Montreal the Big Winners of the NHL Lottery
Though Montreal was the biggest winner at the NHL draft lottery on Tuesday, the New Jersey Devils might have been next.
They moved up three spots from fifth to second and even though the 2022 draft is not the deepest, that is significant.
Montreal, which has the first pick in the 2022 NHL Draft July 7 and 8, is expected to draft Shane Wright (Kingston Frontenacs of the OHL). He is the consensus top choice.
The Canadiens needed scoring help down the middle and Wright provides just that. After that, it becomes a bit more interesting. Montreal had 18.5% odds of winning the No. 1 slot but the reality is that those numbers were higher.
Slots 12-16 had no chance to move up to No. 1 even if they had somehow won the draft lottery.
As for New Jersey, it was the big mover. Drafting second changes things for Tom Fitzgerald and the Devils.
There are several holes they can fill. One might involve taking Juraj Slafkovsky, a 6-foot-4, 225-pound power forward who can dominate games as he has shown in international competition.
Then, there is Logan Cooley from the US NTDP. Cooley can provide a team with elite playmaking skills. His creativity might only get better once he experiences another growth spurt. Whether the Minnesota commit goes to New Jersey or Arizona with the third pick, they are getting a quality player with incredible upside.
After that, the draft becomes even more uncertain.
The order for the rest of the top 10 goes as follows:
4. Seattle Kraken
5. Philadelphia Flyers
6. Columbus Blue Jackets (via the Chicago Blackhawks)
7. Ottawa Senators
8. Detroit Red Wings
9. Buffalo Sabres
10. Anaheim Ducks
Again, this is a draft that many consider there not to be a “generational talent”. However, with the right development, some players could help a team make significant progress.
There will be a bit of a domino effect once New Jersey and Arizona make their picks. That is when this draft expects to take a few more turns.
With players like Simon Nemec, Frank Nazar, David Jiricek, and Matthew Savoie available early in the first round, other teams might still try to move up or down depending on their needs. Either way, expect July 7 and 8 to feature some excitement.
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