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An Educated Guess at Every Devils' 2021 Pick I DRAFT

Peter Robinson looks at some possible Devils' draft selection for all seven rounds of the 2021 NHL Draft

by Peter Robinson / Special to NewJerseyDevils.com

The Devils are slated to have eight picks between No. 4 and No. 203 when the 2021 NHL Draft takes place on July 23 and 24.

The process will be done virtually for the second consecutive year owing to pandemic restrictions.

Who will the Devils get next weekend? That remains to be seen. But you can look to the past to get a sense at who the Devils have had the most success with at the various slots on the Draft board over the years.

What follows is a list of the Devils selections, each with a couple of suggested candidates who fit into that area. With each pick, there are a handful (at least) of prospects seriously considered but the players highlighted tend to speak to wider themes of this year's Draft class. With each scheduled pick, we've cited the top pick the Devils have had previously from that approximate area of the Draft.

1st Round, No. 4

Luke Hughes, D, USNDT

Jack's brother has been widely discussed. Less talked about is that he is one of the younger players in this year's crop: had he been born a week later, he would have been in next year's Draft. Headed to Michigan, he is expected to play with the Wolverines "Big Three" from this year's crop and Devils prospect Ethan Edwards, a fellow defenseman.

Dylan Guenther, F, Edmonton Oil Kings

A prototypical power forward, he was once a candidate to go No. 1 overall but has slipped from that discussion. He can score from all areas of the ice and potted highlight reel markers with the Oil Kings. But he was less effective with Team Canada at the U18s. He could be off the board at No. 4.

Best pick: Scott Niedermayer (No. 3, 1991); Honorable mention: Bill Guerin (No. 5, 1989)

1st Round, No. 28 

Daniil Chayka, D, CSKA Moscow (Russia)

Had the pandemic not squelched the OHL season, Chayka would have been one of that league's best defensemen. He struggled at times in returning to his native Russia (for the first time since youth hockey) but there is little to suggest he'll be anything but a solid NHL blueliner.

Dmitri Kuzmin, D, Dynamo Molodechno (Belarus)

The pandemic has given rise to the thinking that some teams with late first-rounders may "swing for the fences" by taking a player with risk, or who has a significant unknown quality about him. Meet Kuzmin, a slick offensive defenseman who impressed at the IIHF World Under-18 Championship. Besides, there's nothing wrong with a previously little-known Belarussian (see Sharangovich, Yegor).

Best pick: Scott Gomez (No. 27, 1998); Honorable mention: Jay Pandolfo (No. 32, 1993)

2nd Round, No. 61

Riley Kidney, C, Bathurst

Found a new gear during the QMJHL's second half. Versatile, Kidney plays a cerebral game that could fill a middle six role some day if he continues to develop.

Dylan Duke, LW, USNDTP

A feisty, two-way player who can score but also set-up his teammates. Duke has an edgy quality that scouts love. Combined with his catchy name, Duke could evolve into a fan favorite in pro hockey.

Best pick: Damon Severson (No. 60, 2012); Honorable mention: Paul Martin (No. 62, 2000)

3rd Round, No. 75

Benjamin Gaudreau, G, Sarnia Sting

Didn't play all season and then was solid between the pipes for Canada in winning gold at the U18s. He has all the tools of a future NHL goaltender but lacks the height (6-foot-2) now preferred for pro puck-stoppers.

Justin Robidas, C, Val-d'Or Foreurs

Speaking of lack of height, Robidas would be taken a round or two higher if he even had the height of his dad, the longtime NHLer, Stephane (5-11 vs 5-8). But the younger Robidas will find a way to play, just like his father did.

Best pick: Mike Rupp (No. 76, 2000); Honorable mention: Blake Coleman (No. 75, 2011)

4th Round, No. 100

Bobby Orr, C, Halifax Mooseheads

Wouldn't it make sense to take this smooth center at No. 4 but…we'll stop now. Sadly, Orr is not from Parry Sound but the Montreal area. Wait until next year when (another) Jack Hughes, seriously, is available.

Red Savage, C, USNDTP

He's the son of Brian, the former NHLer and plays like the old man, but he's three inches shorter. The U.S. program always has its stars but lesser celebrated players, like Savage, have also made their mark in the pros.

Best pick: Miles Wood (No. 100, 2013); Honorable mention: Reid Boucher (No. 99, 2011)

5th Round, No. 129

Ben Roger, D, London Knights

One of three draft-eligible Knights defensemen who didn't play this season. The Hunter brothers have the most NHL graduates of any amateur club and Roger (or Logan Mallioux/Bryce Montgomery) have two more years under Mark/Dale's watch.

Evgeni Kashnikov, D, Gatineau Olympiques

One scout consulted loved this big Russian (6-4, 200), others seemed barely aware of him. There are more than a few examples like Kashnikov this year. The game has changed but size still matters and Kashnikov uses his well.

Best pick: Kevin Todd (No. 129, 1986); Jiri Bicek (No. 131, 1997)

6th Round, No. 164

Jacob Napier, D, Northstar Academy

Like an arthouse film actor, or independent musician, you hear wonderful things but wouldn't know him if he sat down beside you. One day looking back at this Draft, stories like Napier will be a common refrain.

Francesco Arcuri, C, Kingston Fontenacs

He led his Austrian (Linz) team in scoring playing a truncated schedule and then played well at the Erie Showcase. He has good size (6-2, 195) but will be hurt by the cancelled OHL season.

Best pick: Jesper Bratt (No. 162, 2016); Mark Fayne (No. 155, 2005)

7th Round, No. 203

Janis Moser, D, Biel (Switzerland)

Moser showed well for Switzerland at the most recent Worlds. Like Ben Baumgartner, a late Devils pick last season, he can be parked in Europe and then bear AHL/NHL fruit down the road.

Quinn Schmiemann, D, Kamloops Blazers

An underrated WHL D-man. Schmiemann was picked already by Tampa but left unsigned. He can provide organizational depth in the AHL right now with NHL potential.

Best Pick: Willie Mitchell (No. 199, 1996); Corey Schwab (No. 2000, 1990)

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