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2008 Draft Watch: Devils first-rounders in the organization

by Staff Writer / New Jersey Devils

Brodeur, a four-time Vezina Trophy winner, was New Jersey's first-round pick in the 1990 Entry Draft.

email – Now that the NHL has crowned its award winners, the league's attention shifts to Ottawa's Scotiabank Place for Friday's Entry Draft (7 p.m. ET, VERSUS).

The Devils are set to enter this year's draft with eight picks at their disposal, including the 21st selection in the first round. New Jersey also holds picks in the second (52nd overall), third (82), fourth (112), fifth (142), sixth (172), and seventh (202, 205) rounds.

After not having an opening-round selection last season, a first-rounder could prove invaluable for the Devils in 2008. In the past, the club has uncovered first-round gems such as Martin Brodeur, who last week won his fourth Vezina Trophy as the league's top goaltender.

The Montreal native was chosen 20th overall by New Jersey in the 1990 Entry Draft, and will enter 2008-09 needing 14 wins to eclipse Patrick Roy (551) for the all-time wins record.

Brodeur has posted an NHL-record seven seasons with at least 40-wins, and last year became just the second goaltender to reach the 500-win plateau. With 96 shutouts, Brodeur is eight shy of surpassing Terry Sawchuk for the league record (103).

Here's a look at New Jersey's other first-round picks in the organization:

Nicklas Bergfors (RW) - The native of Sodertalje, Sweden, was taken with New Jersey's first-round pick, 23rd overall, of the 2005 Entry Draft, and has spent the last three seasons in the AHL.

He collected 12 goals and 15 assists in 66 games with Lowell last season, following a campaign of 13 goals and 19 assists in 60 games during 2006-07. He had his most productive AHL season to date in 2005-06, posting 17 goals and 23 helpers in 65 games with Albany, and has averaged 14g-19a-33pts over his AHL career.

Bergfors made his NHL debut in New Jersey's regular-season opener at Tampa Bay on Oct. 4, 2007.

Matt Corrente (D) - Born in Mississauga, Ontario, Corrente was selected 30th overall in the 2006 Entry Draft. The 6-0, 195-lb., blueliner appeared in 21 games for Niagara (OHL) in 2007-08, potting two goals and 13 assists.

Corrente has averaged four goals and 17 assists in 47 games over a four-year OHL career that included a stop with his hometown IceDogs.

He set a career high in points (6g-24a-30pts) while skating for Saginaw (OHL) in 2005-06.

Zach Parise (LW) - Taken 17th overall by the Devils in the 2003 Entry Draft, Parise is entering his fourth season in New Jersey.

Parise finished first on the club in 2007-08 with 32 goals and 33 assists for 65 points overall, while setting new career highs in each category. The Minneapolis native has recorded back-to-back seasons with at least 30 goals, 30 assists and 60 points.

Parise spent two seasons at North Dakota (WCHA) before joining Albany (AHL), where he netted 18 goals and 40 assists for 58 points in 73 games during 2004-05.

His amateur résumé includes WCHA All-Rookie Team honors (2003), World Junior Championship MVP and All-Tournament Team (2004).

Parise appeared in the 2005 AHL All-Star Game, and was named MVP of the 2007 NHL YoungStars Game in Dallas.

Travis Zajac (C) - New Jersey's first choice, 20th overall, in the 2004 Entry Draft, Zajac was one of four Devils to appear in all 82 games last season.

The native of Winnipeg, Manitoba, produced 14 goals and 20 assists for 34 points in 2007-08, his second season in New Jersey. 

Zajac played two games with Albany (AHL) after two seasons at North Dakota (WCHA), where he collected 38 goals and 48 assists in 91 games. In 2005, he was named to the NCAA Championship All-Tournament Team and the WCHA All-Rookie Team.

The 6-2, 200-lb., center produced 17 goals and 25 assists as a Devils rookie in 2006-07.

View New Jersey's first-round picks through the years

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