Young Ty Smith isn’t the only name to know, he simply leads a crop of young New Jersey Devils new prospects via the 2018 NHL Entry Draft.
The NHL Entry Draft has come to a conclusion with the New Jersey Devils making six draft selections. The Devils used all of their picks and didn’t make any trades, drafting two defensemen, a goalie, two centers and a left-winger.
Due to previous trades, they did not have picks in the second or third rounds.
Here’s the entire 2018 draft class:
First Round: Defenseman, Ty Smith
With the 17th overall pick in the first-round, the Devils selected defenseman Ty Smith from the Spokane Chiefs of the WHL. You can check out Kyle McKenna‘s post about the first round draft pick.
Ty Smith, 18, from Lloydminster, Alberta, is an undersized (5-foot-11, 175-pound) puck-moving defenseman who could potentially be the best defenseman in this year’s draft.
ISS #10 Ty Smith
Elite skating defender whose upside is not far off from the top defenders in the 2018 class
— ISS Hockey (@ISShockey) October 14, 2017
In 69 games this past season in Spokane, Smith scored 14 Goals and had 59 assists. That number is a significant jump from the five goals and 27 assists he had in the 2016-17 season.
Smith should absolutely not be on the 2018-19 New Jersey Devils roster, but given the time and correct development, he can turn into a top pairing defenseman.
Below is a video of his highlights from this season:
Fourth Round: Defenseman, Xavier Bernard
With the 110th overall pick in the draft, the Devils selected Xavier Bernard, a left-handed defenseman who stands at 6-foot-3 and weighs 203 pounds. A major theme in this draft for the Devils is that they took highly-skilled players. The Drummondville Voltigeurs Defenseman made the jump from one goal and five assists in 2016-17 to 11 goals and 24 assists in the 17-18 campaign.
Bernard is a player who moves the puck well and has the potential to become a solid two-way defenseman, which is exactly what the Devils need.
Obviously, as a fourth-round pick, we probably won’t see him for at least two seasons, but by the time he is ready to make the jump to the NHL, the Devils will likely need d-men.
Fifth Round: Goaltender, Akira Schmid
With the 136th selection in the draft, the Devils selected Akira Schmid, 18, from Nesslau, Switzerland.
Schmid currently plays for the EHC Thun of the SRL. He stands at 6-foot-4 165 pounds, so there is room for him to grow. It is rare for any player that gets drafted this late to crack an NHL roster and it’s even rarer for goaltenders. It is more likely than not that Schmid never starts a game for New Jersey.
According to Elite Prospects, Schmid started four games for the Thun, who he was on loan with, posting a 2.21 goals against average (his save percentage was not listed). He spent most of his season playing with Langnau in the u20 Elite Jr. A league. For Langnau, he started 32 games while sporting a 2.60 goals against.
Fifth Round: Center Yegor Sharangovich
With their second pick of the fifth round, the Devils finally selected their first forward of the draft.
Sharangovich, 20, is a left-handed Center from Belarus. Sharangovich plays for Dynamo Minsk of the KHL (Russia’s top league). In 47 games this past season in the KHL, Sharangovich netted four goals and eight assists. He was also on the Belarus World Junior Championship team in which he tallied three goals and two assists in six games.
Sixth Round: Center, Mitchell Hoelscher
With pick 172 in the draft, the Devils selected Mitchell Hoelscher of the Ottawa 67’s.
Hoelscher, 18, stands at 5-foot-11, 165 pounds and had 10 goals and 18 assists for 28 points in the OHL this season. According to Ryan Kennedy of The Hockey News, the Devils could have a “sleeper” pick on their hands.
Second is Mitchell Hoelscher. Tremendous character forward who brings energy in all three zones. Excelled in the second half with more offensive responsibility. Think there is a lot of untapped potential as he matures with a strong young Ottawa 67's team.
— OHL Prospects (@BrockOtten) June 23, 2018
The Devils hit on a sixth-round pick last season in forward Jesper Bratt, and it looks like Hoelscher also has the potential to eventually crack the NHL roster. This is another addition to the Devils already deep forward group.
Seventh Round: Left Winger, Eetu Pakkila
With the 203rd pick in the draft, the Devils selected Eetu Pakkila, Karpat U20 team of the Jr A. Sm Liga.
Pakkila, 18, spent most of his season playing junior in Finland and spent one game in the professional league. In the junior league, Pakkila had 23 goals and 17 assists. There is still a lot of development for Pakkila to do before he ever even reaches the AHL, but given his age, there is still a lot of untapped potential in the Finnish left winger.
That concludes the 2018 NHL Entry Draft. The offseason is just beginning to heat up and the Devils have a lot of work to do if they want to return to the playoffs in 2018-19.