Good morning, my fellow New Jersey Devils fans. After months of anticipation, we will finally see who the Devils will take first overall. Welcome to Day 1 of the 2019 NHL Entry Draft. For the second time ever in New Jersey’s history and third in franchise history, the Devils will select first overall in tonight’s first round as they won the 2019 NHL Draft Lottery. Here’s a breakdown of how to watch and what to look forward to in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada for this year’s draft.
The First Day: Friday, June 21, 2019
The Rounds Selected on the First Day: The First Round
The First Day Start Time: 8:00 PM ET
The First Day Broadcast: TV - NBCSN (US), Sportsnet (CAN), and TVA Sports (CAN - French Language)
The First Day Pick for the Devils: 1st overall!
The Expected Time of the Pick for the Devils: After all of the introductions, I would expect this pick to be made before 8:15 PM. Maybe even sooner. The Devils have been working on the pick since the night of April 9.
The AAtJ Coverage: We will have posts up for this and every other pick. Any major trades - not pick-for-pick swaps - will also be posted. We will also review the draft at the end; and every post for a player picked will have a poll so you can have your say - which will be summarized on Sunday.
New for this year is that Jenna will be on-site in Vancouver, so she will have plenty of insight that we normally do not have at these events.
The Devils’ Coverage: Online, you’ll want to follow the team’s Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook pages. They should be having live updates throughout the day. You can also check out their 2019 NHL Draft section, Road to the Draft, over at the Devils website, where they have tons of content from past weeks and will likely add more as the weekend goes on.
In real life, the Devils will be hosting a Draft Festival at Championship Plaza in Newark, right outside of the Rock. The team’s party will also have food and drink specials from the local restaurants outside of the arena: Edison Ale House, Redd’s Biergarten, and PJ Ryan’s. There will be a street hockey rink, games, and other entertainment options. The Devils Den team store will be open until 10 PM to take advanced orders for custom jerseys. The event will begin at 6:00 PM for season ticket holders and 6:30 PM for general admission tickets. It is not an open event as one needs a ticket to attend. This event is only for the first day of the draft. The second day is all business.
The Second Day: Saturday, June 22, 2019
The Rounds Selected on the Second Day: The Second through Seventh Rounds
The Second Day Start Time: 1 PM ET
The Second Day Broadcast: TV - NHL Network, Sportsnet
The Second Day Picks for the Devils: Assuming they keep all nine of them, here is what they own:
- Second Round - 34th overall
- Second Round - 55th overall (Nashville’s pick from the Boyle trade)
- Second Round - 61st overall (Boston’s pick from the Johansson trade)
- Third Round - 70th overall (Anaheim’s conditional pick from the Henrique trade)
- Third Round - 80th overall (Dallas’ pick from the Lovejoy trade)
- Fourth Round - 96th overall
- Fifth Round - 127th overall
- Sixth Round - 158th overall
- Seventh Round - 189th overall
Who Are These Prospects?: As is tradition at All About the Jersey, we have profiled plenty of prospects from the top guys for first overall to potential sixth and seventh rounders. We even looked at goalies - yes, multiple goalies. You can learn about all of the players we profiled here. Between Brian, Mike, Alex, Jenna, and myself, we have profiled 38 players in all.
I Want to Learn More, Who Should I Look Up?: There are lots of great resources available as hockey prospects have become a cottage industry of sorts.
There are many services you will have to pay for, but they have been providing in-depth details: Future Considerations, McKeen’s, Hockey Prospect, and Recrutes. While not a guide, The Athletic has been at the forefront of prospect (and hockey and sports) coverage, led by Corey Pronman and Scott Wheeler. Mitch Brown has been tracking microstats for Canadian major junior league hockey, which provides a lot of prospects in every NHL draft. You can get his work through contributing to his Patreon.
In terms of freely available coverage, there is plenty available. Check out: Cam Robinson, Jokke Nevalainen, Joel Robinson, and many others at Dobber Prospects, Steve Kournianos of The Draft Analyst, Larry Fisher, Ryan Pike, and company at The Hockey Writers, and Ben Kerr of Last Word on Sports are all standouts. Brock Otten remains an outstanding resource for the OHL at his blog, OHL Prospects. For the Finnish players, go to FinnProspects for analysis and game reports. It is more for Russian hockey in general but there is not a lot of coverage for that in English, so go see Patrick Conway’s Russian Hockey Blog. Will Scouch has been putting more of his talents on live streams and recorded videos. He does have a Patreon, but he puts his stuff up for free on Youtube. Both The Hockey News (namely Ryan Kennedy) and TSN.ca have draft experts that put up their takes for free. On Twitter (also free), Stars and Stripes Hockey (@starsstripeshky) follows the USNTDP and @RUSProspects follows Russian prospects. If you like CHL and USHL stats, then go to Prospect-Stats and utilize their filters and click on their player names to get further information than the basic stat lines of games played, goals, assists, and so forth. Of course, I cannot ignore other blogs on our network. There has been a lot of great work at Habs Eyes on the Prize by David St-Louis and others. Derek Neumeier & company at Defending Big D has been doing it real big there.
Lastly and certainly not least, if you ever want to know any player ever to have played the game, then Elite Prospects is a must-read. For any of my profiles or any draft pick, I always go to EP first to find out their basic information. They recently opened up a paysite section - EP Rinkside - where they have even further coverage on players including, yes, NHL prospects. Even if you never go to Rinkside, EP is among the most vital hockey websites in the history of the internet.
And, yes, all of them have contributed or provided information or help or insight to all of our prospect profiles this year. I thank them all. From the hobbyist to the professional services, these are all people who put in a lot of work for these two days every year. Respect.
What Do the Devils Need?: The cliche is the correct answer here: “best player available” is likely the best policy. The Devils have clearly had a type of prospect since Paul Castron joined the organization in 2016. They want players who skate well or at least it is not a concern, they prefer players to have offensive skillsets, and they are willing to take players from an array of locations. I think they really should stay the course. Assuming they keep most or all ten of their picks and they do not use them all on one position, they should be more than fine to maintain the status quo in their draft philosophy.
In terms of a prospect perspective, the team does not really have much in the wings in terms of a right-handed shooting defenseman. Reilly Walsh is the only one in the system and he is still in college. Of course, RHDs are sought after for a reason - they are not so common. I do not think the Devils should give up on a better prospect to fit a positional need; but if its close and one is available, then it would not hurt to take one.
Should the Devils Trade Up/Down?: With five picks in the second and third rounds and Taylor Hall already stating that he wants talent to be added to the team, do not be shocked if the Devils move one or more of these picks to get a NHL player.
It is also possible the Devils could package a couple of these picks and try to move into the end of the first round; but I think it would be unlikely unless the feeling among the 31 NHL teams is that there is not much of a difference between the last five spots in the first round and the first five spots in the second. Ray Shero has not been shy about moving down a couple spots and picking up another mid-round pick, so that may be seen. Again, I think it is unlikely since the Devils have a stronger prospect pool than what it was four years ago and they already have a lot of picks as-is.
By the way, the first overall pick is highly likely to be unavailable. At least, I think it should be unavailable for a trade.
Who Would You, All About the Jersey, Pick First Overall?: In the 2019 SBN NHL mock draft, we picked Jack Hughes. It was not a real debate among us that Hughes was the one.
Who Went First Overall in Mock Drafts?: For this recent Monday, I rounded up 26 mock drafts from around the Internet and summed up who others thought might end up with the Devils. The consensus for first overall was unanimous among all 26 mock drafts: Jack Hughes.
Is It Really Going to be Jack Hughes?: I think so.
Is This the Discussion Post for the Draft?: No. But please feel free to discuss the hockey news of the day in the comments to this post. But we will have discussion posts dedicated to each day of the draft. The one for the first day will be up at this evening at 6:30 ET. The one for the second day should be up before noon.
Thank you for reading and prepare yourselves for the draft tonight. See you then.