A Look Ahead at the 2013 NHL Draft

Official 2013 NHL Draft LogoAs I’m sure you’ve all heard, the New Jersey Devils will be hosting the 2013 NHL Draft at the Prudential Center on June 30. What does this mean for the New Jersey Devils and the New Jersey area? What is different about this year’s draft? Who’s projected to be drafted first, and who will the Devils draft? Let’s take a look, shall we?

The Impact

So what exactly does the Draft mean for the Devils? For starters, it’s the first time in team history that the Devils will be hosting the NHL Draft. It will also give the Devils another chance to show off the Prudential Center on a national scale, following last season’s Stanley Cup Finals. The Prudential Center is still one of the newest arenas in the league, with Pittsburgh’s Consol Energy Center being the only arena built more recently, and can be a great showcase for the NHL, the Devils, and the state of New Jersey. Not only is this the first NHL Draft for the New Jersey Devils, it’s also the first Draft held within the New York/New Jersey area. Getting the NHL Draft before Madison Square Garden is a big plus for the Prudential Center, and is another step towards solidifying the arena’s place in New Jersey. While it may not seem like it at first, the NHL Draft does attract a lot of fans from outside the state, along with numerous big names in the hockey world, trying to get the best look at what’s in store for the NHL’s next generation. The NHL Draft will not only be a great opportunity for the New Jersey Devils and the Prudential Center to show off what they’ve got, it will also provide a nice economic boost for the Newark, New Jersey area.

What’s New

One of the biggest changes for this year’s draft has already taken place. For the first time, all of the non-playoff teams had a shot at getting the 1st overall pick in the Draft lottery. Despite this, however, the draft order remained almost identical to the teams’ standings at the end of the season, the only difference being that Colorado won the top pick over the Florida Panthers. Another big change for the 2013 NHL Draft is that the entire draft will take place on one day, June 30, for the first time since 2006. In previous years, the 1st round of the draft would take place on the first day of the draft, with the remaining 6 rounds taking place on the second day.

Draft Predictions

Now to the most important part of the draft, who’s going where? The common thought is that defenseman Seth Jones will be drafted first to the Colorado Avalanche. The Avalanche need a strong defenseman, and Jones has proven himself in the WHL and grew up an Avalanche fan might just be a perfect fit for the team. So who’s going to be the Lucky Devil drafted 9th by New Jersey? The first player to jump out as a potential fit for the team is Elias Lindholm. The young Swede is a versatile, agile, and skilled center/left wing that could fit in very well with the Devils offense. Here’s a look at some highlights:

The 18-year-old is an even 6-feet tall, and weighs in at 183 pounds. Last season he scored 11 goals in 48 games in the Swedish Elite League (SEL) and tallied 30 total points, but did not register any points during the playoffs where his team got swept in the first round. He’s also won a silver medal twice with the Swedish Junior team, once on the U-18 team, and once in the World Junior Championship. He’s been described as a fast-skating and very versatile forward, one that many experts think would mesh very well with Ilya Kovalchuk at his wing.

A player like Lindholm will be a highly sought-after player in the Draft, and could be picked before the 9th pick. So who else could the Devils pick if that’s the case? There’s a chance that Sean Monahan could fall to the ninth pick for New Jersey. Monahan is an 18-year-old center from Ontario, Canada and has put up some staggering numbers in the OHL. Last season, while playing for the Ottawa 67′s, Monahan put up 31 goals and 47 assists for 78 points in 58 games. This was his second consecutive season tallying 78 points with the 67′s, averaging over a point per game. Experts have been applauding Monahan for his lethal scoring capabilities, as well as his extraordinary hockey sense in all zones of play. Here’s a look at a pair of goals scored by Monahan in 2011:

There are countless ways that the draft will work out, and we won’t know for sure who the Devils will draft until the late afternoon of June 30.

What To Expect From The Generals

The Devils Army Generals will be looking to have a Tweet-Up and/or Meet-Up for the NHL Draft, where we can meet up with fellow Devils fans along with out-of-town fans and enjoy the NHL Draft from a bar or restaurant. While nothing is set in stone yet, we do plan on holding this event, so stay tuned for more information here on the blog and on our Facebook and Twitter pages in the coming weeks! We hope to see you there!

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About Rudy Adametz

Currently blogging for the Devils Army Generals, doing things like Game Previews & Recaps, as well as miscellaneous New Jersey Devils news. I've been a Devils fan my whole life and being able to contribute to the team like this is something I take a lot of pride in.

Posted on June 17, 2013, in Devils Army, Devils Army Generals, New Jersey Devils, New Jersey Devils Fans, NHL, NHL Draft, NHL Draft Prospects, NHL Playoffs, Prudential Center, The Rock, TweetUp and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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