The New Jersey Devils traded their second round pick as part of the deal that brought Vitek Vanecek’s signing rights to Newark earlier this morning. They also received Washington’s second round pick, which was originally Winnipeg’s from a 2021 trade. At 46th overall, the Devils drafted United States National Team Development Program defenseman Seamus Casey.
Per his Elite Prospects profile, Casey is from Miami, Florida, born on January 8, 2004,a nd stands at 5’10” and 172 pounds. Clearly, he is not a large man. He is a right-handed shot, making him the second RHD the Devils have drafted so far in this year’s draft. Casey has been a member of the USNTDP for the last two seasons, as well as a part of the team that took Silver at the World U-18s earlier this year. Casey certainly produced there with three goals and three assists in seven games. He was not just putting up points at the tourney. Over the whole USNTDP campaign, he put up a total of 10 goals and 33 points in 48 games in the USHL and other USNTDP games. The next step for the defender is college. Casey is committed to Michigan, so he will be joining Luke Hughes next year. The rankings at EP have him in a range between 24 (ISS) to 51 (TSN/Bob McKenzie) so this selection is not an off the board selection.
Austin Garrett’s profile about Casey at Smaht Scouting is a good place to start to learn more specifics about what Casey does. As a summary, Casey is really good at handling the puck, reading situations, and quick movements. He could stand to take more initiative on offense; he did not shoot the puck as much as he perhaps could have. Interestingly, it is not an issue on defense. While he is giving up size, Casey is very active in his own zone at going after opposing players. In general, my read from Garrett’s profile is that this is a player with a good set of skills now that could blossom further with time. He will certainly get that time at Michigan, who lost Owen Power and Nick Blakenburg to the pros after last season.
For an additional perspective, Ben Kerr has this profile of Casey at Last Word on Sports. Like Garrett, Kerr is encouraged by Casey’s offensive skills and skating. Also like Garrett, Kerr notes that Casey could stand to use his shot more and, specifically, work on his slapshot. Kerr did repeatedly note that Casey’s small stature is a concern; but does note that he does excel at pokechecking opposing players and creating turnovers. He invoked the name of Brian Rafalski in terms of style, but as usual with Kerr’s profiles, it is just a style and not a projection.
For a third perspective, Will Scouch did a video - a Scouching Report - on Casey back in May. The 15-minute video is titled, “The Ultimate ‘What if it Works Out’ Defender for the 2022 NHL Draft.” That sums up what Scouch thinks of the prospect. According to Scouch, the best part of Casey’s game is blend of evasiveness and skill he possesses and a good part of his game is his general offensive upside. What concerned Scouch is his quickness - not the same as being evasive - and how likely he could succeed at the next level. He thinks he has plenty of potential but it would really help if he could improve his lateral mobility or just improve his first or second stride. As with most things Scouch puts out, it is worth your time watching the whole video.
I like the pick on its own. I would have preferred Gleb Trikozov, which would have been fantastic value at this point of the draft. Casey is not a large defenseman and if the Devils are OK with that, then I wonder why they would not take a swing on Lane Hutson? Sure, Hutson is even smaller, but he is arguably more skilled than Casey. When even ESPN analysts are pointing out how a few extra inches in height would have made him a high first rounder, I think that is worth the gamble. But, again, I think Casey was a good choice among who was available.
There will be more to digest about Casey and I will add that later today. In the meantime, I would like your reactions to the pick. Please vote in our flash poll that will end in this early evening. What do you think of Casey being selected at 46th overall? Who would you have rather wanted the Devils to take if not Casey? Please leave your answers in the comments. Thank you for reading.
The Devils drafted Seamus Casey at 46th Overall. What do you think of the pick?
This poll is closed
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!