Yesterday, the New Jersey Devils drafted the first and the best player out of the outstanding 2018-19 U-18 team of the United States National Team Development Program in Jack Hughes. Today, with the 118th overall pick in the fourth round, the Devils returned to the USNTDP to take one of their less heralded players: defenseman Case McCarthy.
Who is Case McCarthy?
According to Elite Prospects, Case McCarthy is a right-handed shooting defenseman from the USNTDP program. He is from upstate New York, he was born on January 9, 2001, and he is committed to play at Boston University next season. McCarthy is listed at 6’1” and 198 pounds, which is a good sized player for his position. Based on his production, McCarthy improved in both USHL and exhibition play from his 2017-18 season with the U-17 squad to his 2018-19 season with the U-18 squad. McCarthy did represent the Red, White, and Blue at the World U-18 Championship where he put up a goal and three assists in six games.
What Others Say About Case McCarthy
As there are other picks being made, this post will be updated with more information about the player as I find out about it. I would suggest starting with this prospect profile by Ben Kerr of Last Word on Hockey. Kerr thinks his skating needs work, namely with speed - both his own and his opponents if they are fast. Kerr does have plenty of praise for his passing and his physical play. This is what he wrote about each:
McCarthy is a very good passer. He moves the puck up the ice quickly, making a smart first pass to start the transition game. He is not likely to lead the rush and stickhandle through the neutral zone, but he is not afraid to join as a trailer after getting the puck up to the forwards. His vision and poise are also important as they help McCarthy to control the puck at the blue line and quarterback the play.
McCarthy is a physical defenceman. His agility and edgework allow him to explode into hits and attackers must keep their head up coming down his end of the ice. He needs to improve his skating to defend the rush though. He is good at working along the boards and clearing the front of the net in his own end. McCarthy contains the cycle well. He is not afraid to block shots or to use his long stick to cut down passing lanes. He needs to improve his positioning without the puck.
I am a little surprised he is so physical. It’s not that McCarthy is small but he is not particularly large either. I suppose McCarthy uses every bit of his 6’1” and 198 pound frame. While Kerr notes that McCarthy is not one to take the puck out himself, going the college route would help take his physical style to the next level. That he can pass the puck well is a big plus for me. I like that he’s not this defender who will handle pucks and treat passes like he’s tossing a grenade away. That adds to his usefulness beyond getting stops on defense and throwing hits.
A Quick Take
For where it is in the draft, I do not hate the pick. I am a little confused at McCarthy being pick in the same draft class where Okhotyuk and Vukojevic, two other likely defensive-minded defenders who throw their weight around well. I am also not a fan of McCarthy possibly having issues with his skating, but I’ll seek out other opinions instead of solely relying on Kerr. Nothing against Kerr, but second opinions are always desirable. That said, I did note that RHD is kind of a need in the pool and McCarthy addresses that. I do appreciate that he is going to college next season. BU is a solid program and it allows the Devils to be patient with his progress.
This is my initial take on the player the Devils just selected. I would like to know your opinion, even as I add more information about the player in this post. Please leave your thoughts about the pick in the comments and vote in our poll. Thank you for reading.
The Devils drafted Case McCarthy at 118th Overall. What do you think of the pick?
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I love it!
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