New Jersey Devils Options
Tom Fitzgerald and the New Jersey Devils have a bulk load of variety in the mid-’20s to 32nd overall pick range at the rate the Isles and Bruins series could end up being. However, the two teams in the Boston Bruins and the New York Islanders do dictate the outcome of this pick. Today we will evaluate a few players at a time that I believe Tom Fitzgerald in his second NHL Draft will likely summon on draft day.
One of the first things you see in Brennan Othmann’s game is his quick wrist shot with speed, and accuracy which reminds me of Paul Stastny at the NHL level. He played really pretty productively for EHC Olten in the Swiss League with 7 goals and 16 points in 34 games played. Before he was on loan to EHC Olten he was with the Flint Firebirds in the Ontario Hockey League.
He was a 0.6 points per game player while playing in the Swiss League he averaged 0.47 points a game in a different environment in Switzerland on a different sized ice rink. He plays with a physical edge, and plays with a lot of energy, and has the skill of a younger fiery Brad Marchand with agitator capabilities. He utilizes his speed in many ways from puck retrieval to forechecking. When he plays on North American ice he is a more dynamic skater and can be very electric.
Othmann is the kind of guy that will bring that edginess power forward that can chip in some goals on a New Jersey Devils 2nd and 3rd line energy, edginess, and power with the ability to contribute offensively on the wing around the likes of a Dawson Mercer on a line with Jesper Boqvist type situation.
The New Jersey Devils have had a really good history of selecting Swedish players under the Shero and Fitzgerald era. GM Tom Fitzgerald has been very happy to be Jesper Bratt’s employer having been part of Bratt’s process of being drafted and made a product of the Devil’s draft success. New Jersey needs a really solid possibility in getting another Swedish winger in Leksands IF forward Isak Rosen.
Rosen has been nothing short of phenomenal and yes when I spoke to a fellow draft expert, Steve Kournianos he brought up an excellent point. In his opinion, the New Jersey Devils should keep hammering away at selecting more shooters into their pipeline. The Devils already have a plethora of centers that can jump into the NHL roles and maintain that core. https://anchor.fm/raisinghellinjersey/episodes/Steve-Kournianos-The-Draft-Analyst-Special-e129pk6
Adding Rosen would bring an electrifying winger who can play both left and right-wing at the SHL level. I can see him being the kind of playmaker that can be converted more into a hybrid of playmaker-sniper. Isak learning to be a more consistent shooter at the North American game under Fitzgerald’s watch could have him become a very underrated yet another draft day steal in the mid-late first-round selection.
In one of the past interviews the New Jersey Devils held with Fitzgerald, he was asked by another writer about different routes he could select different players. Fitzgerald mentioned that he likes the possibility of drafting one of the “two goalies” whom we all know are Jesper Wallstedt out of Sweden and Sebastian Cossa out of Canada
Cossa is a tall and very agile, lateral moving goalie in the WHL for the Edmonton Oil Kings. What I see in the Cossa is the fact that he is very calm and cool under pressure amongst his peers. The Devils see the possibility of him being a better more improved goalie than Ottawa Senators prospect Mads Søgaard. Cossa has posted 38 wins and 8 shutouts in 2 seasons which is insanely solid. If there is a player he reminds me of a young and was in his prime years is Ben Bishop.
If the New Jersey Devils are gunning for a complete shooter look no further it is Matthew Coronato of the Chicago Steel in the USHL. He accomplished 48 goals and 85 points in 51 games played. He is committed to Harvard University to play NCAA D1 Hockey next season. The Devils are very familiar with Harvard University due to Reilly Walsh who they had drafted before going to Harvard.
The next point is Coronato will be learning to play against teams like UMass-Amherst the reigning NCAA D1 Hockey champions. This means learning to adjust to a faster more difficult defensive style of hockey. In the short term, he will benefit from the growing pains and learning new strategies on how to improve his game at a higher level. The Devils, later on, will get a guy who can be a nice mid-six shooter who can rip pucks on the net, and create scoring opportunities he can capitalize on.
Joe’s Recommended Selection
I have the New Jersey Devils selecting Coronato due to the fact that Cossa will likely be taken by a more desperate team with goaltending pipeline issues. The Devils will go with a goalie in middle-late rounds on day 2 on July 24th instead. Rosen will be off the board before the Devils pick from the Islanders, so Rosen goes to another team in the middle teens and goes before the Devils selection. Othmann goes off the board a bit sooner due to his exposure from his recent play in Switzerland and his familiarity from the OHL.
The New Jersey Devils not only draft another prime-time sniper, but they get a guy who they can wait and let develop and then evaluate and bring under their wings and grow him to be a Kyle Palmieri style sniper. A sniper that gets the puck and shoots it more often to bolster the New Jersey Devils even strength and power-play situations.
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