2022 NHL Draft Pick #3- Simon Nemec
Like Juraj Slafkovsy, the Devils could look at a player to fill with need. A defenseman is an absolute must for the Devils. Another player with Slafkovsy in the Olympics is defenseman Simon Nemec.
Nemec is likely the top defenseman in this year’s draft and has been ranked high by analysts. While Simon maybe not be an all-type goal-scoring defenseman, he is agile. The significant part of his game is his speed, and his skating has gotten good this year. Watching him play looks like a long-lost Hughes brother. Even though he isn’t a goal-scoring defenseman, he is a big assist guy. Nemec had 26 assists in 39 games for HK Nitra this year. Nemec has many potentials and a high ceiling, which could be significant for a brutal Devils’ defense core last year.
Dougie Hamilton and Ryan Graves have had terrible starts on their contract years. PK Subban and Damon Severson didn’t fare any better. Ty Smith perhaps had the worst overall year out of all the defensemen, as he had a lot of issues and had an injury this year. While Kevin Bahl was a bright spot, there isn’t anything to be wowed by this defensive core.
So, getting a rookie like Nemec, who could fill a spot with his play, could be a big step in the right direction. While getting him would be good, the Devils could skip over him to see how Luke Hughes can pan out after his time in Michigan is done. Sure, the Devils could still draft him, but Cooley and Slafkovsy have better odds of being drafted. However, the best part of this is that at least one of these three players from the 2022 NHL Draft could be a big part of the Devils’ dynasty.