Prospect Ramblings – The New Jersey Devils and Ottawa 67’s Connection

Josh Tessler

2020-04-12

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Over the years, the Ottawa 67’s have developed a plethora of NHL talent. Since the team’s inception in 1967, the 67’s have had 175 players drafted in either the NHL Entry Draft, the NHL Amateur Draft and the WHA Amateur Draft. Among the 175 players drafted, several of them had great careers in the NHL including Bill Clement, Wayne Merrick, Blake Dunlop, Ian Turnbull, Denis Potvin, Doug Wilson, Bobby Smith, Gary Roberts, Andrew Cassels, Michael Peca, Brian Campbell, Logan Couture and Sean Monahan. 

 

Since 2015, the 67’s have had ten players drafted by NHL teams. The most notable prospects selected include Travis Konecny (Philadelphia Flyers), Kevin Bahl (drafted by Arizona Coyotes, New Jersey Devils prospect), Mitchell Hoelscher (New Jersey Devils prospect), Kody Clark (Washington Capitals prospect, Wendel Clark’s son), Graeme Clarke (New Jersey Devils prospect) and Nikita Okhotyuk (New Jersey Devils prospect). When you look at the list of prospects above and look at the NHL organization who owns the majority of their rights it is the New Jersey Devils. Former general manager of the New Jersey Devils, Ray Shero and interim general manager, Tom Fitzgerald felt comfortable listening to the team scouts by selecting and trading for 67’s talent. 

 

It is apparent that the Devils admire 67’s Head Coach and Vice President of Hockey Operations André Tourigny’s ability to develop prospects and get them ready for the NHL level. Tourigny has become one of the elite coaches in the CHL. Since he began his coaching career in 1998, Tourigny has worked for many franchises across the NHL and the CHL. He served as Assistant Coach of the Ottawa Senators, Assistant Coach of the Colorado Avalanche, Head Coach/General Manager of the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies, Head Coach of the Halifax Mooseheads, Assistant Coach of the Shawingian Cataractes, Head Coach of the Trois-Rivières Estacades (QMAAA) and Head Coach of Canada 2020 World Junior club (gold medal winner). Throughout his time as a coach in the CHL, Tourigny helped mentor and develop several notable prospects including Raphaël Lavoie (Edmonton Oilers prospect), Nico Hischier (New Jersey Devils), Benoit-Olivier Groulx (Anaheim Ducks prospect) and Nikita Kucherov (Tampa Bay Lightning).

 

When former general manager Ray Shero and interim general manager Tom Fitzgerald walked onto the draft podium at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois and selected Hischier with the number one overall selection, the Devils and Tourigny began their love for one another. 

 

If the 2019-2020 NHL Regular season ended today, there is a good chance that the Devils would end up with two top-15 draft picks. They have the teams own first round draft pick, which has a 23.3% chance of being a top three selection and they have the Arizona draft pick (part of the Taylor Hall trade), which has a 11.4% chance of being a top three selection and if that is the case Arizona keeps the pick and the Devils get Arizona’s 2021 1st (per Capfriendly). The Devils also have Vancouver’s first round pick for 2020 (that can become a 2021 first if Vancouver misses the playoffs) that they got as a return in the Blake Coleman trade. 

 

Given that the Devils potentially have three first round selections, Fitzgerald and is front office could be targeting both top Ottawa 67’s draft eligible prospects, Marco Rossi and Jack Quinn. Rossi is coming off of a 120-point campaign (39 goals and 81 assists) and posted a 102 pNHe. The Austrian draft eligible prospect lead the OHL in points, assists and points per game. His teammate, Jack Quinn posted 52 goals and a 68 pNHLe. Quinn was four goals shy of leading the OHL in goals. Toronto Maple Leafs prospect Nicholas Robertson (Steve Dangle’s favorite defenseman) bested Quinn in goals as he was a scoring machine and ended the season with 55 goals. While he could not leap past Roberston, Quinn’s goal totals are no joke. Posting a 50-goal season in your draft year is quite impressive.

 

If Fitzgerald ends up with Rossi and/or Quinn on draft night, he will be adding some more top talent to his farm system. In the 2019 NHL Entry Draft, the Devils selected Jack Hughes and they need to continue to add top talent around Hughes in order to emerge as a contender in a few years. Adding Rossi and/or Quinn would be huge for the Devils as they offer plenty of offensive upside and could be just what the Devils need to become a powerhouse in the Eastern Conference. There is a need for goals in Newark, New Jersey and a Rossi/Quinn combination would certainly help the cause.

 

 

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Thank you for reading my post. If you would like to follow me on Twitter, my handle is @JoshTessler_

 

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