It’s shaping up to be a wild first round of the NHL draft from Montreal. Follow along for live updates of every selection, signing and trade as they happen.
Canadiens select Slafkovsky with No. 1 pick
The Montreal Canadiens have selected Slovakian forward Juraj Slafkovsky with the first-overall selection of the 2022 NHL Draft.
Slafkovsky registered five goals and five assists in 31 games for TPS in the Finnish Liiga last season. The hulking 18-year-old was also named men’s Olympic MVP after tallying seven goals in Beijing last February.
Here’s each first-round selection as it happens, by team
1. Montreal Canadiens
F, Juraj Slafkovsky, TPS (Finnish Liiga)
2. New Jersey Devils
D, Simon Nemec, Nitra HMC (Slovak Tipos Extraliga)
3. Arizona Coyotes
F, Logan Cooley, United States National Development Program
4. Seattle Kraken
C, Shane Wright, Kingston Frontenacs (OHL)
5. Philadelphia Flyers
F, Cutter Gauthier, USNTDP
6. Columbus Blue Jackets (from Chicago Blackhawks)
D, David Jiricek, HC Skoda Plzen (Czech Extraliga)
7. Chicago Blackhawks (from Ottawa)
D, Kevin Korchinski, Seattle Thunderbids (WHL)
8. Detroit Red Wings
C, Marco Kasper, Rogle BK (SHL)
9. Buffalo Sabres
C, Matthew Savoie, Winnipeg Ice (WHL)
10. Anaheim Ducks
D, Pavel Mintyukov, Saginaw Spirit (OHL)
11. Arizona Coyotes (from San Jose Sharks)
C, Conor Geekie, Winnipeg Ice (WHL)
12. Columbus Blue Jackets
D, Denton Mateychuk, Moose Jaw Warriors (WHL)
13. Chicago Blackhawks (from New York Islanders)
F, Frank Nazar, USNTDP
14. Winnipeg Jets
F, Rutger McGroarty, USNTDP
15. Vancouver Canucks
F, Jonathan Lekkerimaki, Djurgårdens IF (SHL)
16. Buffalo Sabres (from Vegas)
C, Noah Ostlund, Djurgårdens IF (SHL)
17. Nashville Predators
F, Joakim Kemell, JYP (Liiga)
18. Dallas Stars
D, Lian Bichsal, Leksands IF (SHL)
19. Minnesota Wild (from Los Angeles)
F, Liam Ohgren, Djurgårdens IF (SHL)
20. Washington Capitals
F, Ivan Miroshnichenko, Omskie Krylia (VHL)
21. Pittsburgh Penguins
D, Owen Pickering, Swift Current Broncos (WHL)
22. Anaheim Ducks (from Boston)
C, Nathan Gaucher, Quebec Remparts (QMJHL)
23. St. Louis Blues
F, Jimmy Snuggerud, USNTDP
24. Minnesota Wild
F, Danila Yurov, Stalnye Lisy Magnitogorsk (MHL)
25. Chicago Blackhawks (from Toronto)
D, Sam Rinzel, Waterloo Black Hawks (USHL)
26. Montreal Canadiens (from Calgary)
F, Filip Mesar, HK Poprad (Slovakia)
27. San Jose Sharks (from Arizona via Carolina via Montreal)
C, Filip Bystedt, Linköping HC (SHL)
28. Buffalo Sabres (from Florida)
C, Jiri Kulich, HC Energie Karlovy Vary (Czechia)
29. Arizona Coyotes (from Edmonton)
D, Maveric Lamoureux, Drummondville Voltigeurs (QMJHL)
30. Winnipeg Jets (from New York)
F, Brad Lambert, Pelicans (Liiga)
31. Tampa Bay Lightning
F, Isaac Howard, USNTDP
32. Edmonton Oilers (from Arizona)
F, Reid Schaefer, Seattle Thunderbirds (WHL)
Latest news from the NHL draft
Leafs trade goaltender Petr Mrazek, No. 25 pick to Blackhawks
In a salary-dump move from Kyle Dubas and Co., the Toronto Maple Leafs have traded goaltender Petr Mrazek along with the No. 25 pick in this year’s draft, to the Chicago Blackhawks for the 38th overall pick in 2022.
The Leafs did not have to retain any of Mrazek’s $3.8-million salary in the deal, according to Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli. With the 25th pick, Chicago selected defenseman Sam Rinzel from the USHL’s Waterloo Blackhawks. The Leafs will make the No. 38 pick in Round 2 on Friday.
Oilers trade Zach Kassian to Arizona
The Edmonton Oilers have traded forward Zach Kassian, the 29th overall pick in the 2022 NHL Draft, a future second-round pick and a future third-round pick for the 32nd pick in this year’s draft.
Colorado Avalanche’s Joe Sakic wins Jim Gregory award as top GM
Colorado Avalanche general manager Joe Sakic has been awarded the Jim Gregory award, honouring the league’s top general manager.
Canadiens land Kirby Dach from Blackhawks in wild 3-way deal
Moments after drafting Juraj Slafkovsky No. 1 overall at the NHL draft, the Montreal Canadiens orchestrated a series of stunning moves to land former third-overall draft selection Kirby Dach from the liquidating Chicago Blackhawks. First Hughes sent Alexander Romanov and the No. 98 overall selection to the New York Islanders for the 13th pick. The Canadiens then flipped that lottery selection, plus the 66th overall pick, to the Blackhawks for Dach. — Justin Cuthbert (edited)
Marc-Andre Fleury is staying in Minny
Pending free-agent goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury has decided not to test the UFA waters, instead re-upping for two years with the Minnesota Wild, who acquired him at the 2022 trade deadline from the Chicago Blackhawks.
According to Wild beat writer Michael Russo, Fleury’s deal is worth $7 million over the next two seasons, for an AAV of $3.5 million. Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli added that Fleury will have a full no-move close for the duration of the deal. — Kyle Cantlon
Penguins and Malkin not close on extension
According to TSN’s Darren Dreger, negotiations between the Pittsburgh Penguins and star forward Evgeni Malkin are “somewhat on life support.” The Penguins are reportedly unwilling to offer the term Malkin is likely seeking on a possible deal.
Pittsburgh answered one of their biggest offseason questions earlier on Thursday when they re-signed veteran defenceman Kris Letang to a six-year, $36.6 million deal.
NHL announces partnership with BioSteel
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman announced prior the draft on Thursday that the league has made BioSteel the official hydration partner of the NHL and NHLPA.
BioSteel, a Toronto-based company founded in 2009, will replace PepsiCo’s Gatorade as of the official drink of the league and its players. While financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, Bettman said that the NHL will partner with BioSteel for “many years to come”.
Senators land Alex DeBrincat from Blackhawks
The Ottawa Senators have acquired winger Alex DeBrincat from the Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for the seventh and 39th picks in the 2022 draft, along with a third-round pick in 2024.
One of the premier snipers in the NHL, DeBrincat scored 41 goals last year to go along with 37 assists, marking the second time he has hit the 40-goal mark in his five-year career.
The 24-year-old has one year remaining on his current contract, which carries a cap hit of $6.4 million. He will become a restricted free agent at the end of his deal if he isn’t extended before then.
DeBrincat joins a promising young core in Ottawa, who now boast one of the East’s most dangerous forward groups led by captain Brady Tkachuk, Josh Norris, Tim Stützle, Drake Batherson and Alex Formenton, all of whom are under the age of 24.
New Blackhawks general manager Kyle Davidson, meanwhile, will get a building block for the future with the seventh overall pick after former GM Stan Bowman dealt Chicago’s first-rounder to the Columbus Blue Jackets in the Seth Jones deal last July.
Chicago might not be done just yet, either, as reports surfaced ahead of the NHL draft that the team was actively listening to offers on 2019 third-overall pick Kirby Dach. — Mack Liddell
Penguins sign Kris Letang to 6-year deal
The Pittsburgh Penguins ended the speculation surrounding their No. 1 defenseman in the hours leading up to the NHL Draft, signing pending unrestricted free agent Kris Letang to a six-year extension Thursday afternoon.
Letang, 35, will earn a shade over $6 million each year in a $36.6 million agreement that will take him into his 40s.
For his part, Letang maximized his worth this past season, turning in one of the best of his 16 years with the organization. He finished with 10 goals and a career-high 68 points, while turning in some impressive underlying data in big minutes. He accumulated enough Norris Trophy consideration to finish seventh on the ballot.
There was some belief the Penguins, who have taken on new ownership, would step away from the partnership with older members of the existing core this offseason. In addition to Letang, Evgeni Malkin and Bryan Rust were on expiring contracts. However, the Penguins have now retained Letang and Rust on six-year agreements, while leaving the door open for Malkin. — Justin Cuthbert
Reports: Avalanche acquire Alexandar Georgiev from Rangers
Moving decisively again after seemingly failing to come to an agreement with one of their own netminders, the Colorado Avalanche will try on a new starter in 2022-23, having acquired Alexandar Georgiev from the New York Rangers in exchange for three draft picks.
New York will add third- and fifth-round picks to their collection at the 2022 NHL Draft, while also securing a third-round selection in 2023 for the backup netminder who supported Vezina Trophy winner Igor Shesterkin last season. The move signals that netminder Darcy Kuemper will move on through free agency after backstopping the Avalanche to their first Stanley Cup in 21 years last month.
Kuemper was originally acquired last summer in a trade with the Arizona Coyotes after Philipp Grubauer exited in free agency. — Justin Cuthbert
Where is the 2022 NHL draft?
The 2022 NHL draft will be held at the Bell Centre in Montreal. It is the 27th time the event has been hosted by Montreal, and the first since 2009. The NHL draft was hosted in Montreal from its inception in 1963 until 1984 before it was moved to a different city annually, beginning with Toronto in 1985. Montreal also held the draft in 1992, 1988 and 1986.
What time is the 2022 NHL draft?
The 2022 NHL draft will be held Thursday July 7 and Friday July 8. The first round will get underway Thursday at 7 p.m. ET, while Rounds 2-7 will take place on Friday beginning at 11 a.m. ET.
What TV channel is the 2022 NHL draft on?
The first round of the NHL draft will be televised on Sportsnet and TVA Sports in Canada and on ESPN and ESPN+ in the United States. Day 2 coverage of the NHL draft will be available on Sportsnet and TVA Sports in Canada, and on ESPN+ and NHL Network in the U.S.
Click here for our 2022 NHL mock draft
Who are the top prospects for the 2022 NHL draft?
1. Shane Wright, C, Kingston Frontenacs (OHL): In the past, top prospects have been all about their offensive flair. Wright brings elite skating, leadership, and scoring skills to the table, but perhaps most notably, he is a two-way threat. His best NHL comparison is often Patrice Bergeron, who is a four-time Selke Trophy winner, Mark Messier Award and King Clancy Award winner, and Stanley Cup champion. Not a bad comparison for Wright, who is a future No. 1 NHL center.
2. Logan Cooley, C, U18 (USNTDP): The top scoring threat from the US National Team Development Program, Cooley enters the draft as a likely top-line center who plays an intelligent two-way game. He plays as well away from the puck as with it, driving play and generating offense for his linemates. In the offensive zone, Cooley uses pace changes to create space, allowing him to distribute the puck or step into open space for shot attempts.
3. Juraj Slafkovský, LW, TPS (Liiga): The Olympic MVP and standout for Slovakia at the men’s world championships, Slafkovský has size and scoring prowess. Benefiting from his frame and puck protection skills, Slafkovksy has unique upside. The expectation for immediate impact is reminiscent of Jesse Puljujarvi. He has played his way into a top-five spot, but how patient a team is willing to be with his development could determine his immediate and short-term impact at the NHL level.
4. Simon Nemec, D, HK Nitra (Slovakia): Whether it is Nemec, or the soon-to-be-mentioned David Jiricek, a European defender will be the top blueliner selected in this draft. Nemec’s game is mature and balanced. Against his peers, and at the pro level, he has shown offensive upside, but it’s his consistency as a teenager playing against adults that has helped his star to rise. He had 26 points in 39 games in Slovakia’s top pro league, placing him eighth among defenders. When the playoffs rolled around, Nemec showed his season-long development, putting up 10 points in 13 games to top all blueliners.
5. David Jiricek, D, HC Plzen (Czechia): Some people see a little bit of Moritz Seider in the young Czechian defender. Mobile, assertive, and capable of generating offence from the back end, Jiricek could be the first defender selected. An injury earlier in the year cooled some scouts, but upon his return, he looked dominant beyond his years playing in Czechia’s top pro league.
Click here for our full draft rankings
Team previews: NHL draft needs, top prospects
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