CHICAGO -- As excited as Devils management is about choosing Nico Hischier first overall in the 2017 NHL Draft, they're also excited about the other nine selections they will make today at United Center as they look for some diamonds in the rough in the final six rounds.
As Devils director of amateur scouting Paul Castron explained, if two or three of your seven picks make it to the NHL, it's considered a winning draft. With10 picks in this year's draft, the Devils are hoping four or five of them will make it to the NHL.
Looking at the Devils' current roster, there are a lot of first-round selections, but there are also quite a few selected in later rounds like Adam Henrique (third round), Damon Severson (second round), Steven Santini (second round) and Miles Wood (fourth round).
As we learned from Castron, the team's scouts work all year long to find the best players in every round of the draft - not just the top-end guys - and they will fight just as hard for guys in the seventh round as they do in the first, second or third.
But as the saying goes, the draft simply gets a player's foot in the door with an organization; it doesn't earn him a spot on the roster. It's up to each individual player to put forth the effort and the work to make that happen and prove the scouts that fought for them right.
It's also important to remember that the Devils' scouts put together a top 100 list and base their selections in the draft off this list. Not every player selected in the draft will be on their final list for one reason or another, which means pick No. 67 might actually be 46th on their list and they're getting who they believe to be a second-round pick in the third round, or maybe it's a fourth rounder in the sixth round.
There are gems to be found in every round of the draft, and general manager Ray Shero has challenged his scouting department to go out and find them.
As Shero likes to remind everyone, there's an average of at least two Hall of Fame players in every draft and they've come from every round. He wants his scouts to do everything they can to make sure every future Hall of Fame player from the 2017 NHL Draft ends up in a Devils jersey by the end of the day.
You can watch the final six rounds of the Draft starting at 10 a.m. on NHL Network.