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By Force Staff, 07/07/22, 8:00AM CDT


The 2022 NHL Draft kicks off with Round 1 on July 7 at 7:00pm ET live on ESPN, followed by Rounds 2 through 7 at 11:00am ET on July 8 live on ESPN+ and the NHL Network.

The NHL entry draft is the process by which the NHL will allow teams to choose the rights to players within the 18- to 20-year-old range. The players chosen will become part of the NHL franchise with exclusive rights to sign them to an NHL contract.  The entry draft is composed of 7 rounds of 31 choices per round and totals 217 players.

Round 1 is composed of a weighted lottery for the 16 teams that did not make the playoffs, where the top 2 winners can move up a maximum of 10 spots. Therefore, any team in the bottom 11 of the standings have a shot at winning the 1st overall pick.

The 12 teams that do not win the lottery are then slotted in order of their regular season record with the worst getting the 3rd overall choice and then so on. The 16 playoff teams are then placed based on a combination of their playoff performance and regular season record.

Round 2 through 7 are the reverse order of the team’s record in the league from the previous season. If you had the worst record in the league, you would get the first choice of Round 2 and if you had the best record you get the last choice. Rounds 3 through 7 follow the same pattern.

The USHL has had 50-or-more players Drafted in each of the last four NHL Drafts, dating back to a league-best 57 players at the 2018 Draft. The League has seen 933 of its players selected in total, with at least one player taken in each Draft but one dating back to 1981.

Last year the Force had 3 players taken in round two of the 2021 NHL Draft. Starting with defenseman Scott Morrow to the Carolina Hurricanes with the 40th overall pick, followed by defenseman Jack Peart to the Minnesota Wild with the 54th overall pick and finally forward Tristan Broz to the Pittsburgh Penguins with the 58th overall pick

This year the Force have 2 skaters on NHL Central Scouting’s final rankings for the 2022 NHL Draft, forward, Cole Knuble and Force 2022 Phase II draft pick (Rd. 1, Pk. 5) Leo Gruba.


Cole Knuble
Date of Birth: July 01, 2004
Height: 5’10 | Weight: 177lbs.
Position: Forward
Shoots: Right-handed
College Commitment: University of Notre Dame
Final NHL Central Scouting Rank: 84th among North American Skaters

In his rookie season, Knuble had a huge year with the Force, tallying 20 goals and 29 assists for 49 points in 62 games, ranking 4th in scoring amongst rookies in the USHL and 2nd in scoring for the Force. Knuble also represented Fargo at the 2022 BioSteel All American game adding a goal for Team Blue in their 4-3 comeback 

Knuble’s hockey IQ, work ethic, and skill with the puck also earned him the 2022 Fargo Force Rookie of the Year Award as well as USHL All-Rookie First Team Honors.

“Knuble is an extremely competitive player who has the work ethic and drive to be effective all over the ice, whether it’s scoring goals at 5-on-5, being creative on the power play, or battling along the wall. Something that immediately stood out to me was the energy that Knuble brought to the game. His enthusiasm was front and center every time he stepped on the ice and in everything he did.” – From a Jan. 18, 2022 scouting report by FC Hockey’s Shaun Richardson


Leo Gruba
Date of Birth: December 14, 2003
Height: 6’2 | Weight: 188lbs
Position: Defenseman
Shoots: Right-handed
College Commitment: St. Cloud State University
Final NHL Central Scouting Rank: 125th among North American Skaters

Leo Gruba, a 6’1” defenseman from Lake Elmo, MN was taken by the Force with their first pick of the 2022 USHL Phase II Draft (Round 1 – Pick 5). This season he wore the “C” for Hill-Murray High School and helped lead his team to a third-place finish in the Class AA Minnesota State HS Hockey Tournament. He racked up 12 goals and 21 assists for 33 points in 31 games with the Pioneers and earned the title of Metro East Defensemen of the Year. He finished out the year with the St. Cloud Norsemen of the NAHL adding 1 goal and 4 assists for 5 goals in 10 regular season games plus 3 assists in the playoffs. Gruba is 125th amongst North American Skaters in NHL Central Scouting’s final rankings.

“He has all the characteristics the NHL is looking for in an athletic puck-moving defenseman with size that loves to join the rush. He’s dangerous in transition as he can fire accurate passes up ice or get his legs going to catch the opposition flat-footed. There is no panic in his game and his release is next level.” – Center Ice View