The New York Islanders stayed in the CHL with their final two picks in the 2022 NHL Draft, selecting Windsor (OHL) right wing Matthew Maggio in the 5th round at 142nd overall and Kamloops (WHL) left wing Daylan Kuefler in the 6th round at 174th overall.
Maggio was in his second year of draft eligibility, having been passed over and left off Central Scouting’s list last year until its final pre-draft ranking. He had something of a breakout season (38 goals, 85 points) in 2021-22 that brought him back on to scouts’ radars.
The 5’11 wing knew not to take anything for granted coming into this weekend. Here he is in a Windsor Star story in May after Central Scouting ranked him 103 among North American skaters.
“At the end of the day, whatever happens on draft day, it’s not the end of the world and it doesn’t guarantee me a contract even if I do get drafted. At the end of the day, it’s just a stepping stone.”
As an undrafted OHLer last year, he did get an invitation to Washington Capitals prospect camp. So this summer won’t be his first NHL development camp.
He’s a very skilled forward who can create with his stickhandling and playmaking while also having a strong shot. He skates fine. His stride is fluid, but he’s not a burner. Pace will be the main issue for him in the NHL as well as his frame.
Kuefler: ‘Eats slap shot, gets stitches, returns to score’
Kuefler is also an overager, 20, and listed at 6’2 and close to 200 lbs. He had a breakout 2021-22 for Kamloops with 38 goals and 59 points, but that’s not unusual for a larger and older forward, so calm down there, calm down.
Late bloomer? Maybe. Willing-to-do-anything guy? Definitely.
If nothing else, we have this story to hang on to as we watch him try to make it: “Kuefler eats slap shot, gets stitches, returns in same period to score in Kamloops Blazers’ playoff victory”:
Daylan Kuefler could have been maimed, concussed and transported to Royal Inland Hospital after he dove face first into a slap shot on Saturday at Sandman Centre.
Instead, after swift outpatient care, he took permanent residency in Kamloops Blazers’ folklore:
“When I was getting stitched up, I told the doctor I was going to go out there and the next time he saw me, I was going to have a goal,” said Kuefler, whose blood was scraped from the ice while he made his way to the dressing room.
The left-shot forward from Stettler, Alta., made good on his pledge, missing only a few shifts in the second period before returning to the ice in time to put the Blazers up 2-0 in Game 2 of their Western Conference quarter-final series.
So you figure, he’s got that going for him.