With Tuesday’s news from Commissioner Gary Bettman with regards to the new format and summer plans, it was quoted that the Coyotes pick for New Jersey could go anywhere between 8-13. As such, there are a lot of players I absolutely want who are within that picking range.
Currently at sixth overall, I have Alex Holtz going to New Jersey because I see Lucas Raymond going before at five if a team believes Jamie Drysdale doesn’t suit their liking. Holtz is a true elite NHL level shooter. He knows his really awesome skating, speed and determination to score as a finisher would do wonders for a line with Jack Hughes, being his center looking to connect on bang-bang plays. He will take at least one season to make the move to New Jersey, depending on what occurs after he finishes up with Djurgårdens IF.
Eighth overall, Seth Jarvis is one of the top right-wings in this draft who is very offensive minded, just one of many skills he happens to possess. His speed and hockey IQ does make him stand out more, especially when he uses the opponents trapezoid to look for his open teammate and yield scoring plays. He’s one of the most exciting players in this draft.
I would be very pleased if the New Jersey Devils decide to select him. He is a few inches taller than Alex DeBrincat of the Chicago Blackhawks. Jarvis had a similar draft season to DeBrincat, except Alex was a steal in round two at 39th overall. But the history of Alex DeBrincat isn’t all that far off from Jarvis’ and his creative play reminds me of Mitchell Marner.
Ninth overall Marco Rossi, Austrian centreman from the Ottawa 67’s. If still available, I would be happy to acquire another center with sneaky speed, skills, hockey IQ, soft hands and the ability to create havoc in high danger areas. His game resembles a very scrappy, very skilled version of Nico Hischier’s two-way game.
10th overall, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Devils go off the board and select Jack Quinn from the Ottawa 67’s. He is very much a wizard with the puck and performs well getting separation from defenders and has a great read on goalies. The right-winger is swift on his edges and finds a way to get the puck in the net with his skillset and speed.
11th overall, I am taking Hamilton Bulldogs left-wing Jan Mysak. Mysak, like I spoke highly of in a recent article, is the Rodney Dangerfield pick for me because it seems most people evaluating him don’t give him any respect. Having seen him live on TV, watched highlights and spoken with others close to The Puck Authority, Jan is a talented centreman and his ceiling is absolutely off the charts.
His speed, grit, determination, his senses and IQ put him on my radar during the World Juniors in Czechia against Russia. If there is someone tipping off the Devils, not being a scout, but being Mysak’s assistant (World Junior’s Coach for the Czech team) coach, it’s Patrik Elias. Elias does help Devils players and works with the coaching staff from this past season. So if there is someone with intel on an up and coming Czech winger, Elias may end up influencing this pick with Fitzgerald likely asking for Patrik’s opinion.
12th overall, I am taking USNTDP defensemen Jake Sanderson. Although this year’s draft class isn’t very deep on defensive prospects vs. the 2019 Draft, I can see the New Jersey Devils making a run for a very well structured defensemen. As such, he brings physicality, but is learning to add and grow offensively.
He is going to season up at the University of North Dakota and if Tom Fitzgerald is the GM for this draft, I can see his NCAA Hockey ties along with his USAHockey familiarity being a leading factor. The same can be said for when he was Ray Shero’s Assistant GM and was high into drafting centreman Jack Hughes. This of course being the case because of Shero’s close ties to the USAHockey program.
13th overall, Noel Gunler is a right-wing coming right out of the Swedish Hockey League. He can skate at above average speed, he has really smooth hands for both passing and shooting which is a key to the success he has. The Devils really do need a right-wing shot that is playing at an elite level in Sweden and would develop for year or two before making the move to New Jersey.
The Devils, in recent years, have been allowing their first round (2018) 17th overall pick in Ty Smith to go back to the WHL and it has paid dividends for the defensemen thus far. Allowing Gunler to marinade in Sweden or making the move to the AHL, depending on his contract, wouldn’t hurt him to learn to become more of a professional sniper and build up his defensive game while improving on the forecheck.
17th overall, Mavrik Bourque is a centreman who I really like who is a very silky stickhandler, excellent skater and great shooter. He shoots in the slot and attacks the high-danger scoring zones and likes to shoot more when doing so from the point.