Possible Options For New Jersey Devils At Fourth Overall In NHL Draft

New Jersey Devils GM Tom Fitzgerald (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
New Jersey Devils GM Tom Fitzgerald (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images) /
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New Jersey Devils
Jack Hughes – New Jersey Devils (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

 Tier 2: Who The Devils Should Draft if Tier I is Taken

1.  Luke Hughes, LHD

Luke Hughes is a very young left-handed defenseman that spent his previous season with the United States National Development Program (USNDPT). He has a decent frame (6’2″ 176lbs). Hughes is the youngest of the three Hughes brothers. Just like Jack and Quinn, Hughes has very smooth skating and has great puck skills. He showed significant improvements as the season progressed. In the 56 total games he played with the USDNPT, he scored an impressive 49 points. Unfortunately, his season ended early due to injury. Hughes hopes to add to the momentum that he had last season when he enters his freshman year at the University of Michigan.

Hughes is already a fan favorite for the Devils despite not being drafted yet. They want to see two of the three Hughes brothers play together in the state of New Jersey. In theory, having Jack and Luke on the same team might significantly help the Devils because Jack and Luke can push each other to higher levels. While Luke Hughes is a great option for the Devils with the fourth pick, he is not on the top of this list.

The main reason is that Hughes is a left-handed defenseman (LHD). Like mentioned earlier, the Devils have a surplus of high-quality LHD. On the other hand, the Devils lack RHD. Getting a high-quality defenseman that can naturally play on the right side is more important than getting an LHD to learn how to play on the right side. The Devils need to balance the left and right sides out. Therefore, Luke Hughes is not a primary option for the Devils with the fourth pick.

2. Simon Edvinsson, LHD

Simon Edvinsson is a Swedish LHD that displays amazing skating and puck handling abilities. Edvinsson is a unique defender like Owen Power where his great frame, elite two-way abilities, and amazing skating sets him above most defensive prospects. On the offensive end, the 6’4″ 184lbs defender can deceive opposing defenders and beat them with his elite skating.

On the defensive end, Edvinsson uses his body and stick very well to break up plays. He also displays great awareness as well. This previous season, Edvinsson played for Frolunda’s U20 Junior Team, Vasteras IK of HockeyAllsvenskan, Frolunda of the Swedish Hockey League. He also played for Team Sweden at the 2021 U18 World Junior Championships.

Edvinsson saw the most success with the 14 games he played for both Frolunda’s U20 team and Vasteras IK where he scored six points and five points respectively. With Frolunda, Edvinsson only put up one assist. At the 2021 World Junior Championships, Edvinsson scored four points in seven games.

Edvinsson is a very talented defender. The Devils should consider drafting Edvinsson if the tier one options are taken before their turn to pick. Edvinsson seems to be more defensively sound than Hughes and Clarke, but his offensive side on paper is not as good. The Devils do need a defender that is good in their own zone since the defense has been struggling. Edvnisson is not in my tier one though because he is an LHD. An RHD is a bigger priority for the Devils since they are lacking high quality and depth in that department.

3. Dylan Guenther,  LW/RW

Dylan Guenther is a 6’1, 170lb winger who is a huge offensive threat. While playing for the Edmonton Oil Kings, he scores a whopping 24 points in 12 games. Guenther also had a small stint with the Sherwood Park Crusaders of the AJHL where he scored five points in four games. He is known for his hockey sense, passing, and his ferocious one-timer. He also takes advantage of high danger areas so he can create scoring opportunities and help create openings for his teammates to have high-quality scoring chances as well. One of the only concerns is the small sample of games that he played. Since Guenther only played 28 games due to Covid, it is not known if he could have kept up his production if the season was longer.

The Devils should consider drafting Guenther with the fourth pick if Power, Clarke, and Hughes are somehow taken before them. He can solidify the wing depth even more. In the future, he can complement well with Nico Hischier or Dawson Mercer. Gunther can help make the Devils’ offense more dangerous since he loves attacking the dangerous zones. His style of play might fit very well with Lindy’s Ruff’s system.