6 #NJDevils Thoughts – May 20, 2019

Hi! I haven’t written since November, mostly because the team was terrible. I did have some stuff in the the bank though, so let’s get to them and I will try to write more this summer.

1- In reality, if Nico Hischier is one of the three or five best players in the 2017 NHL Draft when all is said and done, then the Devils nailed the pick. However, I’m a selfish prick and don’t want anyone picked near him (or ANY ’17 pick) to have more success. We had Craig Button of TSN on Devils Daily before the 2017 NHL Draft Lottery (15:55) and asked him for some guys that would best fit the Devils style of play, assuming NJ didn’t pick in the Top-2. One of the players he mentioned was Elias Petterson. Of course, Petterson was picked 5th by Vancouver, came to North America this year and lit the NHL on fire. Probably going to win the Calder Trophy. I know nothing is decided between Nico and Petterson after three combined seasons, but Petterson looks like the better player.

I like watching Petterson play, but I THOROUGHLY enjoyed the Devils beating him twice this past season and definitely don’t want him to win a Cup before Nico. Again…selfish.

2- If you listen to #DevilsDaily, you know we enjoy the lower-rung players that have to claw for roster spots but make a good enough living where they don’t have to worry about a post-hockey career. I’ll transition off that statement to saying that I hope Joey Anderson has a long NHL career. It sucked seeing him injured for such a long stretch this year, but there was a financial benefit to that.

The NHL season is considered 186 days. When you spend a day in the NHL during the regular season, you receive your NHL salary. When you spend a day in the minors, you receive your minors salary. Joey is on his ELC, so he earns $832,500/year at the NHL level and $70,000/year at the AHL level. That equates to approximately $4,475/day in the NHL and approximately $376/day in the AHL.

Joey started his season in the minors, then got called up to NJ on October 26. He got injured and was placed on IR on November 23. He returned to the Devils lineup on February 9, was assigned back to Binghamton on February 24 and recalled on March 2.

So even though he missed a lot of time/games this year, he was on the NHL roster/IR for all but 31 days. Even if you’re on the IR, you get paid NHL wages. Via CapFriendly’s Daily Cap Tracker:

And from his Career Earnings Page:

Even though someone’s NHL cap hit is $925,000 on their ELC, that doesn’t necessarily reflect what they’re ACTUALLY making.

Good for Joey…he basically made as much money as he could this year. Looking forward to seeing how he develops in his 2nd NHL season.

3- On the April 18 edition of Hockey Central at Noon (27:54), Columbus Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekäläinen was the guest. He went into how the club was put together and one of the players he touched on was Alexandre Texier.

Kekäläinen mentioned that Director of European Scouting Josef Boumedienne deserved a lot of credit for identifying Texier as a talent before they picked him in the 2nd round of the 2017 NHL Draft (45th overall). Boumedienne was a NJ Devils draft pick once upon a time, taken in the 4th round of the 1996 NHL Draft (91st overall). He only played one game for the Devils. It was in the 2001-02 season opener in Washington and he scored a goal! He was later traded with Sasha Goc (!) to Tampa Bay for Andre Zyuzin.

Back to Texier…he was drafted out of France’s top league, having produced 19 points in 40 games. Fast forward to this year, Texier had 41 points in 55 games in Finland’s top league. Kekäläinen recalled conversations during the year with Boumedienne, who said, “He’ll play for you this year. He’ll help you this year”. They brought him to AHL-Cleveland near the end of their season. 7 games, 7 points. He scored a goal in 2 regular season games with Columbus, then had 3 points in 8 playoff games.

Boumedienne worked as a European Amateur Scout under current NJ Devils Director of Amateur Scouting Paul Castron, when he held the same title in Columbus. We can all agree that we love what Castron has done in Europe, right? In a world where scouting staffs aren’t overturned much/quickly, Castron made quite a few changes to his Euro staff in the last 8 months; removing a Lou holdover, adding a scout from a Columbus connection and hiring a fresh set of eyes in Europe right before the season started.

Long story, short…a former Devil succeeding is fun and it’s encouraging/even better when that person is an executive hired by Castron!

4- Speaking of Kekäläinen, nobody really “won” that Kyle Quincey/Dalton Prout blockbuster from two seasons ago. However, Ray Shero definitely came out the bigger loser. Quincey played nearly 600 NHL games for his career. Prout has played 39 games since that trade. Yuck.

In the linked audio above, Kekäläinen mentioned that they needed a goaltending insurance policy because their AHL netminders were having subpar seasons. Enter Keith Kinkaid. I (jokingly) imagine that phone conversation went something like:

Ray: “Yea, I can send you Kinkaid. But I’m not taking another Prout off your hands. Do better.”

Jarmo: “…..fine.”

Kinkaid did not play a single minute for the Columbus Blue Jackets while the Devils received a 5th round draft pick in the 2022 NHL Draft. There’s a definite winner this time around and his name is Rejean.

5- For the first time in the Shero Era, the Devils did not do a Dads/Moms trip. The first two seasons there was a Dads trip and in 2017-18 it was the Moms. Nothing this year, however. Disappointing. I know it’s not the end of the world, but the Devils should be doing all of the little things in their power to take care of their own players.

6- We’ll close this one with a wish for a happy summer, as Memorial Day Weekend is on the horizon. Thanks as always for listening to the show, reading these and your overall support. I should have another one of these next week and we look forward to digging into more trade/draft/free agency discussion points on #DevilsDaily soon. To take us out, here’s our boy Nikita Popugaev lookin’ like he’s about to star in his own rap video:

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