Springfield, Illinois – The 2022 North American Hockey League (NAHL) Entry Draft is set to get underway tomorrow at 1 pm! It’s one of our favorite days of the year so we wanted to get you prepared for what to expect on Draft Day!
The first question we get each summer is how do we determine how many players we will be drafting. Well, it’s a lot more simple than you’d imagine: the number of draft picks is determined by subtracting the number of protected players (tenders & returners) from 30. The exact number for the 2022 Draft is kept under lock and key in our secured vault – but we can confirm that it’s a number higher than 0.
To be eligible for the draft, a player must not be on a team’s protected list and be between the ages of 16-20 (may turn 21 after December 31, 2022). Players do not have to sign up or have previously attended a Draft Camp in order to be drafted, eligible players are scouted throughout their seasons. Our scouting staff works hard to meet and talk with players prior to the draft process in order to determine whether the player is a good fit in the organization.
Head Coach Tyler Rennette and Assistant Coach Todd Pococke have developed a plan for what kind of players and young men they want to select in the draft and that is reflected by the number of picks that made the team in 2021-22. On our 2022 Playoff Roster we had seven players we acquired through the draft process: five from the 2021 Entry Draft (Zach Bade, Tristan Shewchuk, Joey Dosan, Andrew Schultz, and Hayden Riva), one from the 2021 Supplemental Draft (Ethan Roberts), and one from the 2019 Entry Draft (Carson Jones). Did we mention that this past season was one of our best seasons in franchise history?
As the longest tenured franchise in the NAHL, we’ve had a very long history of draft picks but some of our most notable recent picks include: 2022 Hobey Baker Award Winner & NCAA Career Shutouts leader Dryden McKay (2014); 2019 B1G Goaltender of the Year & current member of the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (AHL) Tommy Nappier (2015); and former Denver Pioneer (NCAA) and current Milwaukee Admirals (AHL) goaltender Devin Cooley (2016).
The Draft will start at 1 pm CST and can be followed in several ways. To watch live, tune into HockeyTV; to follow each pick, make sure to bookmark nahldraft.com; and to keep up with each Jr. Blues pick, make sure to follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram!