With their final pick at the 2013 NHL Entry Draft, the New Jersey Devils took Myles Bell of the Kelowna Rockets. He's an older prospect with an August 19, 1993 birthdate. He initially started as a defenseman, but he was converted to left wing for the 2012-13 season. As a result of the move, he did have a very productive as an older player in the WHL. In fact, he finished sixth in the league in scoring. Can't ask for much more than that. Here's his numbers from Elite Prospects, which lists him at 6 feet and 209 lbs.
This article by Scott Cruickshank in the Calgary Herald profiles his rise on Kelowna after his positional change. If the points weren't enough, he was also named to the WHL West Second All-Star Team. Now he gets attention from the NHL. Given that Damon Severson plays for Kelowna, the Devils scouts must have seen plenty of Bell over the years. They clearly liked what he was doing to take a chance on him. Corey Pronman didn't put him in his top 100 but did have this take on Twitter:
NJD selects Bell. Converted to F from D. Good skater, body and shot. has some offensive ability. Needs to work on positioning.
All good to have for a sixth round selection. Since he's a late pick, the Devils can and will likely have him go at his own pace. He'll likely start in either of the minor pro leagues, depending on how he does in camp. He's too old, I think to go back to juniors. With this selection and barring any acquisitions of a seventh round pick, the Devils close their 2013 Draft with Myles Bell. Do you think the Devils did well to go with an older forward who just came off a big season in the WHL? What do you expect from him? Please leave your comments and thoughts about Bell in the comments. Thank you for reading.
UPDATE: I discovered that Myles Bell has something in his past that, well, just isn't good. Back in 2011 when he was with Regina, he was involved in a car accident that injured himself and took the life of an 18-year old woman. Over at Fire & Ice, Tom Gulitti noted that Bell plead guilty to the crime and has been serving probation while banned from driving for several more years. I have to agree with Gulitti, that would be a big factor as to why he was not drafted for two straight years. I will also say I'm more interested in what he does now than what he did then. Apparently, he did appear at Rangers' development camp last year but the organization did not (could not?) sign him. Hence, he remained draft eligible. The productive season combined with the positional switch and, I suppose, time led someone to pick him up late this year.