The 2022 NHL Upper Deck Draft will take place July 7-8 at the Bell Center in Montreal. The first round will take place on July 7 (7 p.m. ET; ESPN, ESPN+, SN, TVAS) and rounds 2-7 will take place on July 8 (11 a.m. ET; NHLN, ESPN+, SN, TVAS). NHL.com counts down to the draft with detailed profiles on top prospects, podcasts and other features. Today we’re looking at the interim requirements for Pacific Division teams. Full NHL.com draft coverage is available here.
The 2022 NHL Upper Deck Draft offers teams an opportunity to shore up positions in need with an injection of young talent.
Here’s what the eight teams in the Pacific Division could be looking to do in the draft (teams listed alphabetically):
First choice: No. 10
The situation: Jamie Drysdale is on his way to becoming a No. 1 defender, and Olen Zellweger, the Ducks’ second-round pick (34th overall) in the 2021 NHL Draft, was named the Western Hockey League’s top defenseman this season. But with the trade of Hampus Lindholm, more depth is needed at the position, and there should be several talented defenders at this stage to choose from. Another option could be to add more skill on the wing, or they could do that with the No. 22 pick, acquired from the Boston Bruins in the Lindholm trade.
Possible compatibilities: Pavel MintyukovD, Saginaw (OHL); Kevin KorchinskyD, Seattle (WHL); Danila YurovRW, Magnitogorsk (RUS)
FLAMES OF CALGARY
First choice: No. 59
The situation: The Flames’ first selection will come in the second round after trading their first-round pick to the Montreal Canadiens in Tyler Toffoli OK. Calgary picked a forward with their first draft pick in 2021 (Matt CoronatoNo. 13), 2020 (Connor ZaryNo. 24) and 2019 (Jacques Pelletier, No. 26). Finding more skills in the defender might be the best option here.
Possible compatibilities: Michael FisherD, St. Mark’s School (HIGH-MA); David SpacekD, Sherbrooke (QMJHL); Matyas SapovalivC, Saginaw (OHL)
First choice: No. 29
The situation: Evan Bouchard became a full-time NHL player this season at 23 and 20 Philip Broberg could have a bigger role after making his NHL debut this season. But there is little depth of perspective behind them; their best prospects for the job might be Dmitry Samorukov (2017, No. 84) and Luca Munzenberger (2021, no. 90). Another option could be to find a qualified wing who could possibly play alongside Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl.
Possible compatibilities: Seamus CaseyD, United States U-18 (NTDP); Jagger FikusAD, Moose Jaw (WHL); Sam RinzelD, Chaska (HIGH-MN)
KINGS OF LOS ANGELES
Priority: game wings
First choice: No. 51
The situation: Kings will make their first second-round selection after trading their first-round pick to the Minnesota Wild for a forward Kevin Fiala. Los Angeles averaged 2.87 goals per game, the second-lowest team to make the Stanley Cup Playoffs, and the only wings to score more than 18 goals were Adrian Kempe (35) and Viktor Arvidson (20). Adding Fiala will help in the present, but having younger options for the future might be the goal here. The Kings have built in the middle of the ice at the start of the draft in recent years with centers Quinton Byfield (2020, No. 2), Alexandre Turcotte (2019, No. 5) and Rasmus Kupari (#2018, #20), and defenders Brandt Clark (2021, no. 8) and Tobias Bjornfot (2019, no. 22). Finding more skills and scoring wings is a possibility. Another area they could exploit is an attack-minded defender.
Possible compatibilities: Alexander PerevalovLW, Yaroslavl 2 (RUS-JR); Dylan JamesOL, Sioux City (USHL); Christian KyrouD, Erie (OHL)
SAN JOSE SHARKS
First choice: No. 11
The situation: Three of the Sharks’ top six defensemen were 37 Brent burns35 years Marc-Edouard Vlasic and 32 years old Erik Karlsson. mario ferraro, 23, has secured a top-four spot as the season progresses, but more is needed in the position. San Jose used high picks on forwards Guillaume Eklund (2021, No. 7), Ozzy Wiesblatt (2020, no. 31) and Thomas Bordeau (2020, #38) last two years in draft; Now seems like a good time to find high-level defenders.
Possible adjustments: Pavel Mintyukov, D, Saginaw (OHL); Kevin Korchinski, D, Seattle (WHL); Denton MateychukD, Moose Jaw (WHL)
The Seattle Kraken
Priority: Best player available
First choice: Number 4
The situation: The Kraken began building their prospect pool with seven selections in the 2021 NHL Draft and have already seen some of that class come to fruition with the arrival of the center Matty Beniers, the No. 2 pick, who had nine points (three goals, six assists) in 10 games. Seattle has 12 selections, including four in the second round. With Beniers projecting to be a fundamental piece up front, the pick with their top pick in the 2022 draft could be finding a similar building block in the defender. But since the Kraken is still in the growth phase, taking the best player available regardless of position is the best option.
Possible compatibilities: Simon NemecD, Nitra (SVK); David JiricekD, Pilsen (CZREP); Logan CooleyC, United States U-18 (NTDP)
First choice: No. 15
The situation: Quinn Hughes22, and Travis Dermott25, are the only defenders under 26 expected to be in the opening day line-up next season, with Jack Rathbone, 23, have a chance. Other than Hughes, their first-round pick in the 2018 NHL Draft, the only defenseman the Canucks have selected in the first two rounds since 2016 is Jett Woo (#37, 2018). Adding a high-end prospect to the position seems vital, especially with Olivier Ekman-Larsson (30) and Tyler Myers (32), two of the Canucks’ best ice-time point guards, who are nearing the end of their best seasons.
Possible compatibilities: Ryan Chesley, D, United States U-18 (NTDP); Kevin Korchinski, D, Seattle (WHL); Owen PickeringD, Swift Current (WHL)
GOLDEN KNIGHTS OF VEGAS
First choice: No. 48
The situation: The Golden Knights will make their first pick in the second round after trading their first-round pick to the Buffalo Sabers for center Jack Eichel. Vegas has depleted its pool of high-end prospects over the years in forward trades mark the stone, Max Pacioretty and Eichel, so building that area of the development system could be where the Golden Knights turn. Selecting a goalkeeper could also be an option.
Possible compatibilities: Danil ZhilkinC, Guelph (OHL); Adam Ingram, C, Youngstown (USHL); Alexander Perevalov, LW, Yaroslavl 2 (RUS-JR)
Listen: New episode of NHL Draft Class