It was an interesting 2013 NHL Entry Draft for the New Jersey Devils. Not only did they shore up the goal when their future Hall of Fame goaltender Martin Brodeur retires by trading the number-nine pick in the first round for netminder Cory Schneider, they also ended the night with a special moment.
Lou Lamoriello must be a sentimental soul deep down because ever since taking over the General Manager duties in 1988, he has had a penchant for signing siblings of players. Former players Jay Pandolfo, Brian Gionta, Zach Parise and current forward Travis Zajac have all had a brother skating in the organization at one time or another, two in the case of Zajac. His brothers Darcy and Kelly both lace up their skates for the team’s AHL affiliate in Albany, New York.
Only once though did a brother combo hit the ice at the same time in a game situation in the NHL. Parise skated with his older brother Jordan who was a goaltending prospect at the time when they played in an exhibition game against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden.
Forward Stephen Gionta finally got his chance to shine on the team’s surprising run to the 2012 Stanley Cup Finals after toiling for seven years in the minors. Big-brother Brian was long gone by then, signing as a free agent with the Montreal Candadiens in the summer of 2009.
However even with all of the family connections on the Devils, last night was a first. As the draft was nearing the end, on their home turf at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey, the organization that Brodeur has played for his entire career, made a minor trade with the Los Angeles Kings in order to draft his 18-year-old son, Anthony.
The graduate of Shattuck-St. Mary’s, the famed hockey high school in Fairbault, Minnesota had an outside chance of being drafted and attended the festivities with his father. As the saying goes, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree and the eldest of Brodeur’s five children is a goaltender just like dad. The 5-foot-10, 177-pound youngster will forgo college in the fall to be the backstop for the Gatineau Olympiques in the QMJHL.
To make last night even more memorable was the fact that his father made the announcement that he was to become a part of the organization he grew up around.
“It was awesome,” Anthony Brodeur gushed in an interview in the Star Ledger. “I’m speechless. Being in New Jersey around my family and friends, and having him surprise me and say it in front of everybody was pretty cool. It’s surreal. I’ve grown up watching the Devils, cheering on the Devils and cheering on my dad. So being in this jersey in this arena is awesome.”
Now by the time Anthony is ready to attend his first Devils training camp, his father will have hung up his pads, but it is a special moment nevertheless and one that will be remembered for a long time to come.
In addition to Brodeur’s eldest, the Devils took defenseman Steven Santini in the second round. Santini is a product of the USHL developmental program and will be attending Boston College. He is considered to be a solid two-way blueliner.
Ryan Kujawinski, an 18-year-old Canadian center, was chosen in the third round. The Devils also claimed Miles Wood, who is a left wing from Noble & Greenbough High School in Massachusetts. Wood is committed to Brown. Myles Bell, a natural defenseman who was moved up front because of his offensive prowess, was taken 160th.
Anthony Brodeur may have been the last pick, but it was a great way to end an event, which had started off on a huge high for an organization that needed it.