Here are my rankings of the players from 11 to 22 in the 2022 NHL Draft as of March.
Related: 2022 NHL DRAFT RANKINGS: #1-10
11. Conor Geekie, C, Winnipeg Ice (WHL)
Conor Geekie is the prototypical, big (6’4), power center that all NHL teams are coveting these days. He can control the pace of play and he can dominate down low because of his ability to protect the puck. He’s got impressive hands and body control for his size, which helps him control pucks inside the offensive zone and make plays while also getting the upper hand in board battles. He plays through bumps and thrives taking pucks from the cycle to dangerous areas. Creative, smart, and makes plays that generate offense. Very good puck skills in tight. He plays inside the dots and to the net and challenges defenders.
Geekie has the potential to be a top-line center.
12. Pavel Mintyukov, D, Saginaw Spirit (OHL)
Pavel Mintyukov is effective at keeping pucks alive and creating chances in the offensive zone, utilizing some of those same offensive skills in the defensive zone would help his overall game. At 6-1 and 192 pounds, the rangy left-handed defender has good size and the physical build for professional hockey. His offensive style of play is something we have gotten used to in this new era of two-way defencemen, and his skating, offensive instincts, and powerplay game are areas of strength for him, as he constantly jumps up into the rush and helps his team in creating offense. While his defensive game has plenty of room for improvement, he possesses the physical tools and smarts to build and develop a better two-way game in the future. His offensive production this season suggests that he should be a top 4, offensive defenseman in the NHL.
13. Cutter Gauthier, LW, USNTDP
Cutter Gauthier has emerged as the program’s top goal-getter by a lengthy margin over the field. He’s is a skilled, active player in the offensive zone who has the ability to beat goaltenders with his powerful, accurate shot. Outside of his shot, he doesn’t necessarily have any standout skills but he does a lot of things to help drive the offense for his team. Gauthier can make plays off the wall, plays a solid physical game, and is an efficient distributor who utilizes his teammates effectively. His skating is good, not great, but he makes smart reads and maintains strong positioning all over the ice to help drive possession. Gauthier may not have the pure offensive upside than others in this class do but his well-rounded game and high-end shot make him a pretty safe bet as a top 6 NHL forward.
14. Jimmy Snuggerud, RW, USNTDP
Jimmy Snuggerud has a world-class release on his shot is a desirable weapon. Sunggerud plays a hard-driving, powerful game that combines strength, skill, and speed. Standing at 6-2, he skates quite well for his size and can beat defenders off the rush. He generates speed through the neutral zone, carries the puck out in front of his body to keep his options open, and can handle the puck skillfully at full speed. Snuggerud’s wrist shot is a dangerous weapon that he can use to beat goaltenders from distance but he isn’t shy about going to the net either. He protects the puck well, keeping defenders on his back as he gets into scoring areas, and when he doesn’t have possession, he does well to drive the middle lane and create space while positioning himself at the net-front. In addition to his wrist shot, Snuggerud’s heavy one-timer makes him a threat from the half-wall with the man advantage. He drifts in and out of space, readying himself for a shooting opportunity, and get’s all of his weight into the shot.
On top of his goal-scoring prowess, he has become a more effective distributor as well. Snuggerud has the potential to develop into a multi-faceted offensive weapon in the NHL.
15. Marco Kasper, C, Rogle (SHL)
Marco Kasper is a slick and speedy center, and can make things happen when nothing presents itself, is extremely agile. Kasper is a big, power center from Austria who is playing in his second year in Sweden and his first full year in the SHL. While he doesn’t have game-breaking skill, finishing, or creativity, he’s a strong skater who plays with pro pace, plays on the interior, and makes plays all over the ice. He has a superb Hockey IQ and does a great job making himself available by finding open ice, and the puck seems to find him at the front of the net. Kasper has the potential to be a top 6 center at the NHL level.
16. Frank Nazar, C/RW, USNTDP
Frank Nazar is a play-driving player with a rare combination of speed and skill. A versatile forward with great speed and a dynamic offensive skillset; he uses dynamic skating ability
to not only beat defenders but to backtrack and strip pucks. Nazar’s a ball of energy, using his speed to drive the net constantly and showing no fear in how he plays despite his smaller frame. Nazar has very good offensive skills, he can make creative plays on the move or from a standstill, but the value of his game will come from his pace and effort. He’s got quick hands, he shows creativity throughout his game and he plays pucks into space as well as anyone in the draft, regularly making plays through tight gaps in coverage. His raw talent is undeniable and if he can add some muscle as he develops, Frank Nazar could be an offensive force in the NHL.
17. Filip Mesar, RW, HK Poprad (Slovakia)
Filip Mesar is a gifted offensive player who moves around the ice well with good edge work and acceleration. He’s a highly-skilled, creative winger with a good work rate off the puck.
Mesar is a highly-skilled, creative offensive player who excels as a puck carrier and has a smooth skating stride, and scans the play with the puck on his stick, identifying his options
to attack space and utilize his open teammates. His shot is deceptive and he can let it go from multiple release points but needs to get it off from dangerous areas more consistently.
Mesar still needs to work on playing through traffic and being more deliberate in the offensive zone but the raw skills he possesses could prove difficult to pass up in the middle of the first round. Filip Mesar has the potential to be a top 6 winger at the NHL level.
18. Isaac Howard, LW, USNTDP
Isaac Howard is a gifted offensive winger with great puck skills and a quick release.
He’s also a threatening rush player who uses standout skating to drive through the middle. Isaac Howard is a gifted winger who can beat you with pure speed or with his high-end puck skills. Howard has a dangerous shot and does a great job of giving himself opportunities to let it rip. Howard continues to add layers to his all-around game and consistently produces scoring chances for himself and his linemates. His transitional play is impressive as he uses his speed and ability to read the ice, attacking weak areas to receive the puck or to allow other players to drift into the space he opened up. Howard is a dynamic offensive player with great speed and puck skills who has the potential to blossom into a productive first-line winger in the NHL.
19. Tristan Luneau, D, Gatineau Olympiques (QMJHL)
Tristian Luneau is a highly intriguing, 6-foot-2 right-shot defenseman with a high skill level who can move it well out of his own end and create well inside the offensive zone. Although he’s not a strong skater and doesn’t have dynamic abilities, he’s a smooth-skating right-shot defenseman who can competently run a power play, he’s a plus-level passer, he reads the play at a high level with and without the puck at both ends, he plays with a great deal of poise, and he’s good in transition. He’s a moile two-way blueliner with good size and great instincts and has the potential to be a play-driving top-four defenseman at the NHL level. Depending on team needs, Luneau could be ranked higher than this on team’s
20. Jack Hughes, C, Northeastern (NCAA)
Jack Hughes is a diligent two-way center who skates well, possesses excellent hands, has a great deal of poise under pressure. He’s got great poise under pressure and in traffic, sliding in and out of coverage to draw attention and then distribute behind coverage. Add in diligent off-puck game, decent skating, and some of the better hands in the draft, and there’s a lot to like. Hughes is a true “Jack” of all trades. He performs well in the face-off circle, forechecks, and backchecks aggressively, and has a good understanding of what’s required of him in every situation. He shows strong defensive awareness, positioning his body and his stick well to close off passing and shooting lanes. At 6-0 and 165 pounds, he isn’t the biggest guy out there but he uses his body effectively in puck battles and outsmarts his opponents. Jack Hughes is a talented player whose cerebral game gives him the potential to be a top 6 center.
21. Kevin Korchinski, D, Seattle Thunderbirds (WHL)
Kevin Korchinski is another one of the prototypical mobile defencemen that have taken over the preferred style of defensive play in the NHL. Starting off with mobility, Korchinski’s straight-line speed is his best tool and he complements it with strong crossovers as well as slick puck skills. Korchinski uses his skating and passing to exploit the open area of the ice and transition the puck out of danger into an offensive possession. When in the offensive end, Korchinski is not afraid to be aggressive and join the attack. He is used on Seattle’s top powerplay as their quarterback, where he uses his mobility and vision to facilitate the puck into high danger areas. One thing Korchinski does not lack is confidence, whether the puck is on his stick or not,
Korchinski exudes confidence. Korchinski’s defensive game is a work in progress but his raw tools give him top-four upside.
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