Coming into the 2013 the New Jersey Devils had a couple glaring needs in the system. The depth on the wing all the way from the big club in New Jersey, to the prospects in junior are lacking. It probably was the biggest need going into the draft, and many people thought that’s who the Devils would target. Coming into the draft New Jersey had the 9th, 39th (2nd round), 100th (4th round), and 160th (6th round) picks in the draft. It’s still too early to tell with these players, but I’ll give it a shot anyway.
9th pick- Traded to the Vancouver Canucks for G Cory Schneider
In what probably was the biggest surprise of the entire draft the New Jersey Devils acquired talented net minder Cory Schneider. Last month I did a piece with our friends over at Eyes on Isles giving them some insight on what the future would look like in net without the great Marty Brodeur. Never in my most wildest dreams did I see this move coming.
The heir apparent to the long time Devils goalie did not know about the trade till he heard it from the words of Commissioner Gary Bettman. When the trade was announced the Devils fans in attendance cheered loudly and approved of the deal..
Schneider was in a well publicized goalie soap opera with Roberto Luongo. The two were friends and handled it professionally, but Luongo’s contract made him un-tradeable. Cory Schneider started most of the Canucks’ games this year and posted very good stats. Schneider posted a 2.11 GAA and a .927 save percentage, the lowest of the young keeper’s short NHL career so far. Career numbers are also very, very good.He was also picked to start in the playoffs while injured over Luongo.
Final Grade: A
Although the team needed depth at forward in the system, whoever they drafted wouldn’t have been able to fix their scoring woes right away. Schneider can help them right from the get go and fills a huge hole. Top notch goalies don’t grow on trees, just ask Philadelphia.
39th pick: Traded to the Phenoix Coyotes for the 42nd and 73rd picks.
Good move to trade down and get their guy, while picking up a 3rd rounder that they did not have.
42nd pick: Steve Santini, D, USANDT
The Devils once again neglected their biggest need by taking Steve Santini, a defenseman with their second pick. While it was a shocker, the talent is there. Santini was named best blue liner in the U-18 WC. He went head to head against and shut down the 10th overall pick Nichushkin and future 1st rounder Connor McDavid.
The Devils won’t have to worry about making room for yet another defensman in the system because Santini will be attending Boston College in the fall and playing for legendary coach York.
The 17 year old is 6-2, 207 pounds. Some of his biggest assets are his smarts, athletic frame and his physical game.
Final Grade: B
While I think Santini will be a very good player in the future, The Devils neglected to get a glaring need, while players that could of helped fill the void were still on the board. However Santini also fills a need of a stay at home defenseman with potential through the roof. The more I read about this kid the higher the grade I want to give the pick.
73rd pick: Ryan Kujawinski, C, Kingston (OHL)
The big 6-2, 204 centerman fits the bill of recent Devils draft picks. They love to grab big players that can score. Coming into the season many had Ryan Kujawinski as a potential top 10 pick, but after an inconsistent season with Kingston he fell to the 3rd round. As a 16 year old, Kujawinski registered a point per game (15 goals, 15 assists). The tools are there he just has to put them together on a consistent basis.
Ryan will more than likely play next season back in the OHL.
Final Grade: C+
This is a boom or bust pick here. The big thing that Ryan has going for him is his upside. If he can find his grove like he did in his first season with Kingston, you could see a Zubrus light beer in New Jersey.
100th pick: Miles Wood, LW, Noble and Greenough High School, MA
Not much is known about Miles Wood. The LW participated in the 2012 USA hockey U17 player select camp potting 2 goals, 2 assists in five games. In high school this past season he registered 8 goals and 10 assists in 15 games. Went to the same high school as Devils’ defensman Mark Fayne.
Wood will play next season at Brown University where he will attend for the Fall semester.
Final Grade: C
While not much is known about Miles, he does fill an organizational need. He was also a reach at pick 100.
130th pick: Myles Bell, LW, Kelowna (WHL)
The converted defensman, Myles Bell has been passed over in drafts twice before finally getting the call from the Devils. Last season Bell posted an impressive +46 at forward. He has a very good shot, which is why he was made into a left winger. Last season to go along with the +46 he had 38 goals and 55 assists for Kelowna.
Final grade: B+
With the 6th round being a long shot, I think taking Bell was a smart pick. If he can constantly put up points since being converted to LW, he could be a nice little back end forward someday.
In what probably was the coolest moment of the draft, Martin Brodeur announced that the Devils, picked his son Anthony…When the draft was in New Jersey. Really a great moment for the family, the Devils and the NHL.
Now to the pick, Anthony Brodeur played at the storied Shattuck- St. Mary’s prep school in Minnesota. This past season he posted a 2.48 GAA and an impressive .923 save percentage. Anthony plays more of a butterfly style than his dad, but still not quite a butterfly. Still has many things to work on, and is considered a project pick.
He will play junior hockey in QMJHL next season with Gatineau.
Final Grade: A
What a great story book ending for the Brodeurs, with the draft in New Jersey. Bummed I didn’t stay long enough to see it live in person, but still cool. While it is a nice story it is still a pick and the .923 save percentage is a nice stat. Going to be a project pick, but it’s too early to tell with Anthony.
Devils Final Draft Grade: B
While they got a star goalie for the future, and Santini will be a solid stay at home D-man, they still have a hole are forward in the organization.