New Jersey Devils: Hope to Build Confidence With NHL Draft
The New Jersey Devils were also one of the worst teams in the NHL last season. They have only been to the playoffs once since losing in the Stanley Cup Finals in 2012 in six games against the Los Angeles Kings. New Jersey also had three first-round picks in the 2020 NHL Draft.
With their own pick which was seventh overall, they selected Alexander Holtz, RW, Djurgarden. With the 18th pick which was acquired from the Arizona Coyotes for the Taylor Hall trade, New Jersey selected Dawson Mercer, C, Chicoutimi. With the 20th pick was acquired from the Tampa Bay Lightning/Vancouver Canucks, the New Jersey Devils selected Shakir Mukhamadullin.
Holtz is only 18 years old. In 35 games last season played with Djurgardens IF in the SweHL, he scored nine goals and recorded seven assists. His plus/minus was -1.
Alexander Holtz started the 2020-2021 season with them. He has played in three games so far this season. Holtz has scored one goal so far this season. He has yet to record an assist. His plus/minus rating is even.
Holtz compares his game a lot to Alexander Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals. Holtz is a natural goal scorer from the wing and the New Jersey Devils desperately need this for Jack Hughes and Nico Hischier.
Up and Coming
Kyle Palmieri was their leading goal scorer last season and he won’t be there forever either though.
Mercer is only 18 years old. He only played in 16 games last season with the Chicoutimi Sagueneens in the QMJHL. He scored six goals and recorded 12 assists. Dawson Mercer’s plus/minus was 2.
He already started play for the 2020-2021 season. In two games, Mercer has scored two goals and recorded one assist. His plus/minus is 2.
Mukhamadullin scored one goal and recorded five assists, in 14 games last season with the Ufa Salavat Yulayev in the KHL. His plus/minus was 4.
Shakir Mukhamadullin is very raw and talented but will need a few years overseas before coming into the NHL.
More To Do
The New Jersey Devils may be bottom feeders in a tough Metropolitan Division for the next couple of seasons before coming relevant again.
Holtz will be the future heartbeat and heart and soul of this hockey team. This team needs to continue to ace it in the NHL Draft.
The New Jersey Devils are not ahead of the New York Rangers, the Philadelphia Flyers, the Pittsburgh Penguins, the Washington Capitals, the Carolina Hurricanes, the Columbus Blue Jackets, and the New York Islanders though.
Mercer needs time to develop and so does Mukhamadulin. The New Jersey Devils will be heading in the right direction one of these days, but they aren’t there just yet though. The last time they won the Stanley Cup Finals was in 2003 against the Anaheim Ducks in seven games though.
What did you think of the New Jersey Devils Draft in the first round with three of their picks though? Leave a comment below.
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Follow Glenn Kaplan on Twitter @glennkaplan13.