North Melbourne Kangaroos player Brayden George at training in 2023 (image via North Melbourne FC)

The 2022 AFL draft was deemed vital for North Melbourne with the focus on finding the right players that can finally bring a premiership back to Arden Street.

After 19 rounds of football, North Melbourne appeared to have fulfilled their hopes of finding young talent that can form the next generation of AFL superstars. The Kangaroos selected Harry Sheezel and George Wardlaw with the third and fourth Picks respectively in the 2022 AFL draft.

As the season crawls slowly to a conclusion, Ajax junior Sheezel form has been very impressive, playing mostly at half-back, but has also been given an opportunity as an attacking threat.

He was nominated in Round 1 for the Rising Star Award in a first-up win over the West Coast Eagles, and has averaged 26.6 disposals per game after 19 rounds, with 5.7 marks, 2.9 tackles and 436.3 metres gained. The 18-year-old has well and truly pleaded his case for 2023 AFL Rising Star title.

Wardlaw has immediately become one of North Melbourne's most impactful onballers, leading his side in clearances since debuting in Round 10.

He was also nominated for the Rising Star Award in an impressive display against GWS in Round 13. Wardlaw had 22 disposals, nine tackles, and six clearances and kicked his first AFL goal. The former Oakleigh Charger has averaged 14.7 disposals in his nine games, with 5.3 tackles and 4.1 clearances also adding to his contributions.

The success of Sheezel and Wardlaw would make it hard to suggest that the best prospect could possibly be another Kangaroos selection from last year's draft, however interim coach Brett Ratten believes there's a chance that Brayden George could be the next big thing at Arden Street.

Taken with the 26th selection, George has yet to receive an opportunity with the club, opting to focus on rehabilitating his knee after an ACL injury during the leadup to the draft.

The injury temporarily halted what was a promising junior campaign, with draft analysts even suggesting the 19-year-old could have been taken as one of the first selections.

George is a powerful medium-sized forward, who has earned comparisons with the likes of dominant Melbourne midfielder Christian Petracca, by AFL draft expert Cal Twomey.

The Giggare product is a highly touted attacking player with speed and power remaining his most impressive elite footballing traits.

GEELONG, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 26: Jacob Konstanty of Vic Country celebrates kicking a goal with Brayden George during the U17 Championships match between Vic Country and Vic Metro at GMHBA Stadium on June 26, 2021 in Geelong, Australia. (Photo by Morgan Hancock/AFL Photos/via Getty Images)

During an NMFC Members Q&A, Ratten expressed that he believes the attributes that George possesses give him the potential to make him one of the most talented among North Melbourne's squad.

"He could be the most talented out of this year's (North draft) crop," said Ratten

"That's such a big call because (Harry) Sheezel is playing so well and George Wardlaw as we know is very very talented.

"But Brayden (George) has got some really strong AFL attributes, beautiful kick, long, strong, powerful and goes with his own footy.

"To think what he could do next year and he hasn't even played, we're virtually getting a top 10 pick for nothing, which is great."

George will most likely have to wait until next season to prove his worth at the AFL level, with rehabilitation likely to last until pre-season 2024.

When he finally features for the Kangaroos, North Melbourne fans will keep their fingers crossed that he can swiftly showcase why he was initially considered a potential top-10 selection.