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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?

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Best to Wear # 15 – John MacLean

John MacLean, Best To Wear #15NUMBER
HEIGHT: 6′ 0″
POSITION: Right Wing
BORN: November 20, 1964
BIRTHPLACE: Oshawa, Ontario, Canada

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
934 347 354 791 42 1168 92 10 55 2715 12.8%

Best to Wear #12 – Bill Guerin

Bill GuerinNUMBER: 12
HEIGHT: 6′ 2″
POSITION: Right wing
BORN: November 9, 1970

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
380 108 106 214 40 469 22 0 25 863 12.5%

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.

Best to Wear # 6 – Tommy Albelin

Tommy AlbelinNUMBER: 6
HEIGHT: 6′ 2″
POSITION: Defenseman
BORN: May 21, 1964
BIRTHPLACE: Stockholm, Sweden

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
952 44 211 255 52 417 16 3 8 1,137 3.9%

Best to Wear # 5 – Colin White

Colin WhiteNUMBER: 5
HEIGHT: 6′ 4
POSITION: Defenseman
BORN: December 12, 1977

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
743 20 105 125 79 848 1 0 5 665 3.0%

Thanks to everyone who participated in this week’s poll.

“Best to Wear” # 6 will be posted on Tuesday.

Best to Wear # 2 – Viacheslav Fetisov

Viacheslav FetisovNUMBER: 2
HEIGHT: 6′ 1″
POSITION: Defenseman
BORN: April 20, 1958
BIRTHPLACE: Moscow, Russia

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
546 36 192 228 -6 656 8 2 4 662 5.4%

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.


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