Mintyukov, Sapovaliv, prospect Hauser selected in 2022 NHL Draft

Montreal, Que, CAN – Two Saginaw Spirit players and a Spirit prospect were selected in the 2022 Upper Deck NHL Draft held Thursday and Friday (July 7 & 8) at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Que.

Thursday night, the Anaheim Ducks selected Spirit defenseman Pavel Mintyukov with the 10th overall pick in the first round. The pick gave the Spirit a selection in the top 10 in two of the last three NHL drafts (Cole Perfetti, 2020 10th overall pick) and extended the Spirit’s streak with at least one player selected to 15 consecutive years.

Mintyukov finished the 2021-22 regular season with 62 points, becoming the first Spirit defenseman in team history to lead the team in scoring at seasons end. The Russian-born defenseman was selected by the Spirit in the first round of the 2020 CHL Import Draft.

In March, Mintyukov was named to the Kubota CHL NHL Top Prospects game played in Kitchener, Ontario. Following the conclusion of the regular season, the Moscow, Russia native was named to the OHL Third All-Star Team.

With pick No. 48 in the second round, the Vegas Golden Knights selected Spirit center Matyas Sapovaliv. Saginaw’s first round pick in the 2021 CHL Import Draft is the first Spirit player to be drafted by the Golden Knights franchise.

The Czech-born forward saw his game and production grow as the season went on, finishing with 52 points in 68 games. Sapovaliv won 711 of 1,369 faceoffs this season for a 51.9% success rate. Only Tucker Robertson of Peterborough and Rory Kerins of the Soo took more faceoffs this season than Sapovaliv. At the conclusion of the 2021-22 regular season, Sapovaliv was named to the OHL First All-Rookie All-Star Team.

In addition to the rostered players selected, the New Jersey Devils selected Spirit 2022 second round Import pick Petr Hauser with the 141st pick in the fifth round.

The 6-foot-4, 205-pound native of the Czech Republic appeared in 41 games this season for HC Sparta Praha Under-20 Team, scoring 25 goals and 34 assists for 59 points. This earned Hauser a call-up to the Czech second professional league, where he appeared in 15 games for HC Stadion Litomerice scoring one goal and one assist. Hauser was also named to the Czechia Under-20 World Junior Team.


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