Jersey Joe's New Jersey Devils Mock Draft Rounds 4-7: Scouts Edition

All the fanfare is around the New Jersey Devils 10th-overall pick, but as Jesper Bratt, Yegor Sharangovich, and Cam Janssen can attest, there is plenty of talent that can come from Rounds 4 through 7.
2023 Upper Deck NHL Draft - Rounds 2-7
2023 Upper Deck NHL Draft - Rounds 2-7 / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages

The New Jersey Devils will add three prospects in the first three rounds of the NHL Draft, and we went over them in this article here. The Devils also have three selections post Round 3, which can turn into something special.

From a scout's point of view (check out my work at Draft Prospects Hockey), these are the best fits the Devils can find in the later rounds. The New Jersey Devils hold two fifth-round picks, one of which was an asset from Colorado via San Jose in the Timo Meier deal, and they have their own sixth-round pick.

139th overall
Gabriel Eliasson

New Jersey Devils select from HV71 U20, LHD, Gabriel Eliasson, the Mammoth-sized defenseman. He has really shown his capabilities this season as a physical, menacing presence on the blueline in the J18 and J20 Hockey Leagues. The growing young defenseman turns 18 years old on September 9th, making him one of the youngest prospects in the draft.

In the tournament against Switzerland, he had three of his six hits alone in that game, showing that he wanted to lock down that win for Sweden to help qualify to win the bronze medal game. He is an agile skater who can do a good job locking down opponents from getting easy entries via the neutral and defensive zones using his size and leverage to form an iron wall. Eliasson was a second-overall pick in the USHL Phase II draft (a region this writer will be covering) and will be playing at the University of Michigan next season.

He did amass 103 Penalty Minutes in the J20 League and will have to improve his discipline and become more well-rounded. He could be a serviceable, physical, stay-at-home defender. Eliasson is smooth on his edges for a big guy with above-average speed. His compete level and will to win are absolutely there, which is why he was able to make the National Team for Sweden.

He earned himself a D1 College Hockey commitment to play for the Michigan Wolverines. If there is something that the Devils can never have enough of, it is bigger, more physical skaters, especially when the depth charts begin to shift from the bottom to the top. Having Brandon Naurato as his head coach over at Michigan University to learn from will help New Jersey focus on their current near-term depth players while Gabriel Eliasson irons out his game in Ann Arbor, Michigan in 2025-2026.

153rd overall
Evan Gardner

The New Jersey Devils select from the Saskatoon Blades of the WHL, Evan Gardner. Gardner has averaged over 0.920 Sv% in his draft season via InStat and makes around 88% of Scoring Area Saves with 2.7 Brilliant Saves per Game. He is 6'2" and 174 lb. This means he has a high amount of athleticism in his game and strong reflexes.

If there is a comparable for his game from a 17-year-old campaign, his WHL comparable is Stuart Skinner, despite being two inches shorter and 31 pounds lighter. Evan Gardner still has plenty of room to build up that goalie frame. Gardner posted better numbers than Skinner's 17 year old season. The New Jersey Devils did not draft a goalie last season, and this year they should look to the WHL where they can get one of the best goalies in North America who has a lot of upside.

Evan Gardner had a .927SV%. He posted four shutouts on top of that. Regular season, Evan Gardner had a 21-5-0 record. However, Gardner has played in 15 playoff games over 5 and posting a 2.33 GAA against a 3.76 Stuart Skinner posted in the CHL playoffs. that .910 over .862 is very clutch for a young Canadian from British Columbia going 10-1-3 vs. 1-3-0 against Stuart Skinner in the playoffs is a big benchmark for a young goalie and here is a game report I had written on him:

17.04.2024 Saskatoon Blades 7:0 Red Deer Rebels

Gardner was doing a really good job on his C pushes looking around an opponent trying to cover him, but was able to snuff out a shot on net with traffic. Evan’s butterfly stance allowed him to clamp down on the goalie posts and was keeping his goalie stick down on the ice in case of a puck coming in front. The Blades netminder did a phenomenal job poke checking any in close attacks. Gardner has really good puck skills in getting the flow up the side boards and to his open teammate on the tape of the stick.

Goalie Summary
Net Coverage: 10

Skating: 8.95

Rebound Control: 10

Play Reading: 10

Technical: 10

Poise: 10

Puck Handling: 10

171st overall
Miroslav Satan Jr.

Yes folks you read that right. It's not a mini me but this is the son of Buffalo Sabres legendary Slovak forward, Miroslav Satan (Sr.). This is a pick based on Miroslav Satan Jr.'s own merit and lets go over why.

Miroslav Satan (Jr.) C, 6’7, 190 lb, 02.03.2006 (Team Slovakia U18, Slovakia 2) :
We know what you’re all thinking but yes this indeed is the son of former NHL’er Miroslav Satan. He has shown in the faceoff circle against lesser developed and skilled centers that he can beat them in the faceoff dot. However versus Finland, USA, and Sweden Satan needs to improve against those super skilled, really strong leveraging centers. That is room for Miroslav to grow in the muscle mass department, and with that size and reach he does forecheck really well, and zips really fast around the boards looking to poke the puck loose. He is a disciplined player who doesn’t go into the box often. He does throw the body around and is a high volume shooter, he just has to get more of those on the net. From the skillset, this center can improve in the faceoff circle with the right developmental and skills coaches. Miroslav can also look to be a natural winger who he has a lot of speed and can play make but should focus more on powering his way and getting more versatility in more roles as he gets primed up for a future in the NHL.

The New Jersey Devils do need more size and power; he did display a physical game against Finland with three hits and two shot blocks. He does pose good statistics against average national teams in the faceoff circle but he needs to improve more in the faceoff circle against the more elite-level faceoff specialists in national games.

Overall, Miroslav Satan Jr. was a 49% Faceoff Winner and has the ability to improve there. He does need to unleash his full potential in hitting players more like he did against Finland during the regular season and postseason to become more of an atomic threat in the bottom six. Do not be surprised if he becomes a winger as well, where he can add more versatility to a team that needs to roll four lines.

He does get shots off rather fast, but he does need to work on getting it off cleaner and work on his hockey stick curve a little bit to amend the angle it flies off more accurately. He does a lot of big screening when he is up in the slot and is looking for redirects to help get his team an edge. The Slovak has a nice skating stride for a long-legged center who accelerates rather well for his size, bulldozes his way via the neutral zone, and coasts his way to the great danger zone.

Overall, there are a lot of great defenders in this draft, along with other really good goalies. Most of the stud forwards are usually gone earlier in the draft. Still, there could be a diamond found on the ice like a Miroslav Šatan Jr. Don’t be surprised if the Devils take a similar approach because next year will be even deeper and more balanced in 2025. There’s a mix of size, physicality, determination, and a lot of competitive potential that can potentially thrive under The Fitzgerald and Keefe Era in New Jersey.