U.S. amateur players made major gains at this year's NHL Entry Draft, and nowhere was that more evident than in the Devils' six selections made on Saturday in Columbus.
New Jersey took Mike Hoeffel with its first choice, with the 57th pick overall, and the Minnesota native was one of three American-born skaters selected by the Devils over the course of the day.
With their second pick of the day, 79th overall, the Devils selected Nick Palmieri of Utica, N.Y., then took Corbin McPherson of Folsom, Calif., with their third pick of the afternoon, 87th overall. It represented the first time in franchise history that the Devils' first three picks of an Entry Draft were American-born.
For the first time in history, two Americans were chosen with the first two picks overall, as Buffalo native Patrick Kane was taken by the Blackhawks, and Middletown, N.J. native James van Riemsdyk was taken by the Flyers.
But it was a banner day for United States natives overall, as 63 Americans were taken over the draft's seven rounds – a record 30% of all players selected.
The previous record of 28.7% was set last year.
The Devils' current roster features 11 U.S.-born players: Paul Martin (Minneapolis), Zach Parise (Minneapolis), Erik Rasmussen (Minneapolis), Jim Dowd (Brick, N.J.), Brian Gionta (Rochester, N.Y.), Jamie Langenbrunner (Cloquet, Minn.), Mike Rupp (Cleveland, Ohio), Jay Pandolfo (Winchester, Mass.), Scott Gomez (Anchorage, Alaska), Brian Rafalski (Dearborn, Mich.), and Scott Clemmensen (Des Moines, Iowa).