. He moves the puck with fluency while playing in the Slovakian professional league as an underager. Although it’s unlikely he’ll push Wright for No.1, he may end up as the best player in the class when it’s all said and done.
Logan Cooley, C, U.S. National Team Development Program
Cooley has averaged over a point-and-a-half per game during his second year with the USNTDP and may be the second player off the board. The 18-year-old has been widely lauded for his speed and his attention to detail as a two-way player.
Matthew Savoie, C, Winnipeg (WHL)
Listed at 5-foot-9 and 178 pounds, Savoie is a little undersized but his high-end talent is worth the relative risk. He’s arguably the fastest player in the draft, boasts tremendous puck skills and could be likened to former WHL standout Mathew Barzal.
NHL draft rankings
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