New Jersey Devils Select Connor Chatham in Third Round of 2014 NHL Draft

Bruce Bennett

In the third round of the NHL Draft, the New Jersey Devils drafted a large, potential energy forward in Connor Chatham. This is a quick reaction post to the selection.

The third round is about where teams tend to pick less exciting players in the hopes that they may play some role in the NHL.  Or they take risks hoping they bloom.  Or fill a need.  The New Jersey Devils went for the first option. With the 71st overall pick, they selected right wing Connor Chatham of the Plymouth Whalers.   According to his profile at Elite Prospects, he's certainly large at 6'3" and 225 pounds. He is also an older player, given his October 30, 1995 birthdate.  He missed the cut off from the 2013 draft by about a month and a half.  He also just jumped to the OHL after spending 2012-13 in the USHL.  Here are his career numbers at EP:

Chatham definitely didn't set the O on fire, given his production.  Chris Dilks wrote a solid profile on Chatham at SBN College Hockey. The dreaded "energy guy" term is used to describe him and I suspect that's what the Devils have in him.   Over at OHL Prospects, Otten listed Chatham as 24th on his list of 2014 OHL Prospects. Otten noted that he got more offensive as the season went on, but seemingly at a cost to his physical game - which is one of his assets.   Between both opinions that I hastily looked through, that may make him a safe pick for a third rounder.   That, I can understand.

However, it's absolutely ridiculous that Brayden Point - the top WHL scorer who has beem falling for reasons I can't figure out - was passed over for Chatham.  Point would absolutely fill a need in the Devils' system.  He absolutely would have that offensive upside that should be very desirable this deep in the draft.  Yet, he continues to get passed over.  That New Jersey has passed up on him is maddening.

In any case, what's your reaction to this selection?  What do you expect out of Chatham?  Please leave your answers and other thoughts about the player in the comments.

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