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2009 Draft Watch: Devils' first-rounders

by Staff Writer / New Jersey Devils

The Devils traded down from the 11th pick in 1990 to draft Brodeur at No. 20. Last season he became the NHL's all-time wins leader.

email – The Devils enter this year's draft with eight picks at their disposal, including the 23rd overall selection. New Jersey also holds picks in the second (54th overall), third (73 from MIN, 84), fourth (114), fifth (144), sixth (174), and seventh (204) rounds.

The 2009 Entry Draft will be held at Montreal's Bell Centre on Friday, June 26 (7 p.m. ET, VERSUS).

First-round selections have paid major dividends for the Devils over the years, despite the fact that the club's successes have often kept them in the bottom third of the draft order.

Shanahan was drafted second overall by the Devils in 1987 and became one of the top scorers in NHL history.
Martin Brodeur, taken 20th overall by the Devils in 1990, stands among the best first-round finds in NHL history. The Devils came into the draft with the 11th pick, but traded down to allow Calgary to draft Trevor Kidd.

The winningest goaltender in NHL history with 557 victories, Brodeur helped lead the Devils to their first Stanley Cup title in 1995. He has captured the Vezina Trophy four times as the NHL's top netminder, and needs three shutouts to move past Terry Sawchuk (103) for the most in League history.

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

Brendan Shanahan (RW) - Drafted second overall by New Jersey in 1987, Shanahan represented the Devils' sixth straight top-10 pick. He spent the first four years of his career with New Jersey and went on to become one of most dangerous goal scorers in NHL history.

Shanahan ranks 11th all-time in games played (1,524), 11th in goals (656), 23rd in points (1,354), fifth in power play goals (237), fourth in game-winning goals (109) and sixth in shots on goal (5,086).

The career of the Mimico, Ontario, native included stops in St. Louis, Hartford and Detroit, where he won three Stanley Cup titles with the Red Wings. He signed with the Devils as a free agent last January after spending two seasons with the New York Rangers.

Brian Rolston (C) - Rolston, the 11th overall pick in 1991, was New Jersey's second first-rounder that year. The Devils had used the third overall pick to select defenseman Scott Niedermayer.

Rolston debuted with New Jersey during the 1994-95 campaign, and was a member of the club's first Stanley Cup victory that season. He was dealt to Colorado in 1999, and skated for Boston and Minnesota before signing with the Devils as a free agent last summer.

Rolston posted three straight campaigns of 30-or-more goals with the Wild from 2005-2008, but was hampered last season by an ankle injury that kept him out of the lineup for 18 games. He finished with 15 goals and 17 assists in 64 contests.

The native of Flint, Mich., appeared in his 1,000th game last January and reached the 300-goal plateau in March. Through 14 NHL seasons, he has recorded a devilish 666 points.

Zach Parise (LW) - Taken 17th overall by the Devils in 2003, Parise is entering his fifth season in New Jersey, where he has developed into one of the NHL's elite talents. 

Following back-to-back 30-goal seasons, Parise had a breakout year in 2008-09 with 45 goals, 49 assists and 94 points, narrowly missing a pair of franchise records: Brian Gionta's 48 goals in 2005-06, and Patrik Elias' 96 points in 2000-01.

Parise notched a team-high eight game-winners last year to move into seventh on the team's all-time list, two behind Stephane Richer for fourth place. In four seasons, he has already surpassed 100 goals (122), 100 assists (131) and 200 points (253). 

The Minneapolis native had a goal in his NHL All-Star Game debut this season, and was a finalist for the 2009 Lady Byng Memorial Trophy.

Travis Zajac (C) - New Jersey's first choice, 20th overall, in 2004, Zajac has appeared in a career-high 237 straight games and has missed only two of 246 contests in his three-year career.

The native of Winnipeg, Manitoba, had a career year in 2008-09, reaching 20 goals for the first time, and posting new highs in assists (42) and points (62). He led all Devils with a plus-33 rating that tied him for fourth overall in the League, and reached the 100-point plateau.

Nicklas Bergfors (RW) - A native of Sodertalje, Sweden, Bergfors was taken with New Jersey's first-round pick, 23rd overall, in 2005. He has spent the last four seasons developing in the American Hockey League.

Bergfors set new career highs across the board with New Jersey's Lowell affiliate in 2008-09. The 22-year-old registered 22 goals and 29 assists for 51 points in 66 games, marking a 24-point improvement from the previous year.

Bergfors made eight appearances with New Jersey last season and picked up his first NHL goal. He made his NHL debut at Tampa Bay on Oct. 4, 2007.

Matt Corrente (D) - Corrente was selected 30th overall in 2006 and made his AHL debut last season in Lowell. The Mississauga, Ontario, native scored six goals and 12 assists in 67 games with New Jersey's affiliate following a four-year stint in the Ontario Hockey League.

Mattias Tedenby (LW) - The Devils traded down twice to pick up Tedenby with the 24th overall pick in 2008. A skilled offensive player, he was ranked third among European skaters by Central Scouting at last year's draft.

The native of Vetlanda, Sweden, posted three goals and an assist in 32 games with HV71 of the Swedish Elite League before adding six goals and three assists in 18 postseason appearances. He averaged nearly a point per game for Team Sweden at the 2009 World Junior Championship, where he had a goal and four assists in six contests.

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