Many New Jersey Devils fans are pleased about what happened at the draft lottery this week. For one, the New York Rangers didn’t win this time, plus the Philadelphia Flyers didn’t win as well. But, perhaps the best part was getting the fourth overall selection in the draft. While it may not have been the first overall selection, drafting fourth overall is still an excellent sign.
The Devils did not move down considering their odds, but they still can get an outstanding player. What makes this even better is that test players have relationships with some of the players on the Devils roster. I want to thank that fellow Overtime Heroics New Jersey Devils writer Joe Stanislau for allowing me to use his quotes in this article.
Drafting Luke Hughes Would Make Jack Hughes Happy
Luke Hughes is perhaps the one player that many people who associate with the Devils want to have. Hughes is a young defenseman who is the young brother of Jack Hughes and Luke Hughes. Hughes will be going to the University of Michigan next year, which is the location for many of these top prospects in this year’s draft. Hughes’ main trait is his skating, and people compare it to his older brothers. In an article, one trait that Joe talked about explained that Luke isn’t afraid to carry the puck and become a good puck handler. He compared it to Stars defenseman Miro Heiskanen.
Before the draft lottery, Jack explained that he would love to have his brother on the team. If the Devils had the chance of drafting him, he wanted them to pick him. I find the connection between both brothers exceptional and hope that Tom Fitzgerald can draft him if the Devils can. Having Luke pair up with Jack is an ample opportunity that the Devils cannot pass up. But there is one issue. Will he be able to get to four, considering the Seattle Kraken or Anaheim Ducks could also be drafting him? We may have to wait until the day of the draft to know if that’s the case.
Drafting Brandt Clarke Would Give the Devils a Better Defensive Core
Another defensive prospect that would add so much depth to the Devils defense is Brandt Clarke. Like Hughes, he is a younger brother of another Binghamton Devils player Graeme Clarke. Clarke played for the HC Nove Zamky in Slovakia. Clarke managed to have 15 points that year in just 26 games. He spent his time with the Barrie Colts in the OHL, scoring a 38-point season during the 2019-20 season. Referring to Joe’s take on Brandt Clarke, he described him as an excellent right-handed defenseman.
He also explained that Clarke knows how to handle the puck in both the defensive and neutral zones, comparing Clarke to Cale Makar. Clarke would bring a lot of skill to a Devils defense looking for an offensive-type defenseman. Especially with players like Ty Smith, who has been a great offensive defenseman from what we’ve seen. Adding Brandt Clarke could maybe draw some similarities, and that would make fans very happy. So if Luke Hughes isn’t available at the fourth pick, fans would be amazed at the Devils drafting Clarke.
Drafting Willam Eklund Would Give the Devils a Duo They Can Work With
While William Eklund may not be a defenseman, he has one thing in common with New Jersey. Eklund is from the Djurgardens IF hockey club. That was the team that Alexander Holtz played on before being drafted by the Devils last year. They were both teammates in that club. When Holtz and Eklund played with Djurgardens this season, they combined for 41 points. Eklund got 23 points, while Holtz got 18. Joe describes Eklund as a good skater, a sniper who drives plays in the trapezoid and has a good shot.
If Eklund becomes a Devil, the combination with him and Holtz could be a big game-changer for the franchise. Since the stats show how good these two can be on one team in Sweden, I would love to see if that combination works in the NHL. Since the Devils have Lindy Ruff as a coach, it would be interesting to see how he works. Having Holtz and Eklund together on the same line with someone like Ty Smith would give an impressive rookie line. Of course, it all depends on what Ruff could do with him if he is available at drafting at four.
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