With the 2020 BEARD Hockey Entry Draft in the books, the New Jersey Devils managed to fully stock the prospect cupboard with an incredible 18 draft picks.
Despite being in “win now” mode, GM Corey Chernuka managed to accumulate 18 draft picks at the 2020 BEARD Hockey Entry Draft without giving up a single pro roster player.
Based on the trading of future picks and trading down in the current draft, the plan was to capitalize on a relatively deep 2020 draft class. The Devils scouting department exhausted extensive resources scouting the eligible players. This guide will breakdown all 18 players so fans can get familiar with the new faces in the Devils organization.
1. Braden Schneider (2nd Round, 36th overall, 19 years old) – Defenseman Braden was one of the top defenders eligible in the 2020 Entry Draft. Last year he amassed 7 goals, 35 assists for 42 points in 60 games with the Brandon Wheat Kings of the WHL. Braden is known for his solid two-way game and his tendency to throw the “big check”. Skating and passing are his strengths, often looking for the stretch pass or some way of pushing the play aggressively forward. He’s not afraid to engage physically in front of the net and has the size, skating and IQ to be a top 4 defender in the NHL. Expect him to start the season with the Binghamton Devils of the AHL.
2. Alex Vlasic (2nd Round, 38th overall, 19 years old) – Defenseman In his first year at Boston University, Alex had 0 goals, 4 assists, for 4 points in 34 games. This came after a really strong year prior with the US National U18 Team (4 goals, 23 assists for 27 points in 61 games). Despite this small setback, Alex was selected for the 2020 World Junior Summer Showcase. Alex Vlasic, cousin of Marc-Eduoard Vlasic, is huge, coming in at 6-foot-6 and 198 pounds. He is surprisingly mobile, and plays a strong positional game. Expect Alex to head back to Boston University to refine his puck-moving game for at least one more season.
3. Marat Khusnutdinov (2nd Round, 52nd overall, 18 years old) – Center In SKA-1946 St. Petersburg of the MHL last season, Marat worked his way up the roster from a bottom-six position to the top-six with powerplay time. He finished with 13 goals, 25 assists for 38 points in 44 games. While Marat lacks in size, he is an exceptional two-way player that plays a high-energy, high-event style of game. His skating is strong, and has a hunger for the puck allowing him to apply pressure to opposing players. Expect Marat to stay in Russia next season and split time between the MHL and KHL.
4. Justin Sourdif (3rd Round, 91st overall, 18 years old) – Center/Right Wing Last season with the Vancouver Giants of the WHL, Justin scored 26 goals, 28 assists for 54 points in 57 games. Despite hitting just under the point per game mark, his offense can be inconsistent or streaky at times. Justin’s strengths are his speed, hockey IQ and playmaking ability. He is known for his quick and accurate passes. Expect Justin to play another 2 years in the WHL.
5. Jack Ahcan (4th Round, 102nd overall, 23 years old) – Defenseman Jack completed his 4th and final season with the St. Cloud State University Huskies of the NCAA where he notched 7 goals, 18 assists for 25 points in 39 games. He broke the team record for career assists by a defenseman tallying 82 assists and 103 points over his university career. In his last season with the Huskies, he was named team captain. Jack is puck moving defenseman who is a fast, fleet skater and brings a heavy, accurate shot. Scouts compare him to Torey Krug. Expect Jack to make the jump to the AHL next season with a strong likelihood of hitting BEARD Hockey the season after.
6. Daniil Misyul (4th Round, 108th overall, 20 years old) – Defenseman Daniil played last season exclusively in the KHL for Lokomotiv Yaroslavl notching 2 goals, 1 assist for 3 points in 35 games. Unfortunately, most of that time was on the bottom pairing as KHL coaches don’t give quality ice time to teenagers. He also played in the World Junior Championships for Team Russia. Daniil’s strengths are his skating, hockey IQ, ability to land big checks, and impressive backward mobility. Daniil needs to work on his discipline and stick positioning. Expect Daniil to refine his skills for at least one more year in the KHL.
7. Colby Ambrosio (4th Round, 115th overall, 18 years old) – Center Colby played his second season in the USHL for the Tri-City Storm before being drafted by the New Jersey Devils in the 4th round. He scored 26 goals, 24 assists for 50 points in 48 games. Colby is a small forward who excels at skating, quarterbacking the powerplay and has soft hands. He doesn’t shy away from physical play and plays a smart positional game. Colby has committed to Boston College in the NCAA for the next 2 seasons.
8. Domenick Fensore (4th Round, 116th overall, 19 years old) – Defenseman Domenick completed his first season in the NCAA with Boston University, scoring 3 goals, 13 assists for 16 points in 34 games. He is a small, skilled defenseman who is know for his offensive production and skating ability. Domenick is only 5’7” and seems to shy away from the physical game. To make it to the NHL, he’ll have to work on his strength, checking and toughness. Expect Domenick to go back to the NCAA for at least another season.
9. Ian Scott (5th Round, 142nd overall, 21 years old) – Goalie Ian missed all of last season after undergoing hip surgery. Prior to that he had a phenomenal season with the Prince Albert Raiders of the WHL, posting a 1.83 GAA and a .932 save percentage in 49 games. He earned WHL Goalie of the Year and WHL Playoffs MVP awards in 2019. Ian is considered by many scouts as having star potential. He is extremely athletic and quick. Expect him to make the jump to the AHL next season.
10. Layton Ahac (5th Round, 155th overall, 19 years old) - Defenseman After a strong season in the BCHL, Layton followed that up with a disappointing season with Ohio State University in the NCAA. He only managed to accumulate 3 assists in 36 games. Prior to the NCAA season, numerous scouts projected him as one of the most underrated defensemen. Layton has high hockey IQ, a good two-way style of play and is highly skilled. He needs to work on his skating. Expect Layton to return to the NCAA to refine his game next season.
11. Bryce Brodzinski (6th Round, 166th overall, 20 years old) – Right Wing Bryce had a solid 1st season with the University of Minnesota of the NCAA, scoring 7 goals, 5 assists for 12 points in 37 games. Prior to that, he averaged 3.3 points / game with Blaine High of the USHS-MN and was captain of his team. Bryce has good mobility and has produced well offensively. He needs to work on his skating if he is to jump to the next level. Expect Bryce to return to the NCAA for at least another season.
12. Joel Teasdale (6th Round, 179th overall, 21 years old) – Left Wing Joel missed all of last season in with the Laval Rocket of the AHL when he tore both his ACL and MCL. In his previous season in the QMJHL, he accumulated 43 goals, 37 assists for 80 points in 66 games. Despite the injury setback, Joel is projected to be a top-six forward. His strengths are his defensive responsibility, puck handling and ability to drive to the net. He needs to work on his skating and improve his size. Expect Joel to return to the AHL for another season.
13. Jacob Christiansen (6th Round, 183rd overall, 21 years old) - Defenseman Jacob scored 22 goals, 28 assists for 50 points in 38 games with the Everett Silvertips of the WHL last season. He is an offensive defenseman who excels with moving the puck up the ice and has an amazing shot. After playing 5 seasons in junior, Jacob has proven all that he can prove at that level. Scouts project him to have top-4 potential at the BEARD Hockey level. Expect him to make the jump to the AHL next season.
14. Joshua Maniscalco (6th Round, 192nd overall, 21 years old) - Defenseman Joshua elevated his game in his second year of NCAA action last season, tallying 11 goals, 21 assists for 32 points in 36 games for Arizona State University. Joshua likes to join the rush and is a typical puck moving, offensive defenseman. Expect him to start next season in the AHL.
15. Benjamin Jones (7th Round, 202nd overall, 21 years old) - Center Benjamin Jones struggled last season, split between the ECHL and AHL, only accumulating 2 goals and 5 assists for 7 points in 36 games. The year prior, with the Niagara IceDogs, he notched 41 goals and 61 assists for 102 points in 68 games. Benjamin is good skater, proficient stick handler, accurate shooter and has good vision. Can he make the jump to the next level? Expect Benjamin to get another shot in the AHL next season.
16. Hunter Drew (7th Round, 205th overall, 22 years old) – Defenseman Hunter made the jump to the AHL last season recording 2 goals, 5 assists for 7 points in 29 games with the San Diego Gulls. Scouts project him to be a BEARD Hockey defenseman, comparable to Josh Manson. He is extremely physical and provides sandpaper to the back-end. His offensive skills have been growing as he’s gained more confidence over the last few years. Expect Hunter to spend another season in the AHL next season.
17. Tim Soderlund (7th Round, 206th overall, 22 years old) – Winger Tim struggled in first season in North America as he battled injuries and adjusting to the smaller ice-surface. Despite that, he is a great skater, has strong puck skills and excels on the penalty kill with his tenaciousness. Scouts compare Tim to Viktor Arvidsson of the Nashville Predators. Expect him to play next season for Almtuna IS for the HockeyAllsvenskan in his homeland of Sweden as he attempts to regain his confidence.
18. Justin Almeida (7th Round, 219th overall, 21 years old) – Center/Left Wing
Justin struggled in his first year with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins in the AHL and ended up getting demoted to the Wheeling Nailers of the ECHL. In 37 games with the Nailers, he accumulated 5 goals, 11 points for 16 points in 37 games. Prior to that, he enjoyed a 111 point season with the Moose-Jaw Warriors of the WHL. Justin is a small forward who struggled with the physical side of the game in the AHL. Expect him to work on his strength, getting involved physically as he attempts to establish himself next season in the AHL.