31 in 31 Series, July: New Jersey Devils
Ray Shero has been focusing on building through the draft and in the development and implementation of young players into the New Jersey lineup. The results on the ice cannot be questioned as the Devils made the playoffs out of nowhere in 2017-18. Despite this strategy, the Devils only had six draft picks last month, with no picks in the second or third round. The big catch on draft weekend was Ty Smith, another small puck moving defenseman, who fell to them with the 17th overall selection. There was talk that the Devils were possibly looking to trade back to acquire more picks, but that idea was put to rest when Smith was still available, who by many publications was a potential top 10 pick.
Here is what you need to know about New Jersey’s 2018 draft picks:
Ty Smith– D; 1st Round 17th Overall
The trend of the Devils drafting smaller puck moving defensemen continued with the selection of Ty Smith. The Devils felt very fortunate that he fell all the way to them and addressed one of their biggest areas of need in their prospect pipeline. He has tremendous skating ability and is a future power play quarterback. He put up 73 points in 69 games for Spokane of the WHL and was the captain of Canada’s U18 World Junior team this summer. Some predict he might be two years away from stepping into the NHL, but don’t be surprised to see this kid much sooner.
Xavier Bernard– D; 4th