NHL 22 Franchise Mode Draft: Best Prospects and Top Draft Steals 2022 (First Draft)

See which prospects you should be targeting in the first draft of NHL 22’s Franchise Mode.

To achieve sustainability or to even build up to being competitive, you need to utilise the NHL Entry Draft each season in NHL 22’s Franchise Mode. However, even with optimised scouting, it’s always easier to know which talents to target from the outset.

Here, you’ll find the 2022 draftees who have the highest overall ratings three seasons after being picked, as well as all of the best prospects with high potential, uncovering some potential steals in the later rounds.

Shane Wright, Center (90 OVR)

Potential: Elite high
Position (Type): Center (Playmaker)
Selected: 1st Overall, 1st Round

Sporting an Elite high potential, Shane Wright stands as the best prospect in the 2022 NHL Draft on NHL 22, with him proving worthy of the selection in this simulation by hitting a 90 overall rating by 2025/26.

Even at 21-years-old for the Arizona Coyotes, Wright’s one of the league’s best scorers, boasting 92 slap shot accuracy, 94 slap shot power, 95 wrist shot accuracy, and 94 wrist shot power. Much more a Sniper than a Playmaker, the center still has superb 93 passing, as well as 96 stick checking.

Presently, Wright wears the captain’s patch for the Kingston Frontenacs in the OHL as well as for Canada’s under-18s side. In his first season for the Frontenacs, in 2019/20, he scored 66 points in 58 games, and is good for a point-per-game pace in 2021/22, with six points in the first six games of the season.

Brad Lambert, Center (87 OVR)

Potential: Elite med
Position (Type): Center (Playmaker)
Selected: 2nd Overall, 1st Round

With a potential that’s only a nudge less than that of Shane Wright, Brad Lambert’s high selection and quick use allowed him to develop into an 87-overall center by the start of the 2025/26 campaign.

Lambert mostly has 80-ratings across his attributes, until you get to the puck skills section. The 21-year-old boasts the absolute highest possible ratings here, with 99 deking, 99 hand-eye, 99 passing, and 99 puck control.

Playing men’s hockey in the Finnish top division, Liiga, since 2019/20, Lambert is touted as one of the hottest talents coming into the 2022 NHL Entry Draft. With JYP Jyväskylä last season, he netted seven goals and assisted eight more in 46 games.

Nicholas Currie, Center/Left Wing (87 OVR)

Potential: Elite med
Position (Type): C/LW (Two-Way Forward)
Selected: 4th Overall, 1st Round

Coming in as the fourth overall selection of the first draft in Franchise Mode, Nicholas Currie is all about strength and speed, with his utility in the game far surpassing his 87 overall rating by his third season.

The Elite med potential Two-Way Forward’s best ratings are his 94 body checking, 94 aggressiveness, 92 strength, and 95 stick checking. Helping his 200-foot game, particularly if deployed down the left wing, are Currie’s ratings of 90 acceleration, 90 agility, and 90 speed.

Kalle Bergfors, Left Wing (87 OVR)

Potential: Elite med
Position (Type): Left Wing (Grinder)
Selected: 3rd Overall, 1st Round

There aren’t too many elite-tier Grinder skaters in NHL 22, but Kalle Bergfors quickly makes his case as one of the best, developing into his Elite med potential very quickly to hit an 87 overall rating by the age of 21.

For Bergfors, it’s all about what he can do without the puck. His 96 defensive awareness, 95 stick checking, 90 shot blocking, 95 aggressiveness, 98 body checking, and 95 strength make the left winger one of the best defensive skaters in the game.

Matthew Savoie, Center (86 OVR)

Potential: Elite med
Position (Type): Center (Playmaker)
Selected: 5th Overall, 1st Round

While not to the same tier as Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl, in this simulation of Franchise Mode, the Edmonton Oilers added another stud center by drafting Matthew Savoie and his Elite med potential fifth overall.

Much like his team captain, Savoie has deft hands even in the early years of his career. The Playmaker already features 95 deking, 95 hand-eye, 96 passing, and 96 puck control, as well as a very useful 93 stick checking to help retrieve the puck.

After breaking into the Winnipeg Ice lines of the WHL in 2019/20, Savoie found himself in the AJHL and USHL in 2020/21, scoring 38 points in 34 games for the Dubuque Fighting Saints. This season, he’s come roaring back for the Ice, nailing 15 points in the first nine games of the campaign.

Conor Geekie, Center (85 OVR)

Potential: Elite med
Position (Type): Center (Power Forward)
Selected: 7th Overall, 1st Round

Upholding the top end of the class of ’22 in NHL 22, Conor Geekie can reach an 85 overall rating in just three seasons, with the Power Forward on to hit or exceed 90-overall in the coming years.

Geekie stands 196cm and 103kg, putting that frame to full use with his 92 strength, 91 stick checking, 93 slap shot power, and 91 wrist shot power. Other key areas like his 81 shot blocking and 85 body checking need refining, but the right-shot center does tote a remarkable 94 discipline.

The Manitoba-native joins Savoie on the lines of the Winnipeg Ice in the WHL. Having broken out with 23 points in 24 games last season, Geekie is on for a similarly strong showing in 2021/22, with eight points in the first nine games.

Silas Westgarth, Goaltender (72 OVR)

Potential: Elite med
Position (Type): Goaltender (Hybrid)
Selected: 164th Overall, 6th Round

Despite not being taken off of the board until the sixth round in this Franchise Mode playthrough, Silas Westgarth stands as the best goalie prospect to pick in the first draft on NHL 22.

With Elite med potential, Westgarth is also a draft steal, even though it takes a fair few seasons just for him to be ready for your AHL lines. Regardless, by the time he turns 23-years-old, the left-glove netminder should be able to contend for the crease in the NHL – especially if his 88 speed continues to improve.

All of the best 2022 draft picks and steals in NHL 22 Franchise Mode

Below, you’ll find all of the best prospects and steals of the first draft in NHL 22 Franchise Mode, arranged by their overall rating as of the start of the 2025/26 campaign in our simulation.

PlayerPotential2025 OVRPositionTypeDraft Pick
Shane WrightElite high90CPlaymaker1st (1st Round)
Brad LambertElite med87CPlaymaker2nd (1st Round)
Nicholas CurrieElite med87C/LWTwo-Way Forward4th (1st Round)
Kalle BergforsElite med87LWGrinder3rd (1st Round)
Matthew SavoieElite med86CPlaymaker5th (1st Round)
Conor GeekieElite med85CPower Forward7th (1st Round)
Byron CrossElite med85LDDefensive Defenseman17th (1st Round)
Raimo LaakkonenElite low84C/LWPlaymaker30th (1st Round)
David JiricekElite med83RD/LDTwo-Way Defenseman6th (1st Round)
Kim LundqvistTop 6 med82LWTwo-Way Forward9th (1st Round)
Elias SalomonssonElite med81RDTwo-Way Defenseman8th (1st Round)
Nathan GaucherElite med81CPower Forward11th (1st Round)
Aleksander SaprykinTop 4 med80RDDefensive Defenseman16th (1st Round)
Danny ZhilkinTop 6 med80CTwo-Way Forward10th (1st Round)
Jordan DumaisTop 6 med79RWPlaymaker32nd (1st Round)
Johan NordqvistTop 6 med79RDDefensive Defenseman36th (2nd Round)
Will WarrenerTop 6 med79RWPlaymaker28th (1st Round)
Mika PettinenTop 6 med79LWPlaymaker20th (1st Round)
Justin CôtéTop 9 high79CSniper12th (1st Round)
Tucker TynanStarter med78GHybrid136th (5th Round)
Clarence ConnorElite low78LDDefensive Defenseman39th (2nd Round)
Trent KinkaidElite low76LWGrinder223rd (7th Round)
Philip HabscheidStarter med75GHybrid87th (3rd Round)
Lasse LehtivuoriElite low74RW/CTwo-Way Forward42nd (2nd Round)
Silas WestgarthElite med72GHybrid164th (6th Round)
Liam PahlssonElite med72RDOffensive Defenseman73rd (3rd Round)
Tuomo LehtonenElite low69LDDefensive Defenseman45th (2nd Round)
Tommi NiittymakiElite low68LDTwo-Way Defenseman165th (6th Round)
Johan BergqvistElite low68LWPlaymaker112th (4th Round)
Christopher DorsettElite low67CTwo-Way Forward170th (6th Round)

See if the first draft of your NHL 22 Franchise Mode has any of these top prospects and steals available by the time that you make your picks.





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