HW Staff Mock Draft - Pick 30: The Gift to New Jersey

Bruce Bennett

With the 30th and final pick of the first round, the New Jersey Devils select Thatcher Demko, goalie, Boston College.

It took all 30 picks, but a goalie has finally been drafted in the Hockey Wilderness mock draft. A lot of the people with opinions have locked Demko to be selected by the Wild at 18, but that did not happen in our draft (nor should it tomorrow). Since this pick is basically a gift from the NHL anyways, why not use it to fill in a gaping hole in your prospect pool?

Running with the Devil(s)

The Devils organization has a few holes it will probably look to patch up in this offseason. With no notable RW's to speak of within their prospect pool this pick could easily be used on the forward position. Reid Boucher is ready to turn pro on the LW, and Blake Pietila is a highly thought of winger seasoning in the NCAA, playing for Michigan Tech.

The blue line is where the Devils prospect pool gets a little deeper. With a ton of kids ready to start making their way to the Pro's, including Minnesota Golden Gopher Seth Helgeson, defense is not a giant need for the Devils right now.  The Devils however have no "elite-level" goaltender waiting in the wings.  A lifetime of Martin Brodeur at the head of the class has left their goalie prospects nothing to be desired.

Why Demko?

Thatcher Demko is the top ranked goalie in this years draft. Standing at 6'4" and 192 lbs, Demko has a big frame to take up residence in the blue paint. Demko plays his angles really well and shows off his agility in his side-to-side game. He's a prospect with size and mobility which is two great qualities to have in a netminder.

Demko saw action in 24 games for Boston College last year, including a NCAA Frozen Four appearance. The secret seemed to come out in the playoffs last year that his glove hand was not his strongest suit, but given a goalies development time this should not worry anyone. Last season he sported a 2.24 GAA and a .919 SV% and a record of 16-5-3 in splitting time his freshman year between the pipes for the Eagles.

Wild about Demko

How does the old adage go? You can never have enough goalies in the system? I suppose that is true, however for the Wild this draft I just don't see this being addressed in the first round. Demko would be a dream prospect truth be told, and with our ongoing goaltending situation it would seem an optimal time to pick him up. If the Wild were to draft Demko, I would see them trading back a few spots for more picks and grabbing Demko later if a few other forward prospects are off the draft board.

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