The Devils finished up day two at the 2020 NHL Draft by making four more picks.
First up, at 84th overall, the Devils went for a goaltender by selecting Nicolas Daws from the Ontario Hockey League’s Guelph Storm.
Daws, born in Germany, moved to Canada when he was extremely young. As a story told by EJ Hradek on the NHL Network today goes, he has duel citizenship and had reached out to German hockey officials to find out if they wanted him for international duty. When they indicated that they did not, he simply made the Canadian World Junior team.
Pretty impressive stuff.
Daws finished the 2019-20 season with a 23-8-6 record and led the pace for OHL goalies with a .924 save percentage and five shutouts.
Next up, with the 99th pick, the Devils took Czech player Jaromir Pytlik of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds of the Ontario League.
The center is 6-feet, 2-inches tall weighing in at 200 pounds from Dacice, Czech Republic. Catherine Bogart of the Devils’ website reports that he had 22 goals and 28 assists for Sault Ste. Marie last year totaling an even 50 points over 56 games played. She also said that he participated in the 2020 CHL/NHL Top Prospects game where he registered two shots on goal.
Because of his nationality, Pytlik plays for the Czechs internationally and was on their 2020 World Junior team. Bogart mentioned that it was during that tournament that he was coached by none other than Patrik Elias. His father was also a player and coach in the Czech Republic as noted by Bogart.
Joey Tenute of the NHL Central Scouting was quoted by Bogart as saying he plays a strong 200-foot game and is “a mature player that’s relied upon in crucial situations. Good on the power play, penalty kill, and face-offs. He’s a big kid and uses his size to his advantage.”
With the 120th pick, the Devils went to the Alberta Junior Hockey League where they chose Ethan Edwards from Spruce Grove of that league.
Edwards, a 5-feet, 10-inch, 166-pound defenseman had nine goals and 24 assists for 33 points over 50 games played according to Bogart. He was finished second in scoring for under-18 AJHL d-men.
Bogart mentioned that Edwards, a native of Alberta (Grande Prairie) “played for Canada West in the 2019 World Junior A Challenge, where he scored a goal over four games. Edwards was ranked 77th out of all North American skaters on the NHL’s Central Scouting rankings list.”
Bogart also noted that Edwards is a great skater “known for his mobility” and strength on his skates.
Ten picks later, at 130, the Devils went to Minnesota prep school powerhouse Shattuck St. Mary’s where they took Artem Shlaine, a center.
Shlaine is 6-feet, 1-inch tall and weighs 165 pounds. He was ranked 93rd by NHL Central Scouting for North American skaters.
Bogart said that Shlaine led Shattuck St. Mary’s in scoring with 26 goals and 52 assists for a whopping 78 points over a shortened season due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The team did, according to Bogart, manage to go 35-8-3 and win “the 2020 McPherson Cup tournament.”
If you think 78 points is impressive, note what he did in 2018-19: 34 goals and 56 points totaling 90 points over a course of 56 games!
Bogart said that Shlaine also played five games for the Muskegon Lumberjacks of the United States Hockey League. He notched two goals and an assist (three points) over those five tilts.
Bogart quoted Elite Prospect’s Draft Guide in saying “that Shlaine boasts outstanding puck skills. He not only possesses through layers, but consistently passes into space hitting teammates on their tape. His shot gives goaltenders grief, with changes in angle, quick release points, and precise placement. Shlaine employs a complex selection of dekes and shows a willingness to crash and attack rebounds.”
Shlaine will be playing college hockey in the tri-state area as he is committed to the University of Connecticut of Hockey East for 2020-21. Bogart notes that he “has plans to major in business while playing for the Huskies.”
And finally, with their final pick in the 2020 NHL Draft, in the sixth round, New Jersey went overseas to select Austrian center Benjamin Baumgartner. He is 5-feet, 9-inches tall, weighing 165-pounds and played last year for Davos in the Swiss National League.
The centerman notched seven goals, 20 assists for 27 points over 37 games for Davos. He is 20-years-old as he was passed over in the last two NHL Drafts, but he did play for Austria at the 2020 World Junior Championship Division 1-A. At that tournament, he had five goals, six assists for eleven points over five games.
Bogart mentioned that Austria won gold at that tournament and Baumgartner “led all skaters in goals, assists, and points.” As an older prospect, he did participate in the 2019 World Championship for the Austrians, getting into four games in that tournament.
Bogart quoted Elite Prospect’s Draft Guide again for Baumgartner when she said: “a lot of offensive skill packed into [his] meager frame. He’s consistently displayed a high level of skill at every turn. He’s a competent handler on both forehand and backhand. The combination of a dexterous set of hands, technically sound passing, and a high-end vision make Baumgartner a threat whenever he’s on the puck.”
So that wraps up the 2020 NHL Draft for the Devils. We got a really good one in Holtz and the other first round guys. Maybe someone pans out in the later picks, we will see over time. But no matter what, it was a good haul.
Tomorrow free agency starts in this rapid fire of an off season. We will hopefully try to get stuff up regarding that in a timely fashion then.