Happy mock draft season! Over the next week leading up to the draft, SB Nation sites will be making their picks for the first round of the 2022 NHL Draft. The Ottawa Senators, of course, have the seventh overall selection and we are on the clock!
With the seventh overall selection, the Ottawa Senators are proud to mock draft Joakim Kemell out of Finland’s top league, Liiga. During our Silver Seven Draft coverage, we took a look at skaters out of Liiga including Kemell just last week. As highlighted in this piece, the top attribute that has NHL scouts excited about Kemell is his shot.
Alright, now that I'm back in session, it's time to officially declare "my guy" at the 2022 NHL draft.— Derek Lee (@DLee075) April 29, 2022
It's Joakim Kemell for obvious reasons and here's his hat trick at the U18's from yesterday.
What’s fantastic about Kemell is that he adds layers of skill above and beyond this shot. He’s got the skating, he’s got the hands, and he certainly has a compete level that we all know General Manager Pierre Dorion loves. Kemell ranks seventh on the Elite Prospects consolidated rankings with particularly high praise from both Bob McKenzie and Craig Button.
At this point in the draft, there are a number of players who could go seventh and Kemell is right at the top of the list. In Kemell, the Senators would be getting a potential future complement to centre Tim Stützle. You always go for best player available at the top of the draft and it’s just a cherry on top that the Finnish right winger fills one of Ottawa’s greatest holes in their depth chart.
This year, Kemell got off to a scorching hot start going over a point per game well into November before cooling down. What’s important to note is that, while he did certainly come back to earth in the back half of the season, this 18 year old posted 23 points (15 goals) in 39 games in Finland’s best league.
Compared to the other notable draft eligible player out of Liiga this year, Kemell outproduced Juraj Slafkovsky in primary points per game with 0.49, relative to Slafkovsky’s 0.32. Kemell also was more productive than the Slovak winger at even strength. Relative to other notable players drafted out of this league, Kemell’s primary points per game production is higher than Anton Lundell (0.45) and Jesperi Kotkaniemi (0.40) in their draft years but behind 2019 second overall pick Kaapo Kakko (0.76).
He’s may be a bit on the smaller side, but man… is Joakim Kemell good.— Future Sickos Podcast (@FutureSickos) November 25, 2021
Producing at over a point per game in LIIGA, Kemell’s ability to score in a top mens league while not being afraid to throw his body around would make him an excellent fit in Ottawapic.twitter.com/GV7QCHbZQT
A shoulder injury put a damper on his season, which saw him producing at a high level before missing significant time. Upon returning in January, Kemell took ten games to finally get producing again and mustered only six points through 18 games to wrap up his draft season. If you look at the first half of the year, you can see why there are multiple publications that have Kemell as a top five talent in 2022. If you look at what he managed upon returning from injury, you can see why he’s slipped as low as 12th on some rankings.
By selecting Kemell seventh overall, the Senators would be banking on the first half of Kemell’s season being the true representation of the player - a dynamic scoring forward with the best one-timer in the draft.