After selecting big defenseman in Anton Silayev 10th overall on Friday, the Devils have six picks today as the draft shifts to rounds two through seven.

The picks are:

  • Mikhail Yegorov, G - Round 2, 49th overall (acquired today in a trade with Utah for John Marino)
  • Kasper Pikkarainen, RW - Round 3, 85th overall (acquired today in a trade with San Jose for 82nd overall and a sixth-round pick in 2025)
  • Herman Traff, F - Round 3, 91st overall
  • Max Graham, F - Round 5, 139th overall
  • Veeti Louhivaara, G - Round 5, 146th overall (acquired today in a trade with Washington for 75th overall)
  • Matyas Melovsky, F - Round 6, 171st overall

Dennehy on the 2024 Draft and New Jersey's selections

Paul Cotter and Third-Round Pick Acquired from Vegas

The Devils moved Alexander Holtz and Akira Schmid to the Vegas Golden Knights in exchange for forward Paul Cotter and a 2025 third-round selection.

"In the vision we have to build our roster that I’ve talked about since the end of last season, we want a different looking bottom six. Paul Cotter fills that with his skating, speed, and physicality," general manager Tom Fitzgerald said following the trade, "We are betting on Cotter’s upside, and he’s just scratched the surface of what he can do. With that being said, we have to give up to get a Cotter, and Holtz would have been the odd man out in our bottom six group."

Cotter had seven goals and 25 points last season in 76 games for Vegas. He scored 13 in 55 games the year before so the team feels he has some scoring upside and provides a physical presence.

Cotter has two years left in his contract, at $775K.

Devils Trade Marino for Two Second-Round Picks

The Devils made a splash early in the day, trading John Marino to Utah along with Colorado's fifth-round pick from this year in exchange for the 49th overall pick this year and a second-round pick next year (which was previously Edmonton's).

With the pick, the Devils chose goaltender Mikhail Yegorov. Read his profile posted earlier this month here.

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Yegorov Selected in Round 2 with Marino Pick

With one of the picks acquired for John Marino, the Devils chose Mikhail Yegorov 49th overall in the second round, adding a highly promising goaltender to the organization. Standing at 6'5" and weighing 188 pounds, Yegorov has shown significant development and potential throughout his career, particularly during his time with the Omaha Lancers in the USHL.

“Really athletic. We also like that he’s got a pretty good path here. He’s going to play another year in the USHL and then go to Boston University. It’ll give us time to develop him,” said Devils Director of Scouting Mark Dennehy.

This past season, Yegorov faced a high volume of shots, maintaining a 3.86 GAA and a .892 save percentage in 43 games. Despite these challenging numbers, his ability to handle pressure and stay focused has impressed scouts. He was the top-ranked North American goaltender and also first on the Devils' list among goaltenders for 2024.

“If you can step up and get the number one goalie on your draft board, we decided to do it,” stated Dennehy.

Yegorov's strengths lie in his size, athleticism, and technical skills. He moves well in the crease, displaying good structure and an excellent glove hand. His ability to cover a lot of the net, especially down low, makes him difficult to beat in tight situations. Scouts have noted his resilience and mental toughness, traits that are crucial for a goaltender facing a high shot count. Additionally, his commitment to continuous improvement, both physically and mentally, sets him apart as a top prospect.

One of Yegorov's most notable attributes is his strong performance under pressure. He has been praised for his ability to stay composed and make crucial saves during high-danger situations. His adaptability and strong work ethic suggest that with further development, Yegorov has the potential to become a reliable starting goaltender in the NHL.

Behind the scenes look at Anton Silayev's draft night

Devils Move Picks Around

The Devils were set to pick 75th overall (10th in round three) but moved the selection to Washington in exchange for the 82nd overall pick (17th in round three) and 146th overall (17th in round five).

They then dealt that 82nd overall pick to San Jose in exchange for the 85th overall and a sixth-round selection in 2025.

Pikkarainen discussed his game, his dad after drafted

Son of Former Devil Taken in Round Three

The Devils selected Kasper Pikkarainen 85th overall in the third round. Pikkarainen, a 6'3" and 195-pound right winger from Helsinki, Finland, has shown potential as a power forward with notable physicality and playmaking abilities.

“I’m a big winger that likes to hit and make plays with the puck in the offensive zone,” he said after being chosen by the Devils.

His dad, Ikka Pikkarainen, was drafted by the Devils in the seventh round in 2002 and played 31 games for the team in a career that was mostly spent overseas.

“I was so young, I don’t remember. I just saw a couple of games with my dad but not so much,” said Pikkarainen noting that he lived in New Jersey for a year but it would have been around age four.

Kasper played for TPS in the Liiga and its U20 league, scoring 12 goals and 28 points in 34 games in U20 plus seven more points in 12 playoff games. His goal for the coming year is to make the U20 World Championship team for Finland and play the entire year in the Liiga.

“The game is faster and guys are bigger, I like it,” he stated.

Pikkarainen is highly regarded for his vision on the ice and ability to make quick, accurate passes, often finding passing lanes that others might miss. His offensive game is still developing, but he has demonstrated flashes of high-end skill, particularly in tighter spaces where his size and strength allow him to maintain puck control and make plays.

“My skating has to improve,” Pikkrainen remarked when asked what he feels he needs to work on.

Pikkarainen's physical tools and hockey IQ make him a promising prospect. Many project that he can grow into a reliable power forward who can contribute both offensively and defensively at the NHL level.

Traff after he was picked by Devils 91st overall

Swede Herman Traff Selected in Round 3

The Devils picked Herman Traff 91st overall in the third round, bringing in a versatile and physical forward from Växjö, Sweden. Traff, standing at 6'3" and weighing 203 pounds, has been playing for HV71 in the SHL and J20 Nationell, where he demonstrated his capabilities as a power forward who can put the puck in the net. In the J20, he had 21 points and 73 penalty minutes to go along with 13 goals in 26 games. He was scoreless in 10 games in the SHL.

"I play physical with a lot of skills and try to take the puck to the net every time," said Traff. "I’d say I’m a power forward.”

Traff's game is built on his size, strength, and physicality, making him a formidable presence on the ice. He excels in creating offensive opportunities through his mid to long-range shooting and has a quick release that can beat goaltenders through traffic.

“I would say Tage Thompson in Buffalo and Tom Wilson of the Washington Capitals," Traff said when asked about players he patterns his game after.

Despite his size, Traff is also noted for his puck-handling skills and ability to make smart passes, often finding passing lanes that others might miss. His versatility allows him to play both wings, and he has shown flashes of being able to fill the center role when needed.

Traff is thrilled to be coming to New Jersey.

“I got goosebumps," he said of his feeling after his name was announced. "I’m really happy and glad to be a part of this organization.”

Scouts have praised his potential to become a reliable bottom-six forward in the NHL, emphasizing his physical play, strong work ethic, and ability to generate offense from various areas on the ice. With further development, many project that Traff can harness his physical tools and become a valuable asset to their roster.

“Play without the puck. Defensive play. Try to be more straight to the net,” Traff said of what he thinks he needs to improve, adding that he looks forward to the time he comes over.

“I would say it’s easier for me to play the North American rink because of my size.”

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Max Graham Taken in Round Five

Selected by the Devils 139th overall in the fifth round of the 2024 NHL Draft, Max Graham is a 6'3" and 203-pound forward from Whitehorse, Yukon who has been playing for the Kelowna Rockets in the WHL. Known for his solid two-way play, Graham has demonstrated good offensive instincts and physicality, making him a versatile player capable of playing both center and left wing.

Graham's strengths lie in his ability to make smart, timely passes and his proficiency in manipulating defenders to create scoring opportunities. He is particularly effective in tight spaces and has a knack for finding and exploiting passing lanes. This skill set is complemented by his physical presence, allowing him to protect the puck and engage effectively in board battles.

Being a fifth-rounder, certainly Graham's overall consistency and production have room for improvement. While he has shown flashes of high-end skill, scouts believe that with further development, particularly in his skating and decision-making under pressure, Graham could become a reliable bottom-six forward in the NHL.

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Another Big Goalie Drafted in Round Five

The Devils chose big goaltender Veeti Louhivaara 146th overall in the fifth round of the 2024 NHL Draft. Louhivaara, 6'4" and 198-pounds is from Jyväskylä, Finland, played for JYP’s U20 team in the Finnish junior league this past season. Known for his significant size, he uses it effectively to cut down angles and cover a large portion of the net. Despite his .890 save percentage in 21 games with JYP U20, Louhivaara showed promise with a .921 save percentage in two games for Finland's national team at the U18 level.

Louhivaara's strengths include his strong glove hand, good rebound control, and his calm presence in the net, which gives his defense confidence. His mobility, both on his feet and in the butterfly stance, is notable, but he needs to improve his lateral movement and overall explosiveness to reach the next level. Scouts have noted that puck tracking can be inconsistent at times, but he generally makes the save when he sees the puck well.

Louhivaara is considered a raw talent with a lot of potential. As with many young goaltenders, he will require time to develop and refine his skills. The Devils are likely betting on his size and athleticism, hoping that with proper development, he can become a solid goaltender in the NHL. Given his current skill set and physical attributes, Louhivaara presents a promising project for the Devils' goaltending pipeline together with Mikhail Yegorov selected earlier today.

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Matyas Melovsky Taken in Round Six

The Devils selected Matyas Melovsky 171st overall in the sixth round. Melovsky, a 6'2" and 190-pound center from Unicov, Czech Republic, has shown considerable promise during his time with the Baie-Comeau Drakkar in the QMJHL. In the 2023-24 season, he recorded 18 goals and 42 assists for 60 points in 53 games plus 19 points in 17 game, showcasing his playmaking abilities and offensive vision. He further impressed at the World Juniors, contributing one goal and ten assists, helping Czechia secure a bronze medal.

Melovsky is known for his smart, composed play and ability to drive offense through efficient zone entries and give-and-go plays. His physicality allows him to effectively protect the puck and engage in battles along the boards, making him a reliable two-way forward. Scouts have noted his strong decision-making and puck management, which enable him to consistently make the right plays under pressure.

Despite being an over-age prospect, Melovsky’s mature game and versatile skill set make him a valuable addition to the Devils' prospect pool. His ability to contribute in various roles, including special teams, positions him well for potential success at the NHL level. At 20 years old, he's someone who could potentially slide in as a pro starting next season.