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UFFS Preliminary Rankings: Shane Wright Consensus No. 1 for 2022

The results are in and, to no surprise, Shane Wright is the consensus No. 1 prospect for the 2022 NHL Draft, according to the seven UFFS scouts that contributed to these preliminary rankings.

Those scouts submitted their Top 64 as of November 1, with the contributors including Craig Button of High Level Scouting, Jordan Shedletzky of, George Bachul of Regal Sports Group, Gabe Foley of In The Trenches Scouting, Dan Nadeau of Prestige Worldwide, Gur Dultak of Dultak Scouting Service, and UFFS director of hockey scouting Larry Fisher, whose personal Top 100 preliminary rankings are revealed below.

Wright was No. 1 on all seven lists, as he is in most every public ranking to date. The Kingston Frontenacs centre can score like John Tavares but also possesses slick playmaking ability, plenty of compete and enough finesse to earn top billing from scouts all around the world. Wright, like Tavares when he went first overall back in 2009, is considered the total package with leadership intangibles, and most believe Wright will be ready to step into the NHL next season and make an immediate impact as a rookie.

Nobody was going off the board at the top here, and there is no debate for first overall in the present — perhaps following the World Juniors, depending how these draft eligibles perform on that big stage — but the rest of the Top 10 is much less decided and there is absolutely no consensus beyond the Top 15.

Breaking down the numbers, only four prospects were ranked in the Top 10 by all seven scouts — with Wright joined by Matthew Savoie, Brad Lambert and Juraj Slafkovsky, though both Savoie and Slafkovsky were ranked as low as 10th on one occasion. Ivan Miroshnichenko was ranked in the Top 5 by six scouts and 11th by the lone outlier.

UFFS has labelled 15 prospects as consensus first-rounders — ranked in the Top 32 on all seven lists — with Joakim Kemell, Danila Yurov, Simon Nemec, Logan Cooley, Conor Geekie, Rutger McGroarty, Frank Nazar, Ty Nelson, Ryan Chesley and Tristan Luneau in addition to Wright, Savoie, Lambert, Slafkovsky and Miroshnichenko. David Jiricek is also deserving of first-round recognition, having been ranked in the Top 12 by six scouts and 33rd by the other. Jiricek would make it 16, suggesting half of the first round is locked in as of today.

From there, it turns into a typical crapshoot, with these seven lists going all over the map. Only 24 prospects appeared in the Top 64 for all seven scouts — the aforementioned 16, plus Elias Salomonsson, Filip Mesar, Isaac Howard, Marco Kasper, Jack Hughes, Cutter Gauthier, Lane Hutson and Pano Fimis. There were several shocking omissions from Seamus Casey and Cruz Lucius to Nathan Gaucher and Denton Mateychuk, not to mention the highly touted forward trio from Djurgardens in Jonathan Lekkerimaki, Noah Ostlund and Liam Ohgren as well as Swedish blueliners Mattias Havelid and Simon Forsmark. Russian winger Alexander Perevalov also warrants a shout-out, along with OHLers like David Goyette and Paul Ludwinski, among others who were ranked by five or six but not all seven.

As a result of those wide-ranging lists, 138 different prospects were ranked in the Top 64 at least once. That is obviously more than double the number of prospects that will eventually be selected in the Top 64 when the 2022 NHL Draft takes place in Montreal in July.

Generally speaking, Europeans have a head start with this draft class, having played a full season last year and also getting showcased at the Hlinka Gretzky Cup this summer, while most North Americans had reduced or missed seasons and Canada opted out of that annual tournament to launch the draft year.

So the North Americans are playing catch-up now — particularly the OHLers — and many of them are expected to trend up with more exposure over the course of this season. With more viewings, providing they perform well, the North Americans should rise in the rankings. But the Europeans are riding high in the early stages and hoping to sustain their spots with continued development throughout their draft year.

Without further ado, here are the UFFS Consensus Preliminary Rankings for the 2022 NHL Draft:

First Round

1) Shane Wright (RC, Canada, Kingston OHL)

2) Matthew Savoie (RC, Canada, Winnipeg WHL)

3) Ivan Miroshnichenko (LW, Russia, Omskie Krylia VHL)

4) Brad Lambert (RC/RW, Finland/Canada, JYP Liiga)

5) Joakim Kemell (RW, Finland, JYP Liiga)

6) Juraj Slafkovsky (LW, Slovakia, TPS Liiga)

7) Danila Yurov (RW, Russia, Metallurg Magnitogorsk KHL)

8) Simon Nemec (RD, Slovakia, Nitra)

9) Logan Cooley (LC, USA, NTDP U18)

10) Conor Geekie (LC, Canada, Winnipeg WHL)

11) David Jiricek (RD, Czech Republic, Plzen)

12) Rutger McGroarty (LC, USA/Canada, NTDP U18)

13) Frank Nazar (RW, USA, NTDP U18)

14) Ty Nelson (RD, Canada, North Bay OHL)

15) Ryan Chesley (RD, USA, NTDP U18)

16) Tristan Luneau (RD, Canada, Gatineau QMJHL)

17) Elias Salomonsson (RD, Sweden, Skelleftea J20)

18) Filip Mesar (RC/RW, Slovakia, Poprad)

19) Isaac Howard (LW, USA, NTDP U18)

20) Jonathan Lekkerimaki (RC, Sweden, Djurgardens SHL)

21) Seamus Casey (RD, USA, NTDP U18)

22) Marco Kasper (LC, Austria, Rogle SHL)

23) Jack Hughes (LC, USA, Northeastern NCAA)

24) Nathan Gaucher (RC, Canada, Quebec QMJHL)

25) Cutter Gauthier (LW, USA, NTDP U18)

26) Noah Ostlund (LC, Sweden, Djurgardens SHL)

27) Lane Hutson (LD, USA, NTDP U18)

28) Pano Fimis (RC, Canada, Niagara OHL)

29) Denton Mateychuk (LD, Canada, Moose Jaw WHL)

30) Alexander Perevalov (LW, Russia, Loko Yaroslavl MHL)

31) Mattias Havelid (RD, Sweden, Linkoping SHL)

32) Cruz Lucius (RW, USA, NTDP U18)

Second Round

33) Liam Ohgren (LW, Sweden, Djurgardens SHL)

34) Hunter Haight (RC, Canada, Barrie OHL)

35) Antonin Verreault (LW, Canada, Gatineau QMJHL)

36) David Goyette (LC, Canada, Sudbury OHL)

37) Simon Forsmark (LD, Sweden, Orebro SHL)

38) Paul Ludwinski (LC, Canada, Kingston OHL)

39) Julian Lutz (LW, Germany, Munchen DEL)

40) Ludwig Persson (LC/LW, Sweden, Frolunda SHL)

41) Arseni Koromyslov (LD, Russia, SKA St. Petersburg KHL)

42) Danny Zhilkin (LC, Canada/Russia, Guelph OHL)

43) Kevin Korchinski (LD, Canada, Seattle WHL)

44) Bryce McConnell-Barker (LC, Canada, Soo OHL)

45) Tyler Brennan (G, Canada, Prince George WHL)

46) Miko Matikka (RW, Finland, Jokerit U20)

47) Jani Nyman (LW, Finland, Ilves Liiga)

48) Mats Lindgren (LD, Canada/Sweden, Kamloops WHL)

49) Lian Bichsel (LD, Switzerland, Leksands SHL)

50) Jimmy Snuggerud (RW, USA, NTDP U18)

51) Jiri Kulich (LW, Czech Republic, Energie Karlovy Vary Czech)

52) Filip Bystedt (LC, Sweden, Linkoping SHL)

53) Brandon Lisowsky (LC/RW, Canada, Saskatoon WHL)

54) Aleksanteri Kaskimaki (LC, Finland, HIFK U20)

55) Matthew Poitras (RC, Canada, Guelph OHL)

56) Maveric Lamoureux (RD, Canada, Drummondville QMJHL)

57) Jordan Gustafson (LC, Canada, Seattle WHL)

58) Samuel Savoie (LC, Canada, Gatineau QMJHL)

59) Rieger Lorenz (LC, Canada, Okotoks AJHL)

60) Markus Vidicek (LC, Canada, Halifax QMJHL)

61) Liam Arnsby (RC, Canada, North Bay OHL)

62) Jack Devine (RW, USA, Denver NCAA)