Last night, the New Jersey Devils went first and selected Jack Hughes from the United States National Team Development Program. There was much rejoicing. Now that the first pick was made, it is now time for the Devils to make the most of their remaining selections today. It is the second day of the 2019 NHL Entry Draft and rounds two through seven will take place today. The action will fast. The picks will fly. There is little pomp and pageantry. And it is all important. These are the player selections that makes a big difference between a draft class led by one ace or a great draft class overall that helps an organization achieve their goals in the future.
The Time: 1:00 PM ET
The Devils’ Picks Today: They have nine for today with five between the second and third rounds. Here they are, in order:
- 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
The People Available at 34: Among many, they include Arthur Kaliyev, Bobby Brink, and Raphael Lavoie. I thought all three would go in the first round. All three fell to Day 2. They join a group of potential selections that includes Nick Robertson, Nils Hoglander, Patrik Puistola, Albin Grewe, and Robert Mastrosimone. Provided the Devils do not overthink it, deal the pick, or take a stay-at-home defenseman, the Devils will be able to make a great pick at #34.
The AAtJ Prospect Profiles: All of them are here.
Quick First Round Thoughts: Here are a few things I noticed from yesterday:
- Jack Hughes is The Big Deal and I am very happy he was selected first by the Devils.
- Despite a plethora of offensive talent at forward for the first round this year, some teams clearly felt they needed a defenseman more. How else to explain Detroit taking Mortiz Seider, Edmonton taking Philip Broberg, Arizona trading up for Victor Soderstrom, and Philadelphia taking Cam York? They may be good but to take them with guys like Trevor Zegras (went at 9 after Edmonton), Matt Boldy (went at 12 after Arizona), Cole Caufield (fell all the way to 15), and/or Peyton Krebs (fell all the way to 17) still available seems shortsighted. Offensive talent is at a premium but you wouldn’t know by those selections.
- Players tabbed as goalscorers fell hard. The NBCSN broadcast called Caufield, Raphel Lavoie, and Arthur Kaliyev as “just a goalscorer” type prospects and two of them did not even go in the first round. Montreal has to be thrilled with getting the USNTDP leading goalscorer in its history that also broke a record Alex Ovechkin broke. While most of the picks taken in the final third of the first round were good, it is weird to see Samuel Poulin and Jakob Pelletier go before Lavoie. This is good news for the Devils as it makes their first second round pick that much more promising. Say what you want about players who are seen this way, you’re always going to need goalscorers in the NHL. I would not expect Lavoie and Kaliyev to last very long today.
- Huge reaches flipped this first round on its head. Detroit seemingly did not consider trading down, but they should have. Seider was not a top-ten pick. Even the player was shocked by it. Broberg was another guy who could have been had four or five picks later. I get that you need to trust your draft board, but I think Edmonton has made enough bad decisions to rescind any benefit of the doubt. Florida went with Spencer Knight. Yes, their goaltending situation now is a situation but it may not be when Knight is actually ready to play. Passing on Caufield for him is going to be something I think they will quickly regret. What was really shocking was that the Islanders took Simon Holmstrom and Tampa Bay took Nolan Foote. Both were guys I thought would be around for the late end of the second round. They’re both scoring wingers but less productive and talented than Kaliyev. How do you not take Kaliyev and take someone who is likely to be worse than him? How do you pass up on a guy who put up 31 goals as a 16-year old in the OHL and racked up 51 as a 17-year old? Kaliyev and Lavoie are not even small so it’s not even that. I know its easy to say, “Well, these guys are pros and they saw them and they know stuff,” but these reaches are going to stink on ice unless they are the total hits that whoever made the case for each said they will be.
- I am very happy the Devils drafted Jack Hughes.
Music for the Day: As this day is all about projecting for the future, here are some music choices that will makes for fun background music, something to dance/follow along to, and has a retro-feel of what the future was thought to be. As the Devils have earned as many as three second rounders, I will give you three choices.
First is a song. Maybe you just want a song. Maybe you want something to dance to knowing that Jack Hughes is now a New Jersey Devil with a retro-wave style. Here is fan video for Lifelike’s “So Electric.” Feel that synth.
Second is an album. This goes deeper into the retro synthwave movement which has yielded a ton of impressive sounds that harken back to the 1980s view of what the future may be. You know it from the artist’s name, Miami Nights 1984. You’ll know from the album Turbulence.
Third is another song but it is a very heavy tune. It is what we hope the Devils will do today and going forward. From the outstanding DOOM (2016), this is “Rip and Tear.”
A Reminder: This day goes fast. Expect posts on Devils picks or moves that are bare bones at first with more information added later. So please revisit those posts later in the day to learn a little more about the players the Devils have chosen today. Each post will have a poll that will ask for your initial reaction to each pick. The polls will end just before tonight as Sunday will have a summary of what you all thought of the draft class.
The Rules: As always, keep your comments clean & respectful to others, relevant to the Devils and/or the NHL draft as a whole, and do not post illegal streams. We will be trying our best to get posts up for the picks made when they happen. Once that’s done and the draft is over, I will attempt to summarize the Devils’ actions. So please bear with us throughout the morning and early afternoon. Thank you for spending a part of your Saturday with us as the 2019 NHL Draft reaches its conclusion.
After today, the offseason frenzy does not end. Pending unrestricted free agents can freely discuss with other teams tomorrow on June 23. The full NHL schedule is released on June 25. Restricted free agents can be contacted for offer sheets on June 26. The first player buyout period ends on June 30. July 1 is Free Agency Frenzy. There is a lot that can happen in a short amount of time. We shall see how much or how little of it involves the Devils.