The 2022 NHL draft class in New England runs deep, but there isn’t a Matty Beniers (Hingham, Mass.), Matt Boldy (Millis, Mass.), Spencer Knight (Darien, Conn.) or Oliver Wahlstrom (Yarmouth, Maine) projected to go in the top half of the first round.
The top New England prospect for the 2022 NHL draft is Northeastern freshman Jack Hughes, the son of Kent Hughes, recently named general manager of the Montreal Canadiens. Hughes, from Westwood, Mass., often is referred to as the “other Jack Hughes,” in reference to the 2001 birth-year forward selected first overall by the New Jersey Devils in 2019. The Huskies’ Hughes is a skilled, smart center who can make plays and finish.
In these rankings, you’ll see that I prioritize players who have moved on to the USHL. While prep school hockey is a terrific route for the vast majority of players, I value prospects with a desire to challenge themselves at the highest level. There are still some very talented players in the prep school circuit, and a handful of them will hear their names called this July. Obviously, more than a few of the players in these rankings won’t be drafted. However, each player to make this list, even at the bottom, has at least one skill-set worth monitoring.