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) /
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Toronto Maple Leafs
Seamus Casey #3 of United States during the Lausanne 2020 Winter Youth Olympics (Photo by RvS.Media/Monika Majer/Getty Images) /

16th Pick – Edmonton Oilers
Seamus Casey (D)
5’10”, 161 lbs

Seamus Casey is a right shooting defenseman with USNTDP. Brayden Olafson from Dobber Prospects described Casey as, “a bit of a waterbug type of player in terms of his continual off-puck awareness.” Olafson continued, “Casey is a utility defender who is capable of playing with a high level of effectiveness on special teams deployment.

Casey is fluid in terms of his movement and quickly adaptive to changes around him which gives him the ability to hold out for offensive opportunity.”

Casey has explosiveness in his game, which will help him eventually crack the Edmonton Oilers lineup. Though he won’t ever be the biggest player on the ice, he knows how to control a play and frustrate opponents.

17th Pick – Calgary Flames
Liam Öhgren (LW)
6’0″, 190 lbs

It wouldn’t be shocking if Liam Öhgren was gone by the time the Calgary Flames take the podium. With all the talent in this cohort, I believe he will be selected midway through the first round. The Flames taking Öhgren at 17 would be a good match for both parties.

In Öhgren they get a left-winger who tore it up playing junior hockey for Djurgardens Jr in Sweden. If that team sounds familiar, it’s the same squad that LekkerimäkiIn plays for, as well as Boston Bruins fifth round 2021 draft pick, Oskar Jellvik.

Öhgren has had a great season. In just 14 games, he accumulated 24 points with 15 goals and 9 assists. Like LekkerimäkiIn, he earned the opportunity to play for Djurgardens IF in the SHL. Playing with men, Öhgren has recorded a goal and an assist in 21 games.

18th Pick – Anaheim Ducks
Rutger McGroarty (C)
6’1″, 204 lbs

Rutger McGroarty is the third player to be drafted out of the USNTDP. According to the team website, like his teammate Nazar, the 6’1″, 204 lbs center is committed to play for University of Michigan in the NCAA next season. On the USNTDP, he has 4 goals and 3 assists in 11 contests. Playing for the U.S. National U18 Team, he’s scored in bunches. Through 30 games, he recorded 16 goals and 18 assists for 34 total points.

Corey Pronman wrote in The Athletic, “[McGroarty] has a high skill level, can make and finish plays. He can create off the perimeter, while also having a good interior game and showing the ability to use his size to create around the net.”

19th Pick – Los Angeles Kings
Ty Nelson (D)
5’8″, 172 lbs

I have had the opportunity to watch Ty Nelson develop from as far back as his minor hockey days with the Junior Canadiens in the GTHL.

He has always been a standout player, which is why he was the first overall draft pick in the 2020 OHL Priority Selection. Taken by the North Bay Battalion, he has been a big reason why the team has turned its fortunes around.

Nelson is an excellent puck mover and play maker. He isn’t the biggest defenseman in the draft at 5’8″, 172 lbs, and he isn’t the quickest on his feet either. What he does bring is a cannon of a shot from the point and a strong presence on the powerplay. Nelson is still a work in progress and will benefit from further seasoning.

20th Pick – Boston Bruins
Filip Mesar (C/W)
5’10”, 172 lbs

Filip Mesar is a speedy forward, who primarily plays center but also has experience on both wings. According to Nick Richard from Dobber Prospects, Mesar is “a highly skilled, creative winger with a good work rate off the puck. [He] needs to improve his ability to play through traffic but has the potential to grow into a top-six forward in the NHL.”

The Slovakian is leaves it all on the ice every shift and teams will certainly like his motor. Mesar plays like a fourth liner but with top line skill.

If he can continue to do this at the NHL level, he will quickly become a fan favourite in Anaheim.