5 New Jersey Devils Draft Picks Who Got Famous Somewhere Else

New Jersey Devils - Brendan Shanahan #18 (Photo by Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images)
New Jersey Devils - Brendan Shanahan #18 (Photo by Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images) /
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New Jersey Devils
Pittsburgh Penguins Mario Lemieux breaks away from Devils Eric Weinrich. (Photo by Steve Crandall/Getty Images) /

Eric Weinrich
1985 second-round pick, 32nd overall

Going back in time again, Eric Weinrich was a formidable player in the late 80s and early 90s. After the Devils drafted him in the second round, he would go on to have a 17-year NHL career. That’s a very successful second-round pick. The Devils made the most of their picks in the late 80s, turning this team around after years of futility.

What’s strange is Weinrich was actually drafted by a different team first. The Buffalo Sabres drafted Weinrich in the 1984 NHL Draft, but that pick was deemed invalid because Weinrich didn’t clear the age restrictions. The Devils took him the next season, and he would join the organization in 1988.

Weinrich was a promising prospect in the Devils system. He won the Eddie Shore Award as the AHL’s best defenseman. He had a very successful first season with the Devils, notching 38 points as a rookie.

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Then, the Devils traded Weinrich for a player who would be one of their best of all time. The Devils sent him and goalie Sean Burke to the Hartford Whalers for Bobby Holik and draft picks. Holik is a name everyone knows in the Devils’ fanbase. The prospect of Weinrich got this team Holik, but he went on to player more than 1,100 games in the NHL. They both had fantastic careers.