The 2022 NHL Draft is finally upon us, a bit later than usual thanks to the schedule shift due to COVID-19. The last two seasons’ drafts have been basically televised Zoom meetings, with picks broadcast in from whatever passes for a NHL team’s war room.
This year, the excitement is back and in-person in Montreal. Montreal was originally scheduled to host the 2020 draft at the Bell Centre, but for obvious reasons their hosting duties have been repeatedly delayed. Now we can watch people at a podium congratulate the Colorado Avalanche, and hopefully listen to the dulcet sounds of Habs faithful boo Gary Bettman. Sadly, NHL fans were deprived of that tradition at the Stanley Cup Final again, thanks to COVID-19.
Where do the Blues pick?
The first round selection order has been finalized and the full list of picks can be seen on NHL.com. The first round, which is tomorrow night, is as follows:
10. Anaheim Ducks
11. San Jose Sharks
12. Columbus Blue Jackets
14. Winnipeg Jets
16. Buffalo Sabres (from Vegas Golden Knights)
18. Dallas Stars
22. Anaheim Ducks (from Boston Bruins)
23. St. Louis Blues
24. Minnesota Wild
26. Montreal Canadiens (from Calgary Flames)
27. Arizona Coyotes (from Carolina Hurricanes via Montreal Canadiens)
28. Buffalo Sabres (from Florida Panthers)
29. Edmonton Oilers
30. Winnipeg Jets (from New York Rangers)
32. Arizona Coyotes (from Colorado Avalanche)
The Habs having two first round picks, especially first overall, should blow the roof off of the Bell Centre. Arizona’s three first round picks should help their continuing franchise rebuild efforts. The Blues’ selection at 23rd overall continues a trend for the team of late first round selections. The Blues have consistently been able to draft well at the end of the first/beginning of the second round of the draft, ensuring that their success hasn’t damaged the team’s long-term prospects. It’s difficult to argue that Jordan Kyrou, Robert Thomas, Scott Perunovich, and Jake Neighbors aren’t all excellent selections at their position.
The Blues will also be selecting in the 3rd round (88th) overall, the 4th round (120th overall), 5th round (152nd overall), and the 6th round (184th overall). The Blues’ second round selection was included in the deal that brought Pavel Buchnevich to the Blues last off-season.
All of the Blues’ picks are subject to trade, and general manager Doug Armstrong has said that moving down is an option as well if it benefits the franchise.
“There are some guys we’re excited about that we think will be there (for us) at No. 23,” Armstrong said. “If they’re not there, we’ve studied the teams that have multiple picks in the late 20s and early 30s to potentially move back. We’ve contacted those teams, so now it’s just a wait-and-see attitude when you start crossing names off on Thursday night.”
How to watch
The first round of the NHL Draft begins tomorrow night at 6 pm Central on ESPN and will be simulcast on ESPN+ (subscription required).
Day two begins at 10 am Central and if you’re off of work and want to watch, it will air on the NHL Network. If you’re not in reach of your TV, it will also air on ESPN+.