Mock NHL Entry Draft 2022: Toronto Maple Leafs Can Pick a Beauty

Shane Wright #51 of the Kingston Frontenacs (Photo by Chris Tanouye/Getty Images)
Shane Wright #51 of the Kingston Frontenacs (Photo by Chris Tanouye/Getty Images) /
3 of 8
Toronto Maple Leafs
Juraj Slafkovsky #18 of Slovakia during the 2021 IIHF World Junior Championship 2020 (Photo by Codie McLachlan/Getty Images) /

6th Pick – Buffalo Sabres
Juraj Slafkovsky (LW)
6’4″, 218 lbs

There are many who believe that Juraj Slafkovsky can easily be a top-five pick in the upcoming draft. You can’t miss Slafkovsky at 6’4″, 218 lbs.

He may not have the same impressive hands or scoring touch as the previous five picks, but this Slovak makes up for it with his raw power. Along with his grit, Slafkovsky is a well rounded player. It’s why NHL Central Scouting has him ranked second of all European skaters.

7th Pick – Philadelphia Flyers
Ivan Miroshnichenko (LW)
6’1″, 185 lbs

Ivan Miroshnichenko, a left-winger with Omskie Krylia, the second highest level of hockey in Russia, is a well-rounded player with an impressive shot.

Scott Wheeler from The Athletic explained why Miroshnichenko should be able to work his way into being a top-ten selection. “A fair share of scouts believe Miroshnichenko to be the second- or third-best prospect in this draft class. Some of that, I think, is driven a little too much by his sterling international resume at the Youth Olympic Games…”

8th Pick – New York Islanders
Danila Yurov (RW)
6’1″, 179 lbs

This is about as far as I believe Danila Yurov will fall in the draft. Last season, while playing for Stalnye Lisy Magnitogorsk in the MHL, the 6’1″, 179 lbs Russian, impressed with 13 goals and 12 assists in just 23 games. It was enough to earn him a promotion to the organization’s KHL club, Metallurg.

Yurov had the same opportunity thrust upon him this season. After playing six MHL games, and tallying three goals and nine assists, Yurov once again was given the nod to join Metallurg. He lasted 21 games before being returned to Stalnye Lisy. Yurov picked up where he left off. He has added two goals and five assists to his total points in the nine games he’s played since his return.

9th Pick – Columbus Blue Jackets
David Jiricek (D)
6’3″, 190 lbs

David Jiricek is the first defenseman to come off the board in this mock draft. He is the fourth ranked European skater by Central Scouting, playing for Plzen HC in the Czech Republic. Not only has he proven that he is responsible in his own end, but he also has a big an offensive upside. As a right shot defender, he will be a valuable asset to his NHL club.

Samuel Tirpak of Dobber Prospects described, “Jiricek is an offensive defenseman who excels as a powerplay quarterback with one of the hardest and deadliest shots in the draft. His offensive skills are great, having a very good understanding of the offensive zone and where to be in order to get an offensive opportunity started or to finish off an opportunity himself if he sees fit.”

10th Pick – Columbus Blue Jackets
Simon Nemec (D)
6’1″, 192 lbs

Like Jiricek, Simon Nemec is a right shot defenseman playing in Europe. I expect Nemec to round out the top ten thanks to his keen offensive prowess.

Playing with HK Nitra in the Slovakian Extraliga, Nemec is already facing men as his competition and he’s excelled. He’s been a player who can help create scoring opportunities for his club and has become somewhat of an assists machine. In his last ten games alone, he has nine assists for Nitra with a goal and 22 apples overall in 32 games.