New Jersey Devils: Top 8 prospects worth getting excited about

Ty Smith (24) of the New Jersey Devils. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Ty Smith (24) of the New Jersey Devils. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /
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Dawson Mercer (20)
Dawson Mercer #20 of Canada. (Photo by Codie McLachlan/Getty Images) /

4. Dawson Mercer

Heading into the 2020 NHL Entry Draft, the New Jersey Devils had three First-Round picks at 7th, 18th, and 20th overall. With that 18th selection, they were able to grab Canadian-born forward Dawson Mercer. The 19-year-old already had three seasons in the QMJHL under his belt heading into the Draft, including the most recent where he put up 24 goals and 60 points in 42 games split between the Drummondville Voltigeurs and the Chicoutimi Sagueneens of the QMJHL.

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Mercer had also had a chance to show himself on the world stage prior to being drafted, suiting up in all seven games at the 2020 World Juniors and earning a Gold Medal with Team Canada. While he was held pointless in 2020, he was able to play in the tournament once again this year and had much better personal success, scoring two goals and six points in seven contests. Given the struggles the QMJHL has had this year with running due to COVID-19, Mercer has appeared in just nine games on the season, posting five goals and five assists. While losing a big chunk of the season is unfortunate, he remains a very exciting player for the Devils.

Nolan Foote (29)
Team Captain Nolan Foote #29 of the Kelowna Rockets. (Photo by Marissa Baecker/Getty Images) /

3. Nolan Foote

The Devils were able to get quite a return at the 2020 Trade Deadline when they acquired prospect Nolan Foote and a First-Round pick from the Tampa Bay Lightning in exchange for forward Blake Coleman. Foote, 20, was taken 27th overall by the Lightning at the 2019 NHL Entry Draft after a 36 goal, 63-point season with the Kelowna Rockets in the WHL.

Unfortunately, an injury riddled 2019-20 campaign limited him to just 27 games last season. He did make the most out of if however, registering 15 goals and 33 points. Foote was also able to suit up for Team Canada at the 2020 World Juniors and played a big part in his team winning Gold with three goals and five points in seven games. New Jersey recently announced that he will play in the AHL this year once the season gets underway, which is supposed to happen in just a number of days. Expect him to adapt to the pro game rather quickly, as he looks to be the real deal at this point.