With their lone selection in the fifth round (#141), the Devils took Czech forward Petr Hauser. In both his draft year and his D+1 year, Hauser lit up the Czech U20 and Czech minor league. Hauser also played a big role for the Czechs back at the 2023 World Juniors, where he scored three goals. This season, he's primarily played in the top Czech league. Hauser is one of the bigger Devils prospects, standing at 6'4" and 207 pounds, which gives him a chance to crack a roster spot in North America, given some of the concerns over the Devils lack of size. Hauser looks like a likely candidate to sign a contract here soon and play down in the AHL.
The Devils scouts have struck gold in the sixth round before, and it looks as though they did it again when they selected Canadian forward Josh Filmon (#166). Filmon burst onto the scene in his D+1 year, scoring 47 goals in 64 games. This season, he's rounded his game out much more, adding a playmaking element and equalling his assist total from last year (28) in 19 fewer games. Despite his slender frame, Filmon isn't scared to get to the net front or in the dirty areas. He signed a pro contract last spring and, in his first taste of AHL action, scored a goal. Filmon will turn pro next season and should be one to watch, and he is someone who could be a future third-line scorer.
And with their final pick (#198) in the 2022 Draft, the Devils selected another Russian defenseman, Artyom Barabosha. The Devils took another flier on a big Russian defenseman, and like Orlov, it remains to be seen if he ever decides to come to North America. That being said, Barabosha has been described as a physical presence on the ice who punishes puck carriers. He started this season playing in both the MHL and VHL but has since found a home on the backend for CSKA Moskva in the KHL. Also like Orlov, there's a good chance he will stay in Russia his entire career, but if he decides to make the move the Devils can expect another nasty, shutdown Russian defender.
A Draft Of Foundational Players
The early results are showing this to be a pivotal draft for the Devils. Simon Nemec already looks like a star and should be either the number one or number two defenseman on this team for the next decade. Casey looks like a near-lock to be a sold-to high-end offensive contributor from the backend. Josh Filmon and Petr Hauser look like two middle, to bottom-six forwards who should be playing in the AHL next season, with eyes on making the NHL roster over the next few years. Tyler Brennan looks like another young goalie to add to the mix as a potential answer to their net-minder problem. And finally, Orlov, Leddy and Barabosha all look like low-risk picks that hopefully could turn into pro defensemen, but if not, are easily replaceable in their farm system.