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2018 NHL Draft Preview for the New Jersey Devils: How to Watch and More

The Devils, on the heels of their first postseason appearance in 6 years and now with their first Hart Trophy winner in team history, now turn their sights toward the future at this weekend’s draft. Details on the Devils’ picks, potential needs, and ways to watch follow below.

2017 NHL Draft - Round One Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

Good morning, Devils fans. Welcome to Day 1 of the 2018 NHL Entry Draft. The New Jersey Devils are slated to select 17th overall in tonight’s first round. Here’s a breakdown of how to watch and what might happen today down in Dallas, Texas for the draft.

The First Day: Friday, June 22, 2018

The Rounds Selected on the First Day: The First Round

The First Day Start Time: 7:30 PM EDT

The First Day Broadcast: TV - NBCSN (US), Sportsnet (CAN), and TVA Sports (CAN - French Language)

The First Day Pick for the Devils: 17th overall.

The Expected Time of the Pick for the Devils: The first round usually takes somewhere in the range of three hours to complete, so the Devils probably figure to be selecting somewhere in the 9:00 PM range. If you want to be cautious, maybe tune in a bit before that.

The Devils’ Coverage: With a lot of other things going on in Devils-land, the team’s coverage seems to be a little bit more muted than the past few years where there was a lot more buildup to draft day. A good place to start, though, today will probably be the team’s Twitter and Facebook pages, where live updates should be happening all day. You can also check out draft central over at the Devils website, were presumably they will fill in more info as the day goes along.

But wait, there’s more!

The Second Day: Saturday, June 23, 2018

The Rounds Selected on the Second Day: The Second through Seventh Rounds

The Second Day Start Time: 11 AM EDT

The Second Day Broadcast: TV - NHL Network, Sportsnet, TVA Sports

The Second Day Picks for the Devils: 110th overall (fourth round), 136th overall (fifth round; CGY’s pick via ARI), 141st overall (fifth round), 172nd overall (sixth round), 203rd overall (seventh round)

Some questions you might have heading into the event:

Who Are These Prospects?: Here at AAtJ, we’ve had a busy month of profiling prospects who will likely be selected either today or tomorrow. You can learn about all of the players we profiled here, the staff here profiled 33 players in all.

For info on more prospects, go check out good sites like OHL Prospects, the Draft Analyst, the family of blogs here on SBN who combined have compiled a lot of profiles, the prospect posts over at Last Word on Sports, and the NHL Draft coverage at The Hockey Writers among others. If you’re looking for highlights videos, YouTube is your friend.

What Do the Devils Need?: Brian took a run at laying out the Devils’ draft needs earlier this week. Realistically, the answer to this is that the Devils need a lot of things. Their prospect pool, while improved over a few years ago, remains thin and they will be hoping for another couple of hits in this draft, regardless of position. Perhaps the most pressing need of all, though, is defense. With a pretty deep set of defensive players ranked near the top of this draft, a lot of focus has been on the possibilities for improving the blue line. If the best opportunity for improving the team when the Devils are on the clock is a defenseman, they should go ahead and take one, but they should most of all be trying to maximize the quality of the player they take. So if a very good forward falls into their lap, they should not hesitate to take them. As always, “best player available” is likely the best policy.

Should the Devils Trade Up/Down?: The possibility of the Devils trading up or down has certainly been discussed given the Devils’ position in the middle of the first round. Trading up seems rather unlikely, but it’s tough to rule anything out. Given the Devils’ lack of a second or third round pick, the prospect of trading down to acquire an extra selection or two is definitely an attractive one. The issue is finding a team that wants to trade up and will offer assets that make it worth the Devils’ while.

Who Would You Pick?: We picked Barrett Hayton in our network of NHL blogs’ mock draft after he fell to the Devils at 17.

Who Would Others Pick?: John took a look at a collection of mock drafts from around the Internet and summed up who others thought might end up with the Devils. The conclusion there was, uh, inconclusive, mostly.

Is This the Discussion Post for the Draft?: No, though feel free to discuss the hockey news of the day in the comments to this post. But we will have discussion posts specific for each day of the draft. The one for the first day should be up at this evening at 6:30 EDT. The one for the second day should be up tomorrow morning.

Thank you for reading and prepare yourselves for the draft tonight. See you then.