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NHL Entry Draft Thread - 2021


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If @Triumphisn't around for the Race to the Bottom thread, this will have to do for now.

Scheduled for July 23-24

Difficult year for evaluating prospects, but another year where the Devils can expect to pick in the top 10. 

The Devils currently have:
Two first round picks (NJ, NYI)
One second round pick (NYI)
One third round pick (NJ)
One fourth round pick (NJ)
One fifth round pick (BUF)
One sixth round pick (NJ)
One seventh round pick (ARI)

I haven't been able to keep up with many of this year's prospects, but here are a few quick thoughts:

Owen Power: 6'5 defenseman who is pretty solid across the board. He can skate, he provides offense, and is very good defensively as well. I'm not sold yet that he's quite on the level of recent early first round defensemen (Heiskanen, Dahlin, etc.) but he still has had an impressive season with Michigan, which isn't something you see all that often for defensemen in their draft year at that level. If I had to predict one player most likely to go first overall right now, I'm going with Power. No relation to Austin, as far as I know, but definitely plays with a similar mojo.

Matt Beniers: Also with Michigan, and also someone I could see going first overall. Probably the top center in this year's draft, not someone I've looked into extensively because he should be long gone by the time the Devils make their selection, unless they win the lottery. 

Kent Johnson: Another Michigan center/left winger (could the top 3 picks all come from the same program this year?) who I think has very high end offensive upside. I think he'll get selected after Beniers, and if a bunch of teams are after defensemen, there's a very slight chance he could fall to where the Devils pick. He's got just about every offensive skill you could hope for. Plays with a high compete level and tons of confidence. Great playmaker, but also can score some amazing goals on his own. Maybe the ideal LW for Hughes in a couple of years - they would skate circles around other teams. Honestly, I think he's good enough to go first overall, not sure why he isn't in the conversation.

William Eklund (<- hoping the word filter doesn't change that name still) : This is who I see as this season's Anton Lundell. He has had a very impressive season in the SHL playing LW, but despite that, isn't really being hyped up all that much because he doesn't seem to be elite in any particular area. He doesn't have the speed and creativity that Lucas Raymond showed last season. And he can't shoot quite like Holtz. Despite this, he produced more points than either player this season (not just compared to their draft season). And this is all while being on a bad team, playing through injuries, playing through this odd COVID season, and being a slightly undersized player in a men's league. All reasons you would make excuses to not perform well, and he still did it. Good buddies with Holtz, and would fill out a line of Ekklund-Hischer/Hughes-Holtz quite nicely. 

Luke Hughes: Not much to say here. Skates like a Hughes brother, extremely high upside like a Hughes brother, and obviously it would be amazing to have a second Hughes on the Devils. He's still a bit raw, but he could easily end up being the best player in this entire draft if he puts it all together. His floor certainly isn't as high as some of the others though.

Brandt Clarke: All Hughes reunion factors aside, Clarke is possibly the ideal pick in this draft for the Devils. At RD, he fills an organizational need, but more importantly, he is an incredible talent. His offensive game and overall instincts are absolutely amazing: high end vision, excellent passing, shooting, joining the rush - he really does it all. He held his own in Slovakia (men's league) and put up over 0.5 points/game, which no other defenseman on the team was able to do. And he still is a good (and sometimes physical!) player on the defensive side. I really don't think it's unreasonable to put him right up there with Makar and Quinn Hughes as far as offensive potential goes. If Ruff is here to stay, he would fit the system perfectly. And if the Devils are after Luke Hughes, and miss out on him, reuniting the Clarke brothers in NJ isn't the worst consolation prize. But honestly, I'm kind of favoring Clarke over Hughes at this moment.

Aatu Raty: Anyone who has been following this draft class for more than a year knows that this used to be the Raty draft. He was the early frontrunner by a pretty wide margin last year. His draft stock has slowly declined to the point that he is starting to slip out of the top 10, and getting pretty close to 20 on some lists. I still really like Raty, and find it tough to judge a player on performance from this season, but I will admit that his underwhelming production does raise some question marks. I still see a player who competes hard, skates well, creates a lot of offense, and can shoot. If he slides down the first round, this is when that Islanders pick plus an asset or two may come in handy for trading up. 

Daniil Chayka: I'm not even sure if he will be on Fitz's/Castron's radar for either pick, but this is a Russian defenseman with high end tools and some size, who I watched during the WJC because I had heard he would be the top defenseman on Russia after Shakir Mukhamadullin (not sure that was even true). Random highlights I've seen show that he's got a lot of potential to be quite effective on both ends of the ice. From my viewing of real games, has not put really put it together yet. I understand that this is quite a small sample size, but he often looked lost out there. Didn't really create much offense, like he was advertised to. I think he has a while to go before we know the kind of player he will be. He could potentially be on the radar for the Isles' first round pick, but he could very well fall out of the first round, hard for me to say.

Stanislav Svozil: I watched some of the Czech games at the WJC, at first to get a sense of the Devils' 2020 pick, Jaromir Pytlik. I kept seeing this player on the blueline who was consistently shutting down everyone one the opposing team. Whenever I looked up who it was, every time: Stanislav Svozil. Since then, he has been climbing up the rankings into that second tier of defensemen in this draft. Smooth skating, good passer, and of course an excellent shutdown player. I think there's some offensive untapped offensive potential here. Definitely very high on this guy, and I definitely think we could look back on this draft in several years and consider him one of the major steals. Not someone you take with your top-10 pick, and I'm not entirely sure where he is ranked among scouts, but if he's still available after 15-20, I imagine you have to start thinking about trading up.

Jesper Wallstedt: After watching many of the WJC games, I have to say that I thought Wallstedt was the best goalie in the tournament. I would be disappointed picking a goalie in the top 10, but I'll be honest, it would be hard for me not to be hyped about him if he found his way into the Devils' system. From what I saw, he looked much more impressive than Askarov. Also, what's the harm in having another Jesper in the system?

That's all I've got for now. Not the worst draft to be in the later half of the top 10 with how even a lot of the top players are. There are still a lot of higher end guys I haven't looked into yet (Edvinsson, Lambos, Lysell, Guenther, Lucius, Pastujov) who could be on the Devils' radar as well.

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1 hour ago, nessus said:

If @Triumphisn't around for the Race to the Bottom thread, this will have to do for now.

Scheduled for July 23-24

Difficult year for evaluating prospects, but another year where the Devils can expect to pick in the top 10. 

The Devils currently have:
Two first round picks (NJ, NYI)
One second round pick (NYI)
One third round pick (NJ)
One fourth round pick (NJ)
One fifth round pick (BUF)
One sixth round pick (NJ)
One seventh round pick (ARI)

I haven't been able to keep up with many of this year's prospects, but here are a few quick thoughts:

Owen Power: 6'5 defenseman who is pretty solid across the board. He can skate, he provides offense, and is very good defensively as well. I'm not sold yet that he's quite on the level of recent early first round defensemen (Heiskanen, Dahlin, etc.) but he still has had an impressive season with Michigan, which isn't something you see all that often for defensemen in their draft year at that level. If I had to predict one player most likely to go first overall right now, I'm going with Power. No relation to Austin, as far as I know, but definitely plays with a similar mojo.

Matt Beniers: Also with Michigan, and also someone I could see going first overall. Probably the top center in this year's draft, not someone I've looked into extensively because he should be long gone by the time the Devils make their selection, unless they win the lottery. 

Kent Johnson: Another Michigan center/left winger (could the top 3 picks all come from the same program this year?) who I think has very high end offensive upside. I think he'll get selected after Beniers, and if a bunch of teams are after defensemen, there's a very slight chance he could fall to where the Devils pick. He's got just about every offensive skill you could hope for. Plays with a high compete level and tons of confidence. Great playmaker, but also can score some amazing goals on his own. Maybe the ideal LW for Hughes in a couple of years - they would skate circles around other teams. Honestly, I think he's good enough to go first overall, not sure why he isn't in the conversation.

William Eklund (<- hoping the word filter doesn't change that name still) : This is who I see as this season's Anton Lundell. He has had a very impressive season in the SHL playing LW, but despite that, isn't really being hyped up all that much because he doesn't seem to be elite in any particular area. He doesn't have the speed and creativity that Lucas Raymond showed last season. And he can't shoot quite like Holtz. Despite this, he produced more points than either player this season (not just compared to their draft season). And this is all while being on a bad team, playing through injuries, playing through this odd COVID season, and being a slightly undersized player in a men's league. All reasons you would make excuses to not perform well, and he still did it. Good buddies with Holtz, and would fill out a line of Ekklund-Hischer/Hughes-Holtz quite nicely. 

Luke Hughes: Not much to say here. Skates like a Hughes brother, extremely high upside like a Hughes brother, and obviously it would be amazing to have a second Hughes on the Devils. He's still a bit raw, but he could easily end up being the best player in this entire draft if he puts it all together. His floor certainly isn't as high as some of the others though.

Brandt Clarke: All Hughes reunion factors aside, Clarke is possibly the ideal pick in this draft for the Devils. At RD, he fills an organizational need, but more importantly, he is an incredible talent. His offensive game and overall instincts are absolutely amazing: high end vision, excellent passing, shooting, joining the rush - he really does it all. He held his own in Slovakia (men's league) and put up over 0.5 points/game, which no other defenseman on the team was able to do. And he still is a good (and sometimes physical!) player on the defensive side. I really don't think it's unreasonable to put him right up there with Makar and Quinn Hughes as far as offensive potential goes. If Ruff is here to stay, he would fit the system perfectly. And if the Devils are after Luke Hughes, and miss out on him, reuniting the Clarke brothers in NJ isn't the worst consolation prize. But honestly, I'm kind of favoring Clarke over Hughes at this moment.

Aatu Raty: Anyone who has been following this draft class for more than a year knows that this used to be the Raty draft. He was the early frontrunner by a pretty wide margin last year. His draft stock has slowly declined to the point that he is starting to slip out of the top 10, and getting pretty close to 20 on some lists. I still really like Raty, and find it tough to judge a player on performance from this season, but I will admit that his underwhelming production does raise some question marks. I still see a player who competes hard, skates well, creates a lot of offense, and can shoot. If he slides down the first round, this is when that Islanders pick plus an asset or two may come in handy for trading up. 

Daniil Chayka: I'm not even sure if he will be on Fitz's/Castron's radar for either pick, but this is a Russian defenseman with high end tools and some size, who I watched during the WJC because I had heard he would be the top defenseman on Russia after Shakir Mukhamadullin (not sure that was even true). Random highlights I've seen show that he's got a lot of potential to be quite effective on both ends of the ice. From my viewing of real games, has not put really put it together yet. I understand that this is quite a small sample size, but he often looked lost out there. Didn't really create much offense, like he was advertised to. I think he has a while to go before we know the kind of player he will be. He could potentially be on the radar for the Isles' first round pick, but he could very well fall out of the first round, hard for me to say.

Stanislav Svozil: I watched some of the Czech games at the WJC, at first to get a sense of the Devils' 2020 pick, Jaromir Pytlik. I kept seeing this player on the blueline who was consistently shutting down everyone one the opposing team. Whenever I looked up who it was, every time: Stanislav Svozil. Since then, he has been climbing up the rankings into that second tier of defensemen in this draft. Smooth skating, good passer, and of course an excellent shutdown player. I think there's some offensive untapped offensive potential here. Definitely very high on this guy, and I definitely think we could look back on this draft in several years and consider him one of the major steals. Not someone you take with your top-10 pick, and I'm not entirely sure where he is ranked among scouts, but if he's still available after 15-20, I imagine you have to start thinking about trading up.

Jesper Wallstedt: After watching many of the WJC games, I have to say that I thought Wallstedt was the best goalie in the tournament. I would be disappointed picking a goalie in the top 10, but I'll be honest, it would be hard for me not to be hyped about him if he found his way into the Devils' system. From what I saw, he looked much more impressive than Askarov. Also, what's the harm in having another Jesper in the system?

That's all I've got for now. Not the worst draft to be in the later half of the top 10 with how even a lot of the top players are. There are still a lot of higher end guys I haven't looked into yet (Edvinsson, Lambos, Lysell, Guenther, Lucius, Pastujov) who could be on the Devils' radar as well.

Please send your preferences to the Devil's scouting team . Make sure you attach the evidence in the previous draft threads showing your credentials. 

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6 hours ago, Lateralous said:

Ducks will not draft Eklund. 99% 
And like sterio said, there are not a lot of chances that Yzerman will pick goalie.

but I don’t think Ducks and Wings will draft Clarke. They are pretty good on the right side in their prospect pool.

Ottawa could draft him, but they really need in center. 

Devils have good chances to draft Clarke for now.
 

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7 hours ago, SterioDesign said:

i really can't see Detroit who need help everywhere would gamble and pick a goalie this high

Yeah no way is a goalie going in the top 5. 

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No to petite, fleet footed, "skilled" set up men.  I would like big, fast players like to play physical.  Guys that like to shoot. And win draws. If it's a D man, no more Will Butchers dammit.  

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This is a draft year where I hope the Devils get the 2nd overall.  There really is no strong consensus on who should be #1 overall and I would hate for the Devils to go with the wrong guy.

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Re: Wallstedt, we're very high on him over at Future Considerations, #2 on our last ranking. I think Wallstedt makes a world of sense for Detroit, they have a marquee piece at every position in their pool except for goaltender and Steve Yzerman is the one who drafted Andrei Vasilevskiy in Tampa, I wouldn't be surprised to see the Wings bite on Wallstedt in the Top 5.

For the Devils, my main hope is that we can grab one of the big defensemen - Luke Hughes, Owen Power, or Brandt Clarke. There are folks at FC who are also very high on Simon Edvinsson, but I'm not as convinced. Luke Hughes is the one I want the most because of the obvious connection to Jack and his ability to transition the puck is top notch, but to be completely transparent I have Owen Power at #1 on my personal board for my rankings.

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2 minutes ago, MadDog2020 said:

Btw, when do the new lottery rules go into effect? Can we even win the lottery this year?

Rules go into effect this year, but the restrictions on how many times you can win isn't being grandfathered in, count starts with this year, so we're still eligible to win.

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9 minutes ago, CommonDreads said:

Rules go into effect this year, but the restrictions on how many times you can win isn't being grandfathered in, count starts with this year, so we're still eligible to win.

Gotcha. Thanks CD 👍

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3 hours ago, CommonDreads said:

Rules go into effect this year, but the restrictions on how many times you can win isn't being grandfathered in, count starts with this year, so we're still eligible to win.

So can we sign Hall for like the day of the lottery and then release him after we get first pick?  Then we can trade back a few slots, draft Clarke, and release Hall so he can go suck somewhere else.

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1 hour ago, CarpathianForest said:

Owen Power? How can you pass with a name like that

I would hope his middle name starts with a P. So we could be down with OPP.

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7 minutes ago, MadDog2020 said:

I would hope his middle name starts with a P. So we could be down with OPP.

You...do remember what the last P stands for, right? Lol

1 hour ago, CarpathianForest said:

Owen Power? How can you pass with a name like that

It’s like the world’s sh!ttiest super hero secret identity name. 

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30 minutes ago, NJDevils1214 said:

Race to the bottom boys, what's our lottery chance after our pounding against the rags? Also, feel free to assume we won't win the other 2 this week either.

Probably the worst part about tonight's loss.. I can totally see us not scoring a single goal in the next two games.

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Whoever, like me, said “bring up all the kids to see what we have got”, fvck all of us. 

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I saw somewhere earlier today (I believe it may have been twitter) that if we don't win the lottery and with Seattle coming in, as it stands we are likely looking at a 6th or 7th overall.

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