2015 NHL Mock Draft: New Jersey Devils First Round Pick


The FanSided 2015 NHL Mock Draft continues and now the New Jersey Devils are on the clock!

With the 6th overall pick in the 1st-round of the 2015 NHL Mock Draft, the New Jersey Devils are proud to select…

Mathew Barzal, Forward, Seattle Thunderbirds (WHL)

With the 6th overall selection in the Mock Draft, we almost decided to go in a different direction but Barzal is too gifted offensively to pass up. We will jump more into this pick after the jump, but first lets take a look at how the draft played out up to our pick at #6.

148. . C. Erie Otters. Connor McDavid. 1. player

player. 12. . C. Boston University. Jack Eichel. 2

player. 121. . C. Erie Otters. Dylan Strome. 3

. D. Boston College. Noah Hanifin. 5. player. 109

New Jersey Devils
New Jersey Devils /

New Jersey Devils

As you can see above there was no real surprise as McDavid,






all were selected prior to the New Jersey Devils pick at #6. While on the clock we had also considered Pavel Zacha, but ultimately decided Barzal was the type of player the Devils truly need. Mathew Barzal is on the smaller side at 5’11”, 175 lbs. but has good speed and can create plays.

He’s very young and actually just turned 18 so he may need another year to develop prior to joining the New Jersey Devils. However, the Devils are really getting a special player with the 6th overall pick. We previously covered drafting Barzal in this draft profile, but his best skills come from his vision and knowledge of the game. He’s said to study film a ton and really enjoys utilizing what he’s learned on the ice. He’s a pure play-maker and knows how to create time and space for his linemates.

“He’s the best skater I’ve seen in the WHL in terms of his east-west game while creating time and space with his feet.” – John Williams (Central Scouting)

Perhaps the biggest knock on Barzal coming into the draft is his health. While New Jersey Devils fans may be turned off by the fact that he missed the first half of the season due to a knee injury, his stats are still impressive. He only played in 44 games this season, but you can see how he performed in the table below.

stats courtesy of hockeydb

As you can see, by selecting Mathew Barzal the New Jersey Devils will not be getting a top scorer that they desperately need. However, consider the fact that as GM Ray Shero acquires scoring help Barzal would compliment them very well. With 45 assists in 45 games this season he is truly a play-maker who makes everyone around him better. The following quote is from Steve Kournianos of the Draft Analyst.

"Barzal is a smooth-skating play-maker who boasts superior play-making ability. He plays a smart, disciplined game, specifically when controlling the puck. Possesses excellent hockey sense. Can run a power play and is highly effective at entering the zone with either speed or patience. Great vision. Can stop on a dime and thread the needle through traffic and over long distances. Extremely dangerous player in the offensive zone. Very hard to telegraph. A student of the game. Not very physical and while he does compete in puck battles, he will need to add strength to improve his board play. He also has a tendency to force things, such as over passing and dangerously walk the puck along the offensive blue line into heavy traffic. Possesses an accurate shot but does not use it enough."

Finally for some highlights of the New Jersey Devils Mock Draft selection. The following video shows highlights from Barzal playing for Team Canada at the U18 World Championships. He is wearing #14 and shows off all his skills in these highlights. Do you agree with our draft pick of Mathew Barzal at #6? Let us know on our social media accounts and in the comments section below!

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