The New Jersey Devils have been hit or miss in the draft over the past few years but the 2017 NHL Draft seems to have been a good one for them.
The New Jersey Devils have been on and off as far as drafting over the past few seasons. With that said, the 2017 Draft is looking like one that could prove to be a good one for New Jersey. We are only three years out from that weekend so there is still a lot to figure out. It is a very early analysis of it but right now it looks like a pretty good draft for the Devils.
Before the draft, New Jersey struck gold when some ping pong balls went their way in the draft lottery. They won the right to make the first overall pick for the first time in Devils’ history. They took Nico Hischier with that first-overall pick. So far, he is the only player to be full time in the NHL and he is quite good at it. Nico has come in and has pretty much been their number one center since day one.
He doesn’t score like Auston Matthews or Connor McDavid did as teenagers but his offense will continue to develop. What makes him special is his play in all three zones including without the puck. Not many are able to do what Nico can do as a teenager or 20 years old. Once the offense really explodes, he is going to be one of the best players in the league.
Beyond Hischier, however, is where the promise from this draft comes from. Obviously, you are going to be getting a good NHL player when you make the first overall pick so what they did behind him is what could be special one day. There are a lot of players taken after Hischier that the fanbase is excited about going forward.
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- Nico Hischier
- Jesper Boqvist
- Fabian Zetterlund
- Reilly Walsh
- Nikita Popugaev
- Gilles Senn
- Marian Studenic
- Aarne Talvitie
- Jocktan Chainey
- Yegor Zaitsev
- Matthew Hellickson
That’s eleven players the Devils added via the draft that year. Jesper Boqvist is the only one who has had some significant time in the NHL besides Hischier. He has also had tremendous success for the Binghamton Devils, so the NHL club hopes he reaches his true potential. He should end up being a really good top-six forward one day.
Our of everyone else on that list, two college players stick out above the rest. Reilly Walsh is a defenseman for Harvard and Aarne Talvitie is a forward for Penn State University. Walsh is hoping to follow some great Harvard defenseman that came to the NHL just ahead of him and Talvitie is hoping to be the next young skilled forward to come through the Devils’ system.
Obviously, Hischier is the only player on this list that has really hit at the NHL level but most of them have very promising futures three years later. If most of them end up reaching their potential, this could go down as one of the best drafts in Devils’ history. We will be looking back to see how this class pans out even more as the years go on.