The Devils made five more picks in the 2018 NHL Draft as the second and final day concluded down in Dallas. They had a pick in the fourth round (110th overall), two in the fifth round (136th overall and 141st overall), one in the sixth round (172nd overall) and one in the seventh round (203rd overall).
In the fourth round, the Devils selected Xavier Bernard 110th overall. According to the Last Word on Hockey website prospect report, Bernard is a left-hand shooting defenseman from Mercier, Quebec. He was born January 6, 2000, making him 18-years old. He is 6-feet, 3-inches tall and weighs 208 pounds. He was taken out of the QMJHL from the Drummondville Voltigeurs.
The Last Word on Hockey article, written by Ben Kerr, mentions that Bernard struggled in his first junior season in 2016-17, but “broke out in his second season” in the Q. He had 35 points in 2017-18 (11 goals and 24 assists) “in 66 games and improved to a +35.” He “added a goal and two assists for three points in 10 playoff games.”
Kerr also mentioned that he represented Canada internationally at the 2016-17 Under-17 World Hockey Challenge, scoring “one assist in five tournament games” and “also played in the CHL Top Prospects Game.”
With the 136th overall pick, the Devils took a goaltender, Akira Schmid. According to EuroHockey.com, Schmid is an 18-year old Swiss-born goalie, born May 12, 2000. He catches left and spent last season with the SC Langnau Tigers of the Swiss National League. He represented Switzerland in the World Junior Championships, playing two games for them with a 6.50 goals against average and a .865 save percentage. He also posted a shutout.
Schmid becomes the second Swiss goalie taken by the Devils in the last few years (Gilles Senn is the other) and the fourth Swiss player in the Devils organization along with Mirco Mueller and Nico Hischier.
The Devils stayed in Europe for their next pick, also in the fifth round, as they took Yegor Sharangovich 141st overall. According to EliteProspects.com, Sharangovich is a little bit older at 20 years old (he was born June 6, 1998). The native of Minsk, Belarus is a left-shooting center who played for Dinamo Minsk of the KHL last season. In 47 games with them, he notched four goals and eight assists for 12 points to go with 11 penalty minutes. He was ranked 51 by the NHL Central Scouting Department among European skaters. He is 6-feet, 2-inches tall and weighs 196 pounds.
The Devils returned back to North America for their sixth round pick, taking Mitchell Hoelscher 172nd overall. Hoelscher is 18-years old, born Janury 27, 2000 and is a native of Waterloo, Ontario. He is a left-shooting center and is 5-feet, 11-inches tall and weighs 165 pounds.
He played last season with the Ottawa 67’s of the OHL where he had 10 goals and 18 assists for 28 points in 67 games played. He also posted 46 penalty minutes and was a plus-1. In the playoffs, he played in five games and had a goal and an assist for two points and a pair of penalty minutes. He was also a minus-3. Hoelscher was ranked 62 among North American skaters by NHL Central Scouting. All of this information comes from EliteProspects.com.
The Devils’ final pick of the 2018 Draft was Eetu Pakkila (taken 203rd overall). Pakkila is an older 18 year old, born October 3, 1999 in Oulu, Finland. He is a lefty-shooting left winger ranked 123 by NHL Central Scouting among European players. He split last season between Karpat U20 of the Jr. A SM-Liiga where he played 48 games and scored 23 goals and 17 assists for 40 points. He also played one game (a playoff game no less) for the big club (Karpat of LIiga) where he was a minus-1. By contrast he was a plus-15 for his junior team.
Pakkila is 6-feet tall and is 168 pounds. All information on him comes from EliteProspects.com as well.
So that wraps up a busy day at the 2018 NHL Entry Draft. The Devils filled some needs that will hopefully pan out. Congratulations to all of the players chosen and good luck to them.
In another bit of news semi-related to the Devils. Mark your calendars for February 5 and get your voices ready. That is the night that the Los Angeles Kings come into town with an old friend.
Yes, the Ilya Kovalchuk saga is over. Kovalchuk signed a three-year deal with LA that sees the 35-year-old Russian star return to the NHL and bring his talents to Tinseltown.
Hey, at least it’s over and he is in the Western Conference. We only have to see him once a year and can boo him out of the building for that night. But most importantly, he’s the Kings and their fans’ problem now.