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Mid-Season Draft Rankings By Central Scouting Bureau

NEW YORK (Jan. 12, 2022) – Shane Wright (Burlington, Ont.), a center from the Ontario Hockey League’s Kingston Frontenacs, ranks No. 1 among North American skaters for the 2022 NHL Draft as the NHL Central Scouting Bureau today released its mid-season rankings. Wright can become the first Frontenacs player selected No. 1 overall in the NHL Draft and the first OHL player since Connor McDavid in 2015.

Wright has recorded 11-19—30 in 22 games with Kingston this season (1.36 P/GP). He was granted exceptional player status to enter the OHL early and was selected with the No. 1 pick by Kingston in the 2019 OHL Priority Selection before claiming Canadian Hockey League and OHL Rookie of the Year honors in 2019-20.

“Shane Wright is a strong stride skater who possesses elusive outside speed to beat defenders and quickness to evade checks or lead a rush,” said Dan Marr, Director of NHL Central Scouting. “He has elite hockey sense with vision, anticipation and composure and has proven that he can carry the load and lead the way when it’s needed in game situations. He has carried himself remarkably despite many disruptions and distractions endured the past year and a half.”

Logan Cooley (Pittsburgh, Penn.), a center for USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program’s Under-18 Team who ranks fourth on the club in points (14-20—34 in 24 GP), is the No. 2-ranked North American Skater. Cooley, who grew up in the Pittsburgh area, was part of the first-ever season of players who took part in Sidney Crosby’s Little Penguins Learn to Play Program, an introductory program for children ages five to nine that provided first-time participants free head-to-toe equipment along with on-ice instruction by the Penguins captain.

“Logan Cooley plays an attack game with his speed and smarts,” said Marr. “To say he has speed that makes a difference is an understatement – he has speed that impacts the game. Logan plays with high energy and his ability to process the game and execute plays at top speed make him one of the highest-ranked players in the 2022 Draft class.”

Matt Savoie (St. Albert, Alta.), a center for the Winnipeg ICE of the Western Hockey League, is the No. 3-ranked North American skater. Savoie, a rookie, leads all WHL skaters in assists and points with 18-34—52 in 34 games including a 13-game point streak from Oct. 30 – Dec. 4, 2021 (8-17—25 in 13 GP).

“Matt Savoie is one of the best natural scorers and offensive players in the 2022 Draft class,” said Marr. “A strong skater with very good balance for his size, he possesses deceptive speed and quickness to lead a rush and navigate through traffic. He’s the type that wants the puck on his stick and has a good shot variety in which to finish his scoring chances.”

Rounding out the top-five North American skaters are No. 4 Conor Geekie (Strathclair, Man.), a center for Winnipeg (WHL) and the brother of Seattle Kraken forward Morgan Geekie, as well as No. 5 Pavel Mintyukov (Moscow, Russia), a defenseman for the OHL’s Saginaw Spirit who ranks tied for 10th among OHL defensemen in points (6-16—22 in 29 games).

Joakim Kemell (Jyvaskyla, Finland), a right wing for JYP in Finland’s top professional league, ranks No. 1 among international skaters, with No. 2-ranked Juraj Slafkovsky (Kosice, Slovakia), a left wing for TPS in Finland and No. 3-ranked Danila Yurov (Chelyabinsk, Russia), a right wing from Magnitogorsk of the KHL making up the top three.

“Joakim Kemell had a sensational start to the season where as a 17-year-old rookie he was leading the league in scoring until an injury late in October,” said Goran Stubb of European Scouting Services. “Kemell is an excellent, smooth skater with great offensive instincts – a highly-skilled playmaker who plays a competitive two-way game.”

Tyler Brennan (Winnipeg, Man.) of Prince George (WHL) is the No. 1-ranked North American goaltender and Topias Leinonen (Jyvaskyla, Finland) of JYP’s junior team tops the list of international goaltenders.

The final rankings feature the top 224 skaters and 32 goaltenders in North America as well as the top 135 skaters and 10 goaltenders internationally.

In its 47th year of operation, NHL Central Scouting provides evaluation and scouting of draft-eligible players to NHL member clubs. Headed by Director of Central Scouting Dan Marr, NHL Central Scouting employs eight full-time scouts throughout North America. To report on prospects playing internationally, the NHL employs the services of Goran Stubb and his staff at European Scouting Services based in Finland.

The 2022 NHL Draft is scheduled from July 7-8, 2022 and will be hosted by the Montreal Canadiens at Bell Centre in Montreal, Que.

For NHL Draft history visit https://records.nhl.com/draft.

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink


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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

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