NHL Draft 2011: New Jersey Devils Draft Tidbits and Facts

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NHL Draft 2011:  New Jersey Devils Draft Tidbits and Facts
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With the NHL draft just a few days away, I figured it'd be an ideal time to list out some facts about the Devils and their draft history that the diehards and stat hounds out there might enjoy, as the team prepares for its 30th NHL draft. 

  • The player drafted the latest by the Devils and to eventually suit up for the Devils in the NHL, was Steve Sullivan, who was drafted in the ninth round and 233rd overall by the Devils back in 1994.  He has played in 890 career NHL games, only 49 as a Devil before being dealt to Toronto as part of the package that brought Doug Gilmour to New Jersey.
  • The lowest player drafted by the Devils to play anywhere in the NHL was Joey Tenute, who was selected 261st overall in the eighth round of the 2003 NHL draft.  He played in just one game for the Washington Capitals during the 2005-06 season.
  • The player drafted by the Devils to play the highest amount of career games in the NHL was Brendan Shanahan, who was selected No. 2 overall in the 1987 NHL draft, and went on to a career with 1524 games, including 656 goals, 698 assists and 2489 penalty minutes.  He played in 315 games in his two stints with the Devils.
  • The Devils have drafted as high as second twice in their history and did pretty well both times, selecting Shanahan and Kirk Muller (1984).  The team has never drafted No. 1 overall.
  • The lowest the team has ever selected in the first round (and kept their pick) was when the Devils selected Matthew Corrente, who was taken 30th overall in the 2006 NHL draft.  He has played 34 games for the team to date and is currently set to be a restricted free agent.
  • The highest goaltender ever drafted by the Devils was their 20th selection overall in the 1990 NHL draft.  They selected Martin Brodeur with the pick, and I think it's fair to say that pick has worked out pretty well for the Devils.
  • Three times the Devils have selected number three overall with great, average and ugly results.  Scott Niedermayer (1991) was the great, helping lead the Devils to their three Stanley Cup Championships (and picked up a fourth with Anaheim) in what will certainly be recognized as a Hall of Fame Career when he is eligible.  Craig Wolanin (1985) played in 695 NHL games, but is more remembered to Devils fans for being used in a trade (along with Randy Velischek) to acquire Peter Stastny on March 6, 1990.  The third was Neil Brady (1986), who had some very productive years at the AHL level but never made a real impact in his 89 career NHL games.
  • The player drafted highest by the Devils to never appear in an NHL game was Todd Copeland, who was selected 24th overall (Round 2) also in the 1986 NHL draft.  Copeland was a Ridgewood, NJ native who played at the University of Michigan.  He played six years in the AHL and IHL but never was able to sniff the NHL.
  • Between the likes of Brady and Copeland, it's fair to say the Devils could have done better with their selections.  Other players picked in the 1986 draft included the likes of Vincent Damphousse (6th), Brian Leetch (9th), Craig Janney (19th), Adam Graves (22nd), Teppo Numminen (29th), Jyrki Lumme (57th) and Lyle Odelein (141st).
  • With the fourth pick in this year's draft, assuming the Devils keep the pick, it will be the tenth player the Devils have taken in the top ten slots.  It will mark the first time the Devils have picked a player fourth.
  • Other players taken in the top 10 not mentioned yet include Bill Guerin (5th in 1991), John MacLean (sixth in 1983), Rocky Trottier (eighth in 1982) and Lance Ward (10th in 1996).  Obviously, the results hit both sides of the scale with these top 10 picks.
  • Of the 295 players the Devils have drafted in the last 29 years, 139 have played at least one game in the NHL, for a 47.1 percentage.  I don't have the stats to back it up, but my gut is the Devils are at or certainly near the top compared to other teams over the same span.
  • About 25 percent of the 295 picks have played at least 100 games in the National Hockey League.
  • Pierre Dagenais had the distinction of being drafted by the Devils twice.  After being drafted No. 47 overall in the second round of the 1996 draft and not signing, he was taken No. 105 in the fourth round of the 1998 draft, again by New Jersey.
  • The Devils have drafted as many as fourteen players in a single draft (1988, 1990 & 1996) and as few as five players in a draft (2010).

 Year

#

GP

G

A

Pts

PIM

1982

12

2761

565

689

1254

5460

1983

10

2687

497

770

1267

2782

1984

12

3386

560

903

1463

3538

1985

12

3240

129

569

698

3320

1986

12

856

116

211

327

817

1987

10

2857

747

962

1709

3324

1988

14

706

184

233

417

329

1989

10

2022

529

588

1117

2100

1990

14

4149

195

547

742

2264

1991

11

2457

507

970

1477

1244

1992

12

3708

308

592

900

2966

1993

11

2561

369

617

986

2439

1994

12

2608

713

1084

1797

2076

1995

11

1841

380

486

866

821

1996

14

2234

129

294

423

2732

1997

8

213

6

8

14

37

1998

11

1951

418

818

1236

1229

1999

8

454

23

81

104

645

2000

13

1478

95

237

332

1354

2001

11

254

24

30

54

443

2002

11

319

5

11

16

689

2003

7

437

164

178

342

147

2004

7

452

89

164

253

219

2005

7

322

42

62

104

117

2006

8

148

3

22

25

82

2007

6

97

14

19

33

10

2008

9

80

9

15

24

18

2009

7

36

4

7

11

6

2010

5

0

0

0

0

0

I've tried to include some interesting facts about the Devils and their draft history.  Let me know your thoughts and I plan to make a prediction on whom the Devils will take at No. 4 in Friday's draft in the next day or two, so be sure to keep an eye out for it.

For more 2011 NHL draft coverage, stay tuned to Bleacher Report for updated NHL mock drafts, NHL draft rumors, NHL draft results and draft grades.

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