The sixth episode of our Road to the Draft podcast is an episode with both Hugh Weber and Martin Brodeur chatting alongside Matt Loughlin and Amanda Stein about a wide variety of topics.
Brodeur returned to the Devils last summer and it was something that HBSE President Hugh Weber had worked on for quite some time. Weber was asked about why Brodeur joining the Devils was imperative.
"It was a couple things. One is the DNA of this franchise is built on not just Marty and what he's done on the ice, but his thinking, his championship pedigree. I thought it was important for our executive staff as we continue to build a culture here," Weber began.
"It wasn't a marriage of the past and the future it was more a matter of this is who we are and that kind of mindset of how we're going to create a new future of the Devils. The second thing was, Marty and I had a lot of conversations. He was looking for a challenge. He was authentic and real about his commitment to putting in the work and learning and humbling himself into situations he hadn't been in before."
Weber added that Brodeur's been a natural in the transition.
"The fact that he was 100% committed to something new and that he had natural skills and abilities that leant him to leadership, especially strategy and business and the fact that he's such an important part of the franchise. It made it a perfect marriage."
Martin Brodeur spoke in the podcast about his own draft, which was also held in Vancouver back in 1990. Although his was at BC Place, the football stadium.
"It was a great week. I was with four or five guys that my agent brought in. I was ranked 30th overall out of 21 teams and thought I was going to go in the second round. I was second goalie behind Trevor Kidd. I just sat there, not thinking I'd go because it was the first round. Devils made a trade and I was thinking maybe it's because they want to pick me there and that's what happened so it was pretty cool."
The Devils traded the 11th overall pick to the Calgary Flames along with the 32nd overall pick in exchange for the 20th overall pick, 24th and 29th. Ironically, Calgary used their 11th overall selection to take Kidd.
Video: PODCAST | Brodeur's Draft Story
"I didn't know much about New Jersey. I barely knew it was around New York City. My agent's like, 'it's good, it's in American dollars,'" he laughed. "I got to meet a lot of the staff before because they interviewed me a lot during the season. When I got to the table there were a lot of familiar faces."
Weber talked about the draft process and how it's so much more involved than the average fan would see when they tune in on NBCSN on draft day.
"People think of the draft as a weekend event but it's actually a marathon and you're just showing up for the last 200 yards when you tune in. There's a tremendous amount of work our scouts do all year, the air miles that are put in, the hours, the time away from family to get to the fact that you have good intelligence on these players," Weber began.
Video: PODCAST | Hugh Weber on the Lottery Draw
He talked about last season and how despite some disappointing on-ice results it really was a year of progress when it came to development. But now having the top pick helps give the club a boost in a big way, which has resulted in the team sitting in the top five in the NHL when it comes to new season ticket sales.
"As we lead up to this time in the draft and you go to the draft lottery and you're potentially a top-10 pick which is fine and you go to Toronto and get the lottery ball to go your way, it literally just accelerated and amplified everything we were doing because now we became center stage for the hockey world for this incredible world-class problem to have which is the number-one pick with the talent in this draft.
"It changes the way our scouts, scouting program and Ray think about. There's been a ton of work, ton of analysis. I'm sure it looks very calm for the outside but it'll be an incredible, pivotal weekend for the franchise."