NHL Central Scouting, which is currently meeting to determine its final ranking of North America’s top skaters and goaltenders for the 2022 Draft at the Bell Center in Montreal on July 7-8, offered a look at the top five North American skaters and the number 1 goaltender in his mid-season ranking and the number 1 skater in his international mid-season ranking.
Defender Owen Powerselected No. 1 by the Buffalo Sabers in the 2021 NHL Draft, compared his style of play to that of a defenseman Seth Jones of the Chicago Blackhawks. Center Matty Benierspicked No. 2 by the Seattle Kraken in the 2021 draft, looks to model his game after the Chicago center Jonathan Toews.
There are no right or wrong answers, but the advantage is having an idea of what type of player a prospect might look like. Will he be a playmaking winger, shooting center, offensive defenseman, or butterfly-style guard?
Here are some NHL comparisons between the top five North Americans, the number one North American goaltender and the top international skater on NHL Central Scouting’s midterm list. Central Scouting also provided an analysis of each player.
Players are listed in order of Central Scouting’s midterm rankings in January (all stats are from the regular season).
NORTH AMERICA SKATERS
1. Shane Wright (6-foot, 185 pounds), C, Kingston (OHL)
2021-22: 58 games, 84 points (28 goals, 56 assists); eight power play goals; a shorthanded goal
Best features: Shooting, hockey sense
Possible comparison with the NHL: Patrice BergeronBoston Bruins forward
NHL Central Scouting Analysis: “Shane remains a desirable set of NHL talents and has proven he can carry the load and make the difference when needed in game situations. A great prospect and a guy the scouting community has been following for some time. time now, so everyone is familiar with the attributes he can bring to a team. He does the right thing all over the ice and any coach can count on a player like that because he not only provides offense, but that he is a complete leader of a team.
2. Logan Cooley (5-10, 174), C, USA U-18 (NTDP)
2021-22: 43 games, 64 points (23 goals, 41 assists); six power-play goals, three shorthanded goals
Best features: Playmaker, hockey sense
Possible comparison with the NHL: Michael MarnerToronto Maple Leafs forward
NHL Central Scouting Analysis: “Cooley is a player who can impact games. His top speed is off the charts and his ability to process and execute plays quickly makes him a scoring threat every time he sets foot on the line. ice. He is a dynamic, sneaky skater with an excellent brilliance with the puck and plays above the pace. He has high-end competition and makes the players around him better. He has disengaged from Notre Dame and will go to the University of Minnesota next season. It’s Minnesota’s big Olympic rink, so it’s going to be tough for NCAA defensemen to deal with with all that extra space.”
3. Matt Savoie (5-9, 179), C, Winnipeg (WHL)
2021-22: 61 games, 84 points (32 goals, 52 assists); 12 power play goals
Best features: Speed, deceptive instinct
Possible comparison with the NHL: Mathieu BarzalNew York Islanders forward
NHL Central Scouting Analysis: “He can think of a game and do it at the same rate he thinks about it…and his hands will do the same. I think he loves to play hockey. He looks like a guy who can’t wait to get back there and then he’ll bring that kind of competition with him too. That kind of competitiveness just takes you to the next level. He will be able to do what he does at each level he reaches.
4. Conor Geekie (6-3, 193), F, Winnipeg (WHL)
2021-22: 59 games, 65 points (22 goals, 43 assists); a power play goal
Best features: Shooting, attacking game
Possible comparison with the NHL: Brock NelsonNew York Islanders forward
NHL Central Scouting Analysis: “Very unstable in tight quarters and hard to contain in all facets of the game. He has great vision and game play ability as well as puck handling and doesn’t panic when under pressure. He’s tough to contain with his high level of competition. He needs time, but the potential is there since he can play any style. He is used in all situations… at the end of a match, s “He’s outnumbered, he’s there. From a coach’s perspective, he’s reliable and there aren’t many of those guys around with that skill that can be there late in the game and be reliable. “
5. Pavel Mintyukov (6-1, 192), D, Saginaw (OHL)
2021-22: 63 games, 56 points (17 goals, 39 assists); two power play goals, three shorthanded goals
Best features: Skating, competitiveness
Possible comparison with the NHL: Mikhail SergachevTampa Bay Lightning defenseman
NHL Central Scouting Analysis: “Pavel is playing a mature game. He’s a very polished player, coming from Russia and playing in a new league with new teammates. You don’t always know how well or how quickly a player is going to adapt and that He’s been an immediate impact player for Saginaw He’s a top notch defenseman who plays in all situations, crunches minutes, excels on the power play, plays shorthanded and is on the ice at crucial moments in the game, a draft-eligible player to really have that kind of impact is impressive.”
NORTH AMERICA GOALKEEPER
1. Tyler Brennan (6-4, 180), Prince George (WHL)
2021-22: 39 games, 11-25-2, 3.58 goals-against average, .899 save percentage, four shutouts
Best features: Poised, positionally solid, great presence, covers a lot of net, moves well, makes saves easy
Possible comparison with the NHL: Jacob MarkstromCalgary Flames goaltender
NHL Central Scouting Analysis: “A good pro-sized keeper who plays a very calm and relaxed game. He has strong legs to play in the side crease and has good butterfly coverage, able to quickly seal the ice and the five-hole. He can get back on foot quickly”, is well balanced in his stance and when moving through the crease. Brennan will skate out of his bullpen to stop shots on goal and he can move the puck well behind the net. He has great career potential.”
1. Joakim Kemell (5-11, 171), RW, JYP (END)
2021-22: 39 games, 23 points (15 goals, eight assists); eight power play goals
Best features: Hockey sense, good under pressure
Possible comparison with the NHL: David PastrnakBoston Bruins forward
NHL Central Scouting Analysis: “He had a great start to the season, leading Liiga at 17 until he suffered a shoulder injury at the end of October. When he returned at the start of February, JYP was struggling and they missed the playoffs. The skills are there and he will play a big role for Finland at the IIHF World Under-18 Championship against players in his age group. He has excellent speed and acceleration, quick to game. He’s one of those talented point guards who really sees the ice well, can control the game. He’s ready to peek, set up the play, shoot the puck and go At the bottom, he’s very elusive, it’s hard to get the puck out of him in the offensive zone.
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