The expectations of the 2022 NHL Draft are not like most other drafts where there is a bulk of high-quality skaters, mainly forwards and a few marvellous pieces on defence. Yes everyone knows Shane Wright is very likely to be a lock a first overall the Kingston Frontenacs center is expected to have high expectations where he could play in the NHL right away. His hockey sense, skating ability, and agility are another few tiers above past centers in the past couple of years that are above a core player but certainly near franchise skating level. Wright will most certainly make any team that drafts him very blessed to have him on their team with every skill, and natural talent he possesses with a great mindset.
Ivan Miroshnichecnko is a February 2004 birthday so he’ll have almost 2 months behind more to develop with more upside than fellow Russian, Danila Yurov who is a December 2003 birthday who is already 18 years old headed into the 2022 NHL Draft. Why should you consider drafting Miroshnichenko over Yurov?
Ivan Miroshnichenko at age 17 has jumped from the MHL to the VHL proving he’s proven ready for the tier below the KHL. Omsk Krylia the VHL club has seen him play a really strong two-way, very physical game and he’s known to be a sharpshooter that scouts for the NHL draft in the Russia/KHL regions should consider drafting him along with his work ethic.
Yurov on the other hand has struggled at the KHL level this year in over 20 plus games but has been finding a lot of point production with 12 points in 6 games. This leads me to believe Danila will slide more to the Vasili Podkolzin territory in the 11-20 territory of the NHL Draft.
Currently, Miroshnichenko has 11 points (5 goals) in 26 games played. Do not be surprised if he develops nicely in time to get promoted to play in the KHL. Sure some teams might feel like they are taking a bit of risk while he finishes up his time in Russia, but the success of players like Arseni Gritsyuk, and Yegor Chinakov are also products of that Avangard Omsk feeder system. So history is most certainly on Ivan’s side coming from a really good parent club developing an up-and-coming stud to eventually succeed in the NHL.
On defence, it is the battle between David Jiricek of the Czech League against Simon Nemec of the Slovak League. What to like about Nemec’s game is that he’s never stationary, yet very mobile and always looking for the next play ahead of the current play. He knows when to back skate when the puck is turned over and get in position staying on his side of the goalie crease to keep opponents outside on odd-man rushes. When he is on the power play he and his battery mate on the blue line like to swap sides because he’s a right-handed shot.
What makes Simon Nemec very unique is he is energetic and anticipates the game on offence and defence. What he doesn’t like if he can’t shoot on the net is he’ll look for an open teammate swirling around and looking for that open outlet rather swiftly. His passing is clean and crisp even on cross-ice passes. He’s a more productive and efficient points maker than Jiricek at age 17 with 13 points in 22 games played vs. Jiricek’s 9 points in 34 games played at that age at their respective Slovak and Czech top tier levels at age 17.
The two players are very highly sought-after NHL-caliber defensemen the question will be "how much will Jiricek’s knee injury from the recent WJC in Alberta hurt his draft stock, and the rest of his play" we will wait and see. However, Simon Nemec could go on to surpass Jiricek if he goes on to sustain a productive 2022 campaign in Slovakia, while Jiricek is trying to rebound from a knee injury back from the World Juniors.
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