Here’s what we do know today.
Of the 225 players chosen, 87 were from Canada (38.7 per cent) and 50 from the United States (22.2 per cent). The remaining 88 were from Europe (39.1 per cent), which represents a slight dip from last year when 88 of 223 were European (39.5 per cent). Sweden and Russia led the way with 25 selections each. Finland had 14, Czechia seven, and Slovakia six. Other selections came from Latvia and Germany (three), Austria and Switzerland (two), and Belarus (one).
Not only did Slovakia go 1-2 to start the draft, it had three in the first round, and its total of six is the most since 2005 (seven). Only twice before has Latvia had as many as three choices (2002, 2015). Some 20 of the 25 Russians play at home while five are in Canadian junior.
A most unusual rule came into play in the second round of the draft. There is a little-used contingency which states that if a team does not sign its 1st-round draft choice within two years, it gets a compensatory pick. This is always in the second round, and always in the selection spot from the drafted player.
The Minnesota Wild failed to sign 2018 selection Filip Johansson, whom they selected 24th overall, so the Wild received the 24th selection of the 2nd round this year, using it to take Rieger Lorenz of the Alberta junior league.
Special names and fun facts from the draft
Taken 44th by Columbus was Luca Del Bel Belluz, a poetic name attached to a Woodbridge, Ontario, native from just north of Toronto. He currently has 258 followers on Twitter, but that number is likely to go up significantly.
Mattias Havelid was drafted 45th by San Jose. He is the son of Niclas Havelid, who won gold with Tre Kronor at the 2006 Olympics as well as WM gold and silver.
Jack Hughes, selected 51st overall by L.A., has the same name as another Jack Hughes who is part of the NHL/Hughes clan that includes Quinn and Luke.
With the 80th selection, the Vancouver Canucks chose Elias Pettersson. This will cause no shortage of headaches all around as the Canucks already have an Elias Pettersson, who won the Calder Trophy in 2019.
Detroit, in 113th, selected Amadeus Lombardi, who could become the first player with that Mozartian first name to ever skate in the NHL.
Cruz Lucius was chosen 124th overall by Carolina. His older brother Chaz recently signed with the Winnipeg Jets. A member of the USNTDP, his is considered one of the best names of this draft.
Surely there is no odder first name than Detroit’s 137th selection—Tnias Mathurin. His name is “saint” spelled backwards, and only Mr. & Mrs. Maturin of Ajax, Ontario, can explain why they liked this noun and why they chose to reverse it for their son’s name.
With the 150th selection, Pittsburgh chose Zam Plante. The son of Derek Plante, a Stanley Cup winner with Dallas in 1999, Zam boasts another most unusual first name. Zam was born in Germany, lived also in Japan and Switzerland, and settled with his family outside Duluth, Minnesota. And the name? “They just wanted something different," Zam said of his parents’ decision at his entry into the world. "It didn't come from Zamboni, like everybody thinks."
In the 161st slot comes the New York Rangers’ selection Maxim Barbashev, whose much older brothers are Ivan and Sergei, also fine hockey players who both appeared at the U18 and U20 several years ago.
Continuing on, the Rangers also selected Zakary Karpa 191st. Zakary has a twin brother, Jakob, who was not drafted, but their father is David, who had a lengthy NHL career with four teams over a decade.
And the final selection of 2022 belonged to Cup champions Colorado, and they selected Ivan Zhigalov, a Belarusian goaltender who plays for Sherbrooke in the QMJHL.