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2009 Draft Watch: Beyond the first round

by Staff Writer / New Jersey Devils

The Devils have found diamonds in the rough like Brian Gionta in the Entry Draft's later rounds.

email – The Devils' past first-round selections have included current players such as Zach Parise, Travis Zajac and four-time Vezina Trophy winner Martin Brodeur. But a look at the 2008-09 roster shows a collection of players selected in the Draft's later rounds.

The Devils will be looking to add to that talent at the 2009 NHL Entry Draft at Montreal's Bell Centre on Friday (7 p.m. ET, VERSUS). Rounds 2-7 will be Saturday, June 27 (10 a.m. ET, NHLN, RDS).

A second-round selection, Elias became the Devils' all-time leading scorer last season.
After their first-round selection at 23rd overall, New Jersey is slated to have seven more, including picks in the second (54th overall), third (73 from MIN, 84), fourth (114), fifth (144), sixth (174), and seventh (204) rounds.

Here's a look at some of the players on the current roster who were drafted by Devils in the second round or later:

Jay Pandolfo (LW) - Taken 32nd overall, in the 1993 Entry Draft, Pandolfo is a 12-year veteran that hoisted the Cup with New Jersey in 2000 and 2003. Pandolfo's 767 career games played ranks eighth in club history, and he owns the fourth-longest consecutive games streak (307) by a Devil after Ken Daneyko (388), Sergei Brylin (328) and Kirk Muller (321).

A native of Winchester, Mass., Pandolfo was voted by his teammates as the club's Unsung Hero five times (1999, 2003, 2005-08) and was named the Players' Player in three straight seasons from 2005-08.

Patrik Elias (LW) - The Devils' second-round choice, 51st overall, in 1994, Elias is the all-time franchise leader in points (706) and assists (411). He reached the 30-goal plateau last season (31) for the fourth time in his outstanding Devils career, and has recorded 20 or more tallies in eight of his 11 seasons with New Jersey.

The native of Trebic, Czech Rep., holds the team record for game-winning goals (66), and is the Devils' all-time postseason points leader (40g-73a-113pts). He has a team-high 19 career power-play postseason goals, and is tied for first in club history with six playoff game-winners.

Elias was a key member of the Devils' championships in 2000 and 2003. He scored the game-winning goal against Philadelphia in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals, when the Devils became the first team to overcome a 3-1 series deficit to advance to the Stanley Cup Final.

Colin White (D) - Now entering his ninth season, White was selected with New Jersey's fifth choice, 49th overall, in 1996. His 593 games played are fifth all-time among Devils defensemen, while his career plus-minus rating of 73 is 10th best in franchise history.

A mainstay on the Devils blueline, White was a member of New Jersey's championship squads in 2000 and 2003.

Scott Clemmensen (G) - The Devils' seventh choice, 215th overall, in 1997, Clemmensen won a career-high 25 games in 2008-09 after returning to New Jersey as a free agent last summer. The Des Moines, Iowa native began the season in Lowell (AHL), but was recalled after Martin Brodeur suffered an elbow injury last November.

Clemmensen, who entered the season with eight career wins, earned the starting role and went on to make a career-high 40 appearances. With regular playing time, Clemmensen shattered his previous single-season best of three wins. He finished with a mark of 25-13-1, including a 2.54 goals-against average and two shutouts.

Brian Gionta (RW) - New Jersey's fourth pick, 82nd overall, in 1998, Gionta finished fifth on the Devils' scoring list in 2008-09, and collected 20 or more goals for the fifth straight campaign.

In 473 career games, Gionta has 152 goals and 160 assists for 312 points. He scored the first Devils' goal in Prudential Center history on Oct. 27, 2007, and has been one of the club's most durable players over the past two seasons, having missed just one regular season game.

The Rochester, N.Y., native was was a member of the club's 2003 championship, and scored a club-record 48 goals in 2005-06.

Mike Rupp (LW) - The 6-5, 240-lb. forward was selected ninth overall by the Islandersin 1998, but never signed with New York and opted to re-enter the Draft. The Devils took Rupp with their seventh pick, 76th overall, in 2000, and later re-acquired Rupp as a free agent in 2006.

Rupp, who has spent the last three seasons with New Jersey, scored the winning goal in Game 7 of the 2003 Stanley Cup Final, when the Devils defeated Anaheim, 3-0, to take their third title in nine years.

Paul Martin (D) - The Devils' fifth choice, 62nd overall, in 2000, Martin finished first in scoring among Devils' defensemen for a second straight season in 2008-09. His five goals and 28 assists gave him 33 points, improving his total from a year ago (32). He also tied Johnny Oduya for second on the club with a plus-21.

The Minneapolis native has collected 152 points and a plus-45 rating in 378 career games.

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