With the 2013 NHL Entry Draft just a few days away, the New Jersey Devils have some big decisions to make regarding their future. This year’s draft, which is being held on their home turf at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J., on June 30, is said to be one of the deepest since the bonanza one in 2003, which featured such future NHL stars as Zach Parise and Ryan Getzlaf.
The no. 1 choice this year goes to the Colorado Avalanche, who will most likely draft highly touted American defenseman Seth Jones. If he does indeed get chosen first, Jones will become the first African-American to go no. 1 overall.
Canadian forwards Jonathan Drouin and Nathan MacKinnon, who both play for Halifax in the QMJHL, will probably go no. 2 and 3, respectively, according to most hockey analysts.
For the Devils ,who hold the ninth choice in the first round thanks to their lack of a post season this year, there are a wide variety of quality players to choose from. GM Lou Lamoriello relies heavily on his scouting staff, which is headed by David Conteto, to decide which young men will be the best fit for the organization’s future.
Hopefully, they have taken a long, hard look at Canadian defenseman Darnell Nurse. The club has been missing the tough blueliner who can also set up plays and find the back of the net for quite awhile.
Nurse could definitely fit that tall order. Various scouting reports have him as a physical defenseman with natural athletic ability who can also handle the puck. While he is not necessarily known for lighting the lamp, his goal production did increase last season.
Another Canadian who could fill that role is Ryan Pulock, who is considered an offensive defensemen. Some scouts rate him as a top-four defenseman while others peg him lower. However, all accounts have him as a solid blueliner who knows how to move the puck as well as having an excellent shot.
A forward who might be able to generate some offense to last year’s often-starved one should be on the shopping list as well for the Devils, who also hold picks in the second, fourth and sixth rounds.
While his small stature may scare off some potential clubs, Domi has proven the answer on the ice to the age-old size question. Size was one of the reasons several clubs shied away from former Devils captain Zach Parise, and we all know what a mistake that was for those organizations.