With the Conference Finals currently underway, the 2019 NHL Draft order is starting to take shape. The first 27 picks of the draft are set in stone, and the New Jersey Devils now know what most of their conditional and acquired draft picks will look like.
After the Nashville Predators were eliminated by the Dallas Stars, the second-round pick they acquired from the Preds in exchange for Brian Bayle was locked into 55th overall.
The only thing the Devils are waiting on is the second-round pick they received from the Boston Bruins in exchange for Marcus Johansson. If the Bruins lose to the Carolina Hurricanes in the Eastern Conference Final, the pick will be 60th overall. If they lose in the Stanley Cup Final, it will be 61st overall. If they win it all, it will be pick number 62.
In addition to their two acquired picks, the Devils own the 34th overall pick, giving them a total of three picks in the second round. Assuming Devils general manager Ray Shero doesn’t look to turn one of these
Second Round, 34th Overall
Nolan Foote – C/LW, Kelowna Rockets (WHL)
Nolan Foote, son of former NHL standout Adam Foote and brother to Tampa Bay Lightning prospect Callan Foote, has spent the last three seasons with the Kelowna Rockets. He was originally pegged as a top-10 pick for this year’s draft, but saw his stock drop over after a slow start to the 2017-18 season. The power forward has rebounded well, posting 63 points (36 G, 7 A) in 66 games in his third WHL season.
Alex Vlasic – D, USA (NTDP)
Alex Vlasic, cousin of current San Jose Sharks defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic is currently committed to Boston College. After spending the last two seasons with the United States National Development Program, the tall defender has developed an excellent overall skillset and has incredible poise with the puck while under pressure. This past season he scored four goals and 27 points in 61 games for the program.
Nathan Légaré – C/RW, Baie-Comeau Drakkar (QMJHL)
Nathan Légaré finished his first full season as a QMJHL rookie in 2017-18 with just 10 goals and 19 assists in 62 games. However, he exploded in 2018-19, finishing second in team scoring with 45 goals and 42 assists in 68 games. The 6-foot, 200-pound forward has a unique build that makes him difficult to contain in the heavy traffic areas. He’s projected to go late in the first round, but if he slides into the second round he might be one of the biggest steals of the draft.
Second Round, 55th Overall (via Nashville)
Ryan Johnson – D, Sioux Falls Stampede (USHL)
Ryan Johnson, the son of former Los Angeles Kings forward and current development coach Craig Johnson, is currently committed to the University of Minnesota. He was selected third overall in the 2017 USHL Futures Draft by the Sioux Falls Stampede. In his rookie season, the 17-year old Southern California native put up 25 points (6 G 19 A) in 54 games, earning him a spot on the USHL All-Rookie Team. His best asset is his skating, and he projects to be a speedy puck-moving defenseman at the pro level.
Nicholas Robertson – C/LW, Peterborough Petes (OHL)
Nicholas Robertson is a bit undersized, but he makes up for it with his foot speed and skill level. The 5-foot-9 Northville, Michigan native was drafted 16th overall in the 2017 priority selection of the OHL draft. Coming off his second season in the OHL, he averaged just over a point per game with 55 points in 54 games, which is pretty impressive considering the Petes play in the same division as OHL powerhouses like the Ottawa 67’s and Oshawa Generals. Despite missing about one-third of the season, the 17-year-old forward still found a way to lead his team in scoring. He needs time to develop but can be a solid top-six forward in the NHL if he reaches his ceiling.
Pavel Dorofeyev – RW/LW, Metallurg Magnitogorsk (KHL)
Pavel Dorofeyev is an intriguing long term prospect. The 18-year-old winger tore through the Russian Junior League (MHL) this season, recording 31 points (17 G, 14 A) in 19 games. He spent the other half of his season playing in the KHL where his playing time has been very limited. He sees the ice very well and has a quick release, but he’ll likely spend another year or two in Russia before coming stateside to join the team that drafts him.
Second Round, 60th – 62nd Overall (via Boston Bruins)
Albin Grewe – C/RW, Djurgården (SHL)
Albin Grewe has had a similar season as Dorofeyev. He scorched his way through the junior level in Sweden but hasn’t been able to contribute as much offensively at the professional level. Still, the 18-year-old forward has plenty of potential with a plus shot and a great work ethic. If he develops to maximum potential, he can be a lethal goalscorer in the NHL.
Daniil Misyul – D, Yaroslav Lokomotiv (KHL)
Daniil Misyul is a tall offensive-minded defenseman who has somewhat been flying under the radar. He is a smooth and agile skater, especially for his size (6-foot-3), which correlates to him constantly joining the rush. He spent most of the season in the MHL playing for Loko Yaroslav where he recorded 4 goals and 6 assists in 46 games. He was called up to the KHL for the last three games of the season and made enough of an impression on the KHL coaching staff to earn plenty of ice time and a role on the penalty kill in their six playoff games to close out the season. Similar to many of the European players drafted, the Belarus native will likely stick back in Russia to develop before coming over to the NHL.
Michal Teplý – LW/RW, Liberec White Tigers (Czech Extraliga)
Michael Teplý is a tall goal-scoring winger who is capable of making effective plays. His biggest knock is his skating and lack of defense, which might actually push him down the draft board, but he certainly has top-six potential. The 17-year-old is considered the best 2001 birth year prospect out of the Czech Republic, and having Patrik Elias and Pavel Zacha by his side can be a huge positive in helping Teplý in his development.
You can catch all the Devils draft day action in just over a month when the draft kicks off on Friday, June 21st at Rogers Arena. Interestingly enough, the last time the draft was held in Vancouver, Canada was in 1990, where the Devils used their 29th overall pick to select franchise cornerstone Martin Brodeur. Let’s hope they can re-create some of the same magic this time around with some of their second round drift picks.
“Do everything you need to do to keep the passion alive and never forget that it is a privilege to do what you love” – Martin Brodeur