newjerseydevils.com – Take a look at the selection order for this year's NHL Entry Draft, and it'll be hard not to notice that something's missing.
What you won't find anywhere is a first-round draft position for the Devils, who are currently slated to make their first choice of the draft with the 57th pick in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft
, which gets underway this Friday at 7 p.m. ET on Versus
, and will be streamed live on NHL.com
Now take a closer look at the Devils roster, and it'll be hard not to notice something else: that eight of the current Devils have been plucked from the second round of past drafts, including Patrik Elias
, who became a Devil with New Jersey's second pick, 51st overall, in the 1994 Draft.
With 671 games now under his belt with the Devils, Elias has scored 35 goals or more three times, including 2000-01 when he hit the 40 goal mark. He has also led the team in scoring in six of the last seven seasons, and in 2006-07 Elias became the first Devil to reach the 100-point plateau in the postseason.
The left winger's career in New Jersey got off to a quick start with a nomination as a finalist for the Calder Trophy in 1998 and a selection to the NHL All-Rookie Team, and has gone on to include two Stanley Cup Championships and the captain's "C."
Elias' career goes to show that even without a first rounder this year, Devils fans always have plenty of reason to pay close attention come draft time.
Here's a glimpse at the seven other current Devils to have been selected by the team in the second round:
Sergei Brylin, LW: Known as "Sarge" after three seasons spent with the Central Red Army team, Brylin was selected 42nd overall with the Devils' second choice in the 1992 Entry Draft. He began his career with the organization during the 1994-95 season, recording 15 goals and 29 assists in 53 games with Albany before a February recall gave him his first taste of the NHL.
Since then, Brylin's NHL career has spanned 12 seasons and 683 games, all with New Jersey, and alongside teammate Martin Brodeur, he has been a Devil for all three of the franchise's Stanley Cup Championships. The Moscow native posted career-highs of 23 goals and 52 points in 2000-01, and is currently on a streak of consecutive games played that spans a career-high 246 games.
Brylin is a two-time winner of the Hugh Delano Unsung Hero award ('00-01, '01-02) as voted on by his teammates, and earned the Devils' Players' Player honor in 1998-99.
Paul Martin, D: Drafted 62nd overall with the Devils' fifth pick in the 2000 Entry Draft, Martin was one of six Devils to have appeared in all 82 games of the 2006-07 campaign, extending his consecutive games played streak to a career-high 159.
The Minneapolis native joined the Devils after three seasons as a University of Minnesota Golden Gopher, winning back-to-back NCAA titles in 2002 and 2003. In 2003-04 – his first season with New Jersey – Martin registered six goals and 18 assists for 24 points to finish third in scoring among Devils' defensemen. He improved to 37 points (5g-32a) in his second season, and was second only to fellow blueliner Brian Rafalski in '06-07 with 26 points.
Jay Pandolfo, LW: A finalist for the 2007 Frank J. Selke Trophy awarded annually to the league's top defensive forward, Pandolfo was chosen 32nd overall with New Jersey's second choice in the 1993 Entry Draft, and is one of four Devils' draftees ever selected directly from Hockey East.
After a senior season at Boston University in which he scored a league-leading 38 goals, Pandolfo was a finalist in 1995-96 for the Hobey Baker Memorial Award given out annually to the top collegiate hockey player in the United States. By December of 1996, Pandolfo had signed with the Devils, and was assigned to Albany of the AHL, where he began his professional career.
From that first stop in Albany to the bright lights of the NHL, the left wing has carved out the fourth longest consecutive games streak in Devils' history with 283, and has averaged nearly 73 games in each of his eight full NHL campaigns. His contributions haven't gone unnoticed by his teammates, who have voted the Winchester, Mass. native as the winner of four Hugh Delano Unsung Hero awards ('98-99, '02-03, '05-06, '06-07) and two Devils' Players' Player honors ('05-06, '06-07).
Tuomas Pihlman, LW: The third choice for New Jersey, and 48th overall in the 2001 Entry Draft, the 6-2, 215-lb. Finn appeared in 67 games for the Lowell Devils last season, scoring eight goals and 18 assists for 26 points.
Pihlman made his North American pro debut with Albany in 2003-04, and has posted 39 goals and 65 assists in 271 career AHL games. The winger has appeared in 15 games as a Devil since 2003-04, including two during the '06-07 season, and has recorded a goal and an assist at the NHL level.
Barry Tallackson, RW: A teammate of Paul Martin for two seasons at Minnesota, Tallackson won back-to-back NCAA Div. I titles in his first two campaigns with the Gophers. Taken 53rd overall with New Jersey's second choice in the 2002 Entry Draft, the native of Grafton, N.D., finished fifth in scoring with Lowell last season, recording 10 goals and 24 assists in 58 games.
The 6-5, 210-lb. winger has scored a goal and an assist in 13 career appearances in New Jersey.
Colin White, D: A member of the Devils' Stanley Cup Championship squads of 2000 and 2003, White was drafted 49th overall with the Devils' fifth choice in the 1996 Entry Draft. After playing the majority of his junior hockey career with the Hull Olympiques of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL), the native of Nova Scotia joined the Devils' Albany affiliate for the 1997-98 season. He would spend most of 1999-00 with the River Rats, until the trade of Lyle Odelein opened up a spot for the 6-4, 215-lb. defenseman, and White then made the transition from the AHL to an NHL regular in just one year.
By 2000-01, White had capped off his first full NHL season with a selection to the NHL's All-Rookie Team, and had led all NHL rookies with a plus-32 rating. With seven games played in this year's playoffs, White has seen action in 12 straight postseasons, dating back to 1995 with Hull.
Petr Vrana, C: The 22-year-old Czech Republic native was selected 42nd overall with the Devils' second choice in the 2003 Entry Draft, and played in 61 games with Lowell last season, scoring 13 goals to go along with 19 assists.
Before joining Albany in 2005-06, Vrana spent three seasons with the Halifax Mooseheads of the QMJHL, scoring 37 goals and 46 assists in his first junior season to earn Rookie of the Year honors and a spot on the QMJHL All-Rookie Team.