NHL 22 Player Ratings: Best Young Playmakers

Looking for your franchise’s future Sidney Crosby? This list gives you the best young playmakers to acquire.


A playmaker in hockey, particularly in tight defensive games, is crucial because of their ability to create something out of nothing. For evidence of their importance, you need look no further than some of the wizardry Sidney Crosby has spun during his career.

In building your franchise for sustained success, it is imperative that you find and develop a young playmaker that can anchor your first line.


Choosing NHL 22’s best young playmakers

This page will look at the best up-and-coming playmakers in NHL 22. Each player was chosen based on their potential and age, with overall rating also playing a factor.

Playmakers such as Jack Hughes, Tim Stützle, and Alex Turcotte all make an appearance on this list.

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


Jack Hughes 84 OVR (Potential: Elite High)

Team: New Jersey Devils
Age: 20
Position: Center
Type: Playmaker
Shoots: Left
Contract: $0.925M, 1 Years Left, Two-Way
Best Attributes: 93 Deking, 92 Acceleration, 92 Agility

Jack Hughes is no surprise atop this last as the first overall pick in the 2019 draft. He has a solid build, accentuating the skills that maximise his playmaker player type.

His puck skills are high with deking 93, puck control 89, and hand-eye and passing 88. His offensive awareness is 89 with good discipline at 85 and poise at 80 that should improve. His shot is also good, with 88 in both accuracies and 87 in both power categories.


He is fast, with a speed of 90 to go along with 92 in acceleration and agility. A solid durability and endurance rating of 85 means that he will be on the ice for longer periods looking to create for your offence.

In 56 games with New Jersey during the 2020-21 season, Hughes had 20 assists and 11 goals with one power play goal and one game winner. He has a faceoff win percentage of 35.7 through two seasons in New Jersey.

Alexis Lafrenière 82 OVR (Potential: Elite High)

Team: New York Rangers
Age: 19
Position: Left Wing
Type: Playmaker
Shoots: Left
Contract: $0.925M, 1 Years Left, Two-Way
Best Attributes: 88 Deking, 87 Hand-Eye, 87 Speed

Another first overall pick (2020), Alexis Lafrenière might be rated slightly lower than Hughes, but he is also one year younger.

While none of ratings reach 90, most are not too far off, in the mid-to-upper 80s. His deking is 88, and he has a slew of 87s including hand-eye, offensive awareness, speed, slap/wrist shot power, and both shot accuracy ratings. His durability, endurance, and balance are all 85.

With the Rangers during the 2020-21 season – his first in the NHL – Lafrenière had 12 goals and nine assists in 56 games. Four of the 12 goals were game-winners. The year prior as captain of Rimouski Océanic, he managed 77 assists and 35 goals in 52 games. He also recorded 50 penalty minutes.

Tim Stützle 84 OVR (Potential: Elite Med)

Team: Ottawa Senators
Age: 19
Position: Center/Left Wing
Type: Playmaker
Shoots: Left
Contract: $1.060M, 2 Years Left, One-Way
Best Attributes: 90 Deking, 90 Agility, 90 Speed

The third overall pick in 2020, Tim Stützle brings positional versatility along with his young age and high potential.

He has four ratings of 90: deking, acceleration, agility, and speed, and is a fast player who can deke himself open. The 19-year-old German also has good passing and puck control that pair well with his offensive awareness, all 88. Should he need to shoot, he has 88 in wrist shot accuracy and 87 in the other three categories.

In 53 games with Ottawa during the 2020-21 season, he had 17 assists and 12 goals, with four goals on the power play and two game-winners. With Adler Mannheim in 2019-20, Stützle had 27 assists and seven goals in 41 games.

Trevor Zegras 82 OVR (Potential: Elite Med)

Team: Anaheim Ducks
Age: 20
Position: Center/Left Wing
Type: Playmaker
Shoots: Left
Contract: $0.925M, 2 Years Left, Two-Way
Best Attributes: 89 Deking, 88 Puck Control, 88 Acceleration

The ninth overall pick from the 2019 draft, Trevor Zegras also brings positional versatility and an all-around build.

He is great with the puck, boasting an 89 in deking, 88 in passing and puck control, and 85 in hand-eye, adding 88 in offensive awareness – key for any playmaker. He is also a good skater with 88 across the three speed categories and 83 in balance. The 20-year-old has good durability (85) and endurance (83), and paired with his strength (83), he should avoid injury and stay on the ice for extended periods.

In his first action with Anaheim during the 2020-21 season, Zegras had ten assists and three goals in 24 games, though he had no power play goals or assists nor any game-winners. In 17 games with the San Diego Gulls, he had 11 assists and ten goals.

Alex Newhook 79 OVR (Potential: Elite Med)

Team: Colorado Avalanche
Age: 20
Position: Center
Type: Playmaker
Shoots: Left
Contract: $0.910M, 3 Years Left, Two-Way
Best Attributes: 90 Acceleration, 90 Agility, 90 Speed

Alex Newhook makes an appearance on this list with a 79 overall rating, and hopefully positive things are in store after his brief six-game stint with the Avalanche during the 2020-21 season.

He is another fast player with 90 across the three speed categories. He has 88 in deking, 86 in passing and puck control, and 85 in hand-eye and offensive awareness. With his speed and puck skills, he is already an adept playmaker who should become even better.

His physical and defensive skills could improve. While durability (85), endurance (83), and strength (82) are fine, his aggressiveness and body checking are both 77, with defensive awareness at 79, shot blocking at 75, and a decent 81 in stick checking.

After his time with Boston College was complete, the Canadian spent eight games with the Colorado Eagles in 2020-21, recording five goals and nine assists. He recorded three assists in his six games with Colorado. In eight playoff games, he netted one goal and one assist.

Alex Turcotte 77 OVR (Potential: Elite Med)

Team: Los Angeles Kings
Age: 20
Position: Center
Type: Playmaker
Shoots: Left
Contract: $0.895M, 3 Years Left, Two-Way
Best Attributes: 88 Agility, 87 Speed, 86 Wrist Shot Power

The fifth overall pick in 2019, Alex Turcotte is a capable playmaker with certain areas where improvement is needed.

He is fast, with 88 in agility and 87 in speed and acceleration. He packs a solid shot with 86 in wrist shot power and 85 in slap shot power. Turcotte’s passing and puck control are 85, but deking is only 82 and hand-eye 81. For a playmaker, improving the latter two are imperative.

His physical and defensive skills also need improvement. While his durability and strength are reasonable at 80, his aggressiveness of 77 and endurance and body checking of 75 both need some work. His stick checking of 86 is great, but his defensive awareness is 79 and shot blocking just 77.

In 32 games with the Ontario Reign during the 2020-21 season, Turcotte recorded 15 assists and six goals. Wearing the “A” for the USA U20 team, he had five assists and three goals in seven games.

Cole Perfetti 74 OVR (Potential: Elite Med)

Team: Winnipeg Jets
Age: 19
Position: Center
Type: Playmaker
Shoots: Left
Contract: $0.895M, 3 Years Left, Two-Way
Best Attributes: 87 Discipline, 85 Off. Awareness, 85 Agility

Another 2020 first-rounder (10), Cole Perfetti may prove to be the biggest steal for your franchise – should you spend the adequate time on his development.

Perfetti is the slowest feature player on this list, but not by much with agility at 85 and speed and acceleration at 84. His high discipline (87) and offensive awareness (85) should help to mitigate any disadvantages from his speed. He also has decent puck skills with 84 in passing and 82 in puck control, but his 80 in deking and hand-eye need improvement.

The physical skills of the centerman are also lacking. His durability (85) is good, but 70 in endurance means he will fatigue quickly. On top of that, his strength of 77 needs to improve so that his durability rating is not tested as much. His aggressiveness (74) and body checking (71) are also low.

In 32 games with the Manitoba Moose during the 2020-21 season, Perfetti recorded 17 assists and nine goals. During the season prior with the Saginaw Spirit, he recorded 74 assists and 37 goals over 61 games, totaling 111 points.

All the best young playmakers in NHL 22

The below list includes all of the best young playmakers in NHL 22.

NamePotentialOverallAgePositionContractTeam
Jack HughesElite High8420Center$0.925M, 1 Years Left, Two-WayNew Jersey Devils
Alexis LafrenièreElite High8219Left Wing$0.925M, 1 Years Left, Two-WayNew York Rangers
Tim StützleElite Med8419Center/Left Wing$1.060M, 2 Years Left, One-WayOttawa Senators
Trevor ZegrasElite Med8220Center/Left Wing$0.925M, 2 Years Left, Two-WayAnaheim Ducks
Alex NewhookElite Med7920Center$0.910M, 3 Years Left, Two-WayColorado Avalanche
Alex TurcotteElite Med7720Center$0.895M, 3 Years Left, Two-WayLos Angeles Kings
Cole PerfettiElite Med7419Center$0.895M, 3 Years Left, Two-WayWinnipeg Jets
Philip TomasinoElite Med7020Right Wing/Center$0.865M, 3 Years Left, Two-WayNashville Predators
Kirby DachTop 6 F High8320Center/Right Wing$0.925M, 1 Years Left, Two-WayChicago Blackhawks
Peyton KrebsTop 6 F Med7520Center/Left Wing$0.780M, 3 Years Left, Two-WayVegas Golden Knights
Cole SillingerTop 6 F Med6818Center$0.925M, 3 Years Left, Two-WayColumbus Blue Jackets
Isak RosénTop 6 F Med6818Left Wing/Right Wing$0.750M, 0 Years Left, Two-WayBuffalo Sabres
Xavier BourgaultTop 6 F Med6418Center$0.750M, 0 Years Left, Two-WayEdmonton Oilers
Zach DeanTop 6 F Med6418Center$0.750M, 0 Years Left, Two-WayVegas Golden Knights
Wyatt JohnstonTop 6 F Med6018Center$0.750M, 0 Years Left, Two-WayDallas Stars

Which young playmaker will you acquire to set your franchise for the future?


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