In what was hyped as potentially the greatest draft year in program history, the 2022 NHL Draft lived up to lofty expectations for the Northeastern Huskies. By draft’s end, seven current and future players heard their names called, shattering the previous program high, five, set back in 1985 and led by goaltender Bruce Racine. Northeastern led all of NCAA hockey with their seven selections, followed by Harvard, Minnesota, and Denver with five. The next closest in Hockey East was UMass-Amherst with four. Boston University had three players selected. Boston College had two.
Six different NHL teams added these future Northeastern alumni to their growing professional pipelines, with the San Jose Sharks double dipping early on Day Two. The conference split was four from the West and two from the East, with some teams well familiar to Huskies faithful making selections while a couple new logos will be seen on Northeastern line charts in the coming years. We detail each of the seven selections below.
Cameron Lund, 34th overall, San Jose Sharks– Northeastern did not have to wait long on Day 2 to hear their first future player announced, as Lund was the second player off the board. The incoming freshman is the first Husky to be drafted by San Jose since Cody Ferriero in 2010. Scouts drool over his offensive prowess, including his shot and his ability to drive play in the offensive zone. Capable of playing both center and right wing, Lund will play a big role at Northeastern right off the bat this season.
Jack Hughes, 51st overall, Los Angeles Kings– The youngest player in college hockey last season, Hughes had a very good season that in our opinion was unfairly criticized by many of the scouts and pundits leading into the draft. Hughes’ 200-foot game and combination of skilled and sandpaper styles will fit nicely in a Los Angeles system seen by many as the best prospect pool in the NHL. Hughes joins former Husky standout Tyler Madden in the system, and is the first Husky taken by Los Angeles in program history.
Michael Fisher, 76th overall, San Jose Sharks– A Boston-to-California pipeline forming, perhaps? Fisher, considered to be one of the best-skating defensemen in the whole draft, is a scout’s dream with his combination of size (6’3″, 195 pounds), skating, and upside. A 2023 recruit who will spend next season with Youngstown of the USHL, Fisher has all the tools to follow in the footsteps of Brent Burns and Erik Karlsson on the right side of the San Jose blue line. The last Husky to play for the Sharks was also a defenseman, former fan favorite Jim Fahey.
Cameron Whitehead, 128th overall, Vegas Golden Knights– Vegas traded up to make sure they got their man in the form of Lincoln Stars goaltender and 2023 recruit Cameron Whitehead. The big, athletic goaltender is the heir-apparent to Devon Levi’s net, and will have the Lincoln net all to himself in 2023 after splitting time last season. The first Huskies player to be drafted by Vegas, he is the third Northeastern goaltender since 2017 to be drafted, following in the footsteps of Levi and Cayden Primeau.
Hunter McDonald, 165th overall, Philadelphia Flyers– Big Mac was listed as a sleeper to be selected by coaches, scouts, and front office staff, and the Flyers made those evaluators look like geniuses in the sixth round, making him the program’s first ever Philadelphia draft pick. McDonald is a prototypical defensive defenseman, indicating he models his game after Brandon Carlo of the Boston Bruins. Standing 6’4″ and nearly 200 pounds, the left-shot blue liner is an incoming freshman who we expect to play a significant role his first year in Boston. Having experience playing both sides of a defensive pairing will give Jerry Keefe ample flexibility in his lineup every night.
Jackson Dorrington, 176th overall, Vancouver Canucks– Another left-handed defenseman enrolling in 2022, Dorrington joins an organization familiar to Huskies fans in Vancouver, giving Canucks faithful more reason to watch the team after Aidan McDonough graduates next spring. Dorrington does a lot of things right as a defenseman- can skate well, defend well, loves the physical aspect of the game, and can play an offensive or a shutdown defensive role. His selection that late caught us and a couple others by surprise, and we have faith that Dorrington will prove to be another sharp selection by the Canucks brass by the end of his career.
James Fisher, 203rd overall, Columbus Blue Jackets– The final pick for Northeastern was another player we expected to be taken a little earlier than he was. Fisher is a power forward whose game and stock grew after a stellar year at Belmont Hill, and his game is a style that Columbus is known for. The Huskies have never had a player drafted by or play for Columbus, so Fisher has a chance to someday make Huskies history again. The 2023 recruit will play next season for Youngstown in the USHL with Michael Fisher, to whom he is not related, for any folks wondering.
The Huskies had multiple first-time eligible recruits who were not drafted, despite garnering attention and praise from the scouting community. These include Grayson Badger, Dylan Hryckowian, Eli Sebastian, Kaden Muir, and Vinny Borgesi. Despite being passed over this time, there is still a chance to be drafted in the future with strong 2022-23 seasons in their Junior Hockey leagues. And if that does not pan out, as Martin St. Louis said before the whole event started, the draft is not the only way to the NHL. You know those players will arrive at Northeastern even more motivated to prove their mettle and earn their way to The Show.
The 2022 NHL Draft and the bounty of selections for Northeastern is just the latest in the long line of evidence showing how well Jerry Keefe has this program humming. He and his assistants have done an excellent job in identifying NHL-caliber talent and bringing them to Northeastern, and developing them to become champions at the collegiate level as they prepare for the professional level. These next seven players are the latest to join the Keefe legacy, and we cannot wait to watch their progress in Juniors and at Northeastern as they continue to pursue their NHL dreams.
Stay tuned for more offseason content including posts related to NHL Development Camps, the eventual Northeastern schedule drop, and hopefully much more.
As always, go Huskies!