The newest member of the Devs is Swiss Sensation Nico Hischier.
While the draft happened in Chicago, the Devils hosted a party outside Prudential Center in Newark. Here is a behind the scenes look at the event:
Arda Ocal gets word from Devils and Pavel Zacha after New Jersey selected Nico Hischier first overall at the 2017 NHL Draft.
The party itself took place in three bars along Market Street, along with the area outdoors. Prudential Center was actually hosting a Korean Pop Music convention, KCon.
It was PACKED.
Doors open for the concert tonight at 6:00 p.m.
Concert starts at 7:30 p.m. pic.twitter.com/wFU5D6oTq5
— Prudential Center (@PruCenter) June 23, 2017
I mean lineups around the building, people in tents who slept in line for tickets, pandemonium. Two completely different worlds, peacefully coexisting (in fact, a few KCon goers sat at the bar during the NHL draft and joined in on the cheers when the pick was announced)
The outdoor setup was impressive: street hockey, viewing tents, cornhole, lots to do before the big announcement.
— Devs PA 53 (@bronc53) June 23, 2017
— New Jersey Devils (@NJDevils) June 23, 2017
Alumni, announcers and players showed up, including Miles Wood, Pavel Zacha, Patrik Elias, Kan Daneyko, radio play-by-play announcer Matt Loughlin and public address announcer Kevin Clark. Fans mingled, got pictures and autographs. Memories were made for many young fans!
Miles Wood took a break from being a hockey player and decided to be a bartender.
OK, maybe not exactly. More like signing autographs behind the bar. It was actually quite clever because you have a perfect surface in front of you to sign the posters, hats and jerseys put in front of you. Good thinking, Miles.
Also in attendance was one of the nicest people in the organization, organist Pete Cannarozzi. Always smiling, happy to play a tune (he once even played Metallica by request on #TheApod podcast, which was the best).
The only downer at the party itself was the weather: at one point it started to pour. But that didn’t stop these little Devils fans from stopping their game, and for that, I give them all high fives and props.
The NHL Draft broadcast even cut to the party in Newark. With N.J. Devil and the fans front and center, moments before the 1st overall selection was made.
From my vantage point, hosting the festivities at Edison, here is the moment the pick was made:
Since current players and alumni were available we got their immediate reaction. Pavel Zacha was happy to have another European on the team and is really looking forward to seeing the young player in training camp.
Media outlets were present. I worked with a freelance team to put together a story on the draft and the party for TRT World, an international sports channel based in Istanbul Turkey. Turkey! I’m going to take credit for any Devils jersey sales in Istanbul this year. Here, Frankie “The Frankchise” Morales caught up with former Devs captain Bryce Salvador on the impact the first ever 1st overall pick will make on the Devils organization.
My dear friend and colleague Katie Epifane, a producer with MSG Networks, was on hand getting fan reaction. Katie also produces the great features you see on Devils broadcasts. Also in the house was Roland Dratch, who produces the Devils broadcasts. The MSG Networks Devs team are an absolute pleasure to work with.
After the pick was made, we did a bunch of trivia contests and several fans went home with signed pucks, hats and even a Budweiser goal siren.
All in all, a great party, attended by passionate hockey fans. It was a ton of fun meeting many of you!