William Whitelaw – C – Youngstown Phantoms
The Devils go back to the USHL, but this time, it’s for a center. One thing that has become clear is the Devils are weak down the middle in its prospect pool. It’s not a terrible issue since Jack Hughes, Nico Hischier, Dawson Mercer, and Michael McLeod are currently on the roster (at least for now with McLeod). On top of that, the Devils signed Erik Haula to a three-year contract.
Center might not be top of mind, but it is something the Devils need to address in the long term. Zero centers made our rankings when we did the Top 25 prospects in December.
The Devils need centers in the system, and William Whitelaw would be an interesting start. He’s a player with a lot of attention throughout his early career. That talent had scouts curious from an early age, but that hasn’t necessarily led to first-round hype. In fact, Whitelaw is being projected mostly in the third round, but we’ve seen Fitzgerald take a player early when he really wants them.
Unfortunately for Whitelaw, he’s 5’9. Even in 2023, teams don’t like to draft players that are missing size. However, this is a player whose skills transcend size. This could be another Brayden Point. Yes, that’s a lofty comparison used too much, but it works here. Whitelaw would be a great choice.