John MacLean was drafted sixth overall in the 1983 NHL Entry Draft by the New Jersey Devils.
MacLean’s claim to fame for the New Jersey Devils, isn’t so much all the offensive records he set. No. MacLean is remembered for scoring an overtime goal against the Chicago Blackhawks on April 3, 1988. This goal would send the Devils into the playoffs for the first time.
MacLean was one of the Devils’ alternate captains when the team won the Stanley Cup in 1995.
He remained with the team until he was traded in 1997 so the San Jose Sharks.
He would go on to play with the New York Rangers and the Dallas Stars before retiring during the 2002 offseason.
MacLean would join the Devils coaching staff in September 2002 as an assistant coach, and was part of the coaching staff of the Stanley Cup winning team that year.
After being named head coach for the Lowell Devils of the AHL in 2009, MacLean was finally named head coach of the New Jersey Devils in 2010, but that didn’t go very well. MacLean was fired on December 23, 2010 while the Devils sat last in the Eastern Conference with a 9-22-2 record.
|Career Stats with the New Jersey Devils|
In one of the more exciting Best to Wear, the Devils Army voted Bill Guerin as the Best to Wear #12 in Devils history.
While I was growing up, Guerin, who was drafted fifth overall in the 1989 NHL Entry Draft, was one of my favorite players. Guerin offered speed, size, offense and defense; he was an all-around player. He played with the Devils from the 91-92 season until the 97-98 season. He was traded, along with Valeri Zelepukin, to Edmonton. Who did the Devils get in return? Jason Arnott.
Guerin, a two time Stanley Cup champion, was always called a leader on every team that he played for in his storied career. He was only captain of one team, the New York Islanders.
Guerin announced his retirement on December 6, 2010 after 17 seasons in the NHL. When he retired, Guerin ranked seventh all-time in goals scored by an American with 429 goals.
|Career Stats with the New Jersey Devils|
Here is one of my favorite Bill Guerin moments:
I apologize to some of you who were upset that I did not include Nick Palmieri in Best to Wear #12. Since I started the polls before the season started, I missed Larsson at #5, so I figured I wouldn’t include players if it’s their first year wearing the number. Palmieri will be listed for #32.
With over 50 percent of the vote, the Devils Army voted for Tommy Albelin to be the best player to ever wear the number six for the New Jersey Devils.
Albelin was originally drafted by the Quebec Nordiques, 152nd overall, in the 1983 NHL Entry Draft. He played for the Nordiques for a year and a half before he was traded to the New Jersey Devils during the 1988-89 season.
Albelin proved to be a key part of the 1995 Stanley Cup winning team with the Devils, but he was traded to Calgary during the 1996 season.
After spending five and a half seasons with the Flames organization, Albelin re-joined the Devils and led them to another Stanley Cup win in 2003.
Albelin officially retired in 2007.
Besides his two Stanley Cup rings, Albelin has also served his home country proud playing in several tournaments: 1998 Olympic Winter Games, 1996 World Cup, five World championships, two World Junior championships and two Canada Cup tournaments. Albelin was also selected to serve as an Assistant Coach for Sweden at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games.
Currently, Albelin can be found as an Assistant Coach for the Albany Devils of the AHL.
|Career Stats with the New Jersey Devils|
Eric Weinrich and the rest of the players to wear # 5 barely stood a chance, as Colin White stole the vote as the best player to wear number five for the New Jersey Devils.
The Devils drafted White 49th Overall in the 1996 NHL Entry Draft. White was called up to the Devils late in the 1999-2000 season and helped the Devils win the Stanley Cup that year. White was also a key defensive factor when the Devils won their third Stanley Cup in 2003.
Colin White was a familiar face on the Devils blue-line, until White suffered an unfortunate injury. During the 2007-2008 pre-season, White was defending two-on-one rushes during a team practice. He was up against John Madden and rookie Nicklas Bergfors. Bergfors took a shot that deflected off of White’s stick and hit him in the right eye. Devils fans say ever since this injury, White has not been the same player.
Because of the injury, White couldn’t be as physical as he once was. You no longer saw him drop the gloves, because if he got hit in the eye again, he would go blind. It’s because of this risk, that White started to wear a visor.
A semi-surprise occurred on August 1, 2011: Colin White was placed on waivers. Fans knew Colin White’s time with New Jersey was coming to an end, they just didn’t expect for it to happen so quickly. White was bought out by the Devils on August 2, and signed a new one year, $1-million contract with the San Jose Sharks.
|Career Stats with the New Jersey Devils|
Thanks to everyone who participated in this week’s poll.
“Best to Wear” # 6 will be posted on Tuesday.
The Devils Army overwhelmingly voted Viacheslav Fetisov as the best player to wear #2 for the New Jersey Devils. Fetisov recorded over half of the votes (56.6%) and the next closest, was over 240 votes behind.
Before entering the National Hockey League, Fetisov played with Russian Club, HC CSKA Moscow for 11 seasons. He had expressed his interest to play in the NHL; however, due to Soviet rules, he was not allowed to. Fetisov says the Soviet Minister of Defence at the time gave him an ultimatum to either apologize or be sent to play in the Ukraine.
Eventually, Fetisov led a group of eight Soviet hockey players into the NHL. Soviet hockey officials decided to allow Soviet players to play in the NHL, as long as they competed for the Soviet Union in International competitions.
In the 1983 NHL Entry Draft, not only did the Devils pick John MacLean at sixth overall, but they also picked Fetisov in the very same draft….. 139 picks later. Fetisov was drafted in the eighth round, at the 145th overall pick. Here’s a little piece of trivia: Fetisov was actually drafted by the Montreal Canadiens in 1978, but was not able to play in the NHL at the time.
In Fetisov’s rookie season in 1989-1990, he collected a career high eight goals, and 42 points.
Fetisov played with the Devils until the 1994-1995 season when he was traded to the Detroit Red Wings, the Devils eventual opponents in the Stanley Cup. Here’s interesting trivia, part two: While playing for Detroit, Fetisov’s defense partner was Mike Ramsey. The two played against each other in the historical Miracle on Ice game.
|Career Stats with the New Jersey Devils|
I want to thank everyone who voted in this poll, and I also want to say that there will be no Best to Wear #3 or #4. Check back on Tuesday, we’ll be voting for Best to Wear #5.
What a roller coaster year this has been for us Devils fans. First with the terrible start to the season. Then an uplifting second half with high hopes to get back in the playoff race. Finding, that despite our team never giving up, those hopes are just slightly out of reach. And finally, winning the draft pick lottery, and rising in the ranks to the number 4 spot! For the first time in what seemed like an eternity, the hockey gods blessed us against the odds.
Whatever deities we pleased, apparently were still smiling upon us on June 24th. There was no doubt that the Devils Army was hoping we would snatch up Adam Larsson. The fans packed Lafayette Street along side the Prudential Center to celebrate draft day and those fans who were working checked their phones feverishly for updates. The crowd went through a similar roller coaster of emotions when the teams finally started making their picks – moments of silence followed by cheering and sighs of relief when Adam Larsson was not selected. Our turn finally came, and lo and behold the best puck moving defenseman in the draft was still up for grabs! Everyone exploded with excitement, we got Larsson!
I couldn’t have been more excited that Adam Larsson would be joining us in New Jersey! Reported to be one of the top skaters in the European leagues, and coming in at a solid 6′ 3″ and 220 lbs, he is physically ready and able to join the pros. With his puck moving and smart decision making skills, he has the potential to fill what many feel is a much needed vacancy in our defensive line-up.
I am looking forward to this season getting underway so I can check out his playing style! If he’s anything like our other Swedish players (especially our little fire cracker, Tedenby), I have a feeling I’m going to like what I see!
What was YOUR reaction to our draft day excitement?
Three of the Devils’ last four first round picks have been forwards from Sweden. So if Director of Scouting David Conte calls Stockholm native Gabriel Landeskog to the stage on June 24, one may be tempted to expect more of the same. However, Landeskog is a much different player than his countrymen, and actually fits the profile of a typical Canadian or American player.
Landeskog began his hockey career with Djurgårdens IF, the same club where current Devils prospects Jacob Josefson and Alexander Urbom got their starts. But after just two seasons, he left Sweden for the Ontario Hockey League and has played for the Kitchener Rangers ever since. As a result, the 6’0, 201 lb right-winger will go into this year’s draft as a North American player, and is second to Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, not Adam Larsson, in Central Scouting’s final rankings.
The Devils are already very well stocked up front, but Landeskog has some unique qualities to his game that may allow him to climb up the depth chart fairly quickly. He is a skilled offensive player, but loves to play an aggressive and physical game. In 53 regular season contests with Kitchener, he scored 36 goals and 30 assists for 66 points while racking up 61 penalty minutes and three fighting majors in the process.
Landeskog had a strong showing in the playoffs as well. Although the Rangers were unable to get past the first round, he recorded six goals and four assists in a series that went to seven games. He was also selected to Sweden’s World Junior team this past winter, and was named an alternate captain, but played only one game due to a high-ankle sprain. He did, however, tally a goal and an assist in that game.
In the intangibles department, Landeskog has it all. He is a natural leader who can spark his team with his strong work ethic and intensity. He is also very well spoken, without a hint of an accent, and makes his presence known on the bench and in the locker room. Often compared to former Kitchener Ranger and current Philadelphia Flyers’ captain Mike Richards, he was handed the “C” as a 17-year-old, and could find himself wearing a letter early on in his professional career.
By all aspects, Landeskog is the most NHL-ready prospect in this year’s draft. He already possesses the build, maturity, and talent to play in the NHL. If he does land in New Jersey, it’s certainly possible that he’ll be on the Devils’ opening night roster. He may start out on the third or fourth line, but he could compliment scoring wingers such as Ilya Kovalchuk and Zach Parise on the top two lines in the future.
It’s that time of year. The 2011 NHL Entry Draft is just around the corner and with the New Jersey Devils having 4th pick, it’s going to be a pretty exciting one to watch! Every year the Prudential Center hosts an NHL Draft party for the fans to come in and watch the picks live. There are games and activities for the little kids and a chance for the big kids to get their hands on some hockey equipment. Think Fan Fest, but better! You should also keep an eye out for a few Devils Alumni.
The first round of the draft starts at 7PM at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minnesota. Our party starts at 5PM and will be held outside on Mulberry Street as well as inside the Amerihealth Pavilion at the Prudential Center on the night of the draft, Friday, June 24th. Head over to NewJerseyDevils.com to get your free tickets (check over on the right hand side).
See you on draft day!
Sean Couturier’s stock has taken a large hit over the course of the 2010-11 season. Once in the running to go first overall on draft day, he finished sixth among North American skaters in Central Scouting’s final rankings, dropping four spots from the midterm rankings in January. A fall that significant can be alarming, but Couturier is still a premier prospect and likely remains coveted by many of the teams selecting early in the first round.
What makes Couturier such an intriguing prospect from New Jersey’s perspective is that he has “prototypical Devil” written all over him. Standing at 6’4, 197 lbs, he’s an intelligent two-way center who is responsible in all three zones, possesses an excellent work ethic, and is good at the faceoff dot. His size and solid all around game have earned him comparisons to former Devil Jason Arnott and Pittsburgh Penguins center Jordan Staal.
There are at least four other centers expected to go in the top-10 this June, but Couturier is unique in that he is particularly conscientious in his own end for an 18-year-old. The Bathurst, New Brunswick native was the lone draft eligible player to suit up for the silver medal-winning Canadian team at the World Juniors this past winter. He only managed to score two goals and an assist in seven games, but was a plus-six and played fairly well in a mostly third-line checking role.
Although his sound defensive play is one of the more impressive aspects of his game, Couturier can certainly bring it in the offensive zone as well. He isn’t the best skater, but gets by with his soft hands. He’s great at distributing the puck, has a good shot, and puts himself in good positions to score goals. He also protects the puck well using his large frame, but will likely need to pack on a few more pounds to be effective in the NHL.
In 58 regular season contests with the Drummondville Voltigeurs of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League this year, Couturier posted 36 goals and 60 assists for 96 points – matching his point production from last season, albeit in 10 fewer games. He also added six goals and five assists in 10 playoff games.
The lack of a significant bump in his numbers may have played a role in Couturier’s tumble down the rankings. After an incredible 2009-10 campaign, all eyes were on the young pivot and expectations were set very high – possibly too high. However, his production this season was still impressive, especially given his lackluster supporting cast. Though he may not be ready for the pros just yet, Couturier still projects as a top-two center. If the Devils do take him at fourth overall, it could ultimately prove to be a very shrewd selection.
HEIGHT: 6′ 3″
POSITION: Right Wing
BORN: July 12, 1989
BIRTHPLACE: Utica, NY
While the 2007 NHL Entry Draft featured names such as Patrick Kane, David Perron, and James Van Riemsdyk, the New Jersey Devils kept a low-key profile without a first round pick in the draft. However, the Devils made a splash in the third round when they selected Nick Palmieri, 79th overall.
Palmieri, born in Utica, NY, was drafted out of the Ontario Hockey League where he had played for the Erie Otters and the Belleville Bulls. Palmieri found himself on the top of the scoring sheets for his teams (92 G over four seasons), and he also displayed a physical element (416 PIM over four seasons).
Palmieri played his first NHL game with the Devils on January 20, 2010, against the Florida Panthers. During the game he scored his first NHL point, an assist on a Travis Zajac goal.
Palmieri isn’t the elite prospect who you can expect 40 goals from, but he is a key ingredient in the Devils future. As seen this past season, Palmieri was placed on the top-line with Travis Zajac and Ilya Kovalchuk and he played the perfect complimentary role.
After the 2010-2011 season came to a close, Palmieri was selected to represent the United States of America in the IIHF World Championships in Slovakia. He played in six of the seven games in the tournament and had three points (two goals, one assist), including a game-winning goal.
|2010-2011 Season Stats|
Personally, I met Nick Palmieri once. He’s the kind of person you wish every athlete could be like. He was down to earth, and to be honest, acted his age. You could tell he likes to have fun on and off the ice, and appreciates the support fans give him and the team.
Have any stories or pictures with Nick, send them our way! Leave a comment and send us pictures to email@example.com.