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The Draft - NHL: All you need to know

The 2022 NHL Draft will take place at Bell Centre in Montreal on 7th-8th July with the first-round selections taking place on the Thursday and rounds 2-7 on Friday.

The 2022 event will be the 27th time that Montreal has hosted the NHL Draft, and the first time since 2009.


2022 NHL Draft


Bell Centre, Montreal


7th and 8th July 2022

How to watch

ESPN, ESPN+, NHL Network

Hosts have the first pick

Not only will the Canadiens enjoy hosting the 60th NHL draft is history, but they will also have the number-one pick after winning the draft lottery - the first time since 1985 that such an event has happened.

The New Jersey Devils will pick second and the Arizona Coyotes third.

Montreal had an 18.5 per cent best chance of winning the lottery after finishing the recent regular season at the bottom of the NHL standings (22- 49-11).

The hugely disappointing season came as a shock to many after the Canadiens had gone on a run all the way to the Stanley Cup Final in the season previous, losing to the Tampa Bay Lightning in five games.

By winning the lottery, Montreal will pick first for the sixth time in history and the first time since they selected Doug Wickenheiser in the 1980 NHL Draft.

How the order is determined

The first 16 selections in the draft were determined by the lottery. Next, the 12 teams that lost in the first two rounds of the Stanley Cup Playoffs will have picks 17-28.

Teams that did not win their division are placed in inverse order of regular season standings points, followed by the three division winners who lost in inverse order of regular-season points.

Stars enter NHL through draft

The NHL draft has been an entry to the league for most of its current stars with the number one pick often becoming a franchise player for many years to come.

This has included Hart Trophy holder as the league's most valuable player, Auston Matthews of the Toronto Maple Leafs, and arguably the NHL's biggest superstar, Connor McDavid of the Edmonton Oilers.

Dynamic defenceman Owen Power who scored twice in nine games introducing him to the NHL last season was the number one overall pick a year ago by the Buffalo Sabres.

Players eligible

Players born between 1st January 2002 and 15th September 2004 are eligible for selection in the 2022 NHL Draft.

Additionally, un-drafted, non-North American players born in 2001 are eligible for the draft; and those players who were drafted in 2020, but not signed by an NHL team and who were born after 30th June 2002, are also eligible to re-enter.

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NHL Central Scouting top picks

Kingston Frontenacs (OHL) centreman Shane Wright is expected to be picked first overall by Montreal according to NHL Central Scouting with Olympic breakout star Juraj Slafkovsky, currently of TPS (Liiga, Finland) running him close.

Under-18 standout centre Logan Cooley of the USA Hockey National Development Programme rounds off the top three.

The trio are very different and Wright especially a breakaway from the usual profile of first rounder who are often rated for their offensive flair.

Wright is much more compared to Boston Bruins' Patrice Bergeron who has just won his fifth Selke Award given to the NHL forward who demonstrates the most skill in the defensive component of the game.

Olympic MVP and standout for Slovakia at the men's world championships, Slafkovsky offers a scoring prowess and a big frame standing 6'4" at just 18.

Cooley combines a little of both, proving to be a top scoring threat through the US National Team Development Program, but he is a centre who also prides himself on playing an intelligent two-way game.

Trading for picks

Teams can and often do trade for picks in the draft to get more selections and move up and down in the order of picks.

Most recently, the Los Angeles Kings acquired forward Kevin Fiala from the Minnesota Wild in exchange for their first-round pick which will now see the Wild pick at 19 and 24.

Because of this, and their ability to off-load assets to Stanley Cup contending teams during the recent season, the hosting Canadiens own a total of 10 picks in the first four rounds and 14 picks overall, which if chosen wisely could change the fortunes of their franchise for many years to come.

The league's newest franchise Seattle Kraken have the second most with 10 overall in 2022.

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