New Jersey Devils: Assessing Picks We Loves, Liked, And Hated In NHL Draft

Dawson Mercer (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
Dawson Mercer (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images) /
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Dawson Mercer - New Jersey Devils
Dawson Mercer #19 (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images) /

The highly anticipated and most important draft in recent memory for the New Jersey Devils has finally come full circle. There was much debate who the Devils would select with the seventh-overall pick, if the team would utilize all three selections, or if they would draft goalie Yaroslav Askarov in the 1st round.

It turns out that they used all three draft picks and utilized eight of the nine picks; trading a 7th rounder to the Arizona Coyotes for a future 7th-round pick. The Devils did draft a Russian-born player in the 1st round, just not the player many people thought it would be. While it is fun to speculate how the Devils did in the draft, we will not know for years how to fully assess this draft class. For all intensive purposes, let’s have a little fun and briefly discuss who we loved, liked and wasn’t a big fan of.

Players We Loved

Dawson Mercer

Dawson Mercer is the type of player that Devils fans will fall in love with. This kid has every single intangible that you could ask for, stuff that you don’t see in a box score or highlight. He has an incredibly high hockey IQ, is good with and without the puck, will stick up for teammates, and dish out hits. Oh, and he is an insanely gifted scorer and two way hockey player. He will be a staple on the power play and penalty kill. This kid could do it all, and in no time will be a fan favorite. The Devils hit a home run with the number 18 pick in the draft.

Nicolas ‘Nico’ Daws

We know there’s only one Nico on the Devils right now, but if Nicolas Daws stops pucks at a high level, then there could be room for another. Besides Makenzie Blackwood, the Devils are lacking a high-level goaltender in their prospect pool. It is way too soon to declare Daws the ‘Robin’ to Blackwood’s ‘Batman,’ but this kid has the size at 6’4, athleticism, and moxy to become a good goaltender with the proper development.

He was the OHL goalie of the year sporting a league best .924 save percentage. He is also a very good puck-handler, something that Devils fans know a lot about. He has a very good glove hand and rebound control with his athleticism. I am really excited to see what the future has in store for Daws.

Jaromir Pytlick

The Devils have made it clear that they want to get physical, two-way grinders to compliment the speed and skill that they have in their organization. Much like Mercer, Pytlick is a very good two way hockey player that delivers much needed size and strength. He is extremely tough to defend when he has possession of the puck, gets in the dirty areas and is not afraid to back-check or use his body to to win puck battles along the boards. He has a deceptively good shot and offensive instincts. Like any other player who is 6’2 at 18 years old, he needs to bulk up and improve his skating. If he does, he could be a solid contributor as a middle-six forward and penalty killer. He provides great value as the 99th overall pick in the draft.