Devils impressed top 2 NHL draft prospects

Shane Wright and Juraj Slafkovsky both dreamed of playing for the Devils this week.

Wrightwho has long been considered the #1 consensus choice in the 2022 NHL Draftpraised New Jersey during the Combine NHLwhich took place at the KeyBank Center in Buffalo, New York.

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“I think any time you can get into a team like that, with that young core and the number of young prospects they have in their system, that would be pretty special and a really good situation to be in.” , Wright told reporters Saturday.

But Wright may have officially conquered the Montreal Canadiens, who have the No. 1 pick, during their pre-draft interview. If Montreal chooses him, New Jersey’s best second-tier option would be the Slovakian winger Juraj Slafkovskywho has apparently already told the Devils players about the team.

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“I was playing with (the Devils winger Tomas Tatar), so I asked him questions,” Slafkovsky said. “I asked him how it was in New Jersey. I know the guys that play there like Jack Hughes, Nico Hischier. I don’t know them personally, but I have observed them. He told me it would be nice if I could play with him, but we’ll see.

“I said [the Devils] I know Tatar and they asked me, “What did he say?” And it was only good things.

Either player is going to impress whoever ends up landing them. Wright, who won the Canadian Hockey Leaguerookie of the year for the 2019-20 season, recorded 94 points (32 goals and 62 assists) this season for the Kingston Frontenacs. Slafkovsky conducted Slovakia to their first ever Olympic hockey medal this year and led all players with 7 goals in the process.

The devils are rob both players to Prudential Center for further interviews on Saturday. Several other prospects are also meeting the team before the end of the month.

New Jersey’s No. 2 pick has been a hotly debated topic this offseason. General director Tom Fitzgerald can still make the selection, but has also said he will trade him for an immediate impact player.

Asked about his expectations for the summer at the combine, Fitzgerald kept things vague.

“Preparing for draft, free agency, what other teams would like to do and understanding where we are and what I’m trying to do to create trades,” Fitzgerald says Devils content producer Sam Kasan. “We have free agents that we need to sign. Fairly busy off season.

The 2022 NHL Draft begins Thursday, July 7, 2022 (7/7/22) at Bell Center to Montreal.

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Ryan Novozinsky can be reached at [email protected].

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