NHL 23: Breaking down the 2022 NHL Draft first round and its impact

MONTREAL, QUEBEC - JULY 07: Juraj Slafkovsky is drafted by the Montreal Canadiens during Round One of the 2022 Upper Deck NHL Draft at Bell Centre on July 07, 2022 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
MONTREAL, QUEBEC - JULY 07: Juraj Slafkovsky is drafted by the Montreal Canadiens during Round One of the 2022 Upper Deck NHL Draft at Bell Centre on July 07, 2022 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

The 2022 NHL Draft took place this week, giving all 32 teams a chance to try and build towards their future. Sports is all about looking ahead toward the future and we saw a lot of future NHL talent get drafted during the first round of the 2022 NHL Draft.

With NHL 23 set to release later this year, we’re breaking down the first-round results and what sort of impact these rookies will have on their teams in EA’s annual hockey game.

2022 NHL Draft first-round results

  1. Montreal Canadiens: Juraj Slafkovsky, LW, TPS (FIN)
  2. New Jersey Devils: Simon Nemec, D, Nitra (SVK)
  3. Arizona Coyotes: Logan Cooley, C, USA U-18 (NTDP)
  4. Seattle Kraken: Shane Wright, C, Kingston (OHL)
  5. Philadelphia Flyers: Cutter Gauthier, LW, USA U-18 (NTDP)
  6. Columbus Blue Jackets (from CHI): David Jiricek, D, Plzen (CZE)
  7. Chicago Blackhawks (from OTT): Kevin Korchinski, D, Seattle (WHL)
  8. Detroit Red Wings: Marco Kasper, C, Rogle (SWE)
  9. Buffalo Sabres: Matthew Savoie, C, Winnipeg (WHL)
  10. Anaheim Ducks: Pavel Mintyukov, D, Saginaw (OHL)
  11. Arizona Coyotes (from SJ): Conor Geekie, C, Winnipeg (WHL)
  12. Columbus Blue Jackets: Denton Mateychuk, D, Moose Jaw (WHL)
  13. Chicago Blackhawks (from MON via NYI): Frank Nazar, C, USA U-18 (NTDP)
  14. Winnipeg Jets: Rutger McGroarty, RW, USA U-18 (NTDP)
  15. Vancouver Canucks: Jonathan Lekkerimaki, RW, Djurgarden (SWE)
  16. Buffalo Sabres (from VGK): Noah Ostlund, C, Djurgarden Jr. (SWE)
  17. Nashville Predators: Joakim Kemell, RW, JYP (FIN)
  18. Dallas Stars: Lian Bichsel, D, Leksand (SWE)
  19. Minnesota Wild (from LA): Liam Ohgren, LW, Djurgarden Jr. (SWE)
  20. Washington Capitals: Ivan Miroshnichenko, LW, Omskie Krylia (RUS)
  21. Pittsburgh Penguins: Owen Pickering, D, Swift Current (WHL)
  22. Anaheim Ducks (from BOS): Nathan Gaucher, C, Quebec (QMJHL)
  23. St. Louis Blues: Jimmy Snuggerud, RW, USA U-18 (NTDP)
  24. Minnesota Wild: Danila Yurov, RW, Magnitogorsk (RUS)
  25. Chicago Blackhawks (from TOR): Sam Rinzel, D, Chaska (HS-MIN)
  26. Montreal Canadiens (from CGY): Filip Mesar, RW, Poprad (SVK)
  27. San Jose Sharks (from ARI via CAR and MTL): Filip Bystedt, C, Linkoping (SWE)
  28. Buffalo Sabres (from FLA): Jiri Kulich, C, Karlovy Vary (CZE)
  29. Arizona Coyotes (from EDM): Maveric Lamoureux, D, Drummondville (QMJHL)
  30. Winnipeg Jets (from NYR): Brad Lambert, C, Pelicans (FIN)
  31. Tampa Bay Lightning: Isaac Howard, LW, USA U-18 (NTDP)
  32. Edmonton Oilers (from ARI via COL): Reid Schaefer, LW, Seattle (WHL)

When you take a look at this year’s draft class, there are only really two players who stand out to be NHL ready for the upcoming season: Juraj Slafkovsky and Shane Wright. Shane Wright was the overall consensus to go number one this year early on with many fans believing he would be heading to Montreal because of their need for center depth. But the Canadiens had other ideas by selecting Juraj Slafkovsky as the number one overall pick in the 2022 NHL Draft.

Shane Wright ended up falling all the way to fourth on the draft board and was scooped up by the Seattle Kraken. If you are a Seattle Kraken fan, this is a huge win for you.

Since both of these players are going to be NHL-ready, we can expect both of them to be in NHL 23. Even with Slafkovsky and Wright appearing that they will be in NHL 23, we know that they won’t have a high rating since we don’t exactly know how these players are going to actually perform on the ice despite the hype and high expectations. However, getting to play as these players in NHL 23 is surely going to be something that Montreal Canadiens fans and Seattle Kraken fans will be really excited about.

However, before the NHL Draft even started, the Colorado Avalanche made some waves that had major impact on the 2022 NHL Draft. The Avalanche traded their 2022 third-round pick, 2022 fifth-round pick, and 2023 third-round pick to the New York Rangers in exchange for goaltender Alexander Georgiev. Based on this trade, this will likely be the end for their current Stanley Cup-winning goaltender Darcy Kuemper. Georgiev is a downgrade, for sure, especially after we saw Darcy Kuemper go on a tear and win the Stanley Cup. With that being said, this pre-draft trade is actually going to hurt Colorado’s goaltending in NHL 23 and make it average at best. Don’t expect the Colorado Avalanche to have a high goaltending rating in NHL 23.

Another team that had a massive 2022 NHL Draft was the Chicago Blackhawks which is really weird to say. The Blackhawks began the day with zero first-round draft picks. By the end of the first round, they ended up with three first-round draft picks. Pretty wild, isn’t it? Unfortunately, to do so they had to rip apart key parts of their team. So, was it worth it?

Before the 2022 NHL Draft got underway, the Chicago Blackhawks traded one of the biggest superstars on their roster. The Blackhawks traded Alex DeBrincat to the Ottawa Senators in exchange for a 2022 1st round pick (7th overall), and 2022 2nd round pick (39th overall), and a 2024 3rd round pick. I, like most people, thought that the Blackhawks should have gotten a ton more value from a player that can score 40+ goals. It just didn’t make sense from a hockey point of view.

The Blackhawks let Alex DeBrincat go for way too little, but their moves didn’t stop there. The Blackhawks also traded away Kirby Dach to the Montreal Canadiens in exchange for a 2022 1st round pick (13th overall), and a 2022 3rd round pick (66th overall). Their final trade included trading away their 2022 2nd round pick (38th overall) to the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for goaltender Petr Mrazek, and a 2022 1st round pick (25th overall). What a day for the Chicago Blackhawks organization and it should be interesting to see where it puts them in NHL 23.

Petr Mrazek is virtually on the same skill level as Kevin Lankinen. The experience that Mrazek has may be the slightest of slight boosts to their goaltending, but otherwise, they are seen as equal in skill in my opinion. Their goaltending stats in NHL 23 shouldn’t fluctuate a ton compared to their goaltending stats in NHL 22.

However, one category that is going to fluctuate from NHL 22 to NHL 23 is their offensive ratings. With the loss of Alex DeBrincat and Kirby Dach, their offensive overall ratings are going to plummet. As of this writing, it looks like the Blackhawks are going to end up being one of the worst teams to use in NHL 23.

Ultimately, we have to see how the rest of the 2022 NHL offseason goes. There may be more moves that they make. This is something that all sports franchises go through at some point. Being bad for the current time, usually allows a team to develop and build up to a winning franchise in the future for an extended period of time. At least that is the end goal.

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With the first round of the 2022 NHL Draft officially in the books, it impacted NHL 23 more than you may have thought. While many of the players drafted will take some time to develop and are likely far out from joining EA’s NHL video game, many of them should eventually find their way into the game at some point. So, what did you think of the first round of the 2022 NHL Draft?