Later today is the 2012 NHL Draft in Pittsburgh.
The New Jersey Devils will have a first round draft pick in the 2012 NHL Draft. This draft pick is pick number 29. One pick sooner than the pick the Los Angeles Kings received for winning the Stanley Cup. Earlier this week I looked at Cristoval Nieves as a Devils first round pick. Today I will profile Brady Vail, a possible first round draft pick for the New Jersey Devils. Check out the profile for Brady Vail after the jump.
Who is Brady Vail?
Brady Vail is currently a center for the Windsor Spitfires of the Ontario Hockey League. Brady Vail was born in Hendersonville, North Carolina. He is about 195 pounds and six feet tall. He shoots lefty and is ranked 38th in North American skaters by the CSS.
Last summer Vail worked out a lot with Adam Henrique. Perhaps he got some pointers from one of the best rookies in the NHL during the 2011-12 season.
Brady Vail Career Statistics:
Brady Vail really developed from his first year in the OHL. In one year, he ramped up his point total 42 points and played seven more games. A big part of this is that he put on a lot of weight, mostly muscle in the off season. This helped him improve his game and become a more consistent player.
What experts have said about Vail:
There were two experts as part of the NHL.com Draft Prospect Card on Vail. Chris Edwards, a scout for the NHL Central Scouting Bureau said this about Brady Vail's willingness to not play on a top line:
"Once you know a guy's willing to play that role and is effective, that's a big bonus. Some guys think they're skill guys and should be on the top two lines and won't play that (defensive) role. That's why they stay in the AHL."
The other expert, Ben Kerr, had this to say:
"Defensively, Vail is an incredibly intelligent player. He uses strong positional play, and good insticts, to almost always be in the right spot in the defensive zone. He understands how to cut down on passing lanes, and to block shots."
Corey Pronman of Hockey Prospectus had this to say about Vail:
"Vail has average offensive skill and can make plays with the puck here and there but he doesn't show impressive puck possession ability in any aspect. He's a smart player who doesn't turn the puck over and has fine two-way instincts. In the pro game, he'll be a north-south type of player who won't just chuck pucks in but rather will make a one-touch pass or a little move to protect the puck before cycling it."
Here is a highlight reel goal by Brady Vail.
Here's a quick five minute interview with Vail:
My Opinion on Vail:
I believe Vail will be a high second round pick. With the Devils picking very late in the first round, You could see Lou packaging up his first round pick to get more second rounders. Then I think Lou would take Brady Vail. He seems to be a strong center prospect with a very strong hockey sense. That is something invaluable. You can't always teach that, but you can teach a player how to become stronger and more agile.
What do you think of Brady Vail? Will the Devils pick him? If so, which round? Where do you see Vail in two years? NHL ready, or spend some time in the AHL?