Here are my rankings of the players from 33 to 45 in the 2022 NHL Draft as of March.
Related: 2022 NHL DRAFT RANKINGS: #22-32
33. Calle Odelius, D, Djurgardens IF J20 (Nationell)
Calle Odelius is a puck-moving, two-way defender with good hands and escapability. He shows intelligence in all three zones and drives play from the back-end with strong passing skills.
The Swedish defenseman is a smooth skater with great edge work, which gives him the ability to be elusive when carrying the puck up the ice. His puck skills allow him to elude forecheckers before using his greatest skill, which is making a sharp breakout pass to start the breakout. He constantly executes high-IQ plays and is solid without the puck as well. Even though he might lose his mark in the defensive zone from time to time, he defends the rush well, closing the gap nicely. Odelius isn’t the biggest player and can struggle to box out opposing forwards at the net front but that will come with the age.
At this point, he looks like a strong candidate to be a second-round pick but there is still plenty of time left this season and he might even climb into the first-round conversation.
34. Noah Ostlund, C, Djurgardens IF J20 (Nationell)
Noah Ostlund is a dynamic offensive player with great speed and puck-handling ability. The first thing that stands out about Östlund is his high-end skating ability and the pace at which he plays the game. Noah can carve up the opposition as a puck carrier, weaving through checks in transition and dicing in and out of traffic off the cycle.
Ostlund has fantastic hands and is able to quickly string pass receptions into slick dekes which he layers on top of his agile skating stride, giving him an explosive element to his game.
As talented as Ostlund is, he still needs to round out his game and he has a tendency to stick to the perimeter a bit too much. This makes him a worthy pick near the end of the first round or the early second round.
35. Owen Beck, C, Mississauga Steelheads (OHL)
Owen Beck is an intelligent two-way center with a well-rounded offensive tool kit and strong instincts all over the ice.
He maintains solid positioning off the puck, both defensively and offensively to support play. In the offensive zone, he takes intelligent routes when hunting space
and has a tendency to stay inside checks to increase the likelihood of receiving a pass. Beck is a technically sound skater who employs good posture and clean crossovers
to generate speed in transition. Beyond his obvious offensive skills and responsible defensive nature, Beck excels in the faceoff dot which adds some sneaky utility to his game.
While he may not be at the top of his class in any one area, Beck is one of the more well-rounded, versatile forwards in the 2022 draft and there aren’t any real glaring weaknesses
in his game. While Beck may not have a high offensive ceiling, he should be a very reliable third-line center in the NHL; this would make him a good 2nd round pick.
36. David Goyette, C, Sudbury Wolves (OHL)
David Goyette is an exceptional skater with a technically sound stride and the ability to weave through traffic.
Not only is he fast, but he is quick and shifty. He pushes the pace in transition, forcing defenders onto their heels but knows when to slow the game down and let lanes develop.
Goyette shows poise with the puck on his stick and he is a decisive distributor who identifies his options quickly, routinely finding teammates in space with accurate feeds.
Though he is a bit undersized, Goyette competes hard and establishes good body positioning with intelligent routes in pursuit to help disrupt opposing possessions.
Goyette could take a while to reach the NHL but has potential as a playmaking top-six forward; this makes him a solid second-round pick.
37. Jiri Kulich, C, HC Karlovy Vary (Czech)
Jiri Kulich is a 6’0” Czech center playing in their pro league as a 17-year-old. He’s also a staple for their international teams as one of their top players and offensive producers.
He is more of an all-around, two-way center with a good amount of skill. He can skate, he has a good shot, and he has shown a lot of responsibility defensively and without the puck for a teenager in a pro league.
I can see him being a second-round guy, and with the performance, he has had on the international stage for the Czech team, he is pushing to be a late first-round pick or early second-round pick.
38. Simon Forsmark, D, Orebro HK (SHL)
Forsmark has split his season pretty evenly between Orebro’s J20 team and the SHL squad. With the J20 team, he has 27 points in 23 games and with the SHL squad, he has 3 points in 41 games. Offensively, he is a pass-first player and is a key member of the powerplay at the J20 level. Outside of his playmaking ability, he has proven that he is reliable with the puck on his stick in transition. At the professional level, Forsmark has struggled to produce offense so far but he
is engaged in offensive play through zone entries and his positioning in the offensive zone. One upside to Forsmark’s defensive play in the SHL is his physicality.
While not overly physical, he uses his body wisely and is effective in boxing out opposing forward when defending the net-front area. Forsmark is a highly touted prospect for the upcoming draft, who many consider a top-40 pick.
39. Filip Bystedt, C, Linkoping HC J20 (Nationell)
Standing at 6’4/187, Filip Bystedt is a big-bodied playmaker with flashes of strong offensive ability. His best attribute is his passing ability when he has possession of the puck. Bystedt consistently keeps his head up to scan the ice for open passing lanes to exploit. The area of Bystedt’s game that could be considered his biggest weakness is his puck protection,
especially given his physical tools. It may sound weird that a 6-4 player needs to work on his puck protection but in my view, he has not been able to successfully protect the puck in contested situations. Bystedt has the chance to grow into a middle-six center if he can make some major improvements to his skating while adding strength to withstand checks and maintain possession. Because of his raw attributes, teams may take a flyer on him in the second round.
40. Jagger Firkus, RW, Moose Jaw Warriors (WHL)
With his shot release and range, Jagger Firkus can score goals with ease and snag top-shelf snipes. He does a great job of creating dangerous chances in the slot. Firkus can be an effective top 6 forward in the NHL and will be asset on special teams. He needs to improve his play on the defensive side of the puck, but if he plays with right defensive-minded forwards, he can be effective. Firkus has 35 goals and 79 points in 64 games with the Moose Jaw Warriors in the WHL,
and depending on how he plays for the rest of the season, he could go quite early in the second round.
41. Ty Nelson, D, North Bay Battalion (OHL)
Despite Nelson’s smaller stature, he is a sturdy defenseman who plays a powerful, aggressive game. He is a strong skater with good balance and quick feet, allowing him to defend rushes aggressively. Nelson deploys an active stick and pounces on opposing puck carriers at the first sign of hesitation to disrupt possessions. Not only does he lead with his stick to attack the puck, but he also makes a habit of finishing with the body to try and eliminate his man from the play. His aggressive nature shows up offensively as well as he is always eager to join the rush or push play with a long stretch pass from his own zone. Nelson also has a rocket of a shot from the point, when he finds the time and space to let it rip on the net. Ty Nelson has the potential top-four blueliner at the NHL level and should be a solid second-round pick.
42. Maveric Lamoureux, D, Drummondville Voltigeurs (QMJHL)
There are plenty of reasons to get excited about Lamoureux, but visibly, everything starts with his eye-catching size and remarkable strength. The 6-foot-7, 196-pound defender does not only tower over his competition but he absolutely loves to use his height to his advantage. He plays an aggressive, physical game, taking any opportunities flashing by to throw his body around and finish his checks with robustness.
Due to his size, Lamoureux flaunts his imposing strength in puck battles and corner plays and makes it tough for opponents to navigate around him. His reach, length, and size can be truly disruptive. Combined with his very aggressive mindset, Lamoureux annoys puck-carriers with hasty pressure.
At this point, he is very raw in the offensive side of the puck, but if he reaches his immense potential as a playmaker, he can be a devastating, two-way defenseman, who plays against other teams’ top lines. Due to his unlimited and untapped potential, he would be an absolute steal in the second round.
43. Elias Salomonsson, D, Skellefteå AIK J20 (Nationell)
Elias Salomonsson is another player whose draft stock has taken a bit of a hit since the season started but he is still an exciting prospect who is having a solid season.
Salomonsson is one of the youngest players in this draft, and still has plenty of room to grow as a play. He has decent size and good four-way mobility, allowing him to lead his fair share of rushes from the back end. He is a strong skater, if not overly explosive, and covers the ice pretty well. Salomonsson shows good instincts in the offensive zone but will need to clean up some of his decisions with the puck. Elias Salomonsson could be a bit of a project but he has potential as a top-four defenseman at the NHL level and would seem like your ideal second-round pick.
44. Danny Zhilkin, C, Guelph Storm (OHL)
Zhilkin is a transition monster who uses his top speed and puck skills to gain entry into the offensive zone every opportunity he gets. Once he is in the offensive zone, Zhilkin capitalizes with his attacking style of play to quickly create a scoring chance for his team. One of Zhilkin’s skills that doesn’t get as much attention is the quick release of his wrist shot. When on the power play, Zhilkin tends to look for screens in front and open shooting lanes for him to release his wicked wrister on the net, hoping for a goal or to create a rebound for his teammates. There are, however, some improvements that he still needs to make to reach his full potential. The biggest area of focus will be Zhilkin’s vision and ability to understand quickly where the puck needs to go. Given his strong ability to move the puck up ice and the improvement of his 200-foot game, Zhilkin seems to have a high floor, likely as a bottom-six center playing both special team units. Zhilkin is a strong candidate to be chosen in the late-first to the mid-second round of the draft.
45. Matthew Poitras, C, Guelph Storm (OHL)
Matthew Poitras is a hard-working two-way forward who utilizes his quick hands and vision on both sides of the puck.
He has all the requisite offensive tools; a strong release on his wrist shot, good vision and passing ability, and quick hands in traffic, but it’s the pro-level habits already present in his game that will help him excel at the next level. He protects the puck well on the cycle, takes great angles in pursuit, and consistently comes away with contested pucks. He makes strong reads off the puck and competes hard, laying out to block a shot or taking a hit to make a play. He may never put up huge point totals but Poitras does a lot of things well to create chances and drive play for his team. Poitras is a safe bet to be a top 9 forward in the NHL and there is potential for him to become more than that; this makes him a good second-round pick.