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Devils Prepare for 2016 Entry Draft

 

The New Jersey Devils are looking forward to the upcoming draft as they currently hold two picks in the first round as well as 6 other picks, including a 2nd rounder. They won't have a pick in the 3rd or 6th round but hopefully that won't come around to bite the team down the road. Like last year when we picked up Gurianov and Kyle Connor, the team hopes to pick high ceiling players in the first round. Last year ended after the first round for the team however, so hopefully with a least a 2nd rounder the team can secure either a trade to pick up more picks or draft a solid player there.

The team knows it has a lot of areas to improve the prospect list is no different. As mentioned above, the team likes the potential top line impact of Connor but outside of him it gets a little thin in terms of real game changers in terms of prospects. Alex Tuch, Vladislav Kamenev and Justin Bailey could all be solid middle six players but there is risk with each one of them at this point in their careers. The team would obviously love to grab a player like Connor again this year but more likely is the Gurianov type of prospect. With a pick at the same spot the Devils grabbed Gurianov the team is hoping for another high ceiling player but one in a better team environment than Gurianov had to deal with this past season. This likely means the team will be targeting a two way or offensive D-man with the pick and more than likely from this side of hockey world. The team definitely has more forward prospects than D, and while Ben Hutton had a nice rookie season in the NHL, Schmaltz had a decent year in the AHL and Mike Reilly bounced in between - the team is not sure a top 2 defenseman is on the farm or prospect list. With guys like Edler and Franson getting older, as well as former picks like Kulikov and Moore never quite becoming what was hoped, this year the team might have to even use both 1sts to target the back end. The Devils would love for a guy like McAvoy to fall to 19 but that is very doubtful at this point.

Also weak is the goalie situation, with Miller back for one more year as well as Mike Condon looking for a new contract. Franchise goalies are obviously worth every penny but starters are generally not hard to come by. In terms of drafting one in the 1st round, that is not something the team will likely look at. It's very hard to get a good return on that kind of pick, however if there is still a highly ranked goalie available with the teams pick in the 2nd then that would be ideal.