For quite some time now, Shane Wright, the consensus preseason favorite to go first overall in the 2022 draft, has been falling closer and closer to the pack. The Kingston Frontenacs forward has been good after missing all of last year when the OHL was forced to cancel the season, but he hasn’t been outstanding. With 15 goals and 43 points in 31 games, he now sits fourth on his own team in scoring (though he is the only draft-eligible among that group) and was no longer a unanimous top pick in Bob McKenzie’s midseason scout poll for TSN.
Now, a leading publication has put him second. Chris Peters of Daily Faceoff ranks Logan Cooley as the best prospect in the 2022 draft, ahead of Wright, and notes that he is a more dynamic player at the moment. The USNTDP center was always expected to go near the top of the draft, but going first overall would certainly be a big climb for a player that wasn’t even in the top five in many preseason polls.
- J.T. Miller has been the focus of trade speculation for the last few weeks as the Vancouver Canucks march toward the deadline, but Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet may have thrown some cold water on that in his latest 32 Thoughts column. He starts it by explaining that the Canucks have investigated the idea of re-signing Miller, not trading him, and notes that that could be one of the reasons why a name like Conor Garland has surfaced in recent days. The Canucks need to clear cap space and Miller’s $5.25MM hit is the fourth-highest among Vancouver forwards, but he’s also been the team’s most reliable and productive player this season. He would not be eligible for an extension until July 13 when free agency opens and he officially enters the final year of his current contract.
- One other note from Friedman’s column regards New Jersey Devils goaltender MacKenzie Blackwood and his heel injury. The netminder is getting a second opinion over what treatment method to pursue and there is no timeline for his recovery. Blackwood last played on January 19, allowing four goals on 17 shots to the Arizona Coyotes.