Since Ray Shero became general manager of the New Jersey Devils, the organization has selected at least one goaltender in their draft classes. The 2019 NHL Draft continues this streak to five. With the 127th overall selection in the fifth round of this year’s draft, the Devils drafted goaltender Cole Brady.
Who is Cole Brady?
According to Elite Prospects, Cole Brady was born in Pickering, Ontario on February 12, 2001. He stands at 6’5” and 165 pounds. Not that a goalie needs to be beefy, but Brady could stand to add some strength. His path in hockey has been a bit different than most Ontario-born goalies. After major midgets, Brady opted to stick with junior ‘A’ hockey in the Ontario Junior Hockey League with Markham in 2017-18. Brady made the move to America and played for the Janesville Jets (which is in Wisconsin) of the North American Hockey League. This allowed him to maintain his NCAA eligibility. Brady has committed to play for Arizona State and he will start there in the 2020-21 season. I would anticipate he plays another season of NAHL or similar hockey before heading to Tempe.
With the Jets, Brady appeared in 43 games and posted an overall 91.2% save percentage. That did not rate particularly well - 23rd in the NAHL per EP - but he was at least the set starter for his team. Since there is little other information readily available about Brady, I decided to take a closer look at those 43 games based on his game log at the Janesville Jets site. There is more encouraging information there. First, Brady had five shutouts. Only three other goalies in the NAHL had more than five. Your mileage may vary on the meaning of shutouts but it shows that Brady had some really strong nights last season. Second, assuming that a quality start for a goalie is posting a save percentage above 90%, Brady topped the 90% mark in 28 of his 43 appearances. That is over half of his season. It means that Brady did not just muddle his way to his 91.2% season save percentage. He had some really strong non-shutout games mixed in with some poorer nights. That suggests that consistency could be better - as well as Janesville, who finished fourth in their division and were eliminated early in their postseason. The point is that there may be something here in Brady and it is possible the Devils scouts saw those better nights from Brady and agreed. I would hope so, seeing that they drafted him.
A Quick Take
There is not a lot of information out there about Cole Brady, but as I find it, I will be adding it to this post. I know goaltender prospects are often a shot in the dark in a draft process that is already a shot in the dark - especially by the fifth round. Putting aside the position (I would have preferred New Jersey to take Henrik Rybinski), I’m not sure this was the best pick for a goalie the Devils could have made here. I cannot imagine how he would be a better prospect than Dustin Wolf or Isaiah Seville, who was picked later in the fifth round. Both of those goalies performed better at their levels than Brady did. Still, he is big, he has a large frame that has to fill out, and he will be in the system for a while as he will not go to Arizona State until 2020-21. He will get every opportunity to improve on his game and I suspect that is what he needs more than most. Brady may have not been one of the top goalies of the NAHL but if he can keep getting minutes and make improvements, then it may work out. It is still a shot in the dark, after all.
That is my quick take on Cole Brady. Now I want to know yours. What do you think of the pick? Please leave your answers in the comments and vote in our poll. Thank you for reading. More may be added to this post later today.
The Devils drafted Cole Brady at 127th Overall. What do you think of the pick?
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I love it!
I like the pick.
I don’t know / I’m in the middle.
I don’t like the pick.
I hate it!