The 2022 NHL Draft Lottery has commenced and the Vegas Golden Knights will now officially send the 16th overall pick to the Buffalo Sabres. This pick was conditionally traded to the Sabres in the Jack Eichel trade.
The Golden Knights had a slim chance of keeping their first-round pick. Had they won a top-10 pick, the VGK would have kept their 2022 first-round pick and sent their 2023 first to the Sabres instead.
With the Draft Lottery over, we now know the order of picks for non-playoff teams in the NHL. The rest of the picks will be decided by the order of elimination of playoff teams.
Shane Wright is the consensus no. 1 overall pick and the Montreal Canadiens will likely select him first overall. Here is his full mock draft on the first round and picks 1-32 from Montreal Hockey Now.
The first pick in the draft for the Golden Knights will be no. 48th overall in the second round. They then have the Rangers’ third-round pick (Ryan Reaves trade), their own fifth-round pick, the Blackhawks’ fifth-round pick (Mattias Janmark trade), and their own sixth and seventh-round picks.
The Golden Knights traded away their first-round pick in the Eichel trade, their third-round pick in the Janmark trade, and their fourth-round pick in the 2020 draft to trade up and select Jesper Vikman.
If there is one thing the Golden Knights need to improve on its young players. Henderson Silver Knights call-ups such as Jake Leschyshyn, Jonas Rondbjerg, and Daniil Miromanov were over-relied on in 2021-22 due to injuries. On top of this, the Golden Knights prospect pool is thin, with Brendan Brisson as one of the only highlights.
Kelly McCrimmon, and before him George McPhee have traded away youngsters Cody Glass, Nick Suzuki, Peyton Krebs, and Erik Brannstrom in efforts to bring in star players like Eichel, Mark Stone, and Max Pacioretty. Now they need to do the opposite and inject youth into the Golden Knights via the draft.
The first round of the 2022 NHL Draft will be on July 7th with rounds 2-7 following on the 8th. Here is a full breakdown of the Golden Knight’s offseason schedule.