With near back-to-back picks in the third round, the Nashville Predators selected forward Adam Ingram with the 82nd pick and defender Kasper Kulonummi with the 84th pick in the 2022 NHL Entry Draft.
Ingram is a 6’2” forward who is one of the older players in this draft class and comes from the Youngstown Phantoms of the USHL. He led his team in scoring with 26 goals and 55 points in 54 games; 25 of those points were primary ones scored at even strength.
Ingram started the season with a scorching scoring rate but cooled off in the second half and looked like a completely different player some nights. There’s decent pace to his game, but I have concerns about his footspeed at the NHL level without refinements to his skating mechanics.
At his best, he’s dangerous in transition, being hard to knock off the puck and completing creative passes out of the defensive zone. He’s an above-average shooter and puck handler and can exploit space behind defenses to put the puck in the net. On his worst nights, he was reserved and reactive to the play and gave up on too many races to loose pucks. I had Ingram ranked 64th on my final draft board. He is committed to St. Cloud State University for next season.
Kulonummi is a 6’0”, right-shot defender who comes from Jokerit’s U20 squad in Finland. He scored three goals and 29 points in 40 games this year and appeared in three Mestis-level games too. He also added five assists in six games at the U18 World Junior Championship.
Kulonummi is a solid, puck-moving defender with good four-way mobility, but he lacks a noticeable separating gear. He closes gaps well and makes few mistakes defensively, but I would like to see him defend more aggressively against the rush. He can move well with the puck on his stick, but I see him more as an outlet passer than skater at higher levels. He’s effective at getting pucks to the net and holding the blue line well without being an amazing shooter.
Kulonummi was ranked 56th on my final draft board, and he will play for Tappara in the Finnish Liiga next season.