Nolan Foote is a player that was once considered a top-ten pick. It was one of those “way too early” predictions, but this kid had some serious talent, and teams were salivating to get him on their teams, and he ended up going to the Kelowna Rockets.
Things didn’t go great that first season. He only hit 35 points in his first season, the followed it up with just 40. Things weren’t looking so great, but he was still just a teenager. This past season he was better, scoring 36 goals over 66 games.
This pick is so important for the New Jersey Devils. They could trade it for a legitimate NHL talent. They could use it to trade back in the 1st round (hopefully for Arthur Kaliyev if he falls to the 20s). If they make the pick, they need to hit on it. Nolan Foote has the upside with his ridiculous shot to be a scorer in the NHL in the near future.
He’s not particularly fast, but he has hockey flowing in his veins. If you see his name, you can guess that his father is legendary defenseman Adam Foote and his brother is Lightning prospect Cal Foote. He was made for this, and that’s why he got the hype he did a few years ago. He is lauded for his hockey sense, and he just needs to find the coach that can get the most out of him.
We thought about Tobias Bjornfot here, and he could very well be the pick, or it could be someone we never expected to fall out of the 1st round. However, if the Devils come out of this draft with Foote, they have a prospect who could one day play in a top-six role if everything works out.
There is so much to like about this player. Spending some time looking at his highlights, it’s clear that he has an explosive first step. He can get behind a defense at an elite level in his current league. The problem is he’s a little inconsistent with his production.
Unlike some players going into the QMJHL, Cajkovic had to come into the locker room as the go-to guy while also trying to adjust to North American ice. He was drafted first overall in the CHL Import draft. Obviously, this kid is ridiculously talented. The fact the Devils could get him in the 2nd round is great. It mostly has to do with him playing with the Saint John Sea Dogs and being forced to carry as much of the load as he could.
The Slovakian forward could play either right wing or left wing. Ray Shero usually likes players with that kind of versatility. Plus, he can beat players one on one. The Devils are going to have a ton of blinding speed with Taylor Hall, Jack Hughes, Miles Wood and Jesper Boqvist possibly on the roster. Add in Cajkovic in a few years and things really get great.
The Devils should definitely take this player here, but they’ll need to answer some questions after taking him. Are his issues a product on playing on a bad team, or is he developing bad habits? Those are the questions they probably already asked themselves before the draft. Even if some of these are becoming bad habits, they just need to address them in prospect camps so he knows how to move forward.
Marshall Warren is a good defenseman with some amazing hands. It’s clear by the tape that it’s his best trade is his ability to keep the puck on his stick through traffic and his passing ability. He’s played alongside future Devil Jack Hughes, along with likely top-ten picks Cole Caufield and Alex Turcotte.
For a guy who played for the U.S. National team, Warren isn’t getting much hype. Bob McKenzie had him close to pick 100, but many other analysts have him in the 50s. McKenzie seems to be the outlier on Warren (although, he’s the one you don’t want to have as your outlier). However, there’s a lot to like about Warren. He is really good at 5v5 and is responsible in his own end. He could do better on special teams, but hopefully that comes with time.
Warren is also a kid who’s played a lot of his teens in the state of New Jersey. He played for the North Jersey Avalanche prior to his time with the U.S. National Team Development Program. Before that, he was playing with the New Jersey Colonials out of Florham Park. He knows New Jersey, and he may even embrace a chance with the Devils.
Warren is committed to playing at Boston College next season, so the Devils will have to wait before they see him wearing red and black, but he probably needs a couple college seasons before he’s ready to sign his entry-level contract. If the Devils are willing to be patient, this could be a pick that pays off tenfold. They might be willing to do that since Reilly Walsh, Jeremy Davies and Ty Smith seem to be defensive prospects that are close to NHL ready.