NHL Central Scouting released their preliminary ‘Players to Watch’ list for the 2022 NHL Draft on Tuesday. After a banner year for the NCAA—more specifically, for Michigan—in 2021, the 2022 Draft projects to be slightly quieter at the very top end of the draft for NCAA players, albeit with a number of players still projected to go in the top round of the draft.
In all, six players with ties to NCAA schools received Central Scouting’s ‘A’ grade as a potential first round pick to start the season. Those players include:
D Ryan Chesley-committed to Minnesota
F Logan Cooley-committed to Notre Dame
F Cutter Gauthier-committed to Boston College
F Isaac Howard-committed to Minnesota Duluth
F Jack Hughes-playing for Northeastern
F Frank Nazar-committed to Michigan
OHL forward Shane Wright remains the consensus favorite to be selected first overall in the draft. Among the Americans, Logan Cooley tends to be the first listed on various rankings, usually in the 5-10 range, with Nazar and Chesley also usually listed in the top half of the first round.
15 players with NCAA commitments received a ‘B’ rating as a potential mid-round pick, and many more received a ‘C’ rating in this initial ranking, which always aims to cast a wide net.