After a disappointing 2019 for The New Jersey Devils, they won the seventh overall pick in the 2020 NHL draft. However, that will not be it all for the boys in red. They made two trades at the February 28th trade deadline which brought them two more first-rounders. They moved star winger Taylor Hall to The Arizona Coyotes for their first-round pick this year. They also moved winger and Stanley Cup champion Blake Coleman in exchange for a first-round pick from The Lightning via The Canucks. The Devils come into day one with the 7th 18th and 20th selections.
7th overall selection Alexander Holtz
Alexander Holtz, the Sweedish born right-winger has spent the last couple of seasons in the Sweedish men’s league. The draft coverage analysts on NBCSN compared Holtz to Nashville’s Philip Forsberg. Holtz, 18, comes in at a flat six-foot-tall and 183 pounds. It’s no secret that The Devils need scoring from the wings and Holtz, a sniper type player should provide that.
18th overall selection Dawson Mercer
With their second first-rounder, The Devils selected another winger. Mercer, a natural-born Canadian has a similar profile in terms of size to Holtz. However there playstyles are different. While Holtz is more of a sniper, Mercer is more of a creative player. He’s more of an elusive type player. That isn’t used to describe hockey players often it fits the bill here. I’m not 100 percent sure if Mercer will be NHL ready off the shoot but he can be a key player for them in the future.
20th overall selection Shakir Mukhamadullin
Yet another 18-year-old coming to Jersey. This one is a defenseman. Mukhamadullin stands a solid 6 foot 4 and 180 pounds. This is a solid physical defenseman with a lot of upside. However, he is a bit raw look for him to spend a good bit of time in the minors before he makes his debut with the big club.
Overall I think Tom Fitzgerald did well in his first draft as general manager. He used the first two picks to address needs. He filled a need for scoring of the wings with the Holtz pick and drafted some much-needed speed in the form of Mercer. His final pick was a gamble, however. Shakir Mukhamadullin has a ton of potential but if his development doesn’t go well you are looking at a major bust. Day two is tomorrow with The Devils first pick coming in the third round.