NHL 22 Franchise Mode: Best Young Players

Looking to make your franchise younger in NHL22? We have found the best young players in NHL 22 Franchise Mode.


Teams in the NHL, like other team sports, go through waves of contending and rebuilding – some more successfully than others. The best way to challenge for the Stanley Cup year after year is to acquire great young talent.

You may have an ageing veteran whose contract demands you are not willing to meet. Perhaps you have a star about to hit free agency and are concerned about his salary. Maybe you are looking for a current backup goalie – and possibly a franchise goalie – and can acquire one fairly cheaply.


Here, you will find the best young players in NHL 22, including goalies. 

At the bottom of the page, you will find a list of the best young players in NHL 22.

Choosing the best young players for Franchise Mode in NHL 22

There were two important factors in choosing who appears on this list: age and overall rating. The potential rating was also considered; this includes goalies.


Forwards and defensemen were searched who were 22-years-old and younger, and a minimum of 80 overall.

Elias Pettersson – Vancouver Canucks (88 OVR)

Potential: Elite High
Position: Center/Left Wing
Type: Two-Way Forward
Drafted: 2017 1st Round (5)
Nationality: Swedish
Best Attributes: 93 Off. Awareness, 92 Deking, 92 Puck Control

Elias Pettersson takes the top spot on this list thanks to his overall rating – tied for first – and his elite potential. He is the premier player to target in NHL 22. 


No matter where you look, Pettersson is already a stellar player. His offensive skills are elite, with 92s across the board in puck skills and 90 or 91 in his shooting skills. He is no slouch on defense, either, as his awareness and stick checking are an 88 to go with a shot blocking stat of 81. 

His physical and skating ratings – aside from fighting skill – are all in the 80s with his agility hitting 90. He can do a bit of everything for you on the ice.

Across 26 games last year, Pettersson had 11 assists and ten goals. The previous season, he had 39 assists and 27 goals in 68 games. In three seasons with Vancouver, Pettersson has accumulated 88 assists and 65 goals over 165 games.

Cale Makar – Colorado Avalanche (88 OVR)

Potential: Elite Med
Position: Right Defense
Type: Offensive Defenseman
Drafted: 2017 1st Round (4)
Nationality: Canadian
Best Attributes: 94 Agility, 93 Passing, 93 Offensive Awareness

Cale Makar just missed the top spot because his grade in potential is slightly lower than Pettersson. Still, that does not mean he is a slouch on the ice.

Makar shines in the skating department with a 94 in agility, 93 in acceleration and speed, and 90 in endurance (balance is an 85). He also has fantastic puck skills with a 93 in deking, passing, and puck control with hand-eye at 86.

He is strong on defense too with stick checking at 92, awareness at 90, and shot blocking at 85. On the other end, his shot power and accuracies range from 86-89. Overall, he is a solid player.

Last season over 44 games with Colorado, Makar had 36 assists and eight goals. The previous season, he had 38 assists and 12 goals in 57 games. 

Andrei Svechnikov – Carolina Hurricanes (87 OVR)

Potential: Elite Med
Position: Right Wing/Left Wing
Type: Sniper
Drafted: 2018 1st Round (2)
Nationality: Russian
Best Attributes: 93 Slap Shot Power, 92 Wrist Shot Power, 91 Hand-Eye

Andrei Svechnikov has lived up to his second overall draft position from 2018, having been a boon for Carolina during his three seasons.

There are very few areas in which he lacks. His shooting ratings are all over 90. His puck skills are 89 (deking), 90 (passing), and 91 (hand-eye and puck control). His skating ratings are 85 (endurance), 88 (agility, balance, and speed), and 89 (acceleration). 

He shines in shooting the puck. He has a 93 in slap shot power, 92 in wrist shot power, and 91 for both accuracies. He wears the sniper designation well.

Last year with Carolina, Svechnikov accumulated 27 assists and 15 goals over 55 games, and had 37 assists and 24 goals the previous season over 68 games. In three seasons, he has 71 assists and 59 goals. 

Miro Heiskanen – Dallas Stars (86 OVR)

Potential: Elite Med
Position: Left Defense/Right Defense
Type: Two-Way Defender
Drafted: 2017 1st Round (3)
Nationality: Finn
Best Attributes: 93 Endurance, 90 Def. Awareness, 90 Durability

Another from the 2017 draft class, Miro Heiskanen makes this list as a promising two-way defender who can play both left and right defense positions.

Heiskanen has high endurance at 93, meaning he will fatigue slowly. He also has a 90 in durability, so not only will he stay on the ice longer, but he is more likely to avoid injury. Heiskanen also has good physical and skating skills to boot.

On top of that, he is a good defender with 90 in awareness and shot blocking and 89 in stick checking. His shot power and accuracies are 85 or 87, and he has good puck skills and senses. He is another all-around solid player.

Last season, Heiskanen had 19 assists and eight goals across 55 games. The previous season, he had 27 assists and eight goals. In three seasons with Dallas, Heiskanen has 67 assists and 28 goals.

Quinn Hughes – Vancouver Canucks (86 OVR)

Potential: Elite Med
Position: Left Defense
Type: Offensive Defenseman
Drafted: 2018 1st Round (7)
Nationality: United States
Best Attributes: 93 Puck Control, 93 Off. Awareness, 93 Speed

The young Canuck Quinn Hughes could end up being one of the better defensemen in the game over the next decade. 

He has elite puck and skating skills. He has a 93 in deking, passing puck control, offensive awareness, acceleration, agility, and speed. His endurance (87) and durability (85) are high, so he will be on the ice for longer periods to wreak havoc on the opposing team.

He is stellar on defense as well, with a 91 in stick checking, 87 in awareness, and 85 in shot blocking. He can also pack a punch on offense with slap shot power at 88 and wrist shot power at 86. His combination of speed and puck skills might make him an ideal left defenseman. 

Last season, Hughes played 56 games, amassing 38 assists and three goals. The previous season, he had 45 assists and eight goals, bringing his two season total to 93 assists and 11 goals.

Rasmus Dahlin – Buffalo Sabres (85 OVR)

Potential: Elite Med
Position: Left Defense
Type: Two-Way Defender
Drafted: 2018 1st Round (1)
Nationality: Swedish
Best Attributes: 89 Passing, 89 Stick Checking, 89 Slap Shot Power

The top overall draft pick in the 2018 draft, Dahlin finds himself on another list of best young players in NHL 22. Regardless of where you look, Dahlin is a solid player.

He has an 89 in passing, stick checking, and slap shot power; an 88 in puck control, defensive awareness, shot blocking, offensive awareness, endurance, and wrist shot power; and 87 in acceleration, agility, balance, speed, and strength.

Last season in his third year with Buffalo, Dahlin had 18 assists and five goals in 56 games for 23 points, a little less than a point every two games. For his career, he has 89 assists, 18 goals, and 107 points.

Nick Suzuki – Montreal Canadiens (85 OVR)

Potential: Elite Med
Position: Center/Right Wing
Type: Playmaker 
Drafted: 2017 1st Round (13)
Nationality: Canadian
Best Attributes: 91 Puck Control, 91 Acceleration, 91 Agility

Nick Suzuku is another from the 2017 draft class, though not drafted as highly as the others on this list. Still, the Canadian center and right winger is a formidable player.

He has great puck skills with a 91 in puck control and 90 in deking and passing. He has great skating skills with 91s in acceleration and agility, and a 90 in speed. He can shoot for power and with accuracy as his slap shot accuracy/power and wrist shot power are 87 with wrist shot accuracy an 88.

He could improve a bit on defense, particularly with his 75 in shot blocking. He does possess an 86 in stick checking and 87 in awareness, so all is not lost on the defensive end.

Last season, Suzuki had 26 assists and 15 goals over 56 games. The previous season, he had 28 assists and 13 goals over 71 games. Over two seasons, he has 54 assists and 28 goals. 

The best young players for Franchise Mode in NHL 22

Below, we’ve listed all of the best young players for Franchise Mode in NHL 22.

NameOverallPotentialAgeTypeTeam
Elias Pettersson88Elite High22Two-Way ForwardVancouver Canucks
Andrei Scechnikov87Elite Med21SniperCarolina Hurricanes
Nick Suzuki85Elite Med22PlaymakerMontreal Canadiens
Brady Tkachuk85Elite Med22Power ForwardOttawa Senators
Martin Necas85Elite Med22PlaymakerCarolina Hurricanes
Nico Hischier85Elite Med22Two-Way ForwardNew Jersey Devils
Cale Makar88Elite Med22Offensive DefensemanColorado Avalanche
Miro Heiskanen86Elite Med22Two-Way DefenderDallas Stars
Quinn Hughes86Elite Med21Offensive DefensemanVancouver Canucks
Rasmus Dahlin85Elite Med21Two-Way DefenderBuffalo Sabres
Ty Smith84Top 4 D Med21Two-Way DefenderNew Jersey Devils
Spencer Knight82Elite Med20HybridFlorida Panthers
Jeremy Swayman81Starter Med22HybridBoston Bruins
Jake Oettinger82Fringe Starter Med22HybridDallas Stars

Who will you acquire to not only make your team younger, but set for long-term success?


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