Who are the best players left available entering NHL Draft 2022 Day 2?


With 193 picks left to be announced on Saturday in the NHL Draft, there is still a lot of talent to be found.

Here are the 20 best skaters and 3 best goalies still available on my draft board.

Check out The Athletic’s complete coverage of the 2022 NHL Draft

Top 20 Remaining Skaters

1. Lane Hutson, LHD, USA U-18 (NTDP)

February 14, 2004 | 5′ 8″ | 158 pounds

Tier: Middle of the lineup player

Skating: NHL average
Puck skills: NHL average
Hockey sense: High-end
Compete: NHL average

Player comparable: Torey Krug

Background: Hutson was a top four defenseman for the U.S. NTDP all season and generated a lot of offense. He was invited to the U18 team as an underage player where he was a top player for that team as well, being named one of the top three players at the U18 World Championships in 2021 for USA. He was named top defenseman of the 2022 U18 Worlds. He’s committed to Boston University.

Analysis: Hutson is a constant threat with the puck on his stick. He’s the smartest player in the draft. He makes so many seam passes to generate chances. Hutson is also a highly-skilled puckhandler who shows great creativity off the offensive blue line. He makes a lot of crafty fakes and dekes to evade pressure. He’s not the fastest skater, but his edgework is quite good and allows him to use his skating to attack. The offense is clear NHL quality. Whether a barely 5-foot-9 defenseman who isn’t an elite skater can defend in the NHL is the question with Hutson. He’s a competitive, quality defender versus juniors and college opponents but that will need to be a test he’ll need to clear down the line. I think he plays in the NHL, and projects as an offensive-tilted top-four defenseman, but I realize the odds are against a player who looks like him becoming that. I stamp him this high because he’s the smartest player in the draft and I see just enough to the rest of his game to be able to elevate at higher levels.

2. Mattias Havelid, RHD, LINKOPING JR. (SWEDEN-JR.)

January 1, 2004 | 5′ 9″ | 165 pounds

Tier: Middle of the lineup player

Skating: Above NHL average
Puck skills: NHL average
Hockey sense: NHL average
Compete: NHL average
Shot: High-end

Player comparable: Sami Vatanen

Background: Havelid has been a very good junior defenseman and got a good chunk of SHL games this season. He was MVP of the J20 playoffs in Sweden. Havelid has been an important part of Sweden’s U18 team over the last two seasons, including scoring nine points in five Hlinka Gretzky games and 12 points in six games at the U18 championship. He’s the twin brother of fellow draft eligible Hugo Havelid.

Analysis: Havelid is a talented offensive player from the back end. He has the skating ability to jump into attacks and activate off the blue line to create offense with his skill. Havelid can find seams and create with his playmaking consistently. He also has a hard point shot and scored a lot of goals this season. The major drawback on Havelid is his frame. Not many 5-foot-9 defensemen play in the NHL. He defends well and has been great at retrievals in junior but whether he will versus men is the debate. Due to how well he skates I think he will make it as a top four defenseman who can help a power play.

3. Luca Del Bel Belluz, C, MISSISSAUGA (OHL)

November 10, 2003 | 6′ 0″ | 179 pounds

Tier: Middle of the lineup player

Skating: Below NHL average
Puck skills: NHL average
Hockey sense: NHL average
Compete: NHL average
Shot: Above NHL average

Player comparable: Ryan Donato

Background: Del Bel Belluz had a productive season playing all situations for a strong Steelheads team, being one of the top scorers in the OHL early in the season but that production tailed off in the second half. His production trended way up after only scoring six points in his first OHL season in 2020. He was a third-round pick in his OHL Draft.

Analysis: Del Bel Belluz is a very skilled center with decent size. He has the crafty puck skills to manipulate the puck in tight areas and often shows he can beat defenders one on one. He can run a power play off the flank due to his very good vision and shot although I don’t see that as his role in the NHL. He lacks foot speed for the higher levels, but he works hard enough and provides some two-way value down the middle. He projects as a top-nine forward. With his feet he may struggle to stick at center but if he does it’s on the third line.

4. Ryan Chesley, RHD, USA U-18 (NTDP)

February 27, 2004 | 6′ 0″ | 201 pounds

Tier: Middle of the lineup player

Skating: NHL average
Puck skills: NHL average
Hockey sense: Below NHL average
Compete: Above NHL average
Shot: Above NHL average

Player comparable: Ryan Lindgren

Background: Chesley was a top-four defenseman for the U.S. NTDP this season, often playing on both special teams units. He represented team USA’s U18 team as an underage. He’s committed to the University of Minnesota.

Analysis: Chesley has some physical assets that pop off the page from a pro projection. He’s a NHL-caliber skater who can transition pucks up ice very well with his speed. He has average size, but he’s quite strong and physical. With his mobility he’s able to close on checks well, and often uses his body to land hard hits to separate pucks from players. He has good individual skill, with the hands to beat checks one-on-one and generate a lot of power off his one-timer. Chesley isn’t a gifted puck-mover though and can struggle at times with his puck distribution. He projects as a full-time second- or third pair defenseman depending on how much the offense translates to higher levels.

5. Jagger Firkus, RW, MOOSE JAW (WHL)

April 29, 2004 | 5′ 10″ | 151 pounds

Tier: Middle of the lineup player

Skating: NHL average
Puck skills: NHL average
Hockey sense: NHL average
Compete: NHL average
Shot: High-end

Player comparable: Eeli Tolvanen

Background: Firkus has scored at a strong rate in the WHL over the past two seasons, being a big part of Moose Jaw’s offense. He’s trended up significantly after being the 82nd pick in his WHL Bantam Draft. He was named player of the game for the CHL Top Prospects Game.

Analysis: Firkus’ skill and creativity stand out consistently. He shows great ability to beat defenders one-on-one with his stickhandling. He can make tough passes at a high rate through seams and under pressure. He is a shot-and-pass threat which makes him a major asset on a power play and often scores from range with a release that will beat NHL goalies. Firkus is quick, but not fast, showing good enough skating and compete to win battles but he’s not going to beat NHL defenders wide. The scoring ability is significant enough that I think he can be a middle-six winger.

6. Jani Nyman, RW, ILVES (FINLAND)

July 30, 2004 | 6′ 4″ | 217 pounds

Tier: Projected to play NHL games

Skating: Below NHL average
Puck skills: NHL average
Hockey sense: NHL average
Compete: NHL average
Shot: Above NHL average

Background: Nyman played in Finland’s second division pro league where he scored at a high rate for one of the weaker teams. Nyman was a productive player for Finland’s U18 team and played in a tournament for their U20 team in August.

Analysis: Nyman is a talented winger who is dangerous inside the offensive zone. He possesses good puck skills, can make plays and has a big shot that is a threat from range, which is his main weapon. Nyman’s footspeed is just OK so he probably won’t be a driver at higher levels of controlled entries. You’d like to see him be more consistently impactful given his size and skill. I think Nyman will be an NHL player, with the talent to play in the middle of a lineup if he hits.

7. Ryan Greene, C, GREEN BAY (USHL)

October 21, 2003 | 6′ 1″ | 179 pounds

Tier: Projected to play NHL games

Skating: NHL average
Puck skills: NHL average
Hockey sense: NHL average
Compete: NHL average
Shot: Above NHL average

Background: Greene was an all-situations player for Green Bay this season and has been a productive USHL player over the last two years. He’s committed to Boston University.

Analysis: Greene offers a lot of NHL attributes. He displays slick puck skills, often being able to put pucks between sticks and legs. He skates well well and can make highly-skilled plays with pace. Greene shows good imagination as a handler and passer. He can hit seams at a strong rate and has some power-play ability due to his vision and shot. Greene competes well enough. He can play the middle competently, can PK and wins battles.He projects as a bottom-six NHL center with the potential to play higher in a lineup.

8. Danil Zhilkin, C, GUELPH (OHL)

December 19, 2003 | 6′ 1″ | 196 pounds

Tier: Projected to play NHL games

Skating: NHL average
Puck skills: NHL average
Hockey sense: NHL average
Compete: NHL average
Shot: Above NHL average

Background: Zhilkin was an important part of a good Guelph team this season, playing big minutes and on both special teams. Zhilkin is of Russian descent and born in Russia but has always represented Canada internationally. He played for Canada at the U18 worlds in 2021 where they won gold. He also scored four goals and six points in five games at the World U17 Challenge.

Analysis: Zhilkin is a very skilled center. On his best shifts when you see a 6-foot-1 pivot who can dangle and create chances with pace like he can, it gets you excited about his projection. Zhilkin is a pass-and-shot threat who can run a power play well. His skating is solid, not explosive but good enough. His game can lack pace, though, which is his main issue. He competes well enough off the puck but it’s not his stength and he can drift to the perimeter. I see him as a potential bottom-six forward in the NHL who has the tool kit to play in a middle six.

9. Cameron Lund, C, GREEN BAY (USHL)

June 7, 2004 | 6′ 2″ | 192 pounds

Tier: Projected to play NHL games

Skating: NHL average
Puck skills: NHL average
Hockey sense: NHL average
Compete: Below NHL average
Shot: Above NHL average

Background: Lund was an important player for Green Bay in the USHL. He didn’t have a great statistical season but played a big role in their offense. He scored four goals in four Hlinka Gretzky games although USA didn’t qualify for the medal round.

Analysis: Lund has a clear NHL tool kit. He’s a 6-foot-2 forward who can skate, and has legit offensive touch. He can make skilled plays at full speed and be a real threat on zone entries. Lund shows some power-play creativity as a playmaker and has a good wrist shot from range. On his best shift he can be dynamic, but his best shifts are infrequent. He can also drift to the perimeter too much to generate his offense. I think he plays in the NHL and has the potential to be a good NHL player but he has to be more consistent to do so.

10. Tristan Luneau, RHD, GATINEAU (QMJHL)

January 12, 2004 | 6′ 2″ | 189 pounds

Tier: Projected to play NHL games

Skating: Below NHL average
Puck skills: NHL average
Hockey sense: NHL average
Compete: NHL average
Shot: Above NHL average

Background: Luneau quarterbacked Gatineau’s power play this season and scored at a strong rate for a 17-year-old defenseman. He scored half a point per game as a 16 year old and was named defensive rookie of the year in the QMJHL. He was a first pick in his QMJHL draft.

Analysis: Luneau’s strengths come with the puck on his stick. He’s a very smart puck-moving defenseman with a solid skill level. He has the vision and poise to make great outlets and find seams in the offensive zone. Luneau shows the stick skills to put pucks through legs on occasion. He lacks speed to rush pucks but his stick and brain let him transition well. He also has a hard point shot allowing him to be dangerous on the power play. His skating leads to some defensive issues and he may need to be a guy in the NHL who doesn’t take tough matchups. I think he will play in the NHL but he may need to be used in a specific way.

11. Viktor Neuchev, LW, YEKATERINBURG 2 (RUSSIA-JR.)

October 25, 2003 | 6′ 2″ | 165 pounds

Tier: Projected to play NHL games

Skating: Below NHL average
Puck skills: Above NHL average
Hockey sense: Below NHL average
Compete: Below NHL average
Shot: High-end

Background: Neuchev was a strong junior player in Russia the last two years, being a leading player on Avto who were a middle-of-the-pack team in the lesser of the two MHL conferences.

Analysis: Neuchev doesn’t have the stats and accolades of top prospects, but when you watch him it’s easy to see the NHL potential. He’s 6-foot-2, he has great hands, and shows great offensive creativity as a handler and passer. Neuchev often showed high-end ability to improvise with the puck and create chances from nothing. He can make some plays but his shot is his real offensive threat as he often scored from the circles. His drawbacks are subpar footspeed and not being great off the puck, with a decent amount of perimeter play. Despite those issues he’s so talented offensively that I have to imagine there is a spot on an NHL team for him even if not in a prominent role.

12. Mats Lindgren, LHD, KAMLOOPS (WHL)

August 26, 2004 | 5′ 11″ | 173 pounds

Tier: Projected to play NHL games

Skating: NHL average
Puck skills: NHL average
Hockey sense: Above NHL average
Compete: NHL average

Background: Lindgren was a top player for a top WHL team this season, playing a lot of minutes including on Kamloops’ PP1. He was invited to Canada’s U18 camp and was the seventh pick in his WHL bantam draft.

Analysis: You’re drafting Lindgren for his offense. He’s a constant threat with the puck on his stick due to his offensive skill and especially his IQ. He makes a ton of clever plays with the puck on outlets and inside the offensive zone. He has good enough speed to go with his skill that Lindgren can also be a threat off the rush. His defending won’t be his calling card as a pro, but he skates and competes well enough to be competent to play a regular shift in the NHL.

13. Miguel Tourigny, RHD, ACADIE-BATHURST (QMJHL)

February 9, 2002 | 5′ 8″ | 168 pounds

Tier: Projected to play NHL games

Skating: Above NHL average
Puck skills: Below NHL average
Hockey sense: Above NHL average
Compete: Above NHL average
Shot: Above NHL average

Background: Tourigny was one of the top defensemen in the CHL and scored both goals and points at a very high rate for a defenseman, even accounting for the fact he’s a 19-year-old. He was also invited to Canada’s U20 camp in the summer.

Analysis: Tourigny is a dynamic player. His skating pops, with the top-end speed to beat checkers wide and lead a rush in transition. He’s an elusive skater with good edgework and is very hard to check on retrievals, despite his diminutive frame. He’s a very smart puck-mover who can make tough, skilled plays with pace and from a standstill, showing ability to hit seams from the offensive blue line. Tourigny is a great passer, but also had a great shot as evidenced by his goal totals the last two seasons. The one obvious drawback is his frame, he’s a tiny defenseman by NHL standards at 5-foot-8. He competes well and defends well enough in junior but whether he can take a regular NHL shift is the question. He’s so talented, and the skating is so good I think he has a very good chance to play games and help an organization, but I can’t just yet stamp him as a guy who is going to have a legitimate NHL career.

14. Julian Lutz, LW, MUNCHEN (GERMANY)

February 29, 2004 | 6′ 2″ | 187 pounds

Tier: Projected to play NHL games

Skating: NHL average
Puck skills: NHL average
Hockey sense: Below NHL average
Compete: NHL average
Shot: Above NHL average

Background: Lutz missed most of the season after suffering a fatigue fracture of his lumbar spine but got some DEL games in late in the season. He scored four points in four games at the U18 Worlds.

Analysis: Lutz’s talent stands out when you watch him. He’s 6-foot-2, he has very good puck skills and he can skate well. On a given rush he has the ability to break a play open due to his speed, hands and strong shot. He feels like he should be a top prospect, but I’ve often found myself wanting more when watching him play. I don’t see him make that many tough plays to his teammates and doesn’t impact the game for stretches. Lutz has NHL tools though and I can see him being a bottom six winger.

15. Arseni Koromyslov, LHD, SKA ST. PETERSBURG 2 (RUSSIA-JR.)

November 3, 2003 | 6′ 3″ | 180 pounds

Tier: Projected to play NHL games

Skating: NHL average
Puck skills: Below NHL average
Hockey sense: NHL average
Compete: Above NHL average

Background: Koromyslov didn’t put up big numbers this season in the Russian junior league but he was a top player for one of the best MHL teams. He also made appearances in the KHL, for Russia’s U20 team including making the world juniors club, and for Russia’s senior team.

Analysis: Koromyslov is a big left-shot defenseman who is a strong skater. Due to his reach and mobility he kills a lot of rushes. He’s a smart defender who anticipates plays well and uses his skating to jump up and pressure opponents. He also doesn’t shy away from the physical play with his big frame. With the puck Koromyslov won’t dazzle. He has good flashes of stickhandling and passing but it’s not consistent. I think there’s just enough offense to be a third pair defenseman given his physical tools.

16. Jack Hughes, C, NORTHEASTERN (H-EAST)

November 2, 2003 | 6′ 0″ | 169 pounds

Tier: Projected to play NHL games

Skating: Below NHL average
Puck skills: Above NHL average
Hockey sense: NHL average
Compete: NHL average

Background: Hughes played a significant role on Northeastern as a draft-eligible freshman. He was a top forward for the 2003 U.S. NTDP age group coming up, including being one of their top forwards at the World U17 Challenge. He’s the son of Canadiens GM Kent Hughes.

Analysis: Hughes is one of the more skilled and creative players in the draft. He has high-end puck skills and ability to improvise with the puck to create chances for himself and his teammates. He’s able to score goals but he’s a pass-first type player. Hughes lacks ideal speed for the NHL and the pace of higher levels will be his main test. He competes well enough. He won’t run guys over but he’s responsible off the puck and doesn’t shy from physical play. Hughes projects as a bottom-six forward. .

17. Bryce Mcconnell-Barker, C, SAULT STE. MARIE (OHL)

June 4, 2004 | 6′ 1″ | 193 pounds

Tier: Projected to play NHL games

Skating: Below NHL average
Puck skills: NHL average
Hockey sense: NHL average
Compete: NHL average
Shot: Above NHL average

Background: McConnell-Barker was a notable player for the Soo this season and was a regular on the power play. His point totals don’t stand out but they had a deep offensive team and he was often on the second power-play unit. He was invited to Canada’s U18 camp in the summer and was the fourth pick in his OHL Draft.

Analysis: McConell Barker is a talented offensive player. He shows strong puck skills and overall creativity as a playmaker. He can pick corners and find seams off the half-wall and create off the rush with his skill and vision. He lacks speed for the NHL, but he works hard enough off the puck and will earn the trust of coaches. He projects as a full-time bottom-six forward whether at center or the wing.

18. Seamus Casey, RHD, USA U-18 (NTDP)

January 8, 2004 | 5′ 10″ | 173 pounds

Tier: Projected to play NHL games

Skating: Above NHL average
Puck skills: NHL average
Hockey sense: Above NHL average
Compete: NHL average

Background: Casey was a top-four defenseman for the U.S. NTDP this season, lining up on both special team units consistently. He is a rare NHL prospect to come out of the Miami, Florida area and play youth hockey for the Florida Alliance program. He’s committed to Michigan.

Analysis: Casey has NHL caliber skating and skill. His ability to skate pucks out of trouble and up the ice is quite noticeable. He has good hands to maneuver in tight areas and make skilled rushes. On the power play he displays good poise and vision to make plays and can make strong outlets too. I wouldn’t call him truly dynamic with the puck though, which leaves some scouts wondering, as a small defenseman, what his NHL role will be. He defends well enough in junior due to his skating, but for a 5-foot-10 defenseman his defending will be the question as he advances levels. I project him as a full-time third pair defenseman. .

19. Gleb Trikozov, LW, OMSK 2 (RUSSIA-JR.)

August 12, 2004 | 6′ 1″ | 185 pounds

Tier: Projected to play NHL games

Skating: Below NHL average
Puck skills: NHL average
Hockey sense: NHL average
Compete: NHL average
Shot: Above NHL average

Background: Trikozov was an important part of a good Russian junior team this season and overall has been quite productive in his junior career in Russia. With Russia’s U18 team, his play was more up and down with good numbers but being benched during important games at times.

Analysis: Trikozov is a talented winger. He displays great individual skills and creativity with the puck to often beat opponents one-on-one. He can create for himself with his skill while also showing great vision and instincts as a playmaker to find seams. Trikozov’s vision and shot make him a threat from the perimeter and an asset on the power play. His skating is just OK and his game in general can lack pace. I waver on his compete. I’ve seen games he takes nights off and other games he’s engaged and works hard on both sides of the puck. Trikozov projects as a full-time bottom-six winger.

20. Owen Beck, C, MISSISSAUGA (OHL)

February 3, 2004 | 5′ 11″ | 187 pounds

Tier: Projected to play NHL games

Skating: NHL average
Puck skills: NHL average
Hockey sense: NHL average
Compete: NHL average

Background: Owen Beck played a significant role on a good OHL team. He was a regular in every important situation. He was the 29th pick in his OHL draft.

Analysis: Beck brings an intriguing amount of speed and skill to his shifts. He has NHL-level skating, and is able to make highly-skilled plays through checks at full speed. He shows the ability to be able to set up his teammates well while also being able to finish in tight or from the circles. Beck isn’t the biggest forward, but he competes well, can PK and doesn’t shy from getting inside by using his speed. He projects as a bottom six forward, likely on the wing.

Top 3 Remaining Goalies

1. Topias Leinonen, G, JYP JR. (FINLAND-JR.)

January 25, 2004 | 6′ 5″ | 233 pounds

Tier: Projected to play NHL games

Skating: NHL average
Hockey sense: NHL average

Background: Leinonen was a good but not spectacular junior goalie in Finland this season. He was the go-to goalie for Finland’s U18 team but was often injured or unavailable around major tournaments outside the U18 worlds where he wasn’t that good.

Analysis: Leinonen has a clear NHL tool kit. He measures in at-or-above 6-foot-4, and he’s an athletic goalie who can move well in the crease. Leionen has the ability to make very tough saves and ones that will translate to the NHL. I think he sees the game well and makes good reads, but his consistency is an issue. He lets in too many soft goals and has occasional stretches of bad decision making. He looks like a starter but projects more as a backup for those reasons.

2. Tyler Brennan, G, PRINCE GEORGE (WHL)

September 27, 2003 | 6′ 4″ | 185 pounds

Tier: Projected to play NHL games

Skating: Below NHL average
Hockey sense: Above NHL average

Background: Brennan’s performance was up and down this season. He represented Canada at the U18 World Championships in 2021 as their No. 3 goalie. He was the 21st pick in his WHL Bantam Draft.

Analysis: Brennan is a goalie with great size, sense and overall poise in the net. He can make tough saves look easy due to how well he reads the play, is efficient with his movements and takes away angles with his frame. He moves well enough, but lacks the explosive pushoffs with his lower body to make the highlight lateral saves, which will be a concern versus better players. Brennan is very good at saving the high-percentage shots, but gives up too many goals from range that he’ll need to cut down on. He projects as a backup goalie in the NHL.

3. Dylan Silverstein, G, USA U-18 (NTDP)

February 7, 2004 | 6′ 0″ | 179 pounds

Tier: Has a chance to play games

Skating: Above NHL average
Hockey sense: NHL average

Background: Silverstein had an up and down season with the U.S. NTDP program. His ups were very good though and led to him making the USA world juniors team as a 17-year-old. He’s committed to Boston College.

Analysis: Silverstein is a talented, competitive goaltender. He has very good athleticism in goal to make tough stops, showing the quick-twitch in his lower half to get across quickly and challenge shooters well. Silverstein makes good reads and squares up plays, and also battles well to get to second chances when he doesn’t make the clean save. The only real drawback to his game is his 6-foot frame and his so-so save percentage as a junior player.

(Photo of Lane Hutson: Rena Laverty / USA Hockey’s NTDP)



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