Biggest NHL Draft Steals In New Jersey Devils History

Jesper Bratt #63 of the New Jersey Devils. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Jesper Bratt #63 of the New Jersey Devils. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /
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New Jersey Devils
Blake Coleman #20 of the New Jersey Devils. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

10. Mike Rupp

2000: Round 3, Pick 76

The 6’5 Erie Otter product has a complicated history with the Devils’ fan base. On one end, the former 3rd rounder has the honor of scoring the Stanley Cup-clinching goal in Game 7 of the 2003 Stanley Cup Finals against the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim. On the other end, he sucker-punched Martin Brodeur during Game 4 of the 2012 Eastern Conference Final as a member of the New York Rangers. Rupp’s play may not have been glamorous; still, the big enforcer had slightly over 600 career games under his belt over 12 seasons.

9. Blake Coleman

2011: Round 3, Pick 75

A two-time cup champion with the Tampa Bay Lightning, the swiss army knife winger can score goals and kill power plays as good as any bottom-six forward in the league. Although his time in New Jersey was only four years, the former third-round pick was a fan favorite. From 2018-2020, Coleman was one of the few bright spots on the Devils, making his trade to Tampa Bay in February of 2020 an unpopular one among the fanbase. Coleman went on to play an integral part for Tampa Bay during the back-to-back cup run, and this past offseason, he signed a hefty deal with the Calgary Flames.

8. Jim Dowd

1987: Round 8, Pick 149

Back when the NHL had 12 rounds in the draft, Mr. Brick Township was selected in the 8th round in 1987. One of the first Jersey-born NHLers, Dowd, had the opportunity to be drafted by the Devils and score the game-winning goal in Game 2 of the 1995 Stanley Cup Finals vs. the Red Wings. Although his stay in New Jersey was only for a quarter of his career, the former 8th rounder logged 728 games played over a 16-year career.

7. Paul Martin

2000: Round 2, Pick 62

While Paul Martin may never have lit up the stat sheet, the former late second-rounder was as good as they come defensively for nearly a decade. During his six years with the Devils, he was a +54 while putting up three 30-point campaigns. After leaving the Devils, he continued to be a rock on the Penguins blueline for five years. He then went on to help stabilize an already loaded Sharks defense during the season they made the finals.

6. Adam Henrique

2008: Round 3, Pick 82

Henrique. It’s Over. That’s probably all I need to convince Devils fans why the former third-rounder deserves to be on this list. Even without that goal, his stats and consistency speak for themselves. Adam Henrique has hit the 50-point plateau three times during his career, and in four other seasons, he netted north of 24 goals. Throughout most of his tenure in NJ, he was a part of some horrendous Devils teams, and if it weren’t for him, they would have been competing with Edmonton for 1st overall picks. Currently in Anaheim, Henrique’s posted 415 points in 734 career games. For those Devils fans wondering, he’s got three more years left on his deal before a reunion can be made.