New Jersey Devils NHL Draft Pick Evaluations

The New Jersey Devils had a busy NHL Draft weekend, adding picks through trades. Let's take a look at our evaluations for each pick.
2024 Upper Deck NHL Draft - Portraits
2024 Upper Deck NHL Draft - Portraits / Candice Ward/GettyImages
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Targeting Finland, the New Jersey Devils get their power forward Kasper Pikkarainen. The right-handed winger knows how to drive play on the power play and in transition up the ice. However, he takes a little bit longer to get his feet activated to reach top speed as a skater.

Pikkarainen does activate his hips enough and uses his lower center of gravity of that 6'3 198-pound frame to make it more difficult for other teams to try and knock him off the puck. He is more of an updated version of his dad, Ilkka, who played for the Devils in a similar role. The Devils needed a high-volume shooter, play driver, and physical specimen on the wings who could help the Devils potentially roll all four lines.

The Devils don't need to rush any of their prospects because the moves that they did by bringing in Paul Cotter, Tomas Tatar, and Stefan Noesen at wing and center allow guys like Pikkarainen to marinade a bit longer and develop their game. Kasper Pikkarainen could be a mid-six winger who can also play a shutdown role and be strong along the walls and in the neutral zone. The worst case is he is a third and fourth-line winger that fans love to watch.