clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

2018 NHL First Round Mock Draft Roundup for the New Jersey Devils Pick

New, comments

At the end of this week, the 2018 NHL Entry Draft will take place. To get an idea of who could be available for the New Jersey Devils at 17th overall, I rounded up 26 mock drafts and recorded who they had picked for New Jersey and the two picks before and after them. There is no real consensus player; Bode Wilde appeared the most with seven. There is not even a consensus that the pick will be a defenseman. Read on to learn more what the mocks stated.

USHL Fall Classic - Day 3
This photo of Bode Wilde was picked for a reason. Read on to find out what it is.
Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images

After their first postseason appearance since 2012, the New Jersey Devils will be selecting seventeenth overall in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft. The first round of the draft will be held on Friday, June 22. We will finally find out who the Devils and all of the other teams will end up taking after a month-plus of research, interviews and combine activities, arguments, discussions, and more about prospects in this year’s draft class. The first-round decision was easy last year; and the Devils made the right call in picking Nico. This year will be more of a challenge. Any team who is picking in the middle of the first round is at the mercy of the teams in front of them.

I tend to have an optimistic view of most drafts. The first round typically has the most talented players. I think this year’s group of prospects is not short on talent. Yet, I do not think there is a sure-fire all-star prospect. Good players? Yes. Important players? Hopefully. But it remains to be seen if any break out.

Back when we did the SBN NHL Mock Draft, we picked Barrett Hayton, who surprised us that he was available at 17th overall. To get a sense of who the Devils could be picking, I looked for mock drafts from all over. From journalists to prospect sites and experts to fans like you and me. Not rankings. Not top X lists. Mock drafts. If there was a mock draft that was not entirely old or ridiculous, then I recorded what they had for the Devils and the two picks before and after them to highlight who is likely to be available for the Devils’ pick. Barring any trades, that’s Florida at 15, Colorado at 16, Columbus at 18, and Philadelphia at 19. This is the range for about who to expect for New Jersey.

I rounded up the mocks throughout last week, so check the links to see if there are any updates since then. I put the most recent ones first, all the way to the end. If the mock was done across multiple days, then the mock date is for the date the Devils’ pick was made. There are 26 in total. All but The Athletic (thanks to Corey Masiask for being OK with referencing the mock) are freely available.

2018 NHL First Round Mock Drafts: #15 to #19

Mock Draft Mock Date Devils Pick (#17) Florida (#15) Colorado (#16) Columbus (#18) Philadelphia (#19) Link
Mock Draft Mock Date Devils Pick (#17) Florida (#15) Colorado (#16) Columbus (#18) Philadelphia (#19) Link
Chris Ransom – Draft Utopia 06/17/18 K'Andre Miller Barrett Hayton Bode Wilde Akil Thomas Serron Noel Link
DraftSite 06/17/18 Vitali Kravtsov Bode Wilde Ryan Merkley Rasmus Kupari Grigori Denisenko Link
Franklin Steele – Bleacher Report 06/16/18 Bode Wilde Dominik Bokk Ryan Merkley Barrett Hayton Vitali Kravtsov Link
Joe Haggerty – NBC Sports 06/16/18 Rasmus Kupari Bode Wilde Joel Farabee Grigori Denisenko Rasmus Sandin Link
Michael Pachla – Hockeybuzz 06/16/18 Grigori Denisenko Joe Veleno Mattias Samuelsson Vitali Kravtsov Serron Noel Link
Tankathon 06/16/18 Bode Wilde Vitali Kravtsov Rasmus Kupari Isac Lundestrom Grigori Denisenko Link
Brock Seguin – Daily Faceoff 06/14/18 Rasmus Kupari Bode Wilde Grigori Denisenko Serron Noel Isac Lundestrom Link
Future Considerations 06/14/18 Rasmus Kupari Barrett Hayton K'Andre Miller Rasmus Sandin Isac Lundestrom Link
The Hockey Writers 06/13/18 Serron Noel Ty Smith Joe Veleno Grigori Denisenko K'Andre Miller Link
The Athletic ($) 06/12/18 Bode Wilde Grigori Denisenko Joel Farabee Barrett Hayton Isac Lundestrom Link
Chris Ryan – NJ.com 06/11/18 K'Andre Miller Vitali Kravtsov Martin Kaut Rasmus Kupari Joe Veleno Link
SBN NHL 06/11/18 Barrett Hayton Bode Wilde Rasmus Kupari Isac Lundestrom Vitali Kravtsov Link
Alex Hobson – Editor in Leaf (Fansided) 06/08/18 Isac Lundestrom Rasmus Kupari Dominik Bokk Akil Thomas Vitali Kravtsov Link
Hockey Wilderness 06/08/18 Rasmus Sandin Grigori Denisenko Joel Farabee Rasmus Kupari Bode Wilde Link
Larry Fisher -The Hockey Writers 06/08/18 Jonatan Berggren Barrett Hayton Rasmus Kupari Jake Wise Bode Wilde Link
My NHL Draft 06/08/18 Bode Wilde Ty Smith Isac Lundestrom Akil Thomas Serron Noel Link
Richard Morin – AZCentral.com 06/08/18 Grigori Denisenko Bode Wilde Serron Noel Vitali Kravtsov Rasmus Sandin Link
Chad DeDominicis – Die by the Blade 06/06/18 Rasmus Kupari Bode Wilde Martin Kaut Vitali Kravtsov Isac Lundestrom Link
Hannah Stuart – The Score 06/05/18 Martin Kaut Rasmus Kupari Isac Lundestrom Bode Wilde Dominik Bokk Link
Adam Kimelman – NHL.com 06/04/18 Bode Wilde Serron Noel Rasmus Kupari Grigori Denisenko Rasmus Sandin Link
Guillaume LePage – NHL.com 06/04/18 Grigori Denisenko Rasmus Kupari Joel Farabee Isac Lundestrom Bode Wilde Link
Joe Pantorno – Metro.us 06/04/18 Vitali Kravtsov Joe Veleno Jett Woo Isac Lundestrom Rasmus Sandin Link
Mike Morreale – NHL.com 06/04/18 Rasmus Sandin Bode Wilde Grigori Denisenko Isac Lundestrom Mattias Samuelsson Link
Ben Kerr – Last Word on Sports 05/29/18 Bode Wilde Ryan Merkley Vitali Kravtsov Barrett Hayton Dominik Bokk Link
Brock Otten – OHL Prospects 05/28/18 Ty Smith Serron Noel Vitali Kravtsov Dominik Bokk K'Andre Miller Link
Steve Kournianos – SI.com 05/21/18 Bode Wilde Barrett Hayton Vitali Kravtsov Ryan McLeod Rasmus Sandin Link
2018 First Round Picks #15 - 19 Mock Drafts Sourcesin Table

Across all 26 mocks, twelve different players were mock-picked to New Jersey. For the range of all five picks, twenty-one different players were mock-picked. That alone should tell you that this draft can go in many, many, many different directions.

As such, there really is no consensus pick among mock drafts for the Devils. The most common name was defenseman Bode Wilde. Common is a relative term here. Just seven out of twenty-six mocks had the United Stated National Team Developmental Program defender going to New Jersey. While it was the most frequent, seven out of twenty-six is not even close to a majority opinion. In fact, Wilde ended up going to Florida two picks earlier on seven other mock drafts too. While his photo is in the headline for this post and he appeared the most in going to New Jersey among the mocks, just seven mocks picking Wilde to New Jersey out of 26 is not enough for anything resembling a consensus.

Who else was found going to New Jersey? Following Wilde in terms of appearances at #17 in these mock drafts, five other players had multiple picks: Rasmus Kupari (4), Grigori Denisenko (3), Vitali Kravtsov (2), Rasmus Sandin (2), and K’Andre Miller (2). The remaining six players that went to New Jersey only occurred on one mock. Our pick of Hayton was one of them, for example. With such a low proportion going to Wilde, it is hardly a ringing endorsement from the crowd.

This round up is also hardly a ringing endorsement that the Devils will go with a defenseman on Friday, June 22. While Wilde led with the most #17 picks in these twenty-six mock drafts, he was one of only four defensemen that went to New Jersey. The other eight players across all mocks were forwards. In combining all mock drafts, the Devils’ pick went to a forward in fourteen of them and to a defenseman in twelve of them. So before you demand how the Devils must, absolutely, totally, 100% completely pick a defenseman in the first round, keep in mind that not everyone agrees - much less agrees on what defenseman it would be.

Here’s a full count of the prospects that appeared in all twenty-six mock drafts organized by how frequently they appeared and at what pick. Players in blue are defensemen, players in yellow are forwards.

2018 Mock Draft Round Up for Picks 15-19; Players by Frequency in Mocks
2018 Mock Draft Round Up for Picks 15-19; Players by Frequency in Mocks

Wilde had the most total appearances with 19, followed by Kupari (14), Kravtsov (13), Denisenko and Isac Lundestrom (12 each), and Hayton and Sandin (8 each). After them, the mix breaks down to a handful appearances and one-offs.

There are some curiosities in this mix. For one, Joel Farabee appears to be an Av in four cases or not at all. Three mocks think the Devils and Colorado will pass up on Hayton. Isac Lundestrom had more popularity going after New Jersey. Ryan McLeod and Akil Thomas are rare within these five picks in mocks. So is Ty Smith, although that is because he’ll be drafted much higher. Ryan Merkley did not get a lot of love in mocks either; the argument of “But look at the offense” did not win over the “But he doesn’t try hard enough or at all at times on defense” argument. Jett Woo, Jake Wise, and Jonatan Berggren appear to be outliers. Lastly, Kupari did not go to #19 in any of these mocks.

Getting back to the Devils, this round up of mock drafts suggest that you should learn more about Bode Wilde, Rasmus Kupari, Gregori Denisenko, Vitali Kravtsov, Rasmus Sandin, and K’Andre Miller as they appeared in multiple mocks in going to New Jersey. At the same time, this round of mock drafts suggest that you should not be surprised at all if the Devils go in a different direction. After all, a higher valued prospect may fall to #17. Or the Devils move down in the draft with a trade (or move up, although I shudder to think what they would offer). Or the Devils just have someone else higher on their draft board. Either way, it is not at all a guarantee that the Devils will pick a defender and the mocks as a whole lean towards getting a forward. All the same, the Devils need to find a potential NHL player with this pick so I would be fine with it. I suggest you should make your peace with it.

That’s what the mocks say. The real 2018 NHL Draft will take place on June 22 (first round) and June 23 (second through seventh rounds). In the meantime, please share your opinion about these mock drafts and what they suggest. Also, please peruse through our 2018 Prospect Profiles to learn about many different prospects, including potential picks for the fourth round and beyond. Thank you for reading.