New Jersey Devils 2013 NHL Entry Draft Recap: Devils Trade for Schneider, Select Kujawinski, Add Another Brodeur
By Kristin Tullo (@K_Tullo)
Martin Brodeur’s work in New Jersey certainly isn’t over, but it did get a little lighter yesterday afternoon when Gary Bettman took to the podium and announced that the Devils had traded their ninth-overall draft pick to Vancouver for goaltender Cory Schneider in return.
If there was any question about what the move to bring a number one goalie would mean for Brodeur, Lou Lamoriello quickly removed any concern by addressing the fact that Schneider will not replace Brodeur.
“Marty is still number one, there is no question about it,” Lamoriello said just hours after the trade. “ It’s just a question of how many games he can play to keep at the top of his game.”
Lamoriello mentioned that a condensed schedule in the Olympic year as a reason for needing a backup that can play in relief of the aging goalie and touched on the fact that at 40-years old, Brodeur can’t play the way he played years ago because of the number of games he has under his belt.
Chalking it up to “being in the right place at the right time,” Lamoriello made it appear as though getting an NHL-ready goaltender on Sunday was high on their list of priorities.
“If there was a goaltender in the ninth-pick that we felt could definitely play in the NHL, we probably would have taken him,” the general manager said.
Brodeur called the move a “shock” to both he and Johan Hedberg when the announcement was made.
The goalie tandem was in a press box at Prudential Center during the trade and Brodeur said he doesn’t think anyone in the Devils’ organization other than the general manager was aware of what was about to happen. Brodeur added that Schneider is a top goalie in the NHL as well as “the future of the organization.”
According to Lamoriello, the newly acquired New Jersey Devils goalie is “excited to come here and work with Marty.”
As for Johan Hedberg who signed a two-year deal with New Jersey last July, Lamoriello wouldn’t discuss whether or not the Devils would buy him out. Only saying he would have a talk with his second 40-year old goalie.
The Devils drafted their first forward of the day by selecting Ryan Kujawinski of the Kingston Frontenacs (OHL) where he put up 48 points in 66 games.
With his parents, aunt and uncle with him, Kujawinski was drafted by the team forever linked to Scott Stevens. A player he says he idolized, helped grow the culture of hockey around New Jersey.
“I really liked Scott Stevens growing up,’’ the centerman said. “ I like his hits, he hit really hard and played with a lot of passion.”
Good work ethic, a positive attitude and a big body that can skate well are things that the 73rd overall pick says are things he will bring to a Devils organization that to him is “unbelievable.”
Without knowing when he will make it to the New Jersey roster, Kujawinski knows that you don’t have to be a first-round player in order to get there. Another player he has admired in the NHL is the Devils’ 82nd overall draft pick in 2008, Adam Henrique.
“Henrique, he didn’t go in the first round and look at how he’s doing right now,” Kujawinski said. “He worked hard when he got here, its possible for any player, just have to work hard.”
Though the Ontario native seems familiar with the New Jersey Devils, no draft pick is as familiar with it than Anthony Brodeur, who the Devils added to their prospect chart with their final pick, making the draft in New Jersey forever memorable.
“It was an unbelievable moment,” Martin Brodeur said of his oldest son Anthony being drafted by the team he has backstopped for his entire career.
Martin Brodeur took to the microphone shortly after the announcement that New Jersey had traded seventh-round draft picks with the Kings and anyone watching knew it only meant one thing. Shortly after, sitting side by side at the podium in front of the last media members remaining at the Prudential Center, the impact of the father and son moment was evident on Martin’s glowing face and Anthony’s inability to put the moment into more words than “awesome” and “surreal”.
The veteran Brodeur said he was asked to make the announcement late in the sixth round when he was told, “I think our fans deserve for you to announce his name.”
“I’ve grown up watching the Devils, cheering on the Devils, cheering on my Dad so being in this jersey right now in this arena and everything, it’s awesome,” Anthony Brodeur said of being drafted to the team he has watched his Dad win multiple Stanley Cups and Vezina trophies while breaking all the goalie records in the books.
Anthony will be joining the Gatineau Olympiques of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League for the upcoming season.