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Devils Draft More Big Bodies Late in 2024 NHL Draft

Devils select three more big-bodied players with their final three picks of the 2024 NHL Draft.



New Jersey Devils
Max Graham, New Jersey Devils prospect forward. // Credit: Kelowna Rockets X (Formerly Twitter)

The New Jersey Devils wrapped up their 2024 NHL draft by taking a trio of players 139, 146, and 171st. After taking a high-potential defenseman, future number one goalie, and a pair of big wingers, the Devils put a bow on their weekend in Vegas.

With their first, pick of the fifth round they selected center, Max Graham from Kelowna of the WHL. The Devils run on size continued, the 6-foot-3, 203 lb double over-ager recorded 42 points in 67 games, as well as pilling up 135 penalty minutes.

This is what Elite Prospects had to say about the newest Devil, “Behind the net, he checks the slot before reception, then makes perfectly timed passes to the inside. In open ice, he manipulates defenders to open or prolong passing lanes. Some of his best comes after receiving the puck, where he fakes the shot, looks towards the net, and only passes after the defender moves their stick out of his preferred lane.”

With their second, fifth round pick the Devils doubled down on goaltending by taking Veeti Louhivaara. The 6-foot-4 Finnish goalie played most of his season with JYP U20, the junior league in Finland. He went 13-6-0 with a 2.87 GAA and a 0.890 SV%.

“Veeti Louhivaara is an exciting Finnish netminder, who is blessed with an ideal frame. He’s a clean skater, with good balance and strong pushes. Louhivaara is also adept at moving from post-to-post, and can stretch all the way across while down in the butterfly with ease,” according to his Elite Prospects scouting report.

With their seventh, and final pick in the draft, the Devils took Czech center Matyas Melovsky from Baie-Comeau of the QMJHL. Melovsky, another double over-ager, is yet again a big body, standing at 6-foot-2. He scored 60 points in 53 QMJHL games, but it was his performance at this year’s World Junior Championship that caught eyes. Melovsky was second in team scoring for the Czech’s, scoring 11 points in 7 games.

Melovsky plays a physical game, and according to Elite Prospects scouting report, “Melovský’s physical skills feed his playmaking game. He leans against opponents, squeezes them off the puck, and then immediately launches it to teammates standing in more space. But he’s not just a complementary player. His give-and-goes and occasional dangles under stick put him under the spotlight.”

The Devils wrap up the draft taking four forwards, one defenseman, and two goalies. None of which were smaller than 6-foot-2. The next step for Devils prospects is development camp, which begins June 30th and ends July 3rd.

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