Day Two of the 2022 NHL Draft for the Minnesota Wild features plenty of skill and hustle

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For draft junkies like myself, the first round is the easy part.  People have scoured the lists, reading and researching the players who probably heard their named called on Thursday night.  Day 2 of the NHL draft is where everyone goes back to school, to learn about players you’ve probably never heard or read about.  These are the players where NHL scouts put in the mileage and long hours viewing and evaluating players in far off locations.

This is the payoff of that hard work.  Can Minnesota find another Kirill Kaprizov on day 2 of the 2022 NHL Entry Draft?  Only time will tell, but that’s always the hope.

So let’s cut to the chase, here is who the Minnesota Wild drafted on Day 2 of the draft and what scouts have to say about these players.  For each selection I will have all of the rankings including the NHL Central Scouting Mid-term ranking in parentheses.

I will provide you all of the basic information for each player the team selects as well as additional insights I’ve gathered from various scouting publications.  I will also try to find video where I can and you can judge for yourself.

Day Two of the 2022 NHL Draft for the Minnesota Wild features plenty of skill and hustle

47th Overall (from Vancouver) ~ C – Hunter Haight (Barrie, OHL)  Strathroy, Ontario

Height: 5’10”  Weight: 174lbs  Shoots: Right

2022 Stats: 63GP  22G 19A = 41pts  13 PIM’s  +7

NHL Central Scouting: #44 (#47)  Future Considerations: #59  Hockey News: #75  EliteProspects: #34

TSN McKenzie: #68  TSN Button: #61  Hockey Prospect.com: #64

Athletic Wheeler: #68  Athletic Pronman: #117

Talent Analysis:  Got out to a slow start last season, but he is a right-shot center who has decent speed and skill to his game.  He is naturally elusive and his skating that allows him to avoid taking hits when a defender appears to have him lined up.  His acceleration is NHL level already and does not take long to get up to full speed which makes him dangerous in transition.  In the offensive zone, he has a variety of moves which he uses effectively to open up passing and shooting lanes.  Haight does a great job at skittering through the neutral zone by changing his angle of attack and this makes him unpredictable and hard to stop on zone entries.  He’s probably a better playmaker than a finisher.  Another area he must improve is his focus-level and consistency shift-to-shift.  At times he seems engaged and is contributing well at both ends of the ice and at others he can seem disconnected.  Defensively, this happens more frequently than when he’s in the offensive zone.  Still, those lapses of focus are concerning and will ultimately decide whether he can become a 3rd line center or not make the NHL at all.

Hunter Haight Highlight Video

What scouts said:

“Most scouts mentioned he’s a good OHL player with limited upside and a possible late player on their lists.  I thought he was much better after he got his feet wet. Not good in my early viewings.” – Hockey Prospect.com Director, Mark Edwards

“His pace is confusing to understand at best.  He’s passive on some shifts and then he ramps up his intensity on others.” – Eliteprospects

“The clear-cut best of the lot is Haight’s puck skills. You’ll often see him use that handling ability in unexpected, creative ways to get around opponents, using deception at points and pure talent in others. An advanced give-and-go game allows him to work past well-positioned defenders, repositioning himself to collect the return pass and continue his approach.  And once Haight gets past the first layer of the defense, there’s more than enough shooting and passing skill at his disposal to press his advantage to productive ends. ” – Eliteprospects

Bottom Line:  I think the real question is just how high the ceiling really is with Haight.  At best, it seems like a 3rd line center if he establishes improved focus and consistency in his game.  At worst you end up with a bust, Eliteprospects has him at 50/50 prospect.  So the risk level is fairly high for their first pick in the 2nd round but if he hits you have a right-shot center who moves well, especially in transition and could be a pain for opposing teams to play against.

Day Two of the 2022 NHL Draft for the Minnesota Wild features plenty of skill and hustle

56th Overall (compensatory pick for Filip Johansson) ~ LW – Reiger Lorenz (Okotoks, AJHL)  Calgary, Alberta

Height: 6’2″  Weight: 194lbs  Shoots: Left

2022 Stats: 60GP  38G 47A = 85pts  54 PIM’s

NHL Central Scouting: #17 (#24)  Future Considerations: #51  Hockey News: #48  EliteProspects: #109

TSN McKenzie: #52  TSN Button: #50  Hockey Prospect.com: #67

Athletic Wheeler: #42  Athletic Pronman: #58

Talent Analysis:  A power forward who uses his big frame to dominate down low with the puck, he was one of the few Jr. A players to be invited to be a part of Canada’s U-18 team.  Denver-commit likes to crash the net and excels in puck battles along the boards.  Even though he possesses a reasonable shot and put up good scoring numbers in the AJHL, most scouts do not think he’ll be a big offensive producer as a pro, but they do think he could be a strong physical bottom-6 winger.  A hard worker, he plays smart and doesn’t take shifts off but it might take a bit for him to transition from being a go-to scorer as he was utilized in Jr. A to being more of a role player when he arrives as freshman next season with the Pioneers.  Even though he’s an ‘ok’ puckhandler, he is an effective playmaker and has the vision to anticipate open linemates.  He moves well for a player of his size and once he gets going there is a lot of momentum to help him battle through checks or to dish them out.  I think his development path will probably be a 3-year or 4-years depending on how he progresses.

Reiger Lorenz Shifts Video

What scouts said:

“More of a straight-line player, hard working player who goes into the hard areas and drives the net.” – NHL Scout

“He’s got good size and can really shoot the puck.” – NHL Scout

“He will have time to develop in college and develop his goal-scorer’s game.  He will need to round out his game, he’s behind some of the WHL kids in his whole game, may have growing pains in college but if he’s ready to be a sponge there won’t be any problems.” – NHL Scout

Bottom Line:  A project bottom-6 power forward with the proper development.  He’s strong, he works hard and is already adept at using his natural gifts to his advantage.  I think the key for himself and the Wild is being patient with his development as I think the transition from junior to a top-level NCHC program could be challenging.  In some ways, he kind of reminds me of what we heard about with Jack McBain.  McBain too had a slower development path, but he did eventually earn himself a pro contract even though we know it wasn’t with the Wild.  He can do the things you can’t teach by not just being big but playing that way too.

Day Two of the 2022 NHL Draft for the Minnesota Wild features plenty of skill and hustle

89th Overall ~ LW – Michael Milne (Winnipeg, WHL)  Abbotsford, British Columbia

Height: 5’11”  Weight: 185lbs  Shoots: Left

2022 Stats: 68GP  38G 43A = 81pts  55 PIM’s  +56

NHL Central Scouting: #119 (#80)  Future Considerations: #152  Hockey News: N/A  EliteProspects: #63

TSN McKenzie: N/A  TSN Button: N/A  Hockey Prospect.com: NR

Athletic Wheeler: N/A  Athletic Pronman: #88

Talent Analysis:  Passed over in last year’s draft, Milne is a hard-working blue collar kind of winger who hounds opponents and forces turnovers in the process.  A natural forechecker he also likes to crash the net.  Offensively he’s at his best in and around the crease where he can tips pucks and pounce on rebounds because he’s not going to beat many people from much farther out from the crease.  He was a productive playing in a Top 6 role with a very good, high scoring Winnipeg Ice team that had a number of top level talent around him.  Defensively, he attentive and works hard.  Skating and puck skills are just ok, to the point where question his potential as an NHL’er.  Projects as a 4th liner and while that isn’t a high ceiling, you know he’s willing to bust his tail to try to make that happen.

Michael Milne Highlights Video

What scouts said:

“One of those players we respect as a great junior player, but these players don’t always translate to the NHL because of one weakness or not having quite enough skill.  These type of players can sometimes be the ones that occasionally beat the odds and have fans asking how the scouts could’ve missed them.” – Hockey Prospect.com’s Director Mark Edwards

“Few match Milne’s work rate, which shows up in his off-puck impact. Intense close outs to point allow him to pile up the steals, while equal pressure on the forecheck and backcheck force turnovers. He takes the extra stride to ensure he’s leveraging the puck carrier and establishing body positioning. Usually first on loose pucks, and when he isn’t, he often wins the ensuing battle.” – Eliteprospects

Bottom Line:  Sounds like a 4th liner at best, but at the very least you get a very hard working winger who could be a fringe depth player.  His greatest strength is his relentlessness on pucks and doesn’t mind doing the hard work around the net to score or to defend.  Seems like a long shot for an NHL career, but he’s also the kind of hard working example you want your other players to be around too.

Day Two of the 2022 NHL Draft for the Minnesota Wild features plenty of skill and hustle

121st Overall ~ D – Ryan Healey (Sioux Falls, USHL)  Hull, Massachusetts

Height: 6’1″  Weight: 179lbs  Shoots: Right

2022 Stats: 59GP  3G 18A = 21pts  22 PIM’s  -25

NHL Central Scouting: #70 (#73)  Future Considerations: #265  Hockey News: N/A  EliteProspects: #58

TSN McKenzie: N/A  TSN Button: N/A  Hockey Prospect.com: NR

Athletic Wheeler: N/A  Athletic Pronman: N/A

Talent Analysis:  A skilled, mobile right-shot defenseman who converted from being a forward later than most.  Perhaps its the forward mindset that drives the Harvard-bound defenseman as he likes to be involved in the play all over the ice.  He is a terrific skater, very agile who can change direction very quickly which he utilizes effectively with or without the puck.  That quickness makes him elusive with the puck and able to skate out of trouble from his own end.  Healey likes to dangle the puck and can efficiently pull off a move and send a quick shot on goal.  He has a better wrist shot than a slap shot.  His want to be involved means he’s not afraid to battle for pucks or contributing hits.  So what’s the catch?  Overthinking is one way to describe it, where he will want to dangle it and perhaps even have an opposing player all twisted up, but he won’t recognize where the opening is to exploit that advantage.  It is that ability to recognize the obvious option which seems to be a struggle which is baffling considering how strong he is academically to be going to an Ivy League school.  The same is true in defensive situations where when defending a 2-on-1 he often can appear to be in a state of indecision which has scouts questioning his hockey sense.  Skill-wise, they admit he has lots of natural ability and physical talent but can he put that together to simplify his game yet benefit from the gifts he already has?

Eric (Ryan’s Dad) & Ryan Healey Interview

What scouts said:

“Shame about his hockey sense. Really good player other than that.  He’ll get drafted by someone.” – NHL Scout

Bottom Line:  An interesting project player who played on a bad Sioux Falls team.  He’s college bound, which means its at the very least a 3-4 year wait before you probably have a good idea as to what you have.  Still, the mix of size, skating, athleticism and puck skill makes you hope he can put it together and blossom into an NHL defenseman with proper development.  Harvard-product Adam Fox turned out pretty good, perhaps they hope lightning can strike twice.

Day Two of the 2022 NHL Draft for the Minnesota Wild features plenty of skill and hustle

153rd Overall ~ D – David Spacek (Sherbrooke, QMJHL)  Columbus, Ohio

Height: 6’0″  Weight: 174lbs  Shoots: Right

2022 Stats: 57GP  12G 38A = 50pts  44 PIM’s  +21

NHL Central Scouting: #55 (#81)  Future Considerations: #229  Hockey News: #92  EliteProspects: N/A

TSN McKenzie: N/A  TSN Button: N/A  Hockey Prospect.com: NR

Athletic Wheeler: N/A  Athletic Pronman: N/A

Talent Analysis:  Passed over in last year’s draft, the son of former NHL’er Jaroslav Spacek is a skilled, offensively-inclined defenseman.  He’s a natural on the power play where he can use his on-ice vision and puck skills to its greatest effect.  Was a leader for the Phoenix this season and was one of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League’s top scoring defenseman.  Columbus, Ohio-native distributes the puck well and has a decent point shot which he gets it through traffic consistently.  His skating is just ‘ok’ for a player his size and scouts would like to see him add more elusiveness with the puck since the strength of his game is connected to the power play.  Defensively he reads the play fairly well and is not a liability but he won’t be confused for a shutdown defender either.  No doubt improving his play in his own end will add more utility to his game and give him a better chance of being successful at the end level.  Since he’s a year older, he might take his game to Europe to play in the Czech Superleague than staying in major junior.  He’s a skilled defenseman with proper development.

David Spacek Highlights Video

What scouts said:

“A real general on he blueline for the Phoenix, I wonder if he will be helped or stunted by taking his game to the pros early.” – NHL Scout

Bottom Line:  A skilled defenseman who probably projects as a bit of a power play specialist.  However if he can round out his game you might have a skilled 3rd pairing defenseman who brings another right-shot to the organization.  Just about everything about his game is tempting enough to get you excited, but you also wish a little bit more was there.

Day Two of the 2022 NHL Draft for the Minnesota Wild features plenty of skill and hustle

185th Overall ~ C – Servac Petrovsky (Owen Sound, OHL)  Velky Saris, Slovakia

Height: 5’10”  Weight: 181lbs  Shoots: Left

2022 Stats: 65GP  28G 26A = 54pts  28 PIM’s  +6

NHL Central Scouting: #58 (#52)  Future Considerations: #123  Hockey News: #70  EliteProspects: #92

TSN McKenzie: N/A  TSN Button: N/A  Hockey Prospect.com: NR

Athletic Wheeler: N/A  Athletic Pronman: #93

Talent Analysis:  Hard working forward who can do a little bit of everything, but he doesn’t always do those things game to game.  Has some jump in his skates, but its more of a quick twitch than just raw speed.  Even though he’s a smaller player he doesn’t shy away from puck battles and was used on the penalty kill by Owen Sound.  Slovakian has some better than average scoring touch and he has a strong, quick release that can catch goaltenders by surprise with its snap and velocity.  Smart, with good hockey sense and plays attentively at both ends of the ice.  Decent passer who makes accurate, tape-to-tape plays with the proper pace given the situation.  His skating is just average and as a smaller player its imperative he improve this part of his game.  Still, with his level of skill, two-way play and on-ice smarts he gives you a lot to like.

Servac Petrovsky Highlight Video

What scouts said:

“Good instincts and a scorers touch, just needs to work on consistency.” – NHL Scout

“Not many scouts talking about him to me this year, from the scouts I did talk to there was a split opinion regarding his draft worthiness.  For us I think he’ll be in tough to make our list.” – Hockey Prospect.com Director Mark Edwards

Bottom Line:  A smallish center who has scoring and set up ability who works hard at both ends of the ice.  His skating needs work, but if he can improve in that area you could have a really good bottom 6 forward with some offensive flair to his game.  Probably a long shot, but it is what you would expect in the 6th round.

My Thoughts:  Hard working was a common phrase repeated throughout many of these prospects.  Another clear objective was to add more right-shot players to the Wild’s prospect pool, especially on defense.  I also think there is a larger element of boom / bust with this group in part of being a part of a weaker draft class.  After drafting Liam Ohgren and Danila Yurov, two players who are fairly safe bets to make be NHL’ers, the team felt more comfortable rolling the dice a bit in later rounds.  Haight sounds like an intriguing mix of speed and skill who has plenty of potential to grow in his overall game.  Lorenz sounds like a big-bodied wrecking ball who might be a great 3rd liner someday that would remind people a lot like a player who would fit on our GREEF line.  Healey and Spacek are both right-shot defenseman with some ability, but they have areas of their game they must work on, but we have a lot of defense prospects already and having more boom / bust kind of players here makes sense.  Milne and Petrovsky sound like solid worker-bee type of players who might project as 4th liners but might be the kind of unheralded player that can give you depth when you need it.  Overall the picks made sense to me and seem like decent value.

What did you think of Minnesota’s six selections on Day 2 of the 2022 NHL Entry Draft?  Let us know on Twitter at @CreaseAndAssist!

Minnesota Wild draft Liam Ohgren and Danila Yurov in the 1st round of the 2022 NHL Entry Draft

Sources: NHL Central Scouting ListThe Athletic‘s Scott Wheeler’s Top 100 Rankings, The Athletic‘s Cory Pronman’s Rankings, The Hockey News 2022 NHL Draft Preview, Hockey Prospect.com‘s 2022 Black Book, EliteProspects 2022 NHL Draft Guide

 

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