How to Be the Number One Draft Pick in NHL 22 Be a Pro

How to get drafted no. 1 in NHL 22
Image credit: EA Sports

While being drafted as the no. 1 pick in NHL 22 Be a Pro doesn’t mean you’re instantly destined for greatness, there’s still something about being called the biggest talent in the world.

Many players (myself included) want not only to have a legendary career but also start strong and get drafted as the first pick. As usual, this depends on what you do before the draft – your game, demeanor, and a bunch of other factors come into play.

In NHL 22, you’ll be drafted as no. 1 or 2 even if you don’t put in great performances. That’s just how the narrative seems to be set up. However, more often than not, you’ll be drafted 2nd by the Seattle Kraken. To go 1st, you’ll need to perform.

Here is a detailed guide on how to get drafted as the first overall pick in NHL 22 Be a Pro.

Creating a Player and Choosing the Right Archetype

It all starts with creating your player and choosing the right archetype for the position.

Of course, this will largely be a matter of your personal preference and the way you want to play the game. Still, you should follow some basic rules. For example, if you’re a winger, you’ll want to choose the archetypes that suit your role – Sniper and Playmaker instantly come to mind.

Defenders will typically want to stay away from these because they’ll be starting with lower ratings for Body Checking, Strength, and other relevant skills.

More importantly, your play will be judged based on the archetype you chose. So, if you choose the Sniper archetype, the coach will give you feedback based on how you shoot, get open, and do all other things that are expected from an elite scorer. Keep this in mind and choose the archetype that you feel most comfortable with. Your success on the ice will dictate your progress and draft stock.

For the purposes of this article, I chose the Sniper archetype so my best attributes were Shooting, Speed, and Offensive awareness. Most of my in-game challenges were related to the offensive side of the game – we’ll get to those later on.

Choosing a Competition: CHL’s Memorial Cup or Europe

The next step is to choose your competition and team.

From what I could tell in my two playthroughs, this has no impact on your game or draft stock whatsoever. You might find certain teams easier to play with (you can see their offensive and defensive ratings) but, generally, other aspects of the game are much more important.

I chose the London Knights and competed in the CHL’s Memorial Cup. The tournament consisted of four games (including the Final) so that’s all you have to showcase your skill. You’ll be starting the first game from the second line but, if you play smart and make the most out of the opportunity, you’ll be moved up for the next game.

For my other playthrough, I chose the Champions Hockey League and saw no difference.

Getting the Right Traits

Before you start your first game, you’ll have two Trait Points to spend.

Make sure you do this and choose your points carefully. Once again, the skills you choose will depend on your playing style and position. In my case, I wanted to focus on Skating and Shooting, so I got the Power Skater and Marksman traits right away to gain a competitive edge. During the pre-draft tournament, you’ll get one more point to spend, so don’t treat these first two points like the only ones you can use.

Whichever position you play, I would recommend going for the Power Skater trait. Speed and Acceleration are major factors, and you’ll find yourself struggling to keep up early on.

When choosing your skills, you can monitor the Ratings Modifiers on the right to see how each skill will impact your ratings. You can always choose those skills that will increase your rating by 1 point and give you a boost for the following games.

Choosing the Right Options in Conversations

Throughout the early stage, you’ll have several conversations with different people that will all impact your game objectives and public perception.

Conversations with your agent usually have no significance when it comes to setting expectations or moving your career in a certain direction. He will mostly just keep you updated on your draft stock and have casual conversations.

Conversations with the media will mostly impact your Likeability and let you create storylines. Likeability is an important part of the game in NHL 22 Be a Pro but it has no real effect on your draft stock so we can ignore it for the purposes of this article. In some cases, you can use media statements to set expectations and announcing that you’ll get an assist or score in your next game.

Conversations with the coach are the ones you should pay the most attention to. Before your first game, you’ll have a conversation with your coach in which he’ll ask you to win the game. That will be your first Promise. Delivering on coach promises will give you big boosts in likeability and line score.

You’ll see your Promises before each game – make sure you honor them!

Playing Games to Increase Your Draft Stock

This is perhaps something that will have the biggest impact on your chances of getting drafted as the first pick.

You want to put in good performances, get good coach feedback, and win to get high XP bonuses and increase your draft stock. Here are a few tips on how to do all of this.

Get Good Coach Feedback

Every move you make – good and bad – will impact your overall grade on Offense, Defense, and Team Play. It will also give (or take away) the XP that will be added up at the end of the game.

In my experience, consistently getting high grades in Team Play is the hardest part, maybe because I played a little selfishly. Still, turnovers, penalties, and bad calls for passes will all have a big impact on your Team Play grade. Especially penalties – do your best to avoid bad poke checks, or you’ll see your Team play grade dropping dramatically.

Pay attention to the Suggested Focus fields and try to do what your coach is asking you to do. In your first game, this will be the really basic stuff like shooting the puck and passing. As you keep progressing, you’ll get to good line changes, blocking, and more advanced moves.

In-Game Coach Objectives

During the game, especially if things are getting dramatic, your coach will call you up and give you an objective.

The objectives will depend on the situation, but it will always be something like “protect the lead,” “keep up the pressure,” “avoid penalties,” etc. You have two response options: Team and Star. Team will simply accept whatever the coach is asking you to do. Choosing the Star option will let you up the ante and promise to score a goal.

Needless to say, choosing the second option will give you a more considerable boost, but it’s also riskier. I suggest mixing things up and only promising to score if you feel really confident. If a game is really dramatic (lots of lead switches and ties), you will get several objectives, so you can combine Team and Star options to make sure you get a maximum likeability and line score.

Use the Clutch Bonus

At least one of your games will be a close one.

Near the end of the game, when things are getting tight, you’ll get a Clutch bonus that will double all of the XP you gain from offensive moves. Use this to increase your output – shoot, pass, and skate as efficiently as you can to get a boost and use it later to improve your player.

Do You Need to Win the Memorial Cup?

Regardless of the competition you chose at the beginning, you’ll be playing the same amount of games, culminating with a final.

Naturally, you’ll want to win this competition, but doing this might not have such a significant impact on your draft stock. In fact, I did two playthroughs for this article, and I got drafted as the first pick in the one where I lost in the final.

All the other things we mentioned in this article are more important than actually winning the whole thing.

Team Interviews: Star or Team Response Options?

Once the pre-draft cup is over, your agent will tell you your draft ranking. Don’t be fooled – even if he does tell you that you’re 1st, this doesn’t mean you’ll get drafted as the 1st pick. This is exactly what happened in my first playthrough.

This will be determined by your team interviews.

In both of my playthroughs, I was interviewed by the Buffalo Sabres and the Seattle Kraken. Just like in other conversations, you can choose between Team and Star options. Both of these teams are some of the best teams to manage in NHL 22 Franchise Mode but, obviously, if you want to get drafted 1st, you need to knock the Sabres interview out of the park and bomb the Kraken interview.

To get a good Draft Interview Score, you should choose exclusively the Team option. This will give you at least a +95 score. You can try to use Persuade, but I wouldn’t risk it – 95 will be enough.

I bombed the Kraken interview by choosing only Star options and got a +4 score.

Summary

Here is how getting drafted as the first overall pick in NHL 22 looks like:

In my opinion, here are all the things you need to do to get drafted 1st in NHL 22 Be a Pro, in order of significance:

  • Be in good form and get good overall grades
  • Get a good draft interview score by choosing Team dialogue options
  • Fulfill promises
  • Win games in the CHL Memorial Cup or Champions Hockey League playoffs

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