By Zackery Robert
Now, moving on to the land where Bruce Springsteen calls home, we will now take a look at the New Jersey Devils and their draft day history. The New Jersey Devils began drafting in the NHL in 1982 and have had some great selections during their time up on the clock.
To begin we will look back at the 1990 draft where the New Jersey Devils possibly made their most crucial draft choice ever when they selected Martin Brodeur in the first round. Brodeur has gone down as an all-time Legend and the all-time wins leader in the NHL he played all but one of his Parts of 22 seasons with the New Jersey Devils, capturing three Stanley Cups during his time with the organisation. Martin Brodeur took home the Calder trophy as the league’s top rookie during his rookie season and he went on to win four Vezina trophies and five Jennings trophies as the league’s top goalie. Brodeur would tally eight 40 plus win seasons for the Devils and would go to seven All Star games during his tenure with the team as well. Martin Brodeur would go down winning a total of 691 games to obtain the record for most wins in league history, of which Brodeur won 688 of those games in a New Jersey Devils sweater. Martin Brodeur would have his jersey retired on February 9th 2016 in the Prudential Center in front of the New Jersey Devils fans.
Coming up next we will go back in time to the 1982 draft where the New Jersey Devils would select Ken Daneyko with the 18th pick in the first round. Daneyko spent his entire 20 year career with the New Jersey Devils, he was a part of the team’s three Stanley Cup winning seasons and he also won the Bill Masterton trophy in 2000. Daneyko was a hard-hitting tough nosed defensive defenseman for the Devils, playing alongside the likes of Scott Stevens made the New Jersey Devils a formidable force on the blue line and that most certainly helped them capture those three Stanley Cups between 1995-2003. Upon his retirement at the end of the 2003 season the New Jersey Devils retired Ken Daneyko’s Jersey on March 24th 2006.
Moving along and back into the 90s we will look at the 1994 draft Where in the second round at pick number 51 the New Jersey Devils selected one of their all-time greatest forwards Patrik Elias. Elias would play for the New Jersey Devils between 1995 and 2016 before retiring with the club, at the time of his retirement Elias held the record for most points in a single season for a New Jersey Devils player and he also played a crucial role in helping the New Jersey Devils to capture their second and third Stanley Cups and 2000 and 2003. As previously mentioned Elias held the Devils’ single season record for most points scored with 96 points in the 2000-2001 season, a record that held up until just this season. Elias would be honoured by the New Jersey Devils and have his jersey number 26 retired at the Prudential Center on February 24th 2018 in front of the New Jersey Devils faithful.
Moving on from the greatest Devils to the not so greatest Devils we will go back to the 1982 draft where the Devils began their draft day history. The devil’s held the eighth overall pick in that draft and chose centre Rocky Trottier. Trottier would go on to play in only 38 games in his NHL career all with the Devils. After leaving the NHL in 1985 Trottier would go on to play in the AHL and overseas in the Swedish Elite League and in the German league. Trottier would retire with a total of 10 points in those 38 NHL games played with the Devils.
Staying in the ’80s, we are going to take a look at the 1986 draft where the New Jersey Devils held the third overall pick in that draft and chose centre Neil Brady. After getting drafted Brady would begin his pro career in the 1988 1989 season and would spend the next four seasons with the New Jersey Devils organisation before moving on via trade with the Ottawa Senators in which the return for Brady in that trade was future considerations. Brady would only play 29 of his 89 games with the New Jersey Devils and in that time Brady scored two goals and four assists for a total of six points in those 29 games. Brady would amass a total points of 31 in those 89 games in the NHL. After a brief stint with the Dallas Stars in the 1994 season Brady would finish out his career in the IHL eventually retiring in 2001.
We will finish off with the last draft of the 80s decade, in 1989 the Devils held the 18th overall pick and chose forward Jason Miller. Miller played a total of six games in the NHL all of which were for the New Jersey Devils, he was unable to tally any points during those games and when he eventually left the NHL in 1993 he went on to play in the AHL for two seasons. After the 1995 season, Miller would play in Europe and Scandinavia in The Finnish Elite league and the German league and in the DEL, along with two seasons in the IHL in between his playing career in Europe. Miller would officially retire at the end of the 2010 season after two seasons with the Dresden Ice Lions of the 2nd Bundesliga German league now known as DEL2. What makes this pick even harder to swallow is that the New Jersey Devils passed on players like Olaf Kolzig who was drafted right after Miller and Adam Foote who was 22nd overall and Nicklas Lidstrom who was 53rd overall and Sergei Fedorov who was 74th overall.
In the current day, the New Jersey Devils look to be a formidable Force for the foreseeable future. With a potential future top five player in the league in Jack Hughes and a great core of players like Jesper Bratt, Nico Hischier, Luke Hughes, Timo Meier and 2022 2nd overall pick Simon Nemec, New Jersey looks like they could dominate the Eastern Conference. With their second round exit in this year’s playoffs New Jersey will now look to the 2023 NHL entry draft. New Jersey holds five picks going into this draft where their first pick will be in the second round somewhere in between pick 57 to 60. Right now New Jersey looks like they are in a very good spot with their prospect pool. They have a good amount of high quality forward prospects and defence prospects and with Nico Daws as their top goalie prospect, New Jersey can look to take the best available when they come up to the podium. With that being said, a good prospect from each position that the Devils could have the potential of drafting would be goalie Carson Bjarnson, forward Luca Pinelli, and defenseman Jakub Dvorak.
For more information on the 2023 NHL Draft class be sure to pick up your copy of the comprehensive DraftPro 2023 NHL Draft Guide.