Jack Devine — 2022 NHL Draft Prospect Profile

Jack Devine

2021-22 Team: University of Denver (NCAA)
Date of Birth: Oct. 2, 2003
Place of Birth: Glencoe, IL, USA
Ht: 5-foot-11 Wt: 172 pounds
Shoots: Right
Position: Right Wing
NHL Draft Eligibility: 2021 first-year eligible

Rankings

Jack Devine was the youngest player on the NCAA Championship-winning Denver Pioneers this past college hockey season. Offensively, he was far from the top in terms of point production, but that didn’t decrease the value he brought to the team. This was evident in his playing in 36 games, which was more than several players older than him. It’s that faith and value that should attract several NHL suitors. 

Related: THW 2022 NHL Draft Guide

He’s a playmaker at heart. He has a decent wrist shot, but his three goals on 61 shots in 36 games this season indicate his preference to distribute. Those 61 shots placed him 12th on the Pioneers, and he should look to shoot more as he develops, because it can tie in nicely with one of his greatest strengths: off-puck play.

He’s great off the puck, and tends to look for open areas and position himself in a spot where he can make a play if the puck is sent his way, whether it be by a teammate or a loose puck jumping out of a battle. This can be seen in the tweet below from The Athletic‘s Scott Wheeler, as he reads the play below the goal, finds the open ice and buries a goal.

It also makes him effective on the power play. He can play both the half-wall and bumper positions, and use his off-puck vision to find holes he can use to either make a pass or send the puck on-goal. 

Despite being 5-foot-11, he engages physically on the forecheck and is able to win puck battles, in part due to his balance, and in part due to good body positioning. He’s responsible at both ends of the ice and brings his physicality back to his own end as well. He has a good and active stick, regularly getting it into passing lanes on the backcheck. 

Jack Devine University of Denver
Jack Devine, University of Denver forward (Brittany Evans / Denver Athletics)

As mentioned earlier, he’s a playmaker and his passing ability is one of his best attributes. His vision helps as he has instances where he makes difficult passes look relatively easy, and he has soft hands for good, one-touch passes. His capacity to hit teammates in stride will aid in breaking out and transitioning play from his own end to the offensive zone.

Other THW Draft Profiles

Jack Devine – NHL Draft Projection

One thing that may make prospective teams hesitant is Devine’s lack of explosiveness, and that he could show a little more offensive output. However, he is a young player that played almost every game on a championship-winning team. Between his play, and four Pioneers forwards being seniors, he should see a bump in playing time next season, which some teams could see and take a bet on. Even more so for teams who are looking to add a playmaking winger. 

Jack Devine University of Denver
Jack Devine, University of Denver forward (Jamie Schwaberow/Clarkson Creative via Denver Athletics)

He could very feasibly be drafted in the late second or early third round this year. The lacking explosiveness and offensive output knock him back from the early-to-mid-second round, but he’s on the younger end of draft-eligible players. He was listed as a C-prospect on the NHL Central Scouting 21-22 Preliminary Players To Watch List, which projects a prospect to be a fourth, fifth or sixth-round candidate. 

Quotables

“I’m quite fond of what Devine brings to the table. His skill level doesn’t pop like some of USA Hockey’s other 2003s and 2004s, but he’s a better player than his numbers last season at the program indicate (in part due to injury) and he has been productive on a top team at Denver this season. He uses a tenacious playmaking style to drive play, keep sequences alive, and help out in the little battles and areas of the ice that tilt it in the right direction. I’ve also seen his skill really flash in possession, hanging onto pucks and playing between checks to blend effort with above-average talent. He’s not going to be a star but there are the makings of a really good middle-six forward there.” – From “Wheeler: Top 64 prospects for the 2022 NHL Draft at midseason” by Scott Wheeler, The Athletic, 2/14/22  

“Devine is a creative, smart, two-way winger who is a very strong skater, agile and balanced, with strong edge work and quick starts and stops. His vision is excellent and distributes the puck well. While not a flashy player, he effectively handles the puck and makes quick decisions with superb offensive instincts. He is strong on the forecheck and owns an accurate wrist shot. Devine is a smart player, responsible in all three zones, and often learns from his mistakes.” – Jonah Fleisher, Draft Prospects Hockey

“Devine has top-end offensive skills as a playmaker to accompany his quality skating and high on-ice IQ. He looked really good in transition in this game and was able to zip through the neutral zone and orchestrate controlled zone entries. Devine was fearless as he cut to the inside and established his willingness to take pucks into the dangerous areas and quality shot locations. Pucks got on and off his stick in an instant and his one-touch passing indicated Devine’s spatial awareness and ability to read and anticipate situations. In fact, his passing overall was very effective and in the offensive zone he consistently moved pucks to open linemates and toward the front of the net. Defensively, Devine backchecked with purpose. He got his stick into lanes and he pumped his legs all the way back to his end. As the only draft eligible player on the Pioneers roster, Devine has had to develop all parts of his game in order to establish trust and earn his time on the ice. That should be in his favour in the eyes of many teams as we head into the 2022 draft. I think Devine has potential to be taken in the second round of the draft but more likely is a third-round target.” – From “Scouting Report on Jack Devine” by Shaun Richardson, FC Hockey, 4/8/22

Strengths

  • Defensive pass anticipation
  • Vision
  • Forecheck
  • Off-puck play
  • Championship experience

Under Construction – Improvements to Make

  • Acceleration and foot speed
  • Confidence in play-driving ability
  • Needs to shoot more

NHL Potential

If he hits his stride, Devine could become a good middle-six winger and power-play asset. He’d use his off-puck vision to find holes in defenses when penalty killing teams cheat towards an obvious option, such as when Alex Ovechkin is on the ice. If his scoring comes around, he could provide decent scoring depth on a good team, and not be a slouch defensively. An NHL comparison could be Toronto Maple Leafs forward Colin Blackwell

Colin Blackwell Toronto Maple Leafs
Colin Blackwell, Toronto Maple Leafs forward (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)

Blackwell is a few inches shorter, but has shown the ability to play up and down a lineup, and with both high-end talent and fourth-line grinders alike. Despite being listed as a center, he’s frequently played on the wing. He’s seen sporadic special teams time throughout his 130-plus NHL games, but rose to the occasion of playing with the New York Rangers and Artemi Panarin and had an offensive career-year during the 2020-21 season. Before being traded to the Maple Leafs, Blackwell was one of the few Seattle Kraken players above an even plus/minus rating.

If he finds a home killing penalties, on top of the skills he already has working for him, Devine could become a Swiss Army Knife-type player and provide consistent secondary scoring at the NHL level.

Risk-Reward Analysis

Risk – 3/5, Reward – 4/5

Fantasy Hockey Potential

Offense – 6.5/10, Defense – 6/10

Awards/Achievements

Devine was part of the 2022 NCAA Championship-winning University of Denver Pioneers.

An article from the Chicago Tribune featuring the relationship between Devine and his sister, Katie, who is a forward for Saint Mary’s University. “Glencoe native Jack Devine gets a boost from his sisters in pursuit of hockey excellence” by Ryan Nilsson, 3/22/20.

An article from the USA Hockey National Team Development Program’s website discussing Devine’s sisters growing his love of hockey, and his growth with the NTDP.

Jack Devine Statistics

Videos

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YouTube player

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