Colorado Springs, Colo. – Seven Americans were selected in the first round of the 2022 NHL Draft tonight at Bell Centre and, for the third time in the last four years, two American players were among the top five picks. Logan Cooley (Pittsburgh, Pa.) was selected third overall by the Arizona Coyotes and Cutter Gauthier (Scottsdale, Ariz.) went fifth overall to the Philadelphia Flyers.
It is the fifth-straight year an American was selected in the top five and USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program made NHL Draft history as the first team to produce a top-five NHL Draft pick in at least four consecutive years.
Cooley, who played for the NTDP in 2021-22, put up 27 goals and 48 assists for 75 points across 51 games this season. A University of Minnesota commit, he also skated on the Under-18 team at the 2022 IIHF Under-18 Men’s World Championship, where he scored 10 points in six games, including three goals, helping the U.S. to a silver medal. The now highest Pennsylvania-born player to be selected in an NHL Draft, Cooley earned the tournament’s Directorate Award, a media all-star and was named one of Team USA’s top-3 players in the tournament.
Gauthier skated alongside Cooley on both the NTDP and 2022 IIHF Under-18 Men’s World Championship team. Gauthier played in 54 games in Plymouth, Mich. this season and put up 34 goals and 31 assists for 65 points. A future Boston College Eagle, his 34 goals were second-most on the team. Named an alternate captain of the 2022 U.S. Under-18 Men’s team, he tallied three goals and six assists in the nine-game tournament.
Frank Nazar III (Mount Clemens, Mich.) was the next American name called, going 13th overall to the Chicago Blackhawks. Immediately following was NTDP teammate Rutger McGroarty (Lincoln, Neb.), who was selected 14th overall by the Winnipeg Jets and became the first-ever Nebraska native to go in the first round. Both Nazar and McGroarty also played on the 2022 IIHF Under-18 Men’s World Championship team.
The fifth American selected in the first round, and the fifth player from the NTDP, was Jimmy Snuggerud (Chaska, Minn.) by the St. Louis Blues with the 23rd pick. Moments later, Chicago returned to the stage and selected Sam Rinzel (Chanhassen, Minn.) with the 25th overall pick. Isaac Howard (Hudson, Wis.), another player coming from the NTDP, was selected by the Tampa Bay Lightning as the 31st pick.
The NHL Draft continues tomorrow (July 8) at 11 a.m. ET with rounds 2-7 and coverage will air live in the U.S. on NHL Network.
NOTES: The seven players drafted represent six different states, including Arizona (1), Michigan (1), Minnesota (2), Nebraska (1), Pennsylvania (1), Wisconsin (1), … This is the 10th time seven or more Americans were selected in the first-round: 2016 (12), 2019 (11), 2010 (11), 2006 (10), 2007 (10), 2005 (8), 2015 (7), 2003 (7), 1986 (7) … Six of the seven American players drafted tonight have spent time with USA Hockey's National Team Development Program … All seven American players drafted tonight are committed to an NCAA program … All seven American players drafted tonight have played in the USHL … All seven American players drafted tonight have participated in USA Hockey's annual BioSteel All-American Game … All seven American players drafted tonight skated in a USA Hockey Player Development Camp.
|Name||Round (Pick)||NHL Club||Hometown||2021-22 Team (League)|
|Logan Cooley||1 (3)||Arizona Coyotes||Pittsburgh, Pa.||USA Hockey's NTDP|
|Cutter Gauthier||1 (5)||Philadelphia Flyers||Scottsdale, Ariz.||USA Hockey's NTDP|
|Frank Nazar III||1 (13)||Chicago Blackhawks||Mount Clemens, Mich.||USA Hockey's NTDP|
|Rutger McGroarty||1 (14)||Winnipeg Jets||Lincoln, Neb.||USA Hockey's NTDP|
|Jimmy Snuggerud||1 (23)||St. Louis Blues||Chaska, Minn.||USA Hockey's NTDP|
|Sam Rinzel||1 (25)||Chicago Blackhawks||Chanhassen, Minn.||Chaska (USHS)|
|Isaac Howard||1 (31)||Tampa Bay Lightning||Hudson, Wisc.||USA Hockey's NTDP|