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NHL 2022 Draft


claremont
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I can't believe that it's November and I am already looking forward to the draft in loserville PQ next year. Here's hoping we win the lottery and get Wright but who should we pick if we don't?

Political pressure to pick a Francophone - the best Francophone (and only in the top 32 that I have seen), appears to be sizeable centre Nathan Gaucher of the Remparts or RHD Tristan Luneau (Gatineau) who are top 15 at present. The Best available player after Wright is still up in the air but centres Brad Lambert (what kind of a finnish name is that), Matthew Savoie (small centre), USNTDP small centre Logan Cooley, and big centres Conor Geekie (winnipeg) Danny Zhilkin (Guelph) are in the running. If there's not a clear cut #2-#4 after Wright, then maybe we trade down again - we rarely trade up. Unbelievable Arizona and Buffalo have three first rounders. Would love to trade Chiarot and get a 2nd first round pick. 

My focus is on centre where we need long term help but Best Available Player is the call

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  • 2 weeks later...

as at November 24, 2021 via Tankathon

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

2.    Juraj Slafkovsky,LW,C,RW, TPS Turku (Liiga) 

3.    Joakim Kemell,             LW, JYP (Liiga)

4.    Logan Cooley,                 C, USNTDP

5.    Matthew Savoie,              C, Winnipeg Ice (WHL)

6.   Conor Geekie,                   C, Winnipeg Ice (WHL)

7    Danila Yurov,                 RW, Magnitogorsk (KHL)

8.   Simon Nemec                   D, Nitra (NVK)

9.    Ivan Miroshnichenko  , LW, Omsk (VHL)

10.  Brad Lambert            C/RW JYP

11.  David Jiricek,                   D, HC Plzen (Extraliiga)

12.  Elias Salomonsson         D, Skelleftea

13.  Frank Nazar                  RW, USDP

14.  Isaac Howard                LW, USDP

15.  Ryan Chesley                  D, USDP

16.  Rutger McGroarty           C, USDP

17. Jonathon Lakkerimaki  RW,  Djurgardens (SWE J-20)

18.  Filip Mesar           LW,C,RW,  HK Poprad

19.  Ty Nelson                          D,  North Bay (OHL)

20.  Tristan Luneau                 D,  Gatineau

27.  Liam Ohgren                   LW,  Djurgardens (SWE J-20)

 

I just kept the original 10 & added, as some dropped in the rankings.  In the simulator, we picked 3rd.

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34 minutes ago, ramcharger440 said:

Gorton has a rep for being pretty good with the draft so this could be a good one.

Except he doesn't really. Gorton's drafting in his one year as GM in Boston was solid. His drafting with the Rangers was average. He got good picks in Lafreniere and Kakko but they were top 2 picks who were largely consensus picks at their spots, and Kakko has underwhelmed thus far to boot. It's not like he made a bold choice against the grain. His other 1st round picks have been mediocre to fair. Lias Andersson has been a flop so far. Chytil has been average for a late 1st rounder. Kravtsov has seemingly refused to play for the Rangers again. Miller seems to be a decent pick but still too early to know if he'll be more than a mid-tier defenceman.

Where Gorton has been strong is trading aging assets to be able to acquire picks. He's recognized that you need to sell assets you can't win with and stockpile lots of chance to nail a pick. He's also recognized that this largely comes from 1st rounders, not large quantities of mid-round picks. And he seems to understand the value of puck-moving D men and going after high-end skill players. So in those regards, I'm excited for Gorton to bring a fresh/better perspective that Bergevin failed to develop despite a decade in charge.

But if we're going to be honest, Gorton's actual drafting isn't his strength, hence why I would have preferred to see him keep Timmins and/or go after a guy like Madden Jr. who has more experience with scouting/drafting. Let Gorton make the trades and acquire picks and let someone else do the drafting for him.

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3 minutes ago, BigTed3 said:

Except he doesn't really. Gorton's drafting in his one year as GM in Boston was solid. His drafting with the Rangers was average. He got good picks in Lafreniere and Kakko but they were top 2 picks who were largely consensus picks at their spots, and Kakko has underwhelmed thus far to boot. It's not like he made a bold choice against the grain. His other 1st round picks have been mediocre to fair. Lias Andersson has been a flop so far. Chytil has been average for a late 1st rounder. Kravtsov has seemingly refused to play for the Rangers again. Miller seems to be a decent pick but still too early to know if he'll be more than a mid-tier defenceman.

Where Gorton has been strong is trading aging assets to be able to acquire picks. He's recognized that you need to sell assets you can't win with and stockpile lots of chance to nail a pick. He's also recognized that this largely comes from 1st rounders, not large quantities of mid-round picks. And he seems to understand the value of puck-moving D men and going after high-end skill players. So in those regards, I'm excited for Gorton to bring a fresh/better perspective that Bergevin failed to develop despite a decade in charge.

But if we're going to be honest, Gorton's actual drafting isn't his strength, hence why I would have preferred to see him keep Timmins and/or go after a guy like Madden Jr. who has more experience with scouting/drafting. Let Gorton make the trades and acquire picks and let someone else do the drafting for him.

Its also tough to know who else had a hand in things.  Just like we can say "well i think Timmins wanted this guy but Bergevin went with that guy" its possible Gorton's scouts were high on the players they took & ultimately you trust the guys you employ. 

Time will tell. I think his goal is going to be to acquire picks & prospects between now and summer.  What we do with those afterwards is going to be the key. 

 

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So he is not good at drafting? If he can pull off a great draft like he did in Boston For us that would work for me! I agree with his view on moving players at the right time he has done very well at that, as for drafting looks like we are going to find out. I am interested to see who the GM will be should be a fun couple of weeks here!

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47 minutes ago, maas_art said:

Its also tough to know who else had a hand in things.  Just like we can say "well i think Timmins wanted this guy but Bergevin went with that guy" its possible Gorton's scouts were high on the players they took & ultimately you trust the guys you employ. 

Time will tell. I think his goal is going to be to acquire picks & prospects between now and summer.  What we do with those afterwards is going to be the key. 

 

 

36 minutes ago, ramcharger440 said:

So he is not good at drafting? If he can pull off a great draft like he did in Boston For us that would work for me! I agree with his view on moving players at the right time he has done very well at that, as for drafting looks like we are going to find out. I am interested to see who the GM will be should be a fun couple of weeks here!

Right, I'm not saying Gorton is bad at drafting, I'm saying his record doesn't tell us that he's good at drafting either. It remains to be seen. He had that one good draft with Boston as I said and with New York, he hasn't yet done anything extraordinary. I don't think it took a genius to draft Lafreniere, just as I don't think anyone would have passed on Crosby or McDavid. It's hard for me to give him credit for Lafreniere and Kakko because those were the guys 98% of GMs would have chosen in those spots. So I give full credit to Gorton for making moves to put himself in position to have those draft picks, but I'm not yet sold on whether he makes the right calls once he has those picks.

It's funny, because Trevor Timmins (who I've been a vocal defender of) has taken a lot of heat on this board and in other places for his failure at the draft, yet Gorton is given credit as being a strong drafter. I think here we're confusing "having high picks" with "doing a good job with them." Look at what Gorton had in New York in his drafts between 2016 and 2020:

- 2016: no first or second round picks. Developed no regular NHLers from that draft.

- 2017: 7th overall Andersson is a flop to date; 22nd overall Chytil is a regular NHLer but not a star and not a top 6 forward really; no finds deep in the draft to date

- 2018: Kravstov at 9th overall is out of the NHL and refusing to rejoin the Rangers. Miller at 22nd overall looks like a regular NHLer but remains to be seen if he'll be top pairing or depth. Ditto for Lundkvist at 28 overall.

- 2019: Kakko at 2nd overall is an NHLer but has disappointed to date and may be a middle 6 player when all is said and done.

- 2020: Lafreniere 1st overall is clearly an NHLer but too early to say much more.

Also too early for the rest of the 2018-2020 drafts.

But thus far, knowing that guys may still develop over time, Gorton didn't find a single player who has become a regular NHLer from 2015 to 2020 outside of the 1st round. Among his 1st round picks, he hasn't found a player who has yet to establish themselves as a 1st line forward or top pairing D man, although there are several candidates there. He's had 7 first rounders including 4 of them coming from the top 9, and thus far I'd say 4 (Lafreniere, Kakko, Miller, and Chytil) are near-locks to be regulars. Andersson, Kravtsov, and Lundkvist are not.

Now look at Timmins over that same timeframe. He's had 5 first rounders to Gorton's 7. He's had just two of those inside the top 9. Of his five first rounders, Kotkaniemi and Sergachev are established NHLers and Caufield and Poehling are both getting there. Guhle is still too young to know, although I like his odds too. Hard to know if any will become a 1st line forward or top pairing D man, but Sergachev, Caufield, and JK all have a chance, and I'd say just as good a chance as a trio as Miller, Kakko, and Kravtsov). Then tack on that in that timeframe, TT already has Romanov and Mete playing as NHL regulars and Norlinder knocking on the door. Over his career, Timmins has found a higher-than-average number of gems outside the first round like Gallagher, Subban, Lehkonen, Emelin, Streit, Sergei Kostitsyn, Grabovski, Evans, Primeau, etc. as well.

So looking at their bodies of work, I'd argue Timmins has had better success finding hidden talents and at making later-round picks that have hit. I'd argue both guys are running around average for the 1st round, with the major difference being that Gorton has had more 1st rounders to select and a higher average slot to pick at. Again, I'm not saying Gorton is bad at drafting, just that he hasn't shown me he has any special talent there, while Timmins has done more with less. As I've said, Gorton's strength seems to be finding ways to get those high picks and multiple 1st's and that's absolutely something we need right now. I'd just like to see a Martin Madden Jr in the seat next to him to give us a better shot at nailing those picks when they come.

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19 hours ago, BigTed3 said:

Now look at Timmins over that same timeframe. He's had 5 first rounders to Gorton's 7. 

So looking at their bodies of work, I'd argue Timmins has had better success finding hidden talents and at making later-round picks that have hit. I'd argue both guys are running around average for the 1st round, with the major difference being that Gorton has had more 1st rounders to select and a higher average slot to pick at. Again, I'm not saying Gorton is bad at drafting, just that he hasn't shown me he has any special talent there, while Timmins has done more with less. As I've said, Gorton's strength seems to be finding ways to get those high picks and multiple 1st's and that's absolutely something we need right now. I'd just like to see a Martin Madden Jr in the seat next to him to give us a better shot at nailing those picks when they come.

That's a fair commentary- I think based on draft odds, you would be hard pressed to find any organization head that has absolutely excelled at finding draft gems, even those that had frequently picked at top rounds. I would concur with you that Gorton's strength seems to be acquiring multiple picks which in itself bodes well.  Gorton's team absolutely whiffed on Lias Anderson in 2017, and probably Vitali Kravtsov in 2018. 2020 saw him return to CHL players to which I hope he continues in that trend unless Joakim Kemell is available to us, as I am admittedly biased to the CHL sources. Martin Madden Jr. sure but I want a GM that has familiarity with evaluating player talent vs a figure head that guesses. 

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Here are some of the Madden's picks in his role of head scout and then assistant GM for Anaheim:

- 2008: Jake Gardiner in round 1; also drafted Justin Schultz, who never signed with Anaheim but has become an NHLer

- 2009:Kyle Palmierei late in round 1 and Sami Vatanen in round 4

- 2010: Cam Fowler in round 1, several other NHLers thereafter including Devante Smith-Pelly

- 2011: Rickard Rakell in Rd 1, John Gibson and William Karlsson in Rd 2, John Manson in Rd 6. All 7 guys drafted played games in the NHL.

- 2012: Hampus Lindholm in Rd 1, Freddie Anderson in Rd 3

- 2013: Shea Theodore in Rd 1, one of the few years he only found 1 NHLer but only had 5 total picks in the draft that year

- 2014: Nick Ritchie in Rd 1, Brandon Montour in Rd 2, and two other NHLers, for a total of 4 guys playing over 200 games among only 5 picks

- 2015: Troy Terry in Rd 5, one of Anaheim's top players this year

- 2016: 3 guys in the NHL already, including Sam Steel and Max Jones at the end of Rd 1

- 2017: no 1st rounder but has Max Comtois from Rd 2

- 2018: Isac Lundestrom in Rd 1 And Benoit-Oliver Groulx in Rd 2

- 2019: Trevor Zegras in Rd 1, who I said at the time would be the steal of the draft and my favorite pick in Rd 1

- 2020: Jamie Drysdale in Rd 1 is already a key part of the Ducks' D corps, and they have a couple of other nice prospects including Jacob Perreault

- 2021: Mason Mactavish in Rd 1 looks like he also has star potential and played 9 games in the NHL this year

 

It's such an impressive record, especially with respect to drafting D men. Look at that list: Vatanen, Lindholm, Drysdale, Montour, Theodore, Manson, Gardiner, Schultz, Fowler. At least 5 of those guys are or have been top-pairing defencemen and at their peak would be better than any D man on our team other than Petry. And he's nailed high picks at forward too... Zegras, Mactavish, Palmieri, Karlsson, Comtois... all impressive choices too. Yes, he's had a few misses but way less than the average head scout and the sheer percentage of his picks that ended up playing in the NHL is astoundingly high. Based on Madden's record, he easily seems like a potential star GM in the making. Put him with Gorton to go and get us the high picks and then let Madden make those choices and we could be golden.

 

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1 minute ago, BigTed3 said:

Here are some of the Madden's picks in his role of head scout and then assistant GM for Anaheim:

- 2008: Jake Gardiner in round 1; also drafted Justin Schultz, who never signed with Anaheim but has become an NHLer

- 2009:Kyle Palmierei late in round 1 and Sami Vatanen in round 4

- 2010: Cam Fowler in round 1, several other NHLers thereafter including Devante Smith-Pelly

- 2011: Rickard Rakell in Rd 1, John Gibson and William Karlsson in Rd 2, John Manson in Rd 6. All 7 guys drafted played games in the NHL.

- 2012: Hampus Lindholm in Rd 1, Freddie Anderson in Rd 3

- 2013: Shea Theodore in Rd 1, one of the few years he only found 1 NHLer but only had 5 total picks in the draft that year

- 2014: Nick Ritchie in Rd 1, Brandon Montour in Rd 2, and two other NHLers, for a total of 4 guys playing over 200 games among only 5 picks

- 2015: Troy Terry in Rd 5, one of Anaheim's top players this year

- 2016: 3 guys in the NHL already, including Sam Steel and Max Jones at the end of Rd 1

- 2017: no 1st rounder but has Max Comtois from Rd 2

- 2018: Isac Lundestrom in Rd 1 And Benoit-Oliver Groulx in Rd 2

- 2019: Trevor Zegras in Rd 1, who I said at the time would be the steal of the draft and my favorite pick in Rd 1

- 2020: Jamie Drysdale in Rd 1 is already a key part of the Ducks' D corps, and they have a couple of other nice prospects including Jacob Perreault

- 2021: Mason Mactavish in Rd 1 looks like he also has star potential and played 9 games in the NHL this year

 

It's such an impressive record, especially with respect to drafting D men. Look at that list: Vatanen, Lindholm, Drysdale, Montour, Theodore, Manson, Gardiner, Schultz, Fowler. At least 5 of those guys are or have been top-pairing defencemen and at their peak would be better than any D man on our team other than Petry. And he's nailed high picks at forward too... Zegras, Mactavish, Palmieri, Karlsson, Comtois... all impressive choices too. Yes, he's had a few misses but way less than the average head scout and the sheer percentage of his picks that ended up playing in the NHL is astoundingly high. Based on Madden's record, he easily seems like a potential star GM in the making. Put him with Gorton to go and get us the high picks and then let Madden make those choices and we could be golden.

 

Yep could be a dream team!

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2 hours ago, BigTed3 said:

Here are some of the Madden's picks in his role of head scout and then assistant GM for Anaheim:

It's such an impressive record, especially with respect to drafting D men. Look at that list: Vatanen, Lindholm, Drysdale, Montour, Theodore, Manson, Gardiner, Schultz, Fowler. At least 5 of those guys are or have been top-pairing defencemen and at their peak would be better than any D man on our team other than Petry. And he's nailed high picks at forward too... Zegras, Mactavish, Palmieri, Karlsson, Comtois... all impressive choices too. Yes, he's had a few misses but way less than the average head scout and the sheer percentage of his picks that ended up playing in the NHL is astoundingly high. Based on Madden's record, he easily seems like a potential star GM in the making. Put him with Gorton to go and get us the high picks and then let Madden make those choices and we could be golden.

Madden has largely benefited from having some top picks at the first round or 2nd round over the last 3 years, and that's a good thing because they did not trade them away. His drafting hasn't translated to any Anaheim playoff success - 2015-16 lost in round 1, 2016-17 lost round 3, 2017-18 lost round 1, 2018-2021 - 3 successive years and the team finished OUT of the playoffs and this year, the team will be in a dog fight with Colorado, Vegas, San Jose to get a wild card where the odds of becoming a contender are slim. While I am a supporter of Madden and hope we land him, I am not overly zealous or giddy of him being the golden messiah. He and his team in Anaheim will have had 5 years to rebuild this team into a contender - I don't think our fan base can stomach 5 years of what appears to be mild progression, and I am not suggesting a reset either. We just need to see improvement in a quicker fashion than what Madden has accomplished to date.  

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7 minutes ago, claremont said:

Madden has largely benefited from having some top picks at the first round or 2nd round over the last 3 years, and that's a good thing because they did not trade them away. His drafting hasn't translated to any Anaheim playoff success - 2015-16 lost in round 1, 2016-17 lost round 3, 2017-18 lost round 1, 2018-2021 - 3 successive years and the team finished OUT of the playoffs and this year, the team will be in a dog fight with Colorado, Vegas, San Jose to get a wild card where the odds of becoming a contender are slim. While I am a supporter of Madden and hope we land him, I am not overly zealous or giddy of him being the golden messiah. He and his team in Anaheim will have had 5 years to rebuild this team into a contender - I don't think our fan base can stomach 5 years of what appears to be mild progression, and I am not suggesting a reset either. We just need to see improvement in a quicker fashion than what Madden has accomplished to date.  

I wouldn't say the team had no success. Between 12-13 and 17-18, they had 6 consecutive seasons with a winning percentage over .600, made the playoffs each of those years, and went to the conference finals twice. The years before and after Bruce Boudreau, they had a terrible terrible coach in Randy Carlyle and they aren't doing that much better with Dallas Eakins now. The last 3 years, they have absolutely been bad, but in those years, they had the 3rd, 6th, and 9th overall picks. Strong picks, but my no means were they in a position to draft a generational player like Crosby or McDavid. I do love the 3 choices they made with those slots though, and it's too early to see the effect of those players on the team's success. Prior to that, their best pick in the 6 drafts from 2013 through 2017 were picks 23, 50, 24, 27, 10, and 26, hardly great slots. And between 2008-12, Madden only had one top 10 pick and no top 5 picks. So I'd hardly say he's benefited from top-end picks most of his career. These last 3 years are more the exception and he's done great with them. In general, I've been more impressed with what TT has done in Rounds 2 and later, but Madden has been absolutely brilliant whether he's been at the top or bottom of Round 1, and that's really a huge key to building a successful team.

I've said this before, but you want to build a legit perennial contender and you need to have two great centers and a true #1 D man. Madden has found Anaheim Zegras, Mactavish, and Drysdale, and I like their odds going forward. That core is solid, and it's easier to work to add around that than to have the supporting cast like we do but lack the top-end talent at key positions. So I like the way Madden has built the team and found stars at center and D, the more important positions than LW and RW and depth areas.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Everyone is talking Shane Wright, and he appears to be a very complete prospect. Great shot, strong hockey IQ, good defensively. Not a flashy player necessarily, but a solid one with an upside some scouts suggest could be in the range of Patrice Bergeron or Jonathan Toews, although for me Tyler Seguin remains the most apt comparable I've seen. In short, he seems to me to project to be a similar style player to Nick Suzuki. I almost wonder if we're better off going a different route, and while it's still early, the player who has caught my eye thus far outside of Wright is Matthew Savoie. He's very strong on the puck, great stick-handling, also has a nice shot, and seems to have more explosiveness to his game than Wright. He's a good skater in terms of top-end speed, but I really like his ability to accelerate as he gets going. Some are comparing him to Matt Barzal or Brayden Point, and while you can take your pick of whether you prefer a Point or a Bergeron style player, I wonder if his top-end offensive potential complements Suzuki a bit more than Wright does.

A couple of other players to intrigue me:

- saw some talk of Joakim Kemell and as with Savoie, I'm impressed by his skill with the puck on his stick, his release, and his acceleration. Both he and Savoie drive at the defence, whereas Wright is more of a patient player. The one thing to think about with Kemell compared to Wright or Savoie is that he's a winger and thus his ability to affect the game may be more limited. I'd be happy to have him, but I wonder if he's not more of a guy you're happy to get at #3 or #5 and less so at #1 or 2.

- Simon Nemec... what's funny about this draft is that most of the top-end D men are righties, whereas for whatever reason, it's a lot harder to find quality RHD in the NHL right now. Nemec is at the top of the D echelon in the draft and seems to be a good skater with excellent puck skill and closing speed. He would fill a huge organizational need at RD, albeit you don't want to draft for need. That said, he may end up being BPA when we step up and I wouldn't be disappointed to get him. I do wonder, however, if "need" plays into the picture whether the Habs go after a top-end center higher up knowing there are other RHD who may be available in the middle of the first round. They have the ammo to fetch at least one more 1st rounder this year, so if you can grab a Savoie or Wright up top, then finding a D man like Casey or Luneau or Jiricek later in the round may be more than sufficient.

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3 hours ago, electron58 said:

Thought I'd pull this from State of the Habs, 2 hrs ago.

One fans favourites.

1. Shane Wright.

2. Matthew Savoie
3. Conor Geekie
4. Joakim Kemell
5. Simon Nemec 

These all look like good picks!

I reserve the right to update this as we get closer to the draft, but for today, my top 5 choices for the Habs would be

1. Wright

2. Savoie

3. Kemell

4. Nemec

5. Cooley

 

And my guys to watch as risers:

1. Nazar

2. Howard

3. Jiricek

4. Casey

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Scouting Report written by Matthew Somma

Matthew Savoie is one of the 2022 draft’s most exciting players and he’ll show you why every night. You’d be hard pressed to find a player that can change the game as much as Savoie can in the offensive zone due to his pace and creativity, and he’s the only player that has been able to challenge Shane Wright for the first overall spot. With Savoie’s WHL-leading 41 points in 25 games and Shane Wright’s underwhelming start to the season, you can start to see why people are wondering if Wright is the best talent in this class or if it will end up being Savoie.

Savoie’s USHL production in his D-1 year was impressive but not strong considering the hype surrounding him. His production in the WHL has been stellar this season, and it’s not just thanks to Savoie playing on one of the CHL’s best teams. Savoie has been able to carry the play on his line and make his teammates look better in the process. Very few U18 skaters are as creative and dynamic as Savoie is, and I believe that there’s still another level that he could reach in his game before the season is over. 

Savoie feels like your typical first overall pick. He has all of the skill, upside, creativity, and game breaking talent that comes with most first overall picks, but his size and Shane Wright’s NHL-ready style of play have kept him out of the discussion for first overall.

Player Profile
D.O.B – January 1, 2004
Nationality – Canada
Draft Eligibility – 2022
Height –5’9″
Weight –179 lbs
Position – Center
Handedness – Right

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2 minutes ago, electron58 said:

Scouting Report written by Matthew Somma

Matthew Savoie is one of the 2022 draft’s most exciting players and he’ll show you why every night. You’d be hard pressed to find a player that can change the game as much as Savoie can in the offensive zone due to his pace and creativity, and he’s the only player that has been able to challenge Shane Wright for the first overall spot. With Savoie’s WHL-leading 41 points in 25 games and Shane Wright’s underwhelming start to the season, you can start to see why people are wondering if Wright is the best talent in this class or if it will end up being Savoie.

Savoie’s USHL production in his D-1 year was impressive but not strong considering the hype surrounding him. His production in the WHL has been stellar this season, and it’s not just thanks to Savoie playing on one of the CHL’s best teams. Savoie has been able to carry the play on his line and make his teammates look better in the process. Very few U18 skaters are as creative and dynamic as Savoie is, and I believe that there’s still another level that he could reach in his game before the season is over. 

Savoie feels like your typical first overall pick. He has all of the skill, upside, creativity, and game breaking talent that comes with most first overall picks, but his size and Shane Wright’s NHL-ready style of play have kept him out of the discussion for first overall.

Player Profile
D.O.B – January 1, 2004
Nationality – Canada
Draft Eligibility – 2022
Height –5’9″
Weight –179 lbs
Position – Center
Handedness – Right

And FWIW, I'm not convinced that Savoie isn't the best player in the draft, or at least the player with the most upside. At present, I don't want to overreact to Wright having had a slower than anticipated start to the season, and Wright is a more complete player at present, but Savoie is a more dynamic player. I used the comparisons of Seguin or Bergeron for Wright and Barzal or Point for Savoie. Bergeron and Point have both led their teams to Cups, so which is a more effective strategy to choose? Not sure there's a right answer. But my own thought was whether having Suzuki signed here long-term and having him be a smart, two-way player already but who is struggling on the PP, maybe the more dynamic offensive player in Savoie fills a bigger need than what Wright does.

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Simon Nemec, Right Defense, Nitra MHC (Tipos Extraliga)

Simon Nemec is an already physically mature 17-year-old with room to grow. Standing 6'1" and 192 pounds, Nemec has a long skating stride and gets around the ice effortlessly. When the puck is in the defensive zone, he can skate it out himself. He also has the legs to join transition rushes. Nemec is rarely wrong-footed defensively and closes gaps quickly.

A defenseman who physically matures early can often be fool's gold for NHL scouts. Those teenagers get by on physical tools at lower levels and never develop the cognitive abilities necessary to problem-solve at higher levels. This isn't a concern with Nemec. He plays an intelligent game, usually making good reads with the puck, and he has good instincts and timing defensively.


The only real question is whether his hands will limit him offensively. He has a good shot from the point and can find good passing opportunities, but he may not have the clever puck-handling abilities needed to be a high-end power-play quarterback. Regardless, with the high floor of top-four upside, Nemec is one of the safest bets in this draft.

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2 hours ago, BigTed3 said:

And FWIW, I'm not convinced that Savoie isn't the best player in the draft, or at least the player with the most upside. At present, I don't want to overreact to Wright having had a slower than anticipated start to the season, and Wright is a more complete player at present, but Savoie is a more dynamic player. I used the comparisons of Seguin or Bergeron for Wright and Barzal or Point for Savoie. Bergeron and Point have both led their teams to Cups, so which is a more effective strategy to choose? Not sure there's a right answer. But my own thought was whether having Suzuki signed here long-term and having him be a smart, two-way player already but who is struggling on the PP, maybe the more dynamic offensive player in Savoie fills a bigger need than what Wright does.

I’m a little worried about Savoie’s size at 5 ft 9 - he had better be pretty quick with good edges but the last thing we need is to be another Smurf Gomez-Gionta forward line. Wingers like Caufield Debrincat Gaudreau, Gallagher can get cut a little slack. 
Tyler Johnson, Jon Marchessault, Yanni Gourde are probably the best small centers I can think of and took a long time to make the jump, and maybe only JM is close to elite which is what I hope our 2022 pick can be. 
Kemell albeit not a Centre if he keeps up the pace and has a good WJC will rise up the board fast, and imo has more potential. 
Conor Geekie is big, a little younger but has playmaking ability with a decent shot, and average skating 

At this point my top 4 pre WJC are Wright, Kemell, Geekie, and Logan Cooley - keep in mind that the last 3 are on the young age side of this draft and 4-5 months of age difference are a consideration 

Nemec overlaps the skills of Guhle who may play our right side or the forgotten Mailloux (big IF). Nice to have RHD depth but I would hope to pick that up with our 2nd rounder or 3rd round picks - We need scoring and/or center first. 
 

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3 hours ago, BigTed3 said:

I reserve the right to update this as we get closer to the draft, but for today, my top 5 choices for the Habs would be

1. Wright

2. Savoie

3. Kemell

4. Nemec

5. Cooley

 

And my guys to watch as risers:

1. Nazar

2. Howard

3. Jiricek

4. Casey

What about Lambert? He was once considered to be one of the top 3 locks for the draft with his speed and skill. Has his stock fallen that much or have the others just risen more?

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