Looking ahead to the 2022 Hockey Hall of Fame ballot: Who will get the call?

National Hockey League / Getty

With the 2020 Hall of Fame induction weekend in the rearview mirror, it’s time to look ahead to players on the 2022 ballot. Remember, there was no 2021 class due to the COVID-19 pandemic, so the 2022 class will feature two years' worth of first-timers.

It's important to note a player will only become Hall of Fame eligible once they have not played a professional or international game for at least three seasons leading up to their election. For example, although Jaromir Jagr hasn't played in the NHL since 2017-18, he's not yet eligible since he still plays professionally in the Czech Republic.

It’s also worth keeping in mind that the Hall can induct a maximum of four male players and two female players each year.

Below, we examine 22 players' chances of being inducted in 2022.

Players were placed in alphabetical order in their respective tiers.

EAP = era-adjusted points

Strong 1st-ballot cases

Roberto Luongo

Denis Brodeur / National Hockey League / Getty
GP W SV% GAA SO
1044 489 .919 2.52 77

Year of eligibility: 1st
Nationality: 🇨🇦
Teams: Islanders, Panthers, Canucks

Luongo’s resume is lacking two key items that almost every first-ballot goalie has at least one of: A Stanley Cup and/or a Vezina Trophy. However, he was robbed of Vezina in 2004 and led the Canucks to within one win of a Cup in 2011. Bobby Lu also backstopped Canada to an Olympic gold medal in 2010, sits fourth all-time in wins, and ranks ninth in save percentage and shutouts.

Caroline Ouellette

Bruce Bennett / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Year of eligibility: 1st
Nationality: 🇨🇦

Ouellette is one of the most decorated hockey players of all time - male or female. She’s won four Olympic gold medals, six world championship gold medals, four Clarkson Cups, and an NCAA championship. Ouellette's the CWHL’s all-time leading scorer with 314 points in 179 games and sits first in NWHL history with 2.074 points per game in 81 contests.

Sedin Twins

Jeff Vinnick / National Hockey League / Getty

Daniel Sedin

GP G A P EAP
1306 393 648 1041 1154

Henrik Sedin

GP G A P EAP
1330 240 830 1070 1181

Year of eligibility: 1st
Nationality: 🇸🇪
Team: Canucks

The career totals of the Sedin twins may not scream "first-ballot induction," but it truly felt like you were watching a pair of no-doubt Hall of Famers during their primes. Henrik, the playmaking center, won a Hart Trophy and an Art Ross in 2010 while leading the league in assists three years in a row. Daniel, the winger with more finishing ability, won the Art Ross and Ted Lindsay in 2011 and finished second in Hart voting. The duo didn’t win a Stanley Cup, but they did win an Olympic gold medal in 2006.

The Sedins' uniqueness will likely help push them into the Hall. No two players in NHL history have had greater chemistry, as they seemingly used their twin telepathy to find each other on the ice. If the twins don’t get in on the first try, they’ll certainly be inductees at some point.

Could be their year

Daniel Alfredsson

Dave Sandford / Getty Images Sport / Getty
GP G A P EAP
1246 444 713 1157 1261

Year of eligibility: 5th
Nationality: 🇸🇪
Teams: Senators, Red Wings

Alfredsson is a classic case of longevity vs. peak. He clearly has the former, ranking 34th in era-adjusted points - the second most among any HOF-eligible player. But Alfredsson's peak is lacking. He finished fifth in Hart voting with 103 points in 2006, but he otherwise never hit 90 points or finished better than 16th in Hart voting. Alfredsson never won a Cup, either, but he did win Olympic gold in 2006.

Jennifer Botterill

Bruce Bennett / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Year of eligibility: 8th
Nationality: 🇨🇦

It’s not a matter of if Botterill will get into the Hall of Fame - it's a matter of when. Botterill won three Olympic and five world championship gold medals, and she's the NCAA’s all-time leading scorer with a ridiculous 340 points in 113 games.

Rod Brind'Amour

David E. Klutho / Sports Illustrated / Getty
GP G A P EAP
1484 452 732 1184 1210

Year of eligibility: 9th
Nationality: 🇨🇦
Teams: Blues, Flyers, Hurricanes

The more success Brind'Amour has coaching, the more his chances of getting into the Hall as a player improve. At the very least, it can’t hurt them. Rod the Bod was never a dominant offensive player, but he did win two Selke Trophies and a Stanley Cup. Brind'Amour's career was better than Guy Carbonneau’s - a similar style player - who was a 2019 inductee.

Sergei Gonchar

Dave Sandford / Getty Images Sport / Getty
GP G A P EAP
1301 220 591 811 896

Year of eligibility: 4th
Nationality: 🇷🇺
Teams: Capitals, Bruins, Penguins, Senators, Stars, Canadiens

Gonchar ranks 16th in points among defensemen - the second most among non-Hall of Famers. While he was always lauded as a dynamic offensive blue-liner, Gonchar never got enough respect for his defensive abilities. He played a crucial role as a workhorse and No. 1 D-man on Pittsburgh’s 2008 Stanley-Cup winning squad. Gonchar never won a Norris Trophy, but he did finish in the top five in voting four times.

Alexander Mogilny

Rick Stewart / Getty Images Sport / Getty
GP G A P EAP
990 473 559 1032 1054

Year of eligibility: 13th
Nationality: 🇷🇺
Teams: Sabres, Canucks, Devils, Maple Leafs

It’s quite mysterious that Mogilny has had to wait this long. The electrifying talent has both the career totals and the peak - 76 goals in 1992-93 - to get him in. For those who question Mogilny's ability to win, he’s one of 29 members of the Triple Gold Club. Oh, and he’s also one of the game’s most important trailblazers as the first player ever to defect from Russia for the NHL.

Gary Suter

Doug Pensinger / Getty Images Sport / Getty
GP G A P EAP
1145 203 641 844 795

Year of eligibility: 17th
Nationality: 🇺🇸
Teams:
Flames, Blackhawks, Sharks

Fellow defensemen of Suter's era, Kevin Lowe and Doug Wilson, being inducted over the weekend strongly helps his case. Lowe's defensive abilities are tough to quantify, but Suter stacks up well against Wilson, with the American blue-liner collecting more career points and only having a slightly lower points-per-game average. Suter didn't win a Norris like Wilson, but he should've in 1988, and he won a Stanley Cup a year later - something Wilson never accomplished. Suter also added a World Cup to his resume in 1996.

Pierre Turgeon

B Bennett / Bruce Bennett / Getty
GP G A P EAP
1294 515 812 1327 1315

Year of eligibility: 12th
Nationality: 🇨🇦
Teams: Sabres, Islanders, Canadiens, Blues, Stars, Avalanche

Turgeon's case is simple: He has more points - era-adjusted or not - than any eligible player not already in the Hall of Fame. However, the knocks against Turgeon are also clear: He never won anything. No major individual awards, no Stanley Cups, and no international medals. The latter is clearly what's holding Turgeon back, but it feels like his production could get him in at some point. Perhaps 2022 is that year.

Slim chances

Dan Boyle

Rocky Widner / Getty
GP G A P
1093 163 442 605

Year of eligibility: 3rd
Nationality: 🇨🇦
Teams: Panthers, Lightning, Sharks, Rangers

Note: Only the top 250 era-adjusted points leaders are available on Hockey Reference. Boyle is not in the top 250, so his EAPs aren't displayed.

Boyle enjoyed a stellar career. He was a second-team All-Star twice, won a Stanley Cup with the Lightning in 2004, and collected an Olympic gold medal in 2010. However, it feels like his overall numbers will keep him out and certainly don't warrant him getting in ahead of fellow D-men Gonchar and Suter.

Patrik Elias

B Bennett / Bruce Bennett / Getty
GP G A P EAP
1240 408 617 1025 1144

Year of eligibility: 3rd
Nationality: 🇨🇿
Team:
Devils

Elias was never considered one of the league's most dominant players, which could ultimately keep him out of the Hall of Fame. However, he was the best forward on two Stanley Cup teams, and he quietly produced at a consistent rate throughout his career despite playing for the perennially defense-first Devils.

Theoren Fleury

B Bennett / Bruce Bennett / Getty
GP G A P EAP
1084 455 633 1088 1111

Year of eligibility: 16th
Nationality: 🇨🇦
Teams: Flames, Avalanche, Rangers, Blackhawks

Fleury has enough accolades to get in. A point-per-game player throughout his career, he also won a Stanley Cup in 1989 and an Olympic gold medal in 2002. However, for a player that's been on the bubble for 15 years, it's hard to imagine 2022 will be the year he gets in after being condemned for sharing vaccine passport conspiracy theories in September.

Curtis Joseph

Elsa / Getty Images Sport / Getty
GP W SV% GAA SO
943 454 .906 2.79 51

Year of eligibility: 10th
Nationality: 🇨🇦
Teams: Blues, Maple Leafs, Oilers, Red Wings, Coyotes, Flames

Cujo's case as a big-game goalie is legit. He had the type of squad-carrying ability to steal a playoff series against far superior clubs, as he did in 1993, 1997, 1998, and 2001. Joseph's also seventh on the all-time wins list, but he never won a Stanley Cup or a Vezina - although he was robbed of the latter in '93. Cujo might get in one day, but it's hard to imagine that coming in 2022 when Luongo is more deserving.

Vincent Lecavalier

GP G A P EAP
1212 421 528 949 1051

Year of eligibility: 3rd
Nationality: 🇨🇦
Teams: Lightning, Flyers, Kings

Lecavalier was trending towards the Hall of Fame in the first half of his career, but his 30s weren't overly kind to him and may ultimately be what keeps him out. However, he did win a Maurice "Rocket" Richard Trophy, a Stanley Cup in 2004, and a World Cup in 2004 - during which he was named tournament MVP.

Rick Nash

B Bennett / Bruce Bennett / Getty
GP G A P EAP
1060 437 368 805 901

Year of eligibility: 1st
Nationality: 🇨🇦
Teams: Blue Jackets, Rangers, Bruins

Nash was an elite goal-scoring power forward in his prime, but poor teams held him back in the first half of his career, and injuries plagued him in the latter half. His career totals certainly won't warrant a first-ballot induction, and perhaps they never will.

Brad Richards

Dave Sandford / Getty Images Sport / Getty
GP G A P EAP
1126 298 634 932 1032

Year of eligibility: 3rd
Nationality: 🇨🇦
Teams: Lightning, Stars, Rangers, Blackhawks, Red Wings

Richards is the third member of the '04 Lightning squad to crack this list, but it's hard to envision any of them punching their ticket in 2022. The center was the Conn Smythe winner on that Bolts squad, and he also collected another ring with the 2015 Blackhawks in the twilight of his career. Despite also winning a World Cup and a Memorial Cup, Richards' lack of individual success may leave him just short in the long run.

Jeremy Roenick

Elsa / Getty Images Sport / Getty
GP G A P EAP
1363 513 703 1216 1228

Year of eligibility: 10th
Nationality: 🇺🇸
Teams:
Blackhawks, Coyotes, Flyers, Kings, Sharks

Roenick's case is similar to Turgeon's: He piled up points but never won anything. For Roenick to have a shot, Turgeon will likely have to get in first.

Riikka Sallinen

MIKKO STIG / AFP / Getty

Year of eligibility: 1st
Nationality: 🇫🇮

The Hall of Fame has never inducted a female European player, but Sallinen could be the first one day. She sits ninth on the all-time scoring list in both the Olympics and world championships and would almost certainly have a gold medal in both had she been from Canada or the United States.

Keith Tkachuk

Mark Buckner / Getty
GP G A P EAP
1201 538 527 1065 1150

Year of eligibility: 9th
Nationality: 🇺🇸
Teams:
Jets 1.0, Coyotes, Blues, Thrashers

Tkachuk was a premier goal-scoring power forward, ranking 33rd on the all-time goals list and 25th in era-adjusted goals. He never won a Stanley Cup, but he did win a "Rocket" and a World Cup gold medal. "Big Walt" never finished better than 10th in Hart voting, but the legacy he's left behind with his sons may help him get in one day - just probably not in 2022.

Henrik Zetterberg

Gregory Shamus / Getty Images Sport / Getty
GP G A P EAP
1082 337 623 960 1069

Year of eligibility: 1st
Nationality: 🇸🇪
Team: Red Wings

It's highly unlikely Zetterberg gets inducted on his first try due to his unspectacular counting stats, but it wouldn't be shocking to see him get in eventually - especially as analytics continues to become more prevalent. The versatile two-way forward is a Conn Smythe winner and a member of the Triple Gold Club.

Prediction

The Hall of Fame will induct the Sedin twins, Luongo, Mogilny, Ouellette, and Botterill in 2022.

(Stats courtesy: Hockey Reference, Elite Prospects)

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Looking ahead to the 2022 Hockey Hall of Fame ballot: Who will get the call?
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