The 2022 NHL Draft has come to a close, and two players from the Moose Jaw Warriors heard their names announced, both in the first two rounds.
Denton Mateychuk, who had one of the most impressive seasons for a defenceman with 64 points in 65 games, was selected 12th overall by the Columbus Blue Jackets in the first round. The highest selection from the Warriors since Morgan Rielly (who was fifth overall in 2012), Mateychuk is the 11th player from Moose Jaw to be picked in the first round. Out of all WHL defencemen, he was the second to be drafted, behind Kevin Korchinski of the Seattle Thunderbirds.
Known as an offensive defenceman, Mateychuk has a strong foundation as a hockey player, which he will only continue to build off of in the coming years. His shot is strong, he’s smart with the puck, and he shows immense potential.
Jagger Firkus, selected 35th overall by the Seattle Kraken, is considered a fan favorite in the draft this year. The forward is the first Moose Jaw player in franchise history to be selected by Seattle and the ninth Warrior to be selected in the second round.
Although selected as a winger, he plays center in the Warriors. However, he has shown talent in both positions throughout his career. He recorded an outstanding 80 points in 64 games played last season, displaying a brilliance on the ice that is rivaled by very few. Not only did he lead the Warriors in points, but he also had the most goals (36), power-play goals (12), and game-winning goals (seven). Clever and creative, Firkus is absolutely someone to keep eyes on, especially now that he’s been drafted in the second round.
The players drafted this year wield a lot of skill and will be very exciting to watch as they grow and develop into even stronger versions of themselves. Congratulations to Denton Mateychuk and Jagger Firkus!