The New Jersey Devils have been successful at taking players in the third round of the NHL Draft. Brian Gionta, Adam Henrique, Reilly Walsh, and Nico Daws are just a few examples of great picks the team made. Overall, the third round is an interesting space in the draft. Teams like to move up and down in that round quite often. In 2019, the last pre-pandemic draft, 17 third-round picks were taken by teams who didn’t originally own the pick. This might be because teams constantly fall in love with players they perceive as falling, and it also could be because teams don’t value these picks properly.
The third round has a ton of misses. There are some hits, however. Zdeno Chara was a third-round pick. So was Kris Letang. Going back even further, the greatest defenseman of all time Nicklas Lidstrom was a third rounder. One of (but not the) best goaltenders of all time Patrick Roy was taken in the third round. Clearly, there can be some absolute gems in the round.
Can the Devils get one of those gems this year? It’s a strange draft year, and it could absolutely happen. Here are some names to watch in the third round.
1. Alexander Perevalov – Loko Yaroslavl (MHL)
The Russian prospects are in such a weird situation with the war in Ukraine making relations between hockey players and the NHL feel more like it did in the 80s and early 90s. Players may not be able to come to North America to play in the NHL or AHL unless they are already here. This is something the Devils must consider with every prospect.
It could impact the value of these prospects, and they may fall in the draft because of the uncertainty. Alexander Perevalov is a prospect that has some scouts incredibly excited about him. He’s grown immensely this year, and many wonder how good he could become. He struggled two years ago in the MHL, Russia’s secondary league, but he dominated last season. He had 50 points in 42 games for Yaroslavl.
In other years, Perevalov would be a guaranteed second-round pick, and his skillset might even have a team talk themselves into a first-round pick. This isn’t a normal year, and the Devils might get the benefits of this.