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2022 Draft Prospect Profile: Logan Cooley is a dynamic playmaker

Cooley could become the best player from this draft

It’s that time of year again! We’re less than a month away from the first round of the 2022 NHL Entry Draft, on Thursday, July 7. The Columbus Blue Jackets will be picking at #6 and #12. Next up, Logan Cooley:

Logan Cooley

Position: C
Team: US National Development Team
Date of Birth: May 4, 2004
Birthplace: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Height: 5’10”
Weight: 181 lbs.
Shoots: Left

Rankings:

#2 - Consolidated Ranking, FC Hockey, Bob McKenzie, McKeen’s Hockey, Craig Button, NHL Central Scouting (of North Americans), Sportsnet, Recruit Scouting, Smaht Scouting, The Puck Authority
#3 - ISS Hockey, Dobber Prospects, Draft Prospects Hockey
#4 - Elite Prospects
Average - 2.357

2021-22 Stats:

Games Played: 82
Goals: 43
Assists: 79
Points: 122
PIM: 126
Plus/Minus: +62

I’ll be honest, I’m not that good at scouting. Normally I just retroactively read about the players the CBJ picked at the draft. But normally I know one or two names, and this year’s are Shane Wright and Juraj Slafkovsky, which is why I was so surprised to see Logan Cooley consistently ranked above Slafkovsky in almost every ranking listed on Elite Prospects.

High-speed, high-skill, and high-smarts, Cooley has shown it all in his time with the USNTDP. He’s naturally fluid with the puck, creates turnovers in the neutral and offensive zones, is a transition machine, and is just an all-around complete package. He’s also shown a consistent work ethic; his small stature “should be rendered almost moot when it comes to being a weakness,” according to The Hockey Writers.

While he’s committed to the University of Minnesota for next season, he has the skills to come over directly and start in the big leagues. He’s earned comparisons to Aleksander Barkov, Jonathan Towes, and Mitch Marner, though based on his description, I feel like Artemi Panarin would also be a fair analogy.

Scouting Reports:

Cooley is a dynamic player. When he has the puck on his stick you instantly notice him because of his high-end speed, skill and offensive IQ. He can make highly creative dekes and passes at full speed. The pace of his game is why I think he will be a top NHL player. He takes pucks up the ice and to the net often. Cooley lacks size, but he plays hard. He can drive play at even strength while also having the vision and shot to be a power-play threat running a unit from the walls. - Cory Pronman, the Athletic

Cooley marries his outstanding skating with excellent puckhandling ability. This allows him to control the puck and make plays off the rush and at top speed. He also is able to control the puck in the offensive zone, speeding up the play or slowing it down as necessary. His patience and poise are combined with outstanding vision. He is able to wait for his teammates to get open and then feather a tape-to-tape pass through a tight passing lane to set up a scoring chance. ... Cooley’s vision and high-end IQ, allow him to quarterback the powerplay from the half boards. - Ben Kerr, Last Word on Sports

Logan Cooley’s style of play is one which every team in the NHL could use on their roster. He’s an extremely talented two-way forward, and where he may lack in size to some, he certainly more than makes up for it by playing an extremely mature game in all areas of the ice. Cooley can be trusted in every situation, regardless of how the game is playing out. His two-way game is arguably amongst the top of the class, if not already sitting atop the list. - Paul Zuk, Smaht Scouting

Highlights:

If you want pure highlights, here’s four and a half minutes of Cooley being good at hockey.

If you want more analysis and have a bit more time, here’s a good video by Scouching: