Inspired by a great article over at Fear the Fin (which you can read here: http://www.fearthefin.com/2011/7/25/2291903/history-of-the-sharks-roster), I did some digging into the current Devils roster to see how we got to where we are today. Sure, as die-hard fans we're all familiar with how we traded down with Calgary in the 1990 draft to acquire Martin Brodeur 20th overall (in exchange for draft picks that became Trevor Kidd and Vesa Viitakoski) but there are some fascinating things in our family tree, including two players on the roster who are ancestors of other players!
To begin, the first thing that jumped out at me was the enormous number of UFA signing we have, including both Unrestricted and the Undrafted variety. The following players were all signed as free agents:
- Brian Rolston
- Dainius Zubrus
- David Clarkson (undrafted)
- Eric Boulton
- Rod Pelley (undrafted)
- Cam Janssen
- Anton Volchenkov
- Henrik Tallinder
- Andy Greene (undrafted)
- Matt Taormina (undrafted)
- Johan Hedberg
That's 11 free agent signings on a roster with 26 players (undoubtedly some of these names may end up in Albany). Ignore the fact that Brian Rolston and Cam Janssen were originally drafted by New Jersey. Their current stays in New Jersey are a direct result of Free Agency.
After the 11 Free Agents we have three players who came to New Jersey via trading activity. This is where we get our first form of family tree anachronisms with Bryce Salvador, who was acquired in exchange for Cam Janssen who was the 117th overall pick in 2002. Dave Steckel was also the product of a trade, for Jason Arnott last season, as you should all be aware. Then there's the Ilya Kovalchuk trade. Sure, he signed as a Free Agent, and we've all been well versed in just what was given up to acquire Kovalchuk. I'm not going to get into the details on that one, but it's worth reiterating that Kovalchuk cost more than most of the roster combined. The total damage comes to six draft picks (all in the first three rounds) and Johnny Oduya (who was a free agent signing). On the bright side, one of those six draft picks, the one which became Patrice Cormier, was our first round pick in 2008, which became Patrice Cormier and Mattias Tedenby (via trades with Washington and St. Louis). I'll get into that in a bit.
Now we come to what we all hold dear, the Devils' farm system. A large number of the players on New Jersey's roster were drafted by the Devils in the NHL Entry Draft throughout the years. The following players were all signed with the Devils own draft picks (allotted by the NHL):
- Patrik Elias (51st Overall, 1994)
- Travis Zajac (20th Overall, 2004)
- Mark Fayne (155th Overall, 2005)
- Mark Fraser (84th Overall, 2005)
That's only four players on a roster of 26 who were drafted with the Devils original picks. Lou Lamoreillo likes to use his draft picks as trade material very often. Eight players on the current roster, drafted by New Jersey, were drafted with other team's picks:
- Jacob Josefson (20th Overall, 2009 via CGY for 23rd and 84th Overall 2009)
- Mattias Tedenby (24th Overall, 2008 via MIN for 23rd Overall 2008 via WSH for 21st Overall 2008)
- Nick Palmieri (79th Overall, 2007 via CGY for David Hale)
- Vladimir Zharkov (77th Overall, 2006 via STL for 25th Overall 2006)
- Zach Parise (17th Overall, 2003 via EDM for 22nd and 68th Overall 2003)
- Colin White (43rd Overall, 1996 via TBL for Corey Schwab 200th Overall in 1990)
- Matt Corrente (30th Overall, 2006 via STL for 25th Overall 2006)
- Martin Brodeur (20th Overall, 1990 via CGY for 11th Overall and 32nd Overall)
As a final note before I go I want to mention the most fascinating thing I discovered. Nick Palmieri, as mentioned above was acquired via Calgary's draft pick in 2007. The Devils acquired that pick in exchange for David Hale. David Hale was drafted by the Devils with the 22nd overall pick in 2000. That pick was acquired from Colorado in the trade that sent Brian Rolston to Colorado and brought Claude Lemieux back to New Jersey. Brian Rolston was drafted 11th overall in 1991 by the New Jersey Devils. So the 11th overall pick in 1991 eventually resulted today in Nick Palmieri being a Devil (and I suppose partially Brian Rolston as well).
I just wanted to share that with everyone on a slow off-season Monday.