Prospect Info: 2018 Devils Draft Preview: Top 10 Left Defensemen

Discussion in 'New Jersey Devils' started by StevenToddIves, Jun 4, 2018.

View Users: View Users
  1. StevenToddIves

    StevenToddIves Registered User

    Joined:
    May 18, 2013
    Messages:
    1,378
    Likes Received:
    680
    Trophy Points:
    109
    Occupation:
    Sports journalist
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    The 2018 draft is incredibly deep at two positions: Right Wing and Left Defense. It just so happens that LD is the foremost position of organizational need in New Jersey. At the professional level, Will Butcher looks like an outstanding building block for the future. Though still extremely effective, Andy Greene is not getting any younger. Egor Yakovlev was a tremendous signing, he was outstanding at the Olympics, but he has still yet to be tested against NHL competition. John Moore is likely gone as a UFA and Mirco Mueller spent most of 2017-18 either injured or watching opposing forwards easily beat him. The Devils have intriguing prospects at LD in Yegor Zaitsev and Jeremy Davies, but neither of them are particularly close to an NHL role. So, it seems certain that at least a name from this list ends up in Jersey.

    1. Rasmus Dahlin he might be the highest regarded defense prospect to enter the NHL this century. So, congrats to Buffalo fans. Chances he comes to NJ: less than zero. He's a Sabre.

    2. Quinton Hughes called a "one man breakout machine", he might be the best skater in the entire draft. He also has incredible puck skills and vision. The only question is his size, though his smarts make him at least an average defensive defenseman. But that's not why you draft him -- he's absolutely an electric offensive prospect. Chances he comes to NJ: zero, Shero would have to trade way up into the top 5.

    3. Ty Smith one of my favorite prospects in this draft. Although he is one of many super-fast, offensive-minded and undersized defensemen in this draft, he is also outstanding defensively. He has elite vision and intelligence, and he is as competitive as any player available. Reminds me a lot of a young Duncan Keith. Chances he comes to NJ: possible. If Smith somehow falls past the Islanders at 11/12? Dallas and Philadelphia have recently used several high picks at LD and might be reticent to do so again. Florida has greater needs at F with pick #15. That could drop him to the Avalanche at #16 or Devils at #17. It would be a nice scenario.

    4. K'Andre Miller everyone knows how much I love this kid. He's fast, skilled, smart, big, physical and extremely athletic. There is no defenseman with his skill-set in the entire Devils system. If he had been playing D for his entire career (he switched from F three seasons ago), we might be talking about him in the top seven of this draft. His upside is just immense -- a physical 1D who could shut down the opposition while pouring in offensive numbers. The only aspect which keeps him out of my top 10 overall in this draft is the size of the gap between the player he is now and his huge talent ceiling. Chances he comes to NJ: high -- he would add to the team philosophy of speed/smarts/character while adding a dimension of size and physicality the Devils lack on the blueline.

    5. Jared McIsaac a former teammate of Nico Hischier's in Halifax, the Devils have certainly seen a lot of him. While his offensive propensities leave him ranked a bit below Smith and Miller, McIsaac is a very good skater and a potential shut-down beast who can play with physicality and chip in 30+ points. He's a player every team would love to have. Chances he comes to NJ: high -- not just the Nico connection, but McIsaac is another player at a position of need who plays a style which the Devils also need. When I was asked who the three most likely players in this draft who could be drafted by the Devils were, my answer was (in no particular order) McIsaac, Miller and Rasmus Kupari.

    6. Alex Alexeyev another player who has dropped in draft estimation for reasons beyond his control, and another player I'm a big fan of. Alexeyev is big, fast, extremely smart and a deadly precision passer. Despite an injury marred 2017-18 campaign, he tallied 37 points in 45 games for Red Deer and impressed me every time I watched him play. I think he's a lock for an NHL second pairing, and a healthy 2018-19 season could have several pundits wondering how they had him pegged for the second round. Chances he comes to NJ: significant -- if the Devils trade down (as has been talked about at length), he's a terrific LD option if the higher-rated Miller and McIsaac are off the board.

    7. Rasmus Sandin this is the type of player who does not wow you with any particular dynamic skill, but the complete package comes together and leaves you with a terrific player. That's because his finest attribute is his brain -- he's as smart as any player on this list, a trail which enables him to overcome his lack of spectacular skating, shooting, or physical strength. He reminds me a great deal of a young Tobias Enstrom. Chances he comes to NJ: possible -- again, if the Devils traded down he would be a viable candidate if Miller/McIsaac were off the board.

    8. Johnny Tychonick the star defenseman of the BCHL, Tychonick has many dynamic qualities which lend to a belief that he can develop into a top-pairing NHL defenseman. He's an outstanding skater who is wickedly smart with the puck, and though offensive-minded he is solid defensively and excellent at shutting down passing lanes. He's not small at 6'0-175, but he's going to have to prove himself against bigger forwards at higher levels of play. Chances he comes to NJ: not likely but not impossible -- he's a reach at 17 and the Devils lack a second-rounder, and his game is not dissimilar to Will Butcher.

    9. Slava Demin the California native is (along with Fehervary) the steal of the 2018 draft among LD. Sometimes the draft rankings just baffle me. In Demin, we have a big, mobile defenseman who is extremely strong and physical. He's smart and steady, rarely getting beaten or making a mental mistake. He has the upside of a shutdown, second-pairing defenseman who is also a solid offensive contributor -- though he will never score 50+ points, he is a good passes with a cannon of a point-shot. So why do most rankings have him ranked as a fourth rounder? I have no idea. I consider him a higher-upside Matthias Samuelsson, who some have as a top-25 pick. Chances he comes to NJ: significant -- he could fall to the fourth round, and the Devils can are desperate for a LD with Demin's particular skill-set.

    10. Martin Fehervary another terrific defensive-defenseman who keeps the game simple and is rock-steady in his own zone. The young Slovakian is also extremely fast on his skates and plays a powerful and physical game. I do not understand why he is escaping most rankings, Fehervary is, in my eyes, a lock for an NHL third pairing and a very good bet for a second one. Chances he comes to NJ: significant, for the same reasons as Demin. The Devils need a kid like Fehervary or Demin, and either could fall to the middle rounds.

    LD to keep an eye on for the Devils in the later rounds
    Scott Perunovich
    Xavier Bernard
    Gabriel Vallati
    Nico Gross
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2018
  2. Darkauron

    Darkauron Registered User

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2011
    Messages:
    6,437
    Likes Received:
    2,333
    Trophy Points:
    126
    Location:
    South Jersey
    Nice list against! Though Reilly Walsh plays RD tho
     
    StevenToddIves likes this.
  3. My3Sons

    My3Sons Registered User

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2017
    Messages:
    3,943
    Likes Received:
    1,709
    Trophy Points:
    111
    NJ will have a good choice at 17. If you look at the main prospects board the different rankings posted vary a fair amount beyond the top four or five players. In one Bokk was ranked about 20. In another he’s a top 10 pick. Someone good will make it to 17. Hopefully it is a player NJ really valued highly. No question that LD is a position of need but as always in the draft it has to be BPA unless two guys are ranked and graded the same which I would think is rare.
     
    StevenToddIves likes this.
  4. StevenToddIves

    StevenToddIves Registered User

    Joined:
    May 18, 2013
    Messages:
    1,378
    Likes Received:
    680
    Trophy Points:
    109
    Occupation:
    Sports journalist
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    Agreed, and Bokk is a great example. He's ranked as high as #8 (Pronman) and as low as #33 (Future Considerations). At center, Steve Kournianos ranks Joe Veleno #6 overall, while Craig Button has him just #25. The Hockey News has Isac Lundestrom as a top 10 pick, while I would rank him below Liam Foudy, who several sites have as a 3rd or 4th round pick. How about Kravtsov? Pronman, Kournianos and Bob McKenzie have him around 15, while the ISS and Craig Button do not even list him as worthy of first-round consideration. One of my favorites this year is Ty Smith -- I have him as a top 10 pick, as do Steve Kornianos and Future Considerations, while Corey Pronman and Craig Button do not see him as a top 20 pick.

    There is a great deal of variation in the rankings,, which should make for a very exciting draft. The Devils draft board will be very different from that of the teams drafting around them. My favorite draft expert is Steve Kournianos, who has K'Andre Miller at 32 and Rasmus Sandin at 13 -- while I would likely flip-flop those two rankings almost exactly. It's going to be fun!
     
    nugg and My3Sons like this.
  5. My3Sons

    My3Sons Registered User

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2017
    Messages:
    3,943
    Likes Received:
    1,709
    Trophy Points:
    111
    Would you trade down to a low first rounder and add a low second rounder in the process or stay out and pick 17?
     
    StevenToddIves likes this.
  6. Nubmer6

    Nubmer6 We want... Information

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2013
    Messages:
    3,142
    Likes Received:
    1,885
    Trophy Points:
    126
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    New Jersey
    Isn't Walsh a RHD?
     
    StevenToddIves likes this.
  7. StevenToddIves

    StevenToddIves Registered User

    Joined:
    May 18, 2013
    Messages:
    1,378
    Likes Received:
    680
    Trophy Points:
    109
    Occupation:
    Sports journalist
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    Yeah, sorry I got that mixed up with all the columns I've been writing you folks. 10 demerits for Steve!
     
    OmNomNom, Nubmer6 and My3Sons like this.
  8. StevenToddIves

    StevenToddIves Registered User

    Joined:
    May 18, 2013
    Messages:
    1,378
    Likes Received:
    680
    Trophy Points:
    109
    Occupation:
    Sports journalist
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    It honestly would depend on who was available. Let's just say I'm Ray Shero, and my pick comes up at #17. Since I'm a good GM, I have already talked to GMs in Anaheim and Los Angeles to gauge if they would be interested in moving up from 20 (LA) or 23 (ANH). In LA, Rob Blake says thanks but no thanks, the guy they want they think they can get at 20. But Anaheim GM Bob Murray says there is one kid they love -- they think he will be gone at #17, but if he's still there they will call me.

    I keep that on the back burner, but just in case I call Detroit to see if they would consider dealing their second first rounder (from Vegas) and an early second rounder for the #17 pick. Wings GM Ken Holland is cagey about it, but says to keep him in mind.

    Draft day comes. The guys I really hope will fall are Veleno or Smith, but Smith goes at #12 to the Isles and Veleno goes at #13 to Dallas. So I lean on the next group of players I really like -- Miller, Wilde, Kupari, Kravtsov, McIsaac, Thomas and Bokk. When the 17 pick comes up, my phone rings. It's Bob Murray from Anaheim, saying the player he wants is still available and he will offer his #23 pick and #79 pick for the #17. I say I will only do the deal if he offers #23 and #54... and if he does not agree I need to hang up because I have another offer on the table from Detroit.

    My thought process is that there are 7 players in my next tier. Anaheim's pick is only seven picks down -- so I will still get someone I really want. Bob Murray says yes to my offer and then predictably drafts at 17 Serron Noel, whom was not on my list anyway.

    The #23 pick arrives and I take K'Andre Miller, whom I had at the top of my list at #17. Then with the 54 pick, I take center Liam Foudy, whom I have ranked as a first round pick, as well.

    The answer is, yes. I would trade down from 17... but only if the deal was right and I still thought I could land a player I really loved in the spot where I was trading down to.
     

Share This Page

monitoring_string = "358c248ada348a047a4b9bb27a146148"