The New Jersey Devils utilized three picks in the preliminary of the 2020 NHL Draft on Tuesday as an opportunity to strengthen their future after they were unable to assist the present roster.Tom Fitzgerald performed his first draft as Devils general manager; he replaced Ray Shero on Jan. 12.” I’m not going to lie. We tried
to do some things, we just got locked out,” Fitzgerald stated.” We tried moving up; it didn’t happen. Teams, they weren’t interested. We attempted to go take a look at some different things that we felt might assist the organization in the long term, but we didn’t.”So at the end of the day, you make your choices.
You build your list, you remain true to that list, and you make your choices. “[ RELATED: 2020 NHL Draft first-round outcomes|NHL Draft coverage] The Devils kept all three choices and drafted forward Alexander Holtz from Djurgarden of
the Swedish Hockey League with the No. 7 pick, center Dawson Mercer from Chicoutimi of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League with the No. 18 selection, and defenseman Shakir Mukhamadullin from Ufa of the Kontinental Hockey League with the No. 20 pick.The Devils have 6 more choices when the draft continues with Beats 2-7 on Wednesday (11:30 a.m. ET; NHLN, SN1 ): No. 84 in the
third round, Nos. 99 and 120 in the fourth round, No. 130 in the 5th round, No. 161 in the sixth round and No. 192 in the seventh round. After finishing 14th in the Eastern Conference (28-29-12,.493 points portion )and missing out on the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the seventh time in the past eight seasons, the Devils can continue to add to their rebuild.They’re not likely to receive any instant assistance from their first-round picks; Holtz, Mercer and Mukhamadullin have actually started the 2020-21 season with their group, and Fitzgerald said they won’t attend Devils training school whenever it begins. The NHL is targeting Jan. 1, 2021 to start the routine season.Video: Fitzgerald and Holtz talk about the Devils draft But when they’re ready to join the Devils, Fitzgerald said he believes they will match the young players they currently have, consisting of centers Jack Hughes, a 19-year-old who was the No. 1 choice in the 2019 NHL
Draft, and Nico Hischier, a 21-year-old who was the No. 1 selection at the 2017 NHL Draft.Holtz (6-foot, 192 pounds)led under-18 skaters in the Swedish Hockey League with 16 points(nine goals, seven helps) while balancing 12:53 of ice time in 35 video games in 2019-20. After being promoted to Djurgarden’s leading line, the extreme right has one
objective in 3 video games to begin 2020-21.”It’s difficult to score goals in [the NHL], which’s what this kid projects to do, “Fitzgerald said.”Then, on top of it, you get a little giddy when you get a possibility to consider the centers that he’s going to have the ability to play with.
“Having played for Sweden against Hughes and the United States in the 2019 Under-18 World Championships, Holtz said he would love the opportunity play alongside him.”It’s truly exciting,” Holtz stated. “He’s an amazing player, so I’m really
looking forward [to it]” Mercer, who was selected with the first-round pick the Devils obtained from the Arizona Coyotes as part of the trade for forward Taylor Hall
on Dec. 16, 2019, can play center or wing. The 18-year-old scored 60 points(24 objectives, 36 assists )in 42 video games in 2019-20, including 18
points( 6 goals, 12 assists)in 16 games for Chicoutimi after being acquired in a trade with Drummondville on Jan. 6. Fitzgerald said he imagines Mercer( 6-0, 180 )perhaps slotting in behind Hughes and Hischier as New Jersey’s third-line center. Mercer said he attempts to design his two-way video game after Boston Bruins center Patrice Bergeron and is thrilled about the Devils’future.”They have a lot of young potential customers and a young
team there now that has some high-end talent from the last couple years, and I think the future is going to be intense for them,”Mercer stated.” Right now, I believe there’s a lot of development throughout these young people being available in, and all I can see is when all of us turn [
. out] at our greatest capacity, there’s going to be terrific things occurring.” Video: Devils prepare F Dawson Mercer No. 18 Mukhamadullin (6-3, 178 ), who was picked with the first-round pick the Devils got from the Tampa Bay Lightning(previously gotten from the Vancouver Canucks )in the trade for forward Blake Coleman on Feb. 16, may have appeared like a reach to some due to the fact that the 18-year-old was ranked No. 17 amongst International skaters by NHL Central Scouting. However the 18-year-old possesses a big left-handed shot and improved his stock with a strong start to 2020-21, scoring six points(one objective, 5 assists )in the very first 14 games.Mukhamadullin was seen while the Devils were hunting Ufa forward Rodion Amirov, a first-round choice( No. 15) by the Toronto Maple Leafs on Tuesday. “Every time we watched Amirov playing for Ufa, I just kept [asking]’Who’s the big kid, mobile kid?’ “Fitzgerald said.” And the more you saw him and the more you saw him, the more you think,’Why aren’t we speaking about this kid?'”Video: Devils draft D Shakir Mukhamadullin No. 20