Who Will Devils Take With 1st Pick?

The New Jersey Devils didn’t enjoy a particularly successful regular season, but their offseason has gotten off on the right skate.

Guess what?

The Garden Staters will have the No. 1 pick in the 2017 National Hockey League Draft.

This positive turn of events occurred on Saturday night after General Manager Ray Shero‘s sextet won the league’s Draft Lottery.

Devils Ray Shero GettyImages 042917

“This is a great day for our franchise,” asserted Shero. “And to pick first overall, to have that for our Devils, fans, and organization, is great news.”

New Jersey beat out the Philadelphia Flyers, who captured the runner-up slot and the Dallas Stars who came in third.

How about the odds Shero’s club had to beat.

According to the NHL, the Devils had an 8.5 percent chance of coming out on top. Which means that New Jersey will be picking Number One for the first time.


Ironically, the team with the best chance of winning was the Colorado Avalanche since they had the best odds. The Avs came out with the fourth slot.

Shero will make his picks on June 23 and 24 at Chicago’s United Center.

What are Ray’s most likely choices? Here are a few worked out by my man in Newark, Leo Scaglione, Jr.

1. Nolan Patrick, C, Brandon (WHL)

Nolan Patrick Brandon Wheat Kings GettyImages 042917

Height: 6’2”
Weight: 198 pounds
Born: 9/19/98
Hometown: Winnipeg, Man.
2016-17 Stats: 20 G, 26 A in 33 games played

Despite injuries that limited him to 33 games, the Brandon Wheat Kings captain has remained the favorite because of his solid 200-foot game.

2. Nico Hischier, C, Halifax (QMJHL)

MONTREAL, QC - DECEMBER 30: Nico Hischier #18 of Team Switzerland skates during the 2017 IIHF World Junior Championship preliminary round game against Team Denmark at the Bell Centre on December 30, 2016 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Team Switzerland defeated Team Denmark 5-4 in a shootout. (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)

Height: 6’1”
Weight: 176 pounds
Born: 1/4/99
Hometown: Naters, Switzerland
2016-17 Stats: 38 G, 48 A in 57 games played

The Swiss-born Halifax Mooseheads star totaled 38-48-86 in 57 games. One scout reports: “Nico is quick and finds the holes. His hockey IQ is great.”

3. Gabe Vilardi, C, Windsor (OHL)

LONDON, ON - MARCH 26:  Gabriel Vilardi #13 of the Windsor Spitfires celebrates a goal against the London Knights during Game Two of the OHL Western Conference Quarter Finals at Budweiser Gardens on March 26, 2017 in London, Ontario, Canada. The Knights defeated the Spitfires 5-2 to even the series 1-1. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)

Height: 6’3”
Weight: 201 pounds
Born: 8/16/99
Hometown: Kingston, Ont.
2016-17 Stats: 29 G, 32 A in 49 games played

This Windsor Spitfire center has come on strong in the past few months. His size [6-2, 193 pounds] makes him attractive along with his speed and laser shot. Over 49 games this past season, his totals were 29-32-61.

4. Owen Tippett, RW, Mississauga (OHL)

LONDON, ON - DECEMBER 9: Owen Tippett #74 of the Mississauga Steelheads skates with the puck against the London Knights during an OHL game at Budweiser Gardens on December 9, 2016 in London, Ontario, Canada. The Steelheads defeated the Knights 7-3. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)

Height: 6’0”
Weight: 200 pounds
Born: 2/16/99
Hometown: Oshawa, Ont.
2016-17 Stats: 44 G, 31 A in 60 games played

A right wing with the Mississauga Steelheads. What makes him attractive to Shero is the fact that he has been a teammate of New Jersey’s 2016 selections, Mike McLeod and Nathan Bastian. Tippett’s speed and excellent shot garnered him 44 goals, 31 assists and 75 points in 60 games this past season.