Monday, June 15, 2009

New Jersey Devils Draft Preview

First Round Position: 23rd overall

Best Picks of last 3 Years:

Matt Halischuk (RW) – 4th round 2007
Patrice Cormier (C) – 2nd round 2008
Mattias Tedenby (LW) – 1st round 2008
Brandon Burlon (D) – 2nd round 2008
Adam Henrique (C) – 3rd round 2008

Coming Down the Pipe – The New Jersey Devils were one of the most dominant franchises in the ‘90’s when it came to the draft but in the current decade, the team has missed a lot more than it has hit. While Zach Parise and Travis Zajac are both terrific NHL players, however, when it comes to Devils' drafting over the last 8 years they are the exception rather than the rule. The early results of the 2008 event are promising as forwards Patrice Cormier, Mattias Tedenby and Adam Henrique join a short list of notable prospects in the Devils’ system. Nicklas Bergfors is several years removed from his 1st round selection but may finally be ready for NHL duty next year. Matt Corrente and collegian Brandon Burlon are the organization’s top 2 blueliners in waiting while a possible replacement for Martin Brodeur may not even be in their system.

Draft Trends – The Devils used to be a team that looked to Europe more than the average NHL club but in recent years that seems to have changed. Only five Euros were drafted by the Devils over the last 3 years and three of those were Russians taken in 2006. 9 of the last 15 players chosen by New Jersey have come from the Canadian Hockey League. Lou Lamoriello and David Conte have not selected a goaltender since 2006 when Jeff Frazee was chosen in the 2nd round.

Millard: Kyle Palmieri - Comparisons to Zach Parise make it natural for the Devils to grab another American-born skilled forward. He was kicked off the U.S. U-18 team for reportedly not ratting out his teammates. Palmieri is heading to Notre Dame next year and Lou loves his college boys.

Flaming: Louis Leblanc – I’m not sure how some clubs feel about Leblanc heading to Harvard but Lou Lamoriello has ignored so-called ‘warning signs’ before that may have deterred most teams. Former NHLer Ted Donato is running the show at Harvard and is making progress with their program.

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