New Jersey Devils: Simon Nemec Will Work Well With Luke Hughes

Simon Nemec is drafted by the New Jersey Devils. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Simon Nemec is drafted by the New Jersey Devils. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

The beginning of the 2022 NHL Draft shocked a lot of people. The Montreal Canadiens were supposed to select Shane Wright and call it a day. Right behind them, the New Jersey Devils were supposed to select Juraj Slafkovsky and run.

However, things don’t always go according to plan. Montreal actually selected Slafkovsky with the number one overall pick which shocked the world. Instead of taking Wright at two, the Devils went with Simon Nemec who is the top defenseman in the draft. Both 1 and 2 hail from Slovakia.

Of course, the reaction to this is going to be negative because a bunch of people wanted to see their team select Shane Wright who has been the face of this draft for years. Luckily, the scouts have watched these guys a lot more than we have.

The fact that the Arizona Coyotes didn’t even take Wright at 3 (they took Logan Cooley) makes things so crazy. Finally, Wright landed with the Seattle Kraken as the fourth overall pick. Seeing him fall like that was painful.

The New Jersey Devils surprised people when they passed on Shane Wright.

With New Jersey taking Nemec, there is a lot to dissect. He is a right-handed shot drafted in the top five which rarely happens. He is known as a puck-moving defenseman that can create plays from the back end. He can also quarterback a power play which is nice to know as well.

The thing to be excited about most with him is what this New Jersey Devils team can be if he becomes the high-volume stud on the back end. If he is able to reach his true potential, the Devils will have another legit top-pair guy on their hands.

Nemec could very well form an amazing pair with Luke Hughes. Hughes is going back to Michigan for another year of college which should prepare him for the NHL even more. Both Hughes and Nemec could be rookies at the same time in 2023-24. This feels like a potential pair in the NHL because of their skillsets.

They are similar in the fact that they can be offensive guys running a power play at any time. It would be wild to see them as a pair one day as they are back-to-back first-round picks by the Devils. Drafting and developing these types of studs is so important.

The Devils will have a lot of options in the third round. light. Related Story

It also wouldn’t be bad to have them split off with a defensive-minded partner as that can create very good depth. It will all depend on where this defense core is at when Nemec and Hughes are ready for the long haul.

Both of these kids are very exciting in their own way. With other young players in the organization to build around, it won’t be long before they are really good. Adding Nemec might have been a surprise at the moment but it could end up being a solid pick by the Devils.