New Jersey Devils: Full Seven-Round Mock Draft

Jack Hughes of the New Jersey Devils. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Jack Hughes of the New Jersey Devils. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /
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New Jersey Devils
Jack Hughes – New Jersey Devils (Photo by Rich Lam/Getty Images) /

The New Jersey Devils are looking to make a huge splash when they make seven picks on Friday night. Their picks are a little all over the place, which puts them in strange positions in some rounds. They obviously just traded away the New York Islanders’ 2nd-round pick in the Ryan Graves trade, and they are missing their current 2nd-round pick after trading it two years ago in the Nikita Gusev trade. The Devils haven’t had their own 2nd-round pick in three years.

They are also missing their own 5th-round pick (sent to Columbus in the Ryan Murray deal) and 7th-round pick (lost to the Lightning in the Louis Domingue deal). They do have the Sabres 5th-round pick (Wayne Simmonds trade deadline deal last season) and the Arizona Coyotes pick in the 7th-round (draft-day trade from last year). Of course, the Devils also have the 1st-round pick from the New York Islanders that they got in the Kyle Palmieri-Travis Zajac trade.

Now that we’re caught up on which picks the Devils have, who will they take with their seven picks? There is no way to know who is going where, so to give you fans a chance to follow along, we used Corey Pronman’s seven-round mock draft as a guide of who might be available.

Round 1, Pick 4
Luke Hughes, Defenseman, U.S. National Team Development Program

Yeah, this is obvious, but the Devils hold probably the most obvious pick in the entire NHL Draft. Even the number one pick isn’t as obvious as the Devils taking Luke Hughes. Obviously, Jack Hughes holds a piece of this point, but it goes way beyond that. Hughes plays a position of serious need for the Devils. Despite putting plenty of draft capital into the defensive end over the past few years, they are missing that top-line player outside of Ty Smith. The reality is they need to spend big to get another huge piece on the blue line. Graves is a fine piece, but he shouldn’t be on a team’s top line. Hughes has the upside to one day lead a team in minutes.

Hughes is very young. He’s one of the youngest players in this class, making the cutoff by just six days. That gives him time to grow. His skating and edgework are already phenomenal. He can outrun some players at the NHL level right now.

The big issue Devils fans had with Jack Hughes was his size. Kaapo Kakko was the much bigger player and had the body of an NHL player. Luke Hughes is more “Kakko” than he is “Jack”. He stands at 6’2 and is billed at 176 lbs. If he goes on the Jack Hughes eating program and adds muscle as he did last offseason.

Obviously, in Pronman’s draft, Brandt Clarke and William Eklund are both available at four. Those are the two that would give us pause, but not very long. We love Clarke, and if he’s the pick the Devils are still in a good position. Simon Edvinsson is another player to watch. However, Hughes is only getting better, he’s about to go to a really good college program in Michigan, and he might be playing with his brother sooner than we think.