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DRAFT: The Son Also Rises

There are several sons of former NHL players who are likely to hear their names called this weekend in Vancouver

by Peter Robinson / Special to NewJerseyDevils.com

With increasing frequency, sons of former NHLers are being selected in the NHL Draft. 

Vancouver should be no different, with a handful of sons of former big leaguers hearing their names called. The Devils selected Anthony Brodeur, with his father Marty famously calling his son's name, 208th overall in 2012. 

Last year, John Madden's son, Tyler, was taken last year by the Canucks in the third round (68th overall).

This year, the first offspring of a former player to have his name called on Friday night is very likely to be Alex Turcotte, a forward with the USNTDP U-18 squad. The Chicagoan is the son of Alfie Turcotte, who played 112 games with Montreal, Winnipeg, and Washington.

Turcotte is expected to go in the top 10; Samuel Poulin, a forward with the Sherbrooke Phoenix, is projected to be selected before first-round proceedings close on Friday night. Samuel is the son of Patrick Poulin, who had a 634-game career with four different clubs after the Hartford Whalers took him ninth overall in 1991.

The Devils will almost certainly take either American Jack Hughes or Finn Kaapo Kakko, both forwards, first overall. But the Devils could use one of their nine other picks to select one of the handful of sons that dot this year's class on Saturday afternoon. 

After Turcotte and Poulin, three NHL progeny are projected to be selected roughly in the range where the Devils have five selections in the second and third rounds. Interestingly, perhaps, they all play a different position than their fathers did in the NHL. 

They are:  

Nolan Foote, LW, Kelowna Rockets - Adam's son is a physically gifted forward who did not have a good season, his third in the WHL playing for the Rockets. He should challenge for a spot on Canada's World Junior team in his final junior campaign.

Ryan Johnson, D, University of Minnesota, - A puck-moving defenceman, whose projected selection is one of the most difficult to pin down in the entire Draft. His father Craig had a 10-year career after St. Louis picked him 33rd in 1990; it will be interesting to see if his son remains available at that slot. 

Rhett Pitlick, LW, University of Minnesota - After playing high school hockey this season in Chaska, Pitlick is set to play for the Gophers next season. He is the son of Lance Pitlick, the former Ottawa/Florida defenceman. 

Others in this year's class who could be drafted include Danil Antropov (Nik), Tag Bertuzzi (Todd), Keegan Stevenson (Jeremy), and Albert Johansson (Roger). 

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