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What You Thought: You Loved the Devils Getting Hughes & Subban at the 2019 NHL Draft

The New Jersey Devils went into Vancouver with nine picks. They left with Jack Hughes, P.K. Subban, John Hayden and ten other draft selections in the 2019 NHL Draft. Based on polls for each move, most of the readers loved the Hughes pick, the Subban trade, and the last two picks the Devils made this year. Read on for the full results.

2019 NHL Draft - Round One
Jack Hughes putting in the work for autographs.
Photo by Rich Lam/Getty Images

The picks have all been made. Jenna summarized the whole event in this post. In keeping with tradition at All About the Jersey, we will now close our draft coverage of the New Jersey Devils at the 2019 NHL Draft by covering what you felt about the each of their picks and major transactions. In every one of those posts, we included a short-term poll for embers and non-members alike to vote on what they felt about each move.

There was no shortage of action for the New Jersey Devils this year. They drafted Jack Hughes first overall. Before the second round began on Saturday, they made a blockbuster trade for P.K. Subban. As the second day of the draft rolled on, the Devils traded down twice for additional picks to end up taking ten additional prospects. Did you like it? The majority of the voters - people like you - loved the big moves. Let’s find out more about that and the rest.

The Results of the Polls

First, here are the individual posts for each pick and major transaction:

With eleven picks and two player trades, here are the results in three separate charts. All results were rounded up to the nearest percentage so 0% is truly just an insignificant number, not necessarily zero people. First, the picks made in the first through third rounds:

AAtJ Poll Results for the Devils Picks in Rounds 1-3 of the 2019 NHL Draft
AAtJ Poll Results for the Devils Picks in Rounds 1-3 of the 2019 NHL Draft
The AAtJ Community

Second, the picks made in the fourth through seventh rounds:

AAtJ Poll Results for the Devils Picks in Rounds 4-7 of the 2019 NHL Draft
AAtJ Poll Results for the Devils Picks in Rounds 4-7 of the 2019 NHL Draft
The AAtJ Community

Lastly and not least, the two trades:

AAtJ Poll Results for the Two Draft-day Trades
AAtJ Poll Results for the Two Draft-day Trades
The AAtJ Community

Selected Comments from the People Who Matter, the All About the Jersey Community

I’m not going to pull comments from every single pick, but there are a few from a number of the posts that I want to highlight. Jack Hughes surprised few by going first overall but that did not stop the majority from being happy with The Big Deal now being a member of the New Jersey Devils organization. Here are a couple of selected comments about the selection:

“Seriously though, the smart pick, and likely the right pick. Now we can finally move on and focus on picks tomorrow, making trades, and free agency.” - EliasStillRocks

“The spearhead of a dynasty” - Land-Creature

“Alright, cool. I hope he turns into what most say he will. Will be nice to not have to worry about the top 2 centers for many many years.” - Kleckdough

“If we drafted Hughes, retained the 34th pick AND got Subban, this will compete to be the best draft day this century.” - MedicSBK

Two out of three ain’t bad, MedicSBK. And that is a good segway as any to go through the comments to the Subban deal. As the Subban deal involves a big name player and it came as a bit of a surprise, many people had more takes and sudden praise for the move. Here are some selected comments from the post about the deal:

Media: “Webber for Subban was a more lopsided deal than Hall for Larrson” Shero: “Hold my beer” - Scoob1978

“Took a nap and woke up to a very different Devils team. I had to take a triple take at my phone.” - cmcd3030

“No matter what you think about PK, he’s undoubtedly our best defenseman. We also gave up extremely little. I’m not sure how anyone can be anything but thrilled. What a trade.” - JR4202

“Our right side is Subban, Severson and Vatanen. That’s actually a pretty good looking right side.” - sonicdeathmonkey

“Preds fan here. Might be time to pull the Devuls Jersey out of my closet… Seriously, you guys robbed us blind. When I first heard the trade, I expected Hall back. Be glad TOR passed of him. PK was exactly what they needed. And dont believe the negative hype. PK an excellent D man. His numbers this year (cf rel, pts/60) were comparable to Seth Jones. No one claims Seth Jones is declining. All while having a nagging injury this year. By the playoffs, he was easily our best D man.” - musamonster

“This trade was a freaking STEAL. PLUS, there’s also the potential this move along with others helps Shero sign Hall to an extension, this is absolutely nothing but a major positive. Plus, his contract expires when Jack’s ELC expires at the same time as this, so if P.K. is still playing well and wants to stay here, they can hopefully work something bout for a better cap hit potentially. Great move all the way.” - OfManNotMachine

“OK. I am happy. This puts us on the bubble. YEAH!!!” - elboku

The other player trade made did not garner as much of a reaction or a favorable opinion. To be fair, it was a deal of a AHL/NHL tweener for a NHL fourth-liner. Still, these comments stood out:

“This trade is fine. Quenneville ran his course in NJ and was only going to continue getting passed on the depth chart by better and younger prospects. I don’t know a whole lot about Hayden but at least he’s an NHL’er, even if its only a 4th line type. I’m ok with this.” - TheJRod2006

“After JQ couldn’t hang onto a spot during last season’s mess it seemed clear he didn’t have a future in NJ. Hopefully Hayden can be a decent 4th line RW. This feel like a Matteau-DSP trade.” - NJmetal15

After the Hayden deal, the picks actually began for the Devils on day two of the 2019 NHL Draft. Boy, there were a lot of picks. Here’s a few for Nikita Okhotyuk, Daniil Misyul, Graeme Clarke, and Michael Vukojevic - the Devils’ picks in rounds two and three:

“I didn’t expect to like this pick, but after reading the profile I do. He has time to develop and it sounds like he is starting to, maybe it’s as simple as a confidence thing for him offensively. Regardless, I don’t mind a defense first defense-man as long as he doesn’t get in the way of offense (Santini seemed to). I don’t mind the dart throw, we have some offensive minded D-men to pair a guy like this with if he pans out.” - Alex Christensen in the comments for Nikita Okhotyuk

“I really like this pick after reading some of his profile. The team does need someone to play defense and he will but what I saw on the video clip got me excited for some offense to go with it. He has a quick wrister and a booming slap shot. If the team can get him to use it more, he could be a real diamond in the rough. Maybe PK can take him under his wing in preseason and teach him a few things.” - wyfoxfire in the comments for Nikita Okhotyuk

“Looks like the Devils got their Yegor Rykov-type d-man back. I approve. I like a strong, skating defender with fluid movement, and size will make him effective along the boards and in the crease. Not bad. I like this pick much more than Okhotyuk.” - EliasStillRocks in the comments for Daniil Misyul

“Habseyesontheprize has a pretty good writeup on him. His skating needs some work as he has a bit of an awkward style. His ice time last season was limited as he got hurt early then the 67’s made a couple trades while he was down so he ended up playing on the third line. He doesn’t really create chances, most of his goals are set up by teammates. So he has work to do but you can’t say enough about his stickhandling and shot so there’s plenty of upside.” - Tommy czxqa in the comments for Graeme Clarke

“There is an error in the summary – Clarke scored 23 g, 11 a for 34 pts in 55 gp this past season, he did not get 55 pts. [I fixed the error - JF] But the good news is Mitch Brown picked Clarke as one of 5 CHL sleepers in an article in the Athletic. I don’t think he’s going to be a play driver at the NHL level but he could be a sniper riding shotgun to a good center. Becoming more of a threat to pass in addition to shooting would be huge.” - dr(d)evil in the comments for Graeme Clarke

“Defensemans first job is to defend. I like how Shero is loading up on defenseman. Load up and see who’s got what it takes. With Nico, Hall, and Jack Hughes, that’s enough to win with a great defense and goalie.” - WacArnoldz in the comments for Michael Vukojevic

The Devils’ trading down twice turned a late second and third rounder into mid-round third rounder (Vukojevic) and an additional pick in each of the fourth and fifth rounds. As a result, the Devils turned an originally scheduled four picks into six. Here are selected comments from that group, where the Devils drafted Tyce Thompson, Case McCarthy, Cole Brady, Arseni Gritsyuk, Patrick Moynihan, and Nikola Pasic:

“Cookie cutter Shero pick captain 200ft player. Providence might defend better then anyone in NCAA. They get a lot out of their kids very well coached.” - Carterdogg in the comments for Tyce Thompson

“I’ll be honest, the video sold me and I voted I love it because of that breakdown. I think the video mentioned the possibility of him going in the CHL import draft, I would like that a lot.” - Alex Christensen in the comments for Arseni Gritsyuk

“Wow. What a great confusing video. Brag brag brag d grade complain complain B grade. All 1’s & a 2 B’s & D’s & overall gets an F?? CHL has his name written all over it!!! Russians don’t score a lot at all. CHL is high scoring & puts him on the correct size rink to evaluate. Seems totally like a boom or bust. I don’t think he’s a bottom 6 at all so it’s top 6 or bust.” - DaneykoFan in the comments for Arseni Gritsyuk

“He’s a friend and teammate of Hughes and he has some real potential to be a solid 3rd or 4th line RW. This team was very thin at RW and added some depth there with Clarke, Thompson, Gristyuk, Moynihan, and Pasic.” - Beezer Beezer in the comments for Patrick Moynihan

“Solid value in the 6th round” - dr(d)evil in the comments for Patrick Moynihan

“I’m more confident that Moynihan will end up in the NHL than some of the defensemen we drafted ahead of him.” - jtclockwork in the comments for Patrick Moynihan

“This is my favorite pick of the day. By far (although I’m also a fan of Moynihan).” - PA Devil in the comments for Nikola Pasic

“Great pick He fell into the 7th round but easily could have been a 3rd round pick. He had great numbers in Sweden – he is one of my favorite picks of day 2 overall, let alone being drafted in the 7th round.” - arooney in the comments for Nikola Pasic

“Hughes and Pasic were the only picks I really loved in this draft. This guy seems like an absolute steal” - logi_khanna in the comments for Nikola Pasic

Overall Summary

The polls tend to lean towards positive reactions for draft picks. These are young players getting selected, after all. Who knows what the future will truly hold for them? Since our favorite team drafted them, we have an interest in hoping they succeed beyond expectations. Therefore, it is understandable to be positive and hopeful. Also, these polls were intentionally set up to end by midnight on June 22 so the reactions are more or less based initial ones for each pick and move.

Based on the community that voted, you all loved the Jack Hughes pick, the Subban trade, and the last two picks by the Devils. The first one was straight forward and expected. After all, we thought Hughes would be first, mock drafts thought he would be first, and many people were just waiting to hear “From the United States National Team Development Program...” on June 21. The Subban trade did surprise those and thrilled those who wanted the Devils to make a big trade, make a big trade on defense, and make a big trade in the face of what Our Hated Rivals did a few days ago. The package sent to Nashville being so “low” - no first rounders, no current NHL players - only enhanced the good feelings. As for other picks that the people loved, keep in mind that Patrick Moynihan and Nikola Pasic were seen as potential third or fourth round players. They were names that frequented in the top 100 on multiple ranking lists. That the Devils obtained them at 158th and 189th overall, respectively, was seen as great value picks and the majority of those who voted did vote accordingly with that in mind.

Most of the moves made in between were liked. The Devils picked a range of different prospects from projected stay-at-home defensemen to forwards with skill that just need some more oportunities. Most of those polls ended with “I like the pick.” leading the way. Again, it is natural to hope for the best. And there could be arguments made that several of these picks addressed a number of different gaps in the prospect pool - which can be seen as a positive. Even if some of them are seen as safer picks and the comments were not enthused, there was little to actively dislike.

Only a couple of the moves finished flatly in the middle either because people do not know what to make of it, they’re not sure if they like or it not, and/or they just do not know. Those would be the the Hayden trade, which was kind of a like-for-like deal; the Tyce Thompson pick; and the Cole Brady pick. The latter two do not surprise me for not being as liked as other picks. Thompson is an overager pick without a lot of fanfare unless you’ve been following the Friars. Brady was a goalie who did not even play in the top junior league in America and did not have dominant numbers in said league. The other selections had more information and I think that helped people be more agreeable with those selections. Even with four of them being defensemen, they had something about their game that stood out or garnered enough attention to have their game written about prior to being selected. It is easier to like a pick with information like that. That written, the majority of you did not dislike or hate those moves - even though there was a lean towards disliking the Brady pick. That’s a positive of sorts.

Overall, the reaction to what the Devils did at the 2019 NHL Draft is a positive one. While the Devils seemingly went away from their type from past drafts, the community liked most of what they did. Perhaps more importantly, the community loved the team’s two biggest moves in the past two days: Selecting Jack Hughes first overall and trading for P.K. Subban.

Now that the 2019 NHL Draft is done and dusted, the NHL offseason will continue marching on. Pending unrestricted free agents have been free to speak with other teams since 12:01 AM today. News came out yesterday afternoon that the salary cap for 2019-20 will be $81.5 million; teams will have to adjust their plans to comply with a lower limit than the projected (and, for some, hoped for) $83 million. The NHL will release the full regular season schedule for the 2019-20 season on Tuesday. Also on Tuesday is the deadline for teams to submit qualifying offers to pending restricted free agents. Following that is when teams can contact RFAs about offer sheets. The first buyout period will end on June 30 and UFAs can sign contracts on July 1 - also known as Free Agency Frenzy. There is a lot happening. And, here at AAtJ, we will spotlight some more pending UFAs while staying on top of what the New Jersey Devils will do. Our name is not just a name: we are all about the Jersey.

Thanks to everybody who left a comment in the posts for each pick, thanks to everyone who voted in the polls, thanks to anyone who shared a link or mentioned the site on social media, thanks to Brian for helping out on Day 2, thanks to Jenna for going to Vancouver for the draft, and, most of all, thank you for reading All About the Jersey.