More than 70 percent of PHR voters believe that Shane Wright is still the top choice for the Montreal Canadiens at the upcoming 2022 NHL Draft, and if you asked Scott Wheeler of The Athletic, he’d agree. Wheeler has Wright in the No. 1 spot on his updated top-100, though does note that he is no longer in a tier above the rest of the field.
Interestingly enough, Juraj Slafkovsky, who overtook Wright on Corey Pronman’s recent list, is much further down Wheeler’s. The big winger isn’t even the top-ranked player from Slovakia, as the prospect prognosticator continues to rank Simon Nemec higher than most of the other publicly available lists. As always, the entire list is worth a read, given how detailed Wheeler dives into some of the lower-ranked names.
- Highly-ranked prospects don’t always work out though, something the Chicago Blackhawks found our first hand with Ville Pokka, the 34th overall pick in 2012 and a big part of the return for Nick Leddy two years later. Pokka, despite strong offensive numbers in the AHL, never could put together his defensive game well enough to earn an NHL opportunity, and the defenseman left for the KHL in 2018. After four years in Russia, he’s headed to Sweden, where he’ll join Farjestad next season.
- Vitali Kravtsov, another prospect that hasn’t quite panned out just yet, has apparently turned down an offer from the KHL as he eyes a return to North America. The 22-year-old winger is a pending restricted free agent but will still be under control of the New York Rangers, should they issue him a qualifying offer. In his partial season with Traktor this year, Kravtsov proved he can play to a high level in the KHL, scoring 13 goals and 23 points in a combined 34 games.