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Prospect Info: Devils Draft Preview: Top 10 Right Wings

Discussion in 'New Jersey Devils' started by StevenToddIves, May 30, 2018.

  1. StevenToddIves

    StevenToddIves Registered User

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    With all the talk about the 2018 draft being huge for defensemen, lost in the mix is the fact that it may be the strongest draft at RW in over a decade. At the top of the list is Andrei Svechnikov, who is certainly the most complete and talented wing available since, at the very least Patrick Kane and, at the very most, Alex Ovechkin.

    The Devils certainly have need at the position. Kyle Palmieri is the team's only surefire top-6 option at the moment, though talented prospects Joey Anderson and Mikey McLeod certainly have the talent to grow into that role during the 2018-19 campaign.

    In the pipeline, the Devils have some intriguing prospects in Popugayev, Zetterlund, Bastian, Studenic and Speers. However, there is no one in that group with first-line upside except for Popugayev, who suffered a very disappointing draft+1 season. So, there is indeed a likelihood that the Devils take a RW in a RW-heavy draft with their #17 pick.

    1. Andrei Svechnikov Though most people have Rasmus Dahlin all alone at the top of their rankings, I would say Svechnikov is his equal as a prospect. He's just special. I think he could go 30-30-60 next year, and he's a complete player. Chances he goes to NJ: zero. If Carolina does not draft him second, they should fire the entire front office.

    2. Filip Zadina just a tremendous player with star upside, though a discernible level below the near-generational talents of Svechnkov. Could be a point-per-game star in the NHL. Lit it up at the WJC. Chances he goes to NJ: zero. While Montreal could conceivably trade down from #3 overall to draft the center and D they need, it would have to be a team with multiple first-round picks, and unfortunately for Devils fans the top two candidates would have to be Philadelphia and the Rangers.

    3. Oliver Wahlstrom oh my, that shot. I would be shocked if Wahlstrom did not score 40+ at the NHL level. He's also big, fast, smart and skilled. Just a stud who is unfortunately getting lost in the mix in a draft featuring even higher-ranked Res. Chances he goes to NJ: zero, if he gets past the 8/9 picks, it would be a crime against humanity.

    4. Vitali Kravtsov just another RW with superstar upside. His skating/skill combination is off the charts. His hands and creativity are almost super-powers. His game is a bit reminiscent of Kuznetsov, and his weaknesses are the very correctable core strength/200-foot game. Chances he goes to NJ: high -- he's very likely to be the most talented winger available when the Devils draft at #17.

    5. Akil Thomas a center/RW who is certain to be a fan-favorite wherever he is drafted, Thomas has the precise skill-set which Ray Shero seems to be building the Devils around: he can fly, he's smart and competitive as hell. He's a known leader, beloved by his teammates/coaches. He plays like a wolverine on skates, all energy and no quit. While his offensive skill set and size are a touch below some of the other likely mid-to-late first round wingers (Kravtsov, Bokk), he is a tremendous player with a higher floor; certain to be a fan-favorite at the NHL level. Chances he comes to NJ: significant -- the Devils could likely trade down into the 20's and still get him, he fills an organizational need, he fits in with the organizational blueprint.

    6. Serron Noel there are not many 6'5 power wingers who skate with great mobility and play with decent skill and a mean streak. This is Noel, and this is why he will be gone by the end of the first round. His numbers at Oshawa may not have been eye-popping, but he's one of those kids that is a dunk for a bottom-6 role who, with some development, could become a top-6 stud power F at the NHL level. Chances he comes to NJ: possible but not overwhelming -- his size is likely to get him overdrafted, he could go as early as the 13-14 range. But he fits Devils needs as a RW and a power F -- NJ was not a team effective enough at crashing creases in 2017-18.

    7. Martin Kaut a high-effort, two-way winger who oozes smarts and hockey-sense. He is very adept at every aspect of the game and shows no discernible weaknesses; he has a very high floor. He lacks the dynamic qualities of a Kravtsov or the ferocity of a Thomas so I rank him below them, but not by very much. Just a great prospect and a very safe pick. Chances he comes to NJ: possible, but like Thomas he would be a trade-down-then-draft candidate, as he is unlikely to go in the top 20-25 picks, especially in a draft this deep at his position.

    8. Jesse Ylonen extremely fast and skilled, Ylonen is almost a right-handed version of Devils 2017 second-rounder Jesper Boqvist and should be drafted in the same 30-40 range. Like Boqvist, the only knocks on his game have dealt with compete level and physical play. Chances he comes to NJ: if the Devils had a second rounder, I would say very high. Unfortunately, they do not.

    9. Jonatan Berggren very reminiscent to Nashville's Viktor Arvidsson, Berggren is very fast, notably skilled and plays like a hellion on every shift. He is often under the proverbial skin of his opponents, and he's the type of second-line scoring pest that could help any NHL franchise. Chances he comes to NJ: again, this is where the Devils will wish they had a second round pick. Unfortunately, the trades for Mueller/Grabner erased that possibility, unless Shero makes another deal on draft day.

    10. Kirill Marchenko big and fast with outstanding scoring tools and puck skills, Marchenko's stock may have dropped with a lackluster performance in his draft year. Though he is a project, this is precisely the type of player the Devils should be targeting with their 4th/5th round picks. Let him play in Russia for a few years, and maybe he puts it all together, comes back a first-line scorer and scores a home run for Shero and Castron. Chances he comes to NJ: notable -- this is precisely the type of winger the Devils should target in the later rounds.

    Possible late round Devils RW targets:
    Russian Iskhakov
    Dmitri Zavgorodniy
    Albin Eriksson
    Jack Perbix
    Patrick Giles
     
  2. MartyOwns

    MartyOwns i'll ask daneyko

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    as always, awesome write up. i keep hearing better and better things about svechnikov, carolina could be dangerous in a few years if they get upgrade in net
     
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  3. MichaelJ

    MichaelJ Registered User

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    I know you had Bokk in your LW post, but where would you put him on this list?
     
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  4. Ripshot 43

    Ripshot 43 Registered User

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  5. dk3790

    dk3790 Registered User

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    there are sooo many players i'd be happy with this year unlike drafts of the past years.
     
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  6. New Jersey Devils

    New Jersey Devils Doc & Chico Forever

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    I know I shouldn't be afraid of the Russian factor on Kravtsov, but I am.
     
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  7. Darkauron

    Darkauron Registered User

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    Same
     
  8. StevenToddIves

    StevenToddIves Registered User

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    About even with Thomas at 5. Bokk has more upside than Thomas but less than Kravtsov (4). However, Thomas' playing style is so infectious and intense that's it's pretty much impossible not to fall in love with him, and he also has significant offensive prowess (and plays C).
     
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