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PROSPECT WATCH: Patrick Moynihan

Find out why Patrick Moynihan is "a guy who will find a way to make it."

by Peter Robinson / Special to NewJerseyDevils.com

Michael Moynihan's only son, in the words of his father, "can get pretty wound up."

"But he does a really good job of hiding it," said the elder Moynihan, a health care administrator in Boston.

Michael's son is Patrick Moynihan, the Devils prospect now in his sophomore season with Providence College who won a gold medal with the U.S. team at the World Junior.

"I was driving him to the airport before (the final selection camp) and he said 'Dad, I'm nervous,'" recalls Michael Moynihan, "he really wanted to make the World Junior team."

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FEATURE: World Juniors Set to Begin

The World Junior always offers a glimpse of the game's brightest teenagers competing for their country and the Devils have six prospects in the dance

by Peter Robinson / Special to NewJerseyDevils.com

Hockey fans don't need to be reminded that a lot has changed in a year. 

The global pandemic curtailed the Devils season almost a month early, led to the Stanley Cup being awarded in September and the NHL Draft being held in October. 

The 2020-21 season looks right now like it will begin on January 13. 

First, fingers crossed, one of the traditional slots on the hockey calendar will maintain its usual spot starting on Christmas day. 

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FEATURE: Shlaine's a Hockey Sponge

Shlaine, selected 130th overall in 2020 has started his first NCAA season with UConn

by Peter Robinson / Special to NewJerseyDevils.com

Asked about Devils prospect Artem Shlaine, Ben Umhoefer was quick with a story.

Umhoefer is director of hockey at Shattuck-St. Mary's and coached Shlaine for two seasons ahead of his selection by the Devils.  

According to Umhoefer, Shlaine is a bit of a sponge. 

"There were times I thought he could have coached the team better than me," he said, only half in jest. 

"He would always come in after (watching NHL games) the night before and say 'hey, I think we should try this, or try that." 

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FEATURE: Devils 2020 Fourth Rounder Has Promise

Jaromir Pytlik has an opportunity to become one of the top two-way power forwards in the OHL

by Peter Robinson / Special to NewJerseyDevils.com

Jaromir Pytlik selection by the Devils with the 99th pick in the 2020 NHL Draft created a couple of automatic storylines. 

Video: DRAFT | Jaromir Pytlik Media Avail

Any Czech hockey player, especially one named Jaromir, is going to be asked about Jaromir Jagr, whose storied career included almost two seasons playing for the Devils. Then there is retired Devils star Patrik Elias, who remains perhaps the next-best Czech player of his era behind only Jagr.

Soon after his selection, Pytlik confirmed that, like all Czech hockey players, he idolized both. 

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FEATURE: What Are the Devils Getting in Daws

Nico Daws' story is a tale of perseverance, being a late bloomer, and simply getting better

by Peter Robinson / Special to NewJerseyDevils.com

Video: Behind The Scenes | Brodeur Welcomes Daws

He's the reigning Ontario Hockey League goaltender of the year, a member of its 2018-19 championship squad, and a World Junior gold medalist. 

But that doesn't tell the whole story of Nico Daws, the Guelph Storm goaltender, who the Devils scooped up in the third round of the NHL Draft. 

Daws' story is a tale of perseverance, being a late bloomer, and simply getting better. Nothing has been handed to him and he's earned everything he's accomplished, often the hard way.

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DRAFT: Mukhamadullin Gives Devils Size and Skill from the Blueline

At only age 18, Shakir Mukhamadullin is already playing a big role in the world's second-best hockey league

by Peter Robinson / Special to NewJerseyDevils.com

Shakir Mukhamadullin got up early on Wednesday in Russia and for good reason.

Out of bed at 6:15 in the city of Ufa almost 1,000 miles east of Moscow, tucked inside the Urals, the tall (6'4") and rangy defenseman got the early-morning pick-me-up that any young hockey player dreams about.

"I never thought I would go so high, in the first round," said Mukhamadullin, in interpreted remarks from Russian, "my heart was beating so hard, so fast."

His modesty and excitement aside - even speaking in another language and through the foggy lens of a Zoom call it was obvious how elated the 18-year-old was - Mukhamadullin has been pegged as a first-round around 20th since about the mid-point of 2019-20.

He is a mobile and big defender with significant offensive skills playing for Ufa, the KHL club whose proper name is Salavat Yuleav Ufa but is commonly referred to by the city where its based, which is where Mukhamadullin grew up.

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DRAFT: Pursuit of the Puck Separates Mercer from his Peers

Devils 18th overall first round selection Dawson Mercer seen by the club as a player with skill who works to get the puck

by Peter Robinson / Special to NewJerseyDevils.com

Snow was falling sideways in Montreal last January as prospects were gathering at Bell Centre to promote the NHL Draft that was supposed to take place there in June. 

It was miserable outside. One player missed the occasion because his flight couldn't land. You'd never know it by the smile on Dawson's Mercer's face. The atmosphere, the room, and the people in it suited him fine.

"Ah, it wasn't too bad," describing his snowy trip in from Chicoutimi, in an accent that Devils fans will soon learn to love. "A little snow never hurt anyone." 

Mercer was fresh off winning a gold medal at the World Juniors and had just reported to his new club, the Chicoutimi Sagueneens. Everyone wanted a piece of him. And he did of them, from the assembled media, to the other prospects, to Canadiens assistant coach Dominic Ducharme, his former junior coach, who dropped in for a quick chat before the Habs game against the Arizona Coyotes that night.

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DRAFT: An Unconventional Draft

Like so much of 2020, it's all rather bizarre

by Peter Robinson / Special to NewJerseyDevils.com

Let's pretend that 2020 is a normal year and it's June, not October. 

The NHL Draft is a day away and the Devils are putting the final touches on how they are going to use three first-round picks, and six more that follow a day later. 

Even if this was a normal year, there are few things to keep in mind. 

First, almost a third of the first-round prospects, including consensus No. 1 Alexis Lafreniere, and a fair number of others in the rounds that follow, are born in 2001, their late birthdays having pushed them into the 2020 Draft. 

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DRAFT: Options, Options, Options

Here's a look at potential candidates who could be taken with the nine selections that the Devils hold in the 2020 NHL Draft

by Peter Robinson / Special to NewJerseyDevils.com

7

The Devils will have plenty of options here to pick a winger who someday can play on a line with either Jack Hughes or Nico Hischier. 

Saginaw Spirit winger Cole Perfetti, who also plays center, could be gone at seven. If not, Perfetti's hockey sense and skill fit the bill as a future top-line forward. Beyond Perfetti, a pair of Swedish wingers both project around this spot. Lucas Raymond (Frolunda) and Alexander Holtz (Djurgardens) are different types of players but both have good offensive skills, Raymond as a playmaker, Holtz as a scorer. 

The Devils have never picked seventh overall. The closest recent comparable is Pavel Zacha's selection at No. 6 five years ago. Franchise stalwart and future coach John MacLean also went sixth overall in 1983.

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FEATURE: Reflections on Ruff

Former players Jay McKee and Dave Lowry reflect on Lindy Ruff's coaching style and attributes

by Peter Robinson NJDevils / Special to NewJerseyDevils.com

Fitting, perhaps, Jay McKee's prompt return of a text message spoke to the high regard he holds for the man who coached him for most of his NHL career. 

"Lindy (Ruff) is an excellent coach and an excellent person," said McKee, who played 13 seasons and 802 NHL games, most of it for Buffalo while Ruff was behind the Sabres bench, via text. 

"I'd be delighted to chat about my nine years with him." 

That chat revealed more about Ruff, who was installed recently as the Devils head coach. 

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