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Draft Day 2 for the New Jersey Devils: 2023 NHL Draft Open Post

Today is the second day of the 2023 NHL Draft. The New Jersey Devils have six picks over the next six rounds. This is an open post for AAtJ readers and Devils fans to discuss what happens on the second day of the 2023 NHL Draft.

NHL: JUN 28 Upper Deck NHL Draft
The Second Day of the NHL Draft is today
Photo by Matthew Maxey/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

After a first round that did not involve the New Jersey Devils, they will get to work today at the 2023 NHL Draft. It is the second day; a fast-paced run through Rounds 2 through 7. General Manager Tom Fitzgerald, Director of Scouting Paul Castron, and the rest of the organization will make selections to add to the prospect pool. While it is less likely that the players picked today will make it to the NHL for even a game compared with the first round, talent can and has been found from the second through seventh rounds. Just look to former Devils Damon Severson (60th overall in 2012) and Yegor Sharangovich (141st overall in 2018) or current Devils Jesper Bratt (162nd overall in 2016), Akira Schmid (136st overall in 2018), and Miles Wood (100th overall in 2013) as examples. The hard work of the scouts can yield substantial gains on this day.

The Time: 11:00 AM ET

The Broadcast: TV - NHL Network, Sportsnet, TVAS; Digital - ESPN+

Also, go to and follow their draft tracker. The broadcast tends to stray from announcing picks live so the tracker may be the first place to see who is picked.

The Devils’ Picks Today: Assuming nothing was gained or removed between yesterday evening and this post, they have six picks today:

The AAtJ Draft Preview and Prospect Profiles for 2023: Read (or re-read) about the draft preview as a whole and check out the links to all of the prospect profiles we did in 2023. Just about all of them will likely go in the second round or third round as that what James and I tried to target with the prospect list. Check them out quickly before they get picked. Or even afterwards. Note: The preview was written before the 80th overall pick and Yegor Sharangovich were sent to Calgary on Tuesday night.

First Round Thoughts: I may include more of them in the summary post this evening for the whole draft. Here is what I thought from yesterday given my cursory knowledge of this year’s draft class:

  • The first five picks were not entirely unexpected. Leo Carlsson over Adam Fantilli is justifable. David Reinbacher was linked for Montreal for weeks. Things did not get a little interesting until Arizona went with the large Russian defenseman, Dmitriy Simashev.
  • One of the questions for the first round: Where would Matvei Michkov go? He is super-skilled on offense. More questionable elsewhere. And he is signed in the KHL through 2026. The answer: 7th overall to Philadelphia. With no transfer agreement between the NHL and KHL, the only ways Michkov come over soon is either with an agreement happening or Michkov defecting. I am a little surprised the team that saw Ivan Fedotov, a player they signed last year, get kept away from going to North America decided to go with Michkov. We shall see how it works out.
  • The Reinbacher, Simashev, and Michkov picks in a row led to Washington getting Ryan Leonard. The Metropolitan is going to be pain if/when Fantilli (Columbus), Michkov (Philadelphia), and Leonard (Washington) works out.
  • The first reach for me was Nate Danielson by Detroit at 9th overall. I understand Mortiz Seider is supposed to make me trust Steve Yzerman and his scouts, but Danielson over Zach Benson (13th to Buffalo) and Brayden Yager (14th to Pittsburgh) is a reach.
  • Nashville apparently wanted some more flash and offense. Matthew Wood at 15 will give them offense. I am unsure how Tanner Molendyk at 24 will do that. Andrew Cristall was right there at both spots and Oliver Moore was right there at 15.
  • Benson, Oliver Moore, and Axel Sandin Pellikka fell within the first round. Benson is going to be a great fit for Buffalo, who is already familiar with Matthew Savoie. Moore is a very skilled skater and he could provide a match-up nightmare when he develops and joins Conor Bedard in Chicago. Yzerman and his staff smartly took Pellikka at 17; I think he could end up being one of the best defensemen in this draft. All great picks. All could have been taken in the top ten and it would have been acceptable. Chicago has to especially like coming away from Day 1 with Bedard and Moore.
  • As for other reaches: Charlie Stramel at 21 by Minnesota, Oliver Bonk at 22 by Philadelphia, and Easton Cowan at 28 by Toronto really stick out. Stramel had a rough freshman year at Wisconsin and that cooled off a lot of people on his potential. Bonk is a fine defenseman but could have been had later. Ditto for Cowan. I understand he had a great playoff with London of the OHL, but with Toronto only having three picks in this draft, you’d think they would want to trade back and still get Easton Cowan.
  • St. Louis had the most picks in the first round with three: Dalibor Dvorsky at 10th overall was respectable. Otto Stenberg at 25th overall and Theo Lindstein at 29th overall are OK, but they could have taken some better prospects at both spots. St. Louis clearly trusted their scouting staff that covers Sweden. All three played in Swedish leagues last season.
  • Carolina took Bradly Nadeau, a point-machine from the BCHL, a Junior A league. He scored a whole lot, showed off a ton of skill with Penticton, and if it translates to the next level, then Carolina has another tantalizing offensive prospect. He’s going to Maine.
  • San Jose owned New Jersey’s first round pick at 26th overall and used it on Quentin Musty. A fine pick; the Sudbury winger is excellent on the puck and uses his large frame. It would have been a good pick for the Devils. It would not have been my main choice but it is a very good selection. San Jose took Will Smith at 4th overall, so Smith and Musty will be cornerstones for what Mike Grier will build in the Bay Area.
  • Colorado flipped Alex Newhook to Montreal for 31st and 37th overall. Colorado flipped 37th overall to Tampa Bay for Ross Colton’s signing rights. At 31st, they took Mikhail Gulyayev, an offensive defenseman from Omsk’s junior team who is a speedy player. That is good management from Joe Sakic. Imagine if Montreal had this pick instead.
  • The biggest faller, to me, was Andrew Cristall. The Kelowna Rocket put up 28 goals and 69 points in 61 games in his D-1 season, he put up 39 goals and 95 goals in his draft eligible year, and he put up two goals and six points at the World U-18s for Canada while wearing an ‘A.’ I do not get how Cristall did not get picked in the first round. It cannot be his size. Other 5’10” forwards were picked in this first round: Bedard, Michkov, Benson, Cowan, and Nadeau. It is not like Cristall is any smaller than them. Or that he is much smaller than the 5’11” crew of Moore, Gabe Perreault (23rd overall to Our Hated Rivals), Stenberg, and Yager. The NHL did not collectively decide that size was an important thing in this first round. If the Devils had 26th overall, then I would have loved it if they took Cristall. He would have been a fantastic pick from 20th onward (seriously, Minnesota, Stramel?!) Alas. I expect he will go very quickly today. Along with Gracyn Sawchyn, Gavin Brindley, Riley Heidt, and Ethan Gauthier.
  • Here’s a surprise: No Finnish players were taken in the first round. This is not a strong draft class for Finland. Canada had the most players taken in the first round with 13. It should be 12 as Gabe Perreault is somehow marked as Canadian. I understand he was born in Quebec, but he is on the USNTDP. That has to count for something. Sweden came in second with 6 taken. America finished at 5 because, again, Perreault is somehow not American in the NHL’s draft tracker. Russia had four players picked. Slovakia had two in Dvorsky and Samuel Honzek. Reinbacher was the lone Austrian and Sale was the lone Czech player.
  • Here’s another: No Quebec Major Junior Hockey League players were also taken in the first round. Ethan Gauthier was pretty much the Q’s best shot at getting someone called in the first day of the draft. While the WHL had four players within the first 15 picks (Bedard, Danielson, Benson, Yager), the OHL ended up having four taken in the first round (Barlow, Bonk, Ritchie, Cowan) overall. So much for this being a down year for the ‘O.’
  • No goalies went in the first round, which was not a surprise. The goalie draft class is not that strong. I would expect several to be taken this second day of the draft as this is the day to take long shots and hope for the best. Will Trey Augustine go first? Or Michael Hrabel? Or, hopefully, Jacob Fowler? We shall see soon.
  • Lastly, no trades. Not a one. This week has been full of deals and news. That the first round did not have Gary Bettman going to the podium to announce a trade was surprising given all that has happened so far. We could have some today, even if they are just pick-for-pick deals.

A Reminder: This day is expected to go faster than last night. Please do not be surprised if the posts about the Devils picks or moves are light on content at first. We will attempt to add more information about the players later where applicable. 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 run for 24 hours. So make your vote before tomorrow late afternoon. On Sunday, July 2, I will reveal the results of each poll in a summary of what you all - the People Who Matter - initially thought of this year’s 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 reading and spending your time during the day on the site as the 2023 NHL Draft will complete the remaining rounds this afternoon.

If you truly do not care about the draft, then fine, you do not need to tell us that. You also do not need to wait long for the next major offseason event. Qualifying offers for RFAs are due at 5 PM ET on Friday, June 30. Which is tomorrow. Saturday is July 1, the first day for unrestricted free agents to sign with other teams. Also known as Free Agent Frenzy. Expect much more to happen with the Devils and the NHL as a whole.