New Jersey Devils 2014 Draft Review

2014 NHL Draft

 

During the 2014 NHL Entry Draft, the New Jersey Devils had six selections available to them. Many felt that the team should go after some scoring prospects, and leave the defensemen and goalies to other teams. Having Cory Schneider at the time primed to sign a long term contract extension, the team did not select any goaltenders. Despite having some high defensive prospects already in the system, it would not be a complete Devils draft without Lou Lamoriello picking one or two blue liners. Some fans also found their wishes granted when the team opted to select four forwards. Just how well did the Devils do in the selections made? Check below to see who you may find in a Devils sweater soon.

1. John Quenneville (Round 1, 30th overall) – At the start, the Devils did not even have a first round pick in this year’s draft as a result of the Ilya Kovalchuk contract penalty. But months before, the NHL decided to take back the penalty, and award the Devils the 30th pick, of which they could not do anything with. As a result, they chose center John Quenneville from the Brandon Wheat Kings of the WHL. Quenneville is a two way forward, who models his game after such players like Anze Kopitar of the Los Angeles Kings, and is already being compared to the Devils’ Adam Henrique. His numbers are not too bad, as he finished third on the Wheat Kings with 25 goals and ranked fourth with 58 points. Just more consistency is a thing out of a player like this, but he definitely fits the mold of possibly becoming a mainstay in NJ in the coming years. Plus, doesn’t hurt to have a pretty descent hockey lineage, as his uncle by marriage is current Boston Bruins defenseman Johnny Boychuk and his second cousin is former NHL player and current Chicago Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville. Also, his older brother, Peter, was selected 195th overall by the Columbus Blue Jackets in the 2013 NHL Draft and his younger brother, David, made his WHL debut this season with the Medicine Hat Tigers. Would have been nice to see the Devils possibly select Joshua Ho Sang or even Brendan Lemieux with this pick, but a solid choice nonetheless. (Stats: 6’0, 185lbs). Current Devils player most like: Adam Henrique

2. Joshua Jacobs – (Round 2, 41st overall) – The Devils chose a defenseman with this pick, and Jacobs fits the mold of trying to become the offensive defenseman. He models his style of play on Boston’s Tory Krug, and is a dynamic player such as that is waiting in the wings for the Devils, they should be thrilled. Jacobs compiled 23 points (5-18—23) and a plus-36 rating (fifth in the United States Hockey League) in 2013-14 to help Indiana win the Clark Cup as USHL champions. The Michigan native has good stick checking abilities and is still trying to come into his own with his body size. A solid two way defenseman choice for the Devils. (Stats: 6’2 193lbs). Current Devils player most like: Andy Greene

3. Connor Chatham – (Round 3, 71st overall) – This big right winger brings some size to an area that has been lacking some for the team in recent years. His large frame is surprising to see for a winger, but look to players such as Chicago Blackhawks winger Bryan Bickell who make it work. He started the 2013-14 season with a goal in his second career Ontario Hockey League contest and finished his rookie season with 31 points (13-18—31) in 54 games. Chatham says he wants to mold his playing style after that of St. Louis Blues captain David Backes. (Stats: 6’1, 207lbs). Current Devils player most like: Ryane Clowe.

4. Ryan Rehill – (Round 5, 131st overall) – New Jersey added some size to the blueline with this player. Has some offensive upside to him, but is a usual mainstay in the penalty box, as he racked up 182 PIM last season with Kamloops of the WHL. Last season, found the back of the net four times, as well as assisting on sixteen others, good for twenty points in seventy-to games played. Could be a good stay at home defensemen in the future, but needs to cut down on those penalty minutes if anything. (Stats: 6’2 210lbs). Current Devils most like: Bryce Salvador, minus the penalties and less points.

5. Joey Dudek – (Round 6, 152nd overall) – Straying away from the defense, New Jersey added another center with this pick. Put up solid numbers in two seasons with Kimball Union, compiling twenty six goals and sixty assists for eighty six points. More of a facilitator of the puck, he can learn a thing or two on the offensive end, such as balancing the time to shoot and the time to pass. Also garnered 3 points (1g, 2a) in five games with the USA U18 team. Current Devils player most like: Patrik Elias. (Stats: 5’11, 178lbs)

6. Brandon Braddock – (Round 6, 161st overall) – With their final pick in the draft, the Devils selected big boy Braddock from Edmonton in the WHL. In three seasons with them, the left winger racked up eighteen goals, nineteen assists for thirty-seven points and 246 penalty minutes in 152 games played. While the offensive numbers aren’t there, he is still young, but the penalty minutes can be a concern, as they have gone up each season he has been in the WHL. Current Devils players most like: size and position, Dainius Zubrus. Penalty minutes, Cam Janssen. (Stats: 6’3, 200lbs)

Overall, it was a very solid draft for the Devils. While it may have been nice to see them go after some higher profile forward prospects, Lamoriello has always done things under the radar and out of the spotlight, and it has worked pretty well up to this point. It will be exciting to see how these players do at Devils training camp, already underway, and if any of these players makes the team in the near future, which although doubtful, can always happen in this sport. Devils draft grade: B-

Peter Rossi

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