The Detroit Red Wings’ lack of lottery luck continued this week when they failed to move up in the 2022 draft. But the expectation is they will still land an impact player at No. 8.
As a rebuilding team, the Red Wings remain in best-available-player mode.
However, the Red Wings’ collection of defensive prospects is deeper than their cache of forward prospects. If it is a close call on draft day, the Red Wings likely will opt for a forward. Their biggest need is for a scoring center.
With the draft order settled, mock drafts have started to pop up. Each mock draft Detroit Hockey Now staff reviewed has the Red Wings drafting a forward at No. 8. However, there is no agreement on who it will be when the Red Wings take their first round pick July 7 in Montreal. Here are some mock drafts out there:
Marco D’Amico, Montreal Hockey Now
Center-wing Frank Nazar, USA Under-18: D’Amico likes the fit because of Nazar’s speed, anticipation and two-way game. He’s going to play at the University of Michigan. On D’Amico’s list, Center 6-foot-4 center Conor Geekie of the Winnipeg Ice goes at No. 9 right after the Red Wings pick. D’Amico’s list is at montrealhockeynow.com
Chris Peters, Daily Faceoff
Right wing Danila Yurov, Magnitogorski, KHL: He’s 6-foot-1, 185 pounds and already playing in the KHL. Peters theorizes the Red Wings won’t be fearful of drafting a Russian because they are not anticipating a player drafted at No. 8 to be on their roster roster any time soon. Peters has Nazar landing in Buffalo at the No. 9 pick. The Peters list is at dailyfaceoff.com.
Craig Button, TSN
Right wing Jimmy Snuggerud, USA Under-18: He’s the son of former NHL player Dave Snuggerud. Jimmy is a 6-foot-1 scorer. He registered 26 goals and posted 63 points in 59 games for USA. In the Button mock draft, USA’s Cutter Gauthier went just ahead of Snuggerud to the Ottawa Senators. Sweden’s Jonathan Lekkerimaki landed at No. 9 to the Buffalo Sabres. Button’s list is at TSN.ca.
Sam Cosentino, Sportsnet
Right Wing Joakim Kemell, JYP, Finland: He netted a hat trick, including an overtime tally, to help Finland down Canada 6-5 at the World Under-18 Championships. Scored 15 goals in 39 games in Finland’s top league. Most mock drafts have Kemell going earlier in the draft. But Sportsnet’s theory is Kemell might fall because a mid-season injury moved him down on the list. Sportsnet’s mock draft is located at sportsnet.ca.
Adam Kimelman, NHL.com
Center Matt Savoie, Winnipeg, WHL: Kimelman highlights the fact that Savoie is believed to be the fastest player in the draft. He’s an explosive offensive player. The question here would be how Yzerman feels about Savoie being 5-foot-9. Based on last season, the Red Wings seem poised to try to get a little bit bigger and stronger up front. Kimelman’s picks are at NHL.com.
Mike Morreale, NHL.com
Right wing Jonathan Lekkerimaki, Djurgarden, Sweden: Morreale likes Lekkerimaki’s goal-scoring ability, noting that he led the Under-18 World Championships with 15 points. Lekkerimaki helped Sweden win the gold medal. The Morreale mock draft can be found at NHL.com.