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New Jersey Devils Chronicles: Forward Thinking

New Jersey Devils general manager Ray Shero selected seven forwards at the 2016 NHL Draft.

The New Jersey Devils entered the weekend craving forward depth.

Following the NHL Draft, the consensus is clear: they got their forward depth.

The Devs made nine selections, with seven being slotted at the forward position. Additionally, they flipped their eleventh pick with the Ottawa Senators, acquiring the twelfth selection and a third rounder.

Here’s how it all went down:

On Friday, New Jersey shocked many pundits by picking Michael McLeod with the pick they got from the Ottawa Senators.

Although McLeod is a major talent, many fans were underwhelmed, hoping that the organization would’ve selected a “second tier” (per All About the Jersey) prospect rather than McLeod.

Still, the pick has grown on many people, especially since his speed will help in transition and he already has chemistry with ex-teammate Nathan Bastian.

RELATED: Devils Snag Center Michael McLeod In The First Round Of Draft

Speaking of which, the Devs chose the talented Bastian with the 41st overall pick. A prototypical power forward, he supposedly does everything well.

New Jersey owned a trio of third-round picks entering the night, but shipped one to Pittsburgh in exchange for the rights of Beau Bennett, an underwhelming, injury-prone winger with a high ceiling.

They utilized the other two picks — 73 and 80 — on Joey Anderson and Brandon Gignac, respectively. Anderson, a winger with the USNTDP, has a howitzer for a shot, but could work on his skating. Gignac, a center in the QMJHL, has been whispered to be one of the steals of the draft.

Only time will tell.

Mikhail Maltsev was picked in the fourth round. He’s a strong forechecker who intends to finish out his current KHL contract, per Russian Prospects.

With the exception of Jesper Bratt, who was picked in the sixth round, the team didn’t take any other forwards. Their other two picks — Evan Cormier and Yegor Rykov — were a goaltender and defenseman, respectively. Both came in the later rounds.

–The Devs extended qualifying offers to Reid Boucher, Jacob Josefson, Sergey Kalinin, Kyle Palmieri and Reece Scarlett, according to Alan Gross. Beau Bennett wasn’t offered one, but is expected to get inked to a deal, per Andrew Gross at Fire and Ice.

–The Devs’ schedule was released this week, and it entails eighteen back-to-backs and begins in Sunrise, Florida. The full schedule can be found here.

Justin Weiss is a staff editor at Elite Sports New York, where he covers the New York Islanders and Brooklyn Cyclones. In 2016, he received a Quill Award for Freelance Journalism. He has written for the Long Island Herald, FanSided and YardBarker.