Two UConn men’s hockey commitments were taken in the sixth round of the 2022 NHL Draft on Friday. Jake Richard was selected by the Buffalo Sabres 170th overall and Joey Muldowney went 174th overall to the San Jose Sharks.
They are the 22nd and 23rd Huskies to be drafted. UConn’s now had at least one player or commit taken in each of the last 10 NHL Drafts.
Richard, a 6-foot-2 power forward from Jacksonville, Florida, committed to UConn in February. As an ‘04 prospect, he was one of the youngest players in the draft — he made the cutoff by a month — and is regarded as a late-bloomer. As a rookie with the USHL’s Muskegon Lumberjacks, Richard totaled 18 goals and 30 assists in 56 games, though all but seven of those points came after the calendar flipped to 2022.
While Richard has a strong skill set to go with his hard-hitting style of play, he still needs to add weight to his frame and improve his skating to become a legitimate NHL prospect.
“He’s got unbelievable skills and scoring ability,” Lumberjacks head coach Mike Hamilton told MuskegonSports.com about Richard. “Now it’s just a matter of him creating separation (from defenders) so he can make those plays, and building his strength so he won’t end up on his butt.
Meanwhile, Muldowney committed to UConn this past November. A 5-foot-11, 154-pound forward from Lake View, New York, Muldowney exploded with 57 goals and 40 assists in 56 games at the Nichols School and then played three games with the USHL’s Des Moines Buccaneers, where he added a goal and an assist.
“I had a little bit of an idea that I might get drafted, but I also had it in my head that, alright, maybe it will happen, or maybe it won’t,” Muldowney told The Buffalo News. “I was trying to keep a level head, that if it didn’t happen, I wasn’t going to be upset about it.”
Muldowney’s speed and skill likely caught the eye of San Jose but — like Richard — he’ll need to add significant strength and weight to cut it at the collegiate level, let alone the professional ranks.
Both players are expected to arrive in Storrs as part of UConn’s 2023 recruiting class.
What an honor! Thank you San Jose for believing in me. Go Sharks https://t.co/7xQFQMu66S— Joey Muldowney (@muldowney_joey) July 8, 2022
Previous UConn draft picks
Ryan Segalla — Pittsburgh Penguins (fourth round, 119th overall)
David Drake — Philadelphia Flyers (seventh round, 192nd overall)
Max Letunov — St. Louis Blues (second round, 54th overall)
Miles Gendron — Ottawa Senators (third round, 70th overall)
Adam Huska — New York Rangers (seventh round, 184th overall)
Tage Thompson — St. Louis Blues (first round, 26th overall)
Philip Nyberg — Buffalo Sabres (fifth round, 129th overall)
Joseph Masonius — Pittsburgh Penguins (sixth round, 181st overall)
Kale Howarth — Columbus Blue Jackets (fifth round, 148th overall)
Tomas Vomacka — Nashville Predators (fifth round, 154th overall)
Ruslan Iskhakov — New York Islanders (second round, 43rd overall)
Jachym Kondelik — Nashville Predators (fourth round, 111th overall)
Vlad Firstov — Minnesota Wild (second round, 42nd overall)
Matej Blumel — Edmonton Oilers (fourth round, 100th overall)
Carter Berger — Florida Panthers (fourth round, 106th overall)
Yan Kuznetsov — Calgary Flames (second round, 50th overall)
Artem Shlaine — New Jersey Devils (fifth round, 130th overall)
Nick Capone — Tampa Bay Lightning (sixth round, 157th overall)
Chase Bradley — Detroit Red Wings (seventh round, 203rd overall)
Ryan Tverberg — Toronto Maple Leafs (seventh round, 213th overall)
Arsenii Sergeev — Calgary Flames (seventh round, 205th overall)
Jake Richard — Buffalo Sabres (sixth round, 170th overall)
Joey Muldowney — San Jose Sharks (sixth round, 17th overall)