Montreal Canadiens: 2022 Draft Progress Report - Where does Juraj Slafkovsky stack up?

New York Rangers v Montreal Canadiens
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With the second overall choice, the New Jersey Devils selected puck moving Slovak defender Simon Nemec. After spending all of last season and the start of this campaign with Utica of the AHL, Nemec was called up in December and has had a decent start to his NHL career putting up two goals and five assists for seven points in 18 games with the Devils. It’s a small sample size but Nemec has shown flashes of what made him the first d-man selected.

The third player off the board was Logan Cooley to the Arizona Coyotes. The Pittsburgh native completed his collegiate run at the University of Minnesota and turned pro prior to this season. The results have been mixed thus far. The 5’10” center with a flair for offense has 20 points in 40 games which is pretty good, but only three goals which is concerning.

Wright, considered the consensus best in class for two years leading into the draft process, ultimately fell to the fourth spot where he was taken by the Seattle Kraken. The player that many Habs fans wanted and the one most prognosticators had at the top of their draft boards has had a tough start to his career.

After playing eight games with the Kraken to begin the 2022-23 season, Wright was sent back to junior. He has played only three games in the NHL this year while spending the majority of his time with the AHL’s Coachella Valley Firebirds. His NHL totals to this point in 11 career games, just one goal and one assist.

The next player taken was Cutter Gauthier of the U.S. National Development Team, going fifth to the Philadelphia Flyers. Gauthier has not made his NHL debut yet as he chose to remain at Boston College for a second season. He is coming off an impressive performance at the World Juniors, leading the United States to the gold medal.

Gauthier was also in the news recently as his rights were surprisingly traded to the Anaheim Ducks after he reportedly refused to sign a contract with the Flyers. It appears that Gauthier could be the wildcard of this draft though his ceiling is certainly high enough to be the best of the bunch.