Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Decade of Draft: NJ Devils

Yet another team handcuffed at the draft table by their perennial success.  Oddly enough they aren't starting out this decade the same way.  Jersey seems to draft by position and not necessarily by taking the best available talent.  Earlier in the decade they took skilled and rugged forwards frequently.  in 2009 and 2010 they heavily drafted defenseman, and did a fine job of it.  Now it seems they need to draft a physician and somebody who can successfully count to 59.4 million.

2001s first round selection of Adrian Foster at 28th didn't pan out.  It wasn't a great draft for NJ, and many other teams aparently.  They did manage to find Aaron Voros from Jr. A in the late rounds.  2002 they continued to draft rugged forwards, taking Cam Jansen in the fourth round.

2003 NJ were the benifactor of San Jose and NYI, as they took Steve Bernier and Robert Nilsson at 15 and 16 allowing Lou Lamareillo to select Zack Parise 17th, a steal of a deal.  They made a great pick in Travis Zajac at 20th the following year, and Nick Bergfors at 23rd the next after that. 2006s Matt Corrente has finally made the big club after being selected 30th overall. 2007 wasn't very fruitful...yet. But, 2008 was pretty darn good.  Mattias Tedenby slid to 24th in the draft, and then NJ stole Brandon Burlon at 52, Patrice Cormier at 54 and Adam Henrique at 82 (somehow). 2009s Jacob Josefson, taken 20th, is already in the big leagues.  He was followed by a quartet of big, mobile defenseman all between 6'3" and 6'5" - Alexander Urbom and Eric Gelinas in the second round, Seth Helgeson in the fourth and last but not least Curtis Gedig out of Jr.A in the 7th. Next year's first rounder John Merrill is looking solid for the University of Michigan this year.

For being able to convert late first round picks with such consistency they earn a very average B, a grade that is submarined by the shockingly miniscule amount of players they've graduate to the NHL overall.  They did make good picks with first rounders when they had them.

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