NHL 21 Draft: Best Prospects and Top Draft Steals 2022

Keep your eye out for these top prospects and draft steals from the 2022 Entry Draft on Franchise Mode.

With each new season comes another chance to draft top-class prospects and hidden gems in Franchise Mode.

The second draft on NHL 21 is the 2022 Entry Draft, which is loaded with Elite-potential players in the first round, as well as a fair few possible draft steals to target in the later rounds.

On this page, you’ll find all of the prospects who developed into the highest overall ratings a few seasons after the 2022 Draft, as well as those with the best potential ratings.

Finding the best NHL 2022 Draft picks and steals

The overall and potential ratings of the prospects featured on this page are drawn from a simulation of Franchise Mode up to the start of the 2025/26 season, using the October 16 Online Roster.

As each team will use their 2022 draft picks differently, each simulation will vary, so the overall ratings shown here may differ depending on your simulation’s use of the top prospects.

Being based on the Day One NHL 21 roster update, some of the top draft steals shown here may be generated players. In previous editions of the game series, the same or similar players can usually be found in each simulation by scouting the same region, sometimes under a different name.

Here, you’ll find the highest-rated and highest potential 2022 draft prospects, including their nationalities and draft position in this simulation – to help you grab some of the best 2022 draft steals in NHL 21.

At the foot of the table, you can find all of the best 2022 draft prospects to pick.

Tyrone Foligno, Left Wing (90 OVR)

Overall Rating: 90
Potential: Elite med
Position: Left Wing
Player Type: Sniper
Nationality: American
Drafted: 1st Round, 1st Overall

Tyrone Foligno enters the 2022 Draft of Franchise Mode as one of several top prospects, but what made the American left wing standout was his absurd 84 overall rating.

Immediately NHL-ready, even set for a top-six role as a teenager, Foligno gets better with each passing season, climbing to a 90 OVR within a few seasons.

By this point, the sniper is almost unstoppable in front of the goal, with a 93 slap shot accuracy, 94 slap shot power, 93 wrist shot accuracy, 94 wrist shot power, and 96 offensive awareness.

Jesper Engqvist, Left Wing (90 OVR)

Overall Rating: 90
Potential: Elite med
Position: Left Wing
Player Type: Sniper
Nationality: Swedish
Drafted: 1st Round, 3rd Overall

Slipping down the order due to his 77 overall rating, as opposed to the 84 OVR of Foligno, Jesper Engqvist developed into a top-class sniper himself.

One of the best prospects of the 2022 Draft, the Swede grew into his Elite med potential very quickly, reaching a 90 overall rating in just a few seasons.

Still only 21-years-old, Engqvist rocks 98 offensive awareness, 92 slap shot accuracy, 95 slap shot power, 92 wrist shot accuracy, 95 wrist shot power, and 94 defensive awareness.

Jorgen Timander, Right Wing (89 OVR)

Overall Rating: 89
Potential: Elite med/high
Position: Right Wing
Player Type: Sniper
Nationality: Swedish
Drafted: 1st Round, 11th Overall

Amidst the stack of highly-rated, high potential forwards that entered the 2022 NHL Draft in Franchise Mode, Jorgen Timander fell to the 11th overall pick.

In this simulation on NHL 21, the Swedish sniper managed to shed his Elite med potential to earn an Elite high potential. So, if used enough on a strong team, it’s been shown that Timander can become the best 2022 prospect to pick.

By the start of the 2025/26 season, Timander has an 89 overall rating, plenty of space to develop further, and already boasts high ratings of 91 deking, 95 offensive awareness, 94 wrist shot accuracy, and 94 slap shot accuracy.

Brad Lambert, Center (88 OVR)

Overall Rating: 88
Potential: Elite med
Position: Center
Player Type: Playmaker
Nationality: Finnish
Drafted: 1st Round, 4th Overall

Son of former British-Canadian forward Ross Lambert, who spent five seasons in the BHL to score 387 points, and nephew to former Red Wings, Rangers, and Nordiques forward Lane Lambert, Brad Lambert is poised to become one of the top prospects of the 2022 Draft.

Still only 16-years-old, the Finnish center featured in four Liiga games for HIFK last season, scoring two assists. This season, he’s playing in Liiga for JYP Jyväskylä, landing an assist in his first six matches for the top-flight club.

In NHL 21’s Franchise Mode, Lambert comes in as one of the top 2022 draft picks, boasting Elite med potential and a 76 overall rating at the time of the pick.

Just a few seasons after being drafted by the Detroit Red Wings in this simulation, the playmaker developed into a world-class center and one of the most user-friendly skaters in the entire game.

By the age of 21, the Finn’s best ratings are his 95 deking, 95 hand-eye, 95 passing, 95 puck control, 98 acceleration, 98 agility, and 98 speed. The only problem after drafting Lambert is finding skaters who can keep up with the rapid right-shot forward.

Matthew Savoie, Center (87 OVR)

Overall Rating: 87
Potential: Elite med
Position: Center
Player Type: Playmaker
Nationality: Canadian
Drafted: 1st Round, 7th Overall

Having worked his way up the ranks of the Northern Alberta youth system, Matthew Savoie’s 22 games and 52 points in the Rink Hockey Academy Prep program was enough to land a move to Winnipeg Ice in the WHL.

Last season, Savoie put up seven points in 22 games in the WHL, which also earned him a place on the Canada White U17 team.

The Canadian playmaker is among the top prospects of the 2022 Draft in Franchise Mode, coming in with a 76 overall rating and an Elite med potential rating at the time of the draft.

A few seasons down the line, with plenty of ice time given to him, Savoie quickly grows into an 87 overall rating, propped up by his 93 deking, 93 puck control, 99 durability, 90 acceleration, 90 agility, and 90 speed.

All of the best 2022 draft picks and steals in NHL 21 Franchise Mode

Including the prospects with the highest overall ratings listed above, the following table contains all of the best 2022 draft steals and picks, including those with the best potential ratings.

NamePotential25/26 OverallPosition2022 Draft PickNationality
Tyrone FolignoElite med90Left Wing1st round, 1st overallAmerican
Jesper EngqvistElite med90Left Wing1st round, 3rd overallSwedish
Jorgen TimanderElite med/high89Right Wing1st round, 11th overallSwedish
Brad LambertElite med88Center1st round, 4th overallFinnish
Matthew SavoieElite med87Center1st round, 7th overallCanadian
Chris MacArthurElite med86Center1st round, 2nd overallSwiss
Lewis StaplesTop 6 Forward high85Left Wing1st round, 5th overallAmerican
Shane WrightElite med85Center1st round, 6th overallCanadian
Lubomir RadivojevicTop 4 Defenseman med84Left Defenseman1st round, 10th overallSlovakian
Amir MayElite med82Right Defenseman1st round, 8th overallAmerican
Russell MacaulayTop 6 Forward med81Left Wing1st round, 13th overallAmerican
Abraham ScarabelliTop 6 Forward med80Center1st round, 12th overallCanadian
Nathan GaucherTop 6 Forward med79Center1st round, 9th overallCanadian
Guillermo TrevelyanTop 4 Defenseman med79Right Defenseman1st round, 16th overallAmerican
Calle HedinTop 6 Forward med79Center1st round, 18th overallSwedish
Stefan AkerlundTop 6 Forward med79Center1st round, 20th overallSwedish
Johnny CuffTop 6 Forward med79Right Wing1st round, 22nd overallAmerican
Landon McCallumTop 6 Forward med78Center1st round, 21st overallCanadian
Roy AckerTop 4 Defenseman low77Left Defenseman7th round, 199th overallNorwegian
Calle PrestbergTop 6 Forward med77Right Wing1st round, 24th overallSwedish
Sergej MalkinTop 6 Forward med77Center4th round, 100th overallRussian
Jani SalminenElite med77Goaltender2nd round, 43rd overallFinnish
Radek SiklenkaStarter med76Goaltender3rd round, 66th overallCzech
Silas MitchellTop 6 Forward med76Right Wing1st round, 14th overallSwiss
Hannu HirvonenTop 6 Forward med76Right Wing1st round, 15th overallFinnish
Wilson BrunetteTop 6 Defenseman high75Left Defenseman1st round, 17th overallAmerican
Braxton DietzElite med72Center3rd round, 80th overallAmerican

Most of the top prospects of the 2022 Draft that develop high overall ratings quickly get picked in the first round, but there are still a few draft steals to select in the later rounds.

Want to learn more about playing NHL 21?

NHL 21: Complete Controls Guide (Goalie, Faceoffs, Offense, and Defense) for PS4 and Xbox One

NHL 21: Complete Deke Guide, Tutorial, and Tips

NHL 21: Best and Worst Teams to Use and Rebuild

NHL 21: How to Fight and Win

NHL 21 Ratings: Best Enforcers

NHL 21 Franchise Mode: Best Young Players

NHL 21: All Team Ratings

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Will give almost any game a chance, particularly those that include wildlife, monsters, or prehistoric creatures of any kind.

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