Shane Wright No. 1? How first round could play out

While this year’s draft season doesn’t offer the marquee value of some more recent ones, the top flight features a diverse mix of experienced forwards as well as tall and highly mobile defenders.

Red Line Report, the independent scouting newsletter, puts the first 14 potential clients in this top grouping. Then there’s a small drop-off to the next six to eight players and another small break in the early 20’s into late first round.

Kyle Woodlief, editor and chief scout of the Red Line Report, offers his mock draft for the first round, which will take place in Montreal on July 7:

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1. Montreal Canadiens – C. Shane Wright

6-0, 199, Kingston (Ontario Hockey League)

A Nick Suzuki-Wright center combo could serve the Habs well for well over a decade. GM Kent Hughes isn’t fully committed to drafting Wright, but how can he not take him? He may not be a superstar, but he will be a No. 1 center.

2. New Jersey Devils – C Logan Cooley

5-10, 180, USA U18 team

All you have to do is look at Anaheim’s Trevor Zegras to understand the impact Cooley will have. Its speed creates breakaways, turnover and excitement.

3. Arizona Coyotes – LW ​​Juraj Slafkovsky

6-4, 229, TPS (Finland)

He is an animal presence with finesse skills. He caught everyone’s attention by leading the Olympic tournament with seven goals and helping Slovakia win the bronze medal.

Forward of the Slovakian team Juraj Slafkovsky (20) celebrates winning the bronze medal at the Beijing Olympics.

4. Seattle Kraken – D. Simon Nemec

6-10, 199, Nitra (Slovakia)

After landing a sophisticated offensive catalyst in Matty Beniers in the 2021 draft last year, the Kraken pick one up

present blue-liner this time. He has outgrown his age and has already helped Slovakia win a bronze medal at the 2022 Olympics.

5.Philadelphia Flyers—RW Joakim Kemell

5-10, 185, JYP (Finland)

An experienced and energetic goalscorer. Even a shoulder injury couldn’t stop his climb up the rankings. Scoring six goals in five games at the U18 World Cup boosted his status.

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