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FEATURE: A Look Back at the 2017 NHL Draft

Take a look back at the Devils 2017 NHL Draft, in which they selected 11 players including Nico Hischier first overall

by Chris Wescott / newjerseydevils.com

As we approach the 2019 NHL Draft, let's take a look back a couple of years to the last time the New Jersey Devils selected first overall. In 2017, New Jersey selected 11 players, including four in the first three rounds.

ROUND 1, PICK 1 - NICO HISCHIER

While 2019 is hyped up to be a choice between the American Jack Hughes and the Finland native Kaapo Kakko, 2017 was all about Hischier versus Nolan Patrick.

New Jersey went with the Swiss-born center, who is developing into a very nice two-way player for the Devils. He jumped into the league from day one, playing 82 games as a rookie. He scored 20 goals and added 32 assists for 52 points in 82 games.

He helped the Devils get into the playoffs, where he scored one goal in five games.

His year two was shortened by injury. However, Hischier still managed to score 17 goals and add 30 assists in 69 appearances.

Hischier showed extremely well at the 2019 IIHF World Championships a couple of weeks ago, recording nine points (4-5-9) in eight games for the Swiss.

ROUND 2, PICK 36 - JESPER BOQVIST 

The Devils used the 36th overall pick to select a shifty, skilled winger from Brynäs IF program in Sweden.

In his first season since being drafted, Boqvist played 23 games in the top Swedish league, scoring three goals and adding 10 assists.

He made a big leap in 2018-19, playing 51 games for Brynäs and scoring 13 goals and adding 22 assists for 35 points. That 35 points was tied for 14th in SHL scoring.

Jesper watched his younger brother Adam, a defenseman, go through the draft process last year as he was selected eighth overall by Chicago.

ROUND 3, PICK 63 - FABIAN ZETTERLUND

 With their first of two third-round picks, New Jersey selected this speedy Swedish winger

After spending 2017-18 splitting time between leaves, Zetterlund settled into the SHL in 2018-19. He scored two goals and added to assists in 16 appearances for Färjestad BK.

 He also skated in five games for the Swedes at World Juniors, wearing the "A" for his squad.

ROUND 3, PICK 81 - REILLY WALSH

After spending their first three picks on forwards, New Jersey went defenseman with their fourth selection. Walsh, an American blueliner, was committed to Harvard at the time.

Since being drafted, Walsh has shown steady improvement. He scored seven goals and added 13 assists in 33 games as a freshman.

In 2018-19, the sophomore defender scored 12 goals and recorded 19 assists in the same number of games. Those 31 points were good for second on his team, behind only Adam Fox - who signed with the New York Rangers this offseason.

ROUND 4, PICK 98 - NIKITA POPUGAEV

In the fourth round, the Devils went with a 6-foot-6 Russian winger. 

Popugaev made his transition to North American pro hockey last season, playing 17 games for the Binghamton Devils of the American Hockey League. He scored three goals and had two assists.

ROUND 5, PICK 129 - GILLES SENN

The Devils went for a different position with their next pick, selecting the tall Swiss-born netminder. He played 20 games for HC Davos in the NLA and recorded a .901 save percentage this past season.

ROUND 5, PICK 143 - MARIAN STUDENIC

This fifth-round pick has since turned pro. The Slovakian right winger scored 13 goals and added 15 assists in 64 games during his rookie season with Binghamton. Those 28 points were good for eighth in team scoring.

Video: DRAFT | Current Devils Advice

ROUND 6, PICK 160 AARNE TALVITIE

The Devils selected a two-way Finnish forward with their first and only pick of the sixth round.

Talvitie made the jump to North America this past season, enrolling at Penn State University. In his freshman year, Talvitie scored five goals and recorded 11 assists in 17 games.

He was also captain of Finland's World Juniors squad, which won gold.

ROUND 7, PICK 191 - JOCKTAN CHAINEY

This defender has played the past four seasons in the QMJHL for Halifax. He skated in just 32 games this past season, scoring one goal and adding eight assists.

The Devils chose not to sign Chainey by the May 31, deadline so he re-enters the draft.

ROUND 7, PICK 205 - YEGOR ZAITSEV

With their second pick in the seventh, New Jersey selected a Russian defender. Zaitsev split time between the KHL and VHL last season. In 47 games for Dynamo in the KHL, Zaitsev scored one goal and recorded one assist.

ROUND 7, PICK 214 - MATTHEW HELLICKSON

The run on defensemen continued for the Devils with their final pick of the draft. Hellickson is currently skating with Notre Dame in the NCAA.

The sophomore defender had 16 points (4-12-16) in 40 games for the Fighting Irish this past season.

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