After New York and New Jersey boasted a pair of top-15 selections last year, the 2022 NHL Draft will not offer the same level of success for area players.
Ottawa grabbed Tyler Boucher (Haddonfield, N.J.) with the 10th pick last year, and although he began the season with Boston University, he left the team midseason for the Ottawa 67s of the OHL. Calgary jumped on Matt Coronato (Huntington, N.Y.) 13th, and he validated the Flames’ belief in him with a productive freshman campaign at Harvard University.
One year later, there are no clear first-round draft candidates from the region, but the local class is headed by power winger Devin Kaplan (Bridgewater, N.J.). The Boston University recruit has been a highly regarded prospect since his days with the North Jersey Avalanche organization. At age 15, Kaplan played a year up with the Avalanche 16-U squad in the 2019-20 season before being selected to the U.S. National Team Development Program. With his impressive combination of size, athleticism and skill, Kaplan has the NHL tools to be selected relatively early in Montreal, where the draft is being held live for the first time since 2019.
After Kaplan, the draft crystal ball gets a little cloudier, as there are three Empire State products on Central Scouting’s final rankings in defensemen Zach Bookman (Syracuse, N.Y.) and Seamus Powell (Marcellus, N.Y.), along with Nichols School skilled winger Joey Muldowney (Lake View, N.Y.). Bookman is in his third year of draft eligibility as an ’02 but exploded offensively on the Alberta Junior Hockey League’s championship team, scoring 102 points in 55 games for the Brooks Bandits. Muldowney finished the season in juniors with Des Moines, scoring a nifty goal in his first USHL game.