In today’s edition of Scouting with Faber, we are going to look at five teenagers who definitely ate their meat and potatoes growing up. These three players are some of the tallest prospects in the upcoming draft.
We will look at one forward and three defencemen who are likely to be selected in the upcoming 2022 NHL Entry Draft. This year has some big boys to evaluate and we’re excited to bring some analysis and tape to you.
So, without further ado, here are five of the biggest draft-eligible players from the 2022 NHL draft.
Kirill Dolzhenkov, LW, 6’6”, 236lbs
Up first is the big Russian forward, Kirill Dolzhenkov. He is the heaviest of the group and is playing in the Russian junior league known as the MHL.
Dolzhenkov is used on the penalty kill for Krasnaya Armiya Moskva and his size and reach really help him take up valuable space on the penalty kill. Dolzhenkov Is not an aggressive player, he actually leans more on being a skilled player with his reach and shot being his best two attributes.
Because of his pure size, hitting and battling in front of the net come easy to Dolzhenkov. He has some pretty good hands and for that reason, finds himself at Bob McKenzie’s 71st ranked prospect for the upcoming draft.
At first, I thought he would be a clunky skater who just stumbled around the ice but I came to see a player with some giddy-up in his step once he gets going. As I expect to say with all of these big prospects, the reach is a massive help for Dolzhenkov. He plays the net front in the power play and does a great job of getting in the goalie’s view of the puck.
Dolzhenkov is interesting, like, very interesting. He’s a very large boy who will soon become a very large man. The Bobfather has him at #71 on his rankings. I don’t see his talent being that high but Bob McKenzie has better connections than me. I’m all for some scouts being high on the big winger who was born on 4/20, who was thrown out of a game for tripping a ref.
One thing is for sure, Dolzhenkov is a fun prospect for a variety of different reasons.
Maveric Lamoureux, RD, 6’7”, 196lbs
Now we are talking about a big boy who can skate. Maveric Lamoureax may tower over his opponents but he can also glide right by them once he picks up speed.
As a 6’7”, right-shot defenceman who can skate and handle the puck, Lamoureux is a highly ranked prospect in the 2022 draft. Bob McKenzie has him as the 28th ranked prospect, while Craig Button has him at 44th, McKeen’s has him in the 36th spot, and Sportsnet puts Lamoureux at 29th.
Lamoureux is a big defenceman who enjoys contact and uses his size to his advantage. He spoke with the QMJHL website
and said that he likes the physicality and has parts of the ice where he wants to improve.
“I like to play the physical part of the game, the nasty side is part of my game,” said Lamoureux. “I am also trying to work on the offensive side to become more of a two-way defenseman.”
Lamoureux has improved on his defence against entries and in his own ability to exit the defensive zone.
Lamoureux could easily be selected in the latter part of the first round or a team will be happy to snag him in the second round. He may be a bit high for the Canucks’ first-round pick but if the team is able to pick up a first-round pick in exchange for J.T. Miller, they could use that contender’s first-round pick on Lamoureux. He definitely has the potential to be an NHL contributor and you have to like that he uses his size to his advantage as a “nasty” player.
Lian Bichsel, LD, 6’5”, 216lbs
Another big body near the top-end of the draft is the big Swiss defenceman Lian Bichsel. He plays the game with the belief that he is a forward and that definitely helps him in the offensive zone but can hurt him when he’s too aggressive in the neutral zone. All in all, Bichsel is an exciting defenceman for not only his size but his skating as well. Talent evaluators watch video on Bichsel with an Outkast album on in the background because they like the way he moves on the ice.
He enjoys possessing the puck and wants to make moves with it to create offence. Here’s a secondary assist of his while he dangles his way into the slot to get a good shot off in some J20 Swedish hockey league action.
His skating is definitely the strongest part of his game and he had a great showing at last summer’s U18’s with an impressive game against Canada where he defended well and carried the puck with confidence against the powerhouse Canadian team.
He showed good hands in the offensive zone.
He straight-up bullied expected first overall pick, Shane Wright.
Bichsel also carried the puck with confidence against a tough Canadian team. Here’s a shift where the big man makes some moves towards the offensive zone and finished up by dumping a Canadian player at the net as he did all tournament long.
He also bullied Shane Wright again. I don’t think he’s a fan.
There’s a lot to like about Bichsel and he has a great U18 tournament this past summer. I’d expect him to have a monster tournament this year before his draft and shoot you the rankings even more. Right now, Bichsel is projected to be a second-round pick but could easily slide into the first round.
He is currently playing in the SHL and though his minutes were low at the beginning of the season, Bichsel is not finding plenty more ice time after some strong play in the SHL. He’s even averaged 17:06 of ice time over his past three games.
To summarize, Bichsel is an excellent skater with a mean streak and puck-handling ability. He’s 6’5” and uses his size to his advantage. He’s going to be a solid NHL prospect and if the Canucks were to acquire a late first-round pick in a trade this deadline, Bichsel is a bold pick who could translate to the NHL sooner than later.
We can’t wait to watch him at next summer’s U18 tournament, where he is expected to be a horse for Switzerland. The only person not looking forward to seeing Bischsel at the U18s is Shane Wright.
Noah Warren, RD, 6’5″, 214lbs
Rising in many of the draft rankings with his strong performance this year, Noah Warren is a big right-shot defenceman who some are touting as one of the best stay-at-home RD’s in the draft.
Warren’s stock has been rising all season long and he could push to be a top-50 pick if he continues to impress in the QMJHL. Warren uses his size and strength to his advantage and QMJHL forwards get a load of contact if they enter into a board battle with him. Players seem to give extra space to Warren and that gives him room to make quick plays on the boards and initiate breakouts.
Warren struggles with some decision-making on breakouts and I saw a lot of scary passes up through the slot. He’s more of a support defenceman who can thrive with a strong-skating, puck-moving left-shot defenceman.
Those who I trust around the QMJHL say that he has taken a big step when it comes to his skating and he will be relied upon to be an even bigger piece next year in the QMJHL with an outside chance of him playing for Canada at the 2024 world juniors.
Another couple of years in the QMJHL will do him well to continue to work on his skating and puck-moving. When it comes to physical assets in a combination of size, strength and skating ability, Warren is near the top of this draft class. He has a very interesting skill set and will be drafted in the first 100 picks of the draft.
Jack Sparkes, RD, 6’8”, 229lbs
It’s possible that Jack Sparkes is selected in the 2022 draft as central scouting has him as the 71st ranked North American skater in the draft.
I don’t know much about him and I’m not going to BS as I do. I had to include him on this list because he’s 6’8”. Sparkes is an OJHL right-shot defenceman who is set to join Michigan State in the fall of 2023.
Sparkes is one of the four or five players who could be drafted out of the OJHL this summer.
He’s 6’8” and has earned a chance to play NCAA hockey. If you have extra seventh-round picks, maybe take a swing.
Well, that wraps it up for the big boys of the 2022 NHL Entry Draft. Hopefully, you enjoyed this dive into some of the 6’5” and bigger prospects who are available in this draft.
Do you see any value in some of the mid-late round picks or are you interested in the higher-end picks like Bichsel and Lamoureux?
Let me know in the comments and if you have a type of prospect you’d like me to look into for this series drop it in the comments.