2015 NHL Draft: New Jersey Devils draft review

By John Iadevaia

 

Colton White - Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds

Photo: New Jersey Devils fourth round pick, defenseman Colton White of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds, posted six goals and 22 points in 67 games in 2014-15 (courtesy of Aaron Bell/OHL Images)

 

 

Blake Speers, C/RW, Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (OHL)
3rd Round, 67th Overall
Height: 5-11 Weight: 181 lbs

In the third round, New Jersey grabbed Sault St Marie forward Blake Speers with the 67th overall pick. It is a good pick for a player who many considered a second rounder.

The 5’11, 181-pound Sault Ste. Marie native put up 24 goals and 43 assists for 67 points in 57 regular season games in 2014-15. He added three goals and six assists in 14 playoff games for his hometown team.

Speers plays a puck possession game and has elite speed but his strength lies in the offensive zone. He has slick hands and good passing ability along with a very accurate shot.  He can also play on both special teams.

“I think I’m a play-making forward,” Speers told the media after being selected. “I’m a versatile guy who can kind of fit in anywhere in the lineup, but, first and foremost, I like to make plays. I think that’s the brand of my game most people are going to see.”

Part of the reason Speers dropped was because of his size. He has shown he can compete in the dirty areas of the ice but told the media he needs to continue to get stronger physically. Once he does, he feels the rest of his game will blossom.

“I have gained 20 pounds since I joined the Ontario Hockey League. I think I still have a ways to go in terms of strength. Once I get that in order, I think my development will really hit a good curve,” he said.

Speers is likely to develop into a middle-six forward who can contribute offensively and play in all situations.

You can view more of Speers’ chat with the media at the 2015 NHL Draft in this Hockey’s Future video.

Colton White, D, Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds
4th Round, 97th Overall
Height: 6-1 Weight: 185 lbs

New Jersey returned to the Sault Ste Marie prospect pool and drafted defenseman Colton White. Considered more of a defensive defenseman, he also appears to have untapped offensive potential. Aside from his defensive awareness, he is a good skater and can make a good first pass.

Last year was White’s best season as he played in 67 games and scored six goals, 16 assists and 22 points for the Greyhounds.  He also played well on the penalty kill.

Brett Seney, C, Merrimack College (Hockey East)
6th Round, 157th Overall
Height: 5-9 Weight: 156 lbs

With their final pick in the 2015 NHL Draft, New Jersey made their selection amongst the college ranks and took Brett Seney of Merrimack College. He was passed over in last year’s draft and finished 198th in Central Scouting’s final rankings of North American skaters.

Seney was one of the fastest skaters in Hockey East as a freshman and excelled in transition situations where he showed he was able to create chances with the puck. He scored 23 points in 23 games but a lower-body injury slowed him down. He scored three points in the final 11 games of the year. Hitting the weight room will be a priority, but Seney admits he wants to improve his all-around play before he leaves Merrimack.

“I want to get stronger. It was tough playing against 25 year olds when you are 18. It’s something I am working on. My defensive part of the game you can always get better. I also want to get better as a complete player,” he told the media after his selection.

The left winger will probably stay in college for the next three seasons before jumping to the pros. His exceptional speed and good hands present the Devils with plenty of upside to consider signing in the future.

Seney met with the media following his selection by the Devils at the 2015 NHL Draft, with those comments being captured in this HF video.

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