PLYMOUTH, Mich. - Six players were selected directly from USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program in the first round of the 2022 NHL Draft Thursday evening at Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
Logan Cooley (Pittsburgh, Pa.) was the first NTDP player off the board when he was selected third overall by the Arizona Coyotes and the Philadelphia Flyers nabbed Cutter Gauthier (Scottsdale, Ariz.) with the fifth pick of the night.
The pair of selections marked the fifth-straight year that an NTDP player was selected within the top five picks 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 five consecutive years.
Cooley averaged 1.47 points-per-game in his Under-18 season, which ranked first on the team, and finished the campaign with 75 points (27g-48a) in 51 games. He was the recipient of the directorate award for the best forward at the 2022 Under-18 Men’s World Championship and named to the media’s All-Star Team for the tournament.
Gauthier netted 34 goals to finish second on the U18s this season and finished fifth overall on the team in points with 65 (34g-31a).
Forwards Frank Nazar (Mount Clemens, Mich.) and Rutger McGroarty (Lincoln, Neb.) went with back-to-back picks at numbers 13 and 14 overall.
The Chicago Blackhawks selected Nazar, who produced 70 points (28g-42a) in 56 games for Team USA in 2021-22.
McGroarty, the captain of the U.S. at the 2022 Under-18 Men’s World Championship, was chosen by the Winnipeg Jets with the following pick, marking the second straight season that Winnipeg picked an NTDP player in the first round, following Chaz Lucius last year. McGroarty is the first-ever Nebraska native to be picked in the first round of an NHL Draft.
Jimmy Snuggerud (Chaska, Minn.) was next off the board to the St. Louis Blues with the 23rd overall pick. The University of Minnesota commit was one of six skaters on the Under-18 Team to eclipse the 60-point plateau this season.
The NTDP’s first-round selections were rounded out when the Tampa Bay Lightning selected forward Isaac Howard (Hudson, Wis.) with the 31st pick of the evening. Howard led the NTDP in scoring with 82 points (33g-49a) during the 2021-22 season and his 155 career points ranks ninth all-time in NTDP history.
Day 2 of the 2022 NHL Draft, which includes Rounds 2-7, begins tomorrow morning at 11:00 a.m. ET. The draft will broadcast live on NHL Network and be live-streamed on ESPN+.
NOTES: USA Hockey’s National Team Development, which competes in the United States Hockey League, completed its 25th season of play in 2021-22… 100 NTDP alums appeared on NHL rosters during the 2021-22 season… the NTDP’s coverage of the 2022 NHL Draft is presented by Trading Desk Ventures.