Winger Juraj Slafkovsky (R) became the first Slovakian to be selected No. 1 overall in an NHL Draft on Thursday in Montreal. File Photo by Paul Hanna/UPI | License Photo
July 8 (UPI) -- Slovakian forward Juraj Slafkovsky, the MVP of the 2022 Winter Games, was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2022 NHL Draft. Simon Nemec, Logan Cooley, Shane Wright and Cutter Gauthier were among the other Top 5 selections.
The Montreal Canadiens used the No. 1 overall pick on Slafkovsky to launch the draft Thursday at Bell Centre in Montreal. The remainder of the draft will take place Friday.
"It's unbelievable," Slafkovsky told ESPN. "It can't believe that this actually happened. ... It's just a special moment."
The New Jersey Devils, Arizona Coyotes, Seattle Kraken and Philadelphia Flyers made the next four picks.
The Columbus Blue Jackets took defenseman David Jiricek at No. 6 overall. The Chicago Blackhawks then snagged Canadian defenseman Kevin Korchinski. The Detroit Red Wings and Buffalo Sabres then picked centers Marco Kasper and Matthew Savoie, respectively, with the next two picks.
The Anaheim Ducks snagged Russian defenseman Pavel Mintyukov at No. 10 overall.
The first round featured 32 selections, including nine Canadians, six Americans and three Russians. Slafkovsky, 18, made history as the first Slovakian taken No. 1 overall in an NHL Draft.
Second- through seventh-round coverage of the 2022 NHL Draft will start at 11 a.m. EDT Friday on NHL Network.
2022 NHL Draft
1. Juraj Slafkovsky, LW, Montreal Canadiens
2. Simon Nemec, D, New Jersey Devils
3. Logan Cooley, C, Arizona Coyotes
4. Shane Wright, C, Seattle Kraken
5. Cutter Gauthier, LW, Philadelphia Flyers
6. David Jiricek, D, Columbus Blue Jackets
7. Kevin Korchinski, D, Chicago Blackhawks
8. Marco Kasper, C, Detroit Red Wings
9. Matthew Savoie, C, Buffalo Sabres
10. Pavel Mintyukov, D, Anaheim Ducks
11. Conor Geekie, C, Arizona Coyotes
12. Denton Mateychuk, D, Columbus Blue Jackets
13. Frank Nazar, C, Chicago Blackhawks
14. Rutger Mcgroarty, RW, Winnipeg Jets
15. Jonathan Lekkerimaki, RW, San Jose Sharks
16. Noah Ostlund, C, Buffalo Sabres
17. Joakim Kemell, RW, Nashville Predators
18. Lian Bichsel, D, Dallas Stars
19. Liam Ohgren, LW, Minnesota Wild
20. Ivan Miroshnichenko, LW, Washington Capitals
21. Owen Pickering, D, Pittsburgh Penguins
22. Nathan Gaucher, C, Anaheim Ducks
23. Jimmy Snuggerud, RW, St. Louis Blues
24. Danila Yurov, RW, Minnesota Wild
25. Sam Rinzel, D, Chicago Blackhawks
26. Filip Mesar, RW, Montreal Canadiens
27. Filip Bystedt, C, San Jose Sharks
28. Jiri Kulich, C, Buffalo Sabres
29. Maveric Lamoureux, D, Arizona Coyotes
30. Brad Lambert, C, Winnipeg Jets
31. Isaac Howard, LW, Tampa Bay Lightning
32. Reid Schaefer, LW, Edmonton Oilers