The annual NHL Draft has come to pass, this year from Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh. Round 1 took place Friday night in primetime, and rounds 2-7 took place on Saturday. New Jersey had 7 picks total, including #29 in the first round. Time to meet the newest members of the organization:
Round 1, #29: Stefan Matteau, LW, USNTDP
Oh, the irony. The son of former Ranger Stephane (no I will not remind you what he’s most famous for), Matteau has spent the last two seasons with the US National Development Team. In 18 games played this season he scored 10 points (6 G, 4 A) and amassed 93 PIM. He will play next season for Balinville-Boisbriand of the QMJHL, where his father is an assistant coach.
Round 2, #60: Damon Severson, D, Kelowna (WHL)
The Sasketchewan native just completed his second full season with Kelowna, notching 37 points (7 G, 30 A) in 56 games, along with two goals in 4 playoff games for the Rocket.
Round 3, #90: Ben Johnson, LW, Windsor (OHL)
A Michigan native and product of the US Under 18 Development program, Johnson just completed his first season in Windsor, scoring 18 goals and handing out 20 assists in 68 games for the Spitfires, and two assists in 4 playoff games. Fun fact: his cousin, Blake Pietila, is a 2011 Devils draft pick.
Round 4, #96 (via Toronto): Ben Thomson, LW, Kitchener (OHL)
Ontario native with size (checking in at 6’4″ and 206 lbs.) who has spent the last three seasons with the Rangers. Last season he put up 41 points (11 G, 30 A) and 137 penalty minutes in 67 games, and an additional 10 points (5 G, 5 A) in 16 playoff appearances for Kitchener.
Round 5, #135 (via Calgary): Graham Black, C, Swift Current (WHL)
A native of Sasketchewan, Black just finished his first full season with the Broncos, putting up 50 points (17 G, 33 A) in 71 games. He is a teammate of 2011 Devils draft pick Reece Scarlett.
Round 5, #150: Alexander Kerfoot, C, Coquitlam (BCHL)
The native of Vancouver just finished off his second season in Coquitlam, notching 69 points (25 G, 44 A) in 51 games, and an additional 4 goals in 6 playoff appearances. Not a big guy (checks in at 5’9″ and 155 lbs.), but that doesn’t mean much (see either Gionta brother or Joe Whitney).
Round 6, #180: Artur Gavrus, C, Owen Sound (OHL)
A native of Belarus, Gavrus just finished his first season in Canada with the Attack, notching 37 points (15 G, 22 A) in 45 games. He also represented Belarus at the under-18 World Junior Championships the last 3 seasons.
(Note: Clicking on each name will take you to the In Lou We Trust scouting report.)
Earlier on Friday the NHL announced that Prudential Center will be hosting the 2013 Draft, which will be held on June 28th and 29th. Philadelphia’s Wells Fargo Center will host the draft in 2014.
Free agency begins a week from tomorrow already. I do plan on having the player tracker up as soon as I can on July 1st, just need to confirm names and their statuses.