The Detroit Red Wings will pick 8th in the 2022 NHL Entry Draft. This is the sixth consecutive season that Detroit will pick in the Top 10. In 2019, Detroit picked Moritz Seider with the 6th selection. In 2020, the Red Wings picked Lucas Raymond 4th. Last year, Detroit picked Simon Edvinsson with the 6th selection. All three players appear to be able to lead the new wave of the Detroit Red Wings. At #8, another excellent prospect will be available to General Manager Steve Yzerman.
Detroit Needs Defense
The strength of Detroit’s prospect pool is on defense. Championship teams are built around solid defense and goaltending. Detroit’s prospect pool on defense currently consists of Simon Edvinsson, Albert Johansson, Jared McIsaac, Donovan Sebrango, and the unsigned William Wallinder on the left side. The right defense prospect pool is rather thin with only Wyatt Newpower and unsigned prospects Antti Tuomisto and Oscar Plandowski.
If Yzerman selects a defenseman, there are two right-defense prospects available to build depth in the organization. According to NHL Central Scouting, the #3 ranked EU prospect, Simon Nemec, from HK Nitra (Slovakia), is the top defensive prospect. David Jiricek from HC Plzen (Czechia) is the draft’s #4 ranked EU player. One or both of these prospects may be available with the 8th pick.
Detroit Needs a Center
Detroit has numerous players in their system who can play center. The best playoff teams have all-star caliber players down the middle. Detroit’s top two centers, Dylan Larkin and Pius Suter can both become unrestricted free agents one year from now.
Drafting a center is a need that can’t be ignored. Moving up in the draft and selecting Shane Wright would be ideal. Other top centers from North America are #2, Logan Cooley, from the U.S. National U18 Team, #4 Matthew Savoie from Winnipeg (WHL), #5 Conor Geekie also from Winnipeg (WHL), #8 Luca Del Bel Belluz from Mississauga (OHL), and #10 Owen Beck also from Mississauga (OHL). The top centers from Europe are #5 ranked Marco Kasper from Rogle BK (SHL), and #10 ranked Brad Lambert from Pelicans (Liiga). These players will be an excellent selection if Yzerman decides to go with a center.
Here is a look at the possible selections of the top 16 prospects:
- Montreal: Shane Wright, C, Kingston, OHL
- New Jersey: Logan Cooley, C, U.S. National U18 Team
- Arizona: Juraj Slafkovsky, LW, TPS (Liiga)
- Seattle: Simon Nemec, RD, HK Nitra (Slovakia)
- Philadelphia: Joakim Kemell, RW, JYP (Liiga)
- Columbus: Mathew Savoie, C, Winnipeg (WHL)
- Ottawa: David Jiricek, RD, HC Plzen (Czechia)
- Detroit: Conor Geekie, C, Winnipeg (WHL)
- Buffalo: Cutter Gauthier, C/LW, U.S. National U18 Team
- Anaheim: Kevin Korchinski, LD, Seattle (WHL)
- San Jose: Jonathan Lekkerimaki, RW, Djurgardens IF (SHL)
- Columbus: Pavel Mintyukov, LD, Saginaw (OHL)
- New York Islanders: Marco Kasper, C, Rogle BK (SHL)
- Winnipeg: Isaac Howard, LW, U.S. National U18 Team
- Vancouver: Owen Beck, C, Mississauga (OHL)
- Buffalo: Danila Yurov, RW, Metallurg Magnitogorsk (KHL)
Honorable Mention: Luca Del Bel Belluz, C, Mississauga (OHL), Jimmy Snuggerud, F, U.S. National U18 Team, Liam Ohgren, LW, Djurgardens IF J20 (J20 Nationell), Lian Bichsel, LD, Leksands IF (SHL)
This draft is loaded with top-end talent. The top three are generational players that could flip-flop draft positions. After the top three, the next 15-20 players are interchangeable. The Red Wings will be looking to draft the best player available with the 8th pick. Yzerman and his scouting team will have a number of important decisions to make as they hold ten picks in the 2022 Entry Draft in July.