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SB Nation NHL Mock Draft 2022: Picks 8-13

The next six picks are in!

Frank Nazar III #14 of Team Blue skates up the ice in the first period at USA Hockey Arena on January 17, 2022 in Plymouth, Michigan. Photo by Mike Mulholland/Getty Images

Day 2 of the SB Nation NHL Mock Draft saw six picks, including our own San Jose Sharks. The Anaheim Ducks went big on the blueline, while several highly-touted forwards came off the board.

Here are today’s selections:

8. Detroit Red Wings — Matthew Savoie

From Winging It In Motown:

One of the biggest needs on Steve Yzerman’s offseason checklist is a playmaking second-line center. Not only does Savoie match that description, his skillset makes him a perfect fit behind Dylan Larkin. When you have a top-tier two-way center shutting down the top line and an offensively-gifted second-line center behind him, you’ve got a wicked one-two punch that will befuddle the opposition.

Pair a guy like Savoie with Jakub Vrana and, say, Filip Zadina (a player that’s drastically improved alongside Vrana), and you’ve got yourself a bona fide second line. You can even give Jonatan Berggren some reps with the rookie. Savoie’s skillset is so dynamic that he can work with nearly anyone on the roster.

9. Buffalo Sabres — Conor Geekie

From Die By The Blade:

For me, personally, I think Geekie translates to a great passenger winger in the NHL. He’ll excel in one-touch passes and in the offensive zone moving pucks around the zone and into dangerous parts of the ice. I think his mobility concerns are legitimate and that I don’t know if it can be corrected to a level where you’d move him to center to facilitate pucks up and down the ice. I don’t question his motor or effort level, but I do think the skating limits his ability to be hard on pucks and his general approach to how he defends seems to be more geared to using his stick than his physicality.

That’s not to say though that he doesn’t play physical. In face I’d argue that I like that he has a bit of an edge to his game. Given that we have three picks in the first round: a homerun swing on Geekie could end up bringing big dividends if the Sabres can develop him properly.

10. Anaheim Ducks — Kevin Korchinski

From Anaheim Calling:

He has been compared to Shea Theodore in his style of play and his abilities on the ice. While the Ducks do have great defensive prospects in Zellweger and Drysdale (He is still considered a prospect until his 200th game), adding someone of Korchinski’s size and skill would really help to diversify the Duck’s blueline for years to come. Although Korchinski may not have the same ceiling as some of the other defensive prospects in the same range, he has a higher floor and his game will translate to the NHL.

Drysdale is the focus of attention for opposing NHL teams, making Korchinski either the perfect partner to split that focus, or a second-pairing player with Olen Zellweger that would rival most NHL second-pairing units. He is the right pick for the Ducks at the right time.

11. San Jose Sharks — Jonathan Lekkerimäki

From Fear The Fin:

The still 17-year-old Swede is ranked as highly as eighth-overall, with most rankings placing him somewhere in the back half of the top-10, but that’s not the only thing that makes him a perfect fit for the Sharks at 11th. He’s the very prototype of a player Sharks fans are familiar with, possessing a skill-level outranking many of the would-be Swedish snipers the team has cycled through.

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Looking at prospects, especially outside of the top-10 selections, it’s important to qualify what skills are workable, and which ones may become a project. Lekkerimaki’s elite skill is his shot. It’s a difficult skill to teach and he comes by it naturally — or perhaps supernaturally, as Elite Prospects have ranked his shot as second-best among his entire draft class. That’s hard to pass over.

His puck-handling, as well, suggests a deftness with the puck that is easy to imagine being the central building block toward crafting Lekkerimaki into an NHL mainstay.

12. Columbus Blue Jackets — Frank Nazar

From The Cannon:

Other players I considered were Brad Lambert and Marco Kasper, but their production in top European pro leagues didn’t exactly jump off the page.

Nazar is a polarizing prospect. NHL Central Scouting has him as just the 21st best North American skater, but Elite Prospects has him 4th among all players in the class, and Blue Jackets reporter Mark Scheig of The Hockey Writers named Nazar his steal of the draft. Nazar will be a freshman at the University of Michigan in the fall (I know, it’s gross) where he’ll be surrounded by another stacked roster, even after the departure of Kent Johnson and Co.

13. New York Islanders — Marco Kasper

From Lighthouse Hockey:

But first, I’ll get to the completely irrelevant but fun reasons I mock drafted him: He’s Austrian, and the Isles are historically light on Austrians. (As is the whole NHL, but whatever.) He’s from Innsbruck, which is a beauuuutiful town I’ve been to a couple of times.

Now to the mildly relevant reasons: He’s a prospect who is seen as a sure first-rounder, likely middle of the round, but a few people rate him even higher. The kind of player some teams will be high on and draft him if he’s available at their spot. And he’s a center, though playing wing in the pros. Natural centers who can play wing are versatile and valuable, you can’t have enough. Maybe he becomes a Brock Nelson or an Anthony Beauvillier (hopefully the good version), maybe he becomes something completely different.