The Devils took three defensemen within 21 picks in 2019. They took Nikita Okhotyuk with the 61st-overall pick, Daniil Misyul with the 70th-overall pick, and Michael Vukojevic with the 82nd-overall pick. All three have been somewhat disappointing, and none of them are really considered very likely to make the NHL anytime soon. Okhotyuk is a bruiser who is doing well at that role in the AHL, but Kevin Bahl is pretty similar and he’s in the NHL right now.
When it comes to Vukojevic, he’s been struggling just to stay in the AHL lineup this year. In fact, he spent some time with the Adirondack Thunder this year of the ECHL. Vukojevic has done well to cut down on his penalties, an issue he had in his first year last year. However, his offensive numbers have dropped. He only has 14 points in 47 games in the AHL after scoring 11 last season in just 26.
Vukojevic is incredibly young still. He only made it to the AHL last season because the OHL wasn’t playing. This is supposed to be his first season in professional hockey, but he was forced to go pro early. Give him some time to develop and maybe he can one day be something, but he’s clearly taken a step back this season compared to last year. He was a pleasant surprise in 2021, but this season he fell below those expectations.