Devils Trade For Bennett, Draft Nine Players

On Saturday, the Devils acquired forward Beau Bennett from the Pittsburgh Penguins in exchange for a third-round pick in this year’s draft.

The Devils sent the Penguins the 77th overall pick, which they originally acquired from Detroit in the Marek Zidlicky trade. The Devils used it to select Connor Hall.

Bennett scored six goals and had six assists for 12 points in 33 games this past season with Pittsburgh. He played in one playoff game. In the previous three seasons, he split time with Pittsburgh and their AHL affiliate, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, where he played for current Devils Head Coach John Hynes.

In 129 career NHL games, Bennett has 16 goals and 29 assists for 45 points. He has played in 21 career playoff games, with two goals and four assists.

At the conclusion of the 2016 NHL Draft on Saturday, the New Jersey Devils selected nine players.

A summary of the Devils’ selections in the NHL Draft from Rounds 2-7:

Round 2 (41st overall)– RW Nathan Bastian (Mississauga, OHL)
Nathan Bastian registered nearly a point per game in 2015-16 with 19g-40a—59pts through 64 contests while playing alongside Alexander Nylander (No. 3 NA Skater) and Michael McLeod (No. 13 NA Skater) on the top line for the Mississauga Steelheads.

NHL Central Scouting’s Matt Ryan said, “Bastian is a big, strong forward who possesses good hands and a scoring touch. He has good hockey sense and underrated passing ability. He has taken on a leadership role within his team and provides them with size and skill up front.”

Bastian’s breakout season in 2015-16 saw the 6-3 forward more than double his point total from the previous campaign despite playing in fewer games (2014-15: 17g-12a—29pts in 68 GP).

He played in 21 games as a rookie in 2013-14 after being selected in the seventh round (127th overall) by the Steelheads in the 2013 Ontario Hockey League Priority Selection.

He strives to emulate the playing style and leadership of Kings forward Jeff Carter and enjoys breaking the tension in the locker room with comic relief.

Round 3 (73rd overall) – RW Joseph Anderson (USA U-18, NTDP)
Joseph Anderson registered 27 goals and 30 assists (57 points), while totaling 20 penalty minutes in 64 games during his first season with the National Development Program’s U-18 squad. He also represented the United States at the 2016 U-18 World Junior Championships where he collected seven goals and seven assists in nine games played. In 2014-15, the 5-11, 190lb native of Fridley, MN scored 21 goals and 21 assists (42 points) in 55 games for the NTDP U-17 team.

Round 3 (77th overall)- TRADED PICK TO PITTSBURGH
Acquired forward Beau Bennett in exchange for a third-round pick (#77 overall, originally acquired from Detroit in the Marek Zidlicky trade; used to select Connor Hall)

Round 3 (80th overall) – C Brandon Gignac (Shawinigan, QMJHL)

Brandon Gignac registered a career-high 24 goals and 37 assists totaling 61 points as well as 41 penalty minutes in his third-season with the Cataractes. The 5-10, 175lb Repentigny, Que. native also represented Quebec at the 2014 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge where he registered one goal in six games played. He won a QMJHL Gold Cup Silver Medal in 2012-13.

Round 4 (102nd overall) – LW Mikhail Maltsev (Team U18, Russia-Jr.)

Mikhail Maltsev finished the 2015-16 season with 11 goals and 12 assists (23 points) while totaling 20 penalty minutes for Russia’s U-18 (MHL) squad. The 6-3, 200lb. St. Petersburg-native also collected two assists in three playoff contests with the club. In 2014-15 Maltsev skated for SKA St. Petersburg’s U17 team where he scored four points (2g, 2a) in four games.

Round 4 (105th overall) – G Evan Cormier (Saginaw, OHL)
Evan Cormier completed his second season with the Spirit after appearing in a career-high 58 games totaling a 3.72 goals against average and a .890 save-percentage. The 6-3, 200lb Bowmanville, Ont.-native also represented Canada at the 2015 IIHF U-18 World Championship where he won a Bronze Medal. Cormier was also named to the OHL Second All-Rookie Team in 2014-15.

Round 5 (132nd overall) – D Yegor Rykov (Ska 2, Russia-Jr.)
Yegor Rykov registered three goals and seven assists (10 points), while totaling 10 penalty minutes during his first season with SKA St. Petersburg 2. The 6-2, 200lb defenseman won a silver medal with Russia at the 2016 U-20 World Junior Championships. He collected one assist in 10 games during the tournament.

Round 6 (162nd overall) – LW/RW Jesper Bratt (AIK, Sweden-2)

Jesper Bratt completed his first season with AIK, scoring eight goals and nine assists, totaling 17 points in 48 games. The 5-10, 170lb winger, who can play at either left or right wing won a Silver Medal playing for Sweden at the 2016 IIHF U-18 World Championship. He registered two goals and two assists in seven games during the tournament.

Round 7 (192nd overall) – D Jeremy Davies (Bloomington, USHL)

Jeremy Davies recently completed his third season in the USHL, second with Bloomington, where he recorded 13 goals and led the USHL for defensemen with 36 assists and 49 points in 60 games. The 5-10, 180lb defenseman was named to the 2015-16 USHL First All-Star Team.

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