Time to round out the 2017 draft picks as part of the Devils Draft Prospect Series; don’t forget to look through the “draft prospect series” for the rest of them!
The New Jersey Devils selected D Matthew Hellickson with their 214th overall pick and their final pick of the 2017 NHL Entry-Level Draft in the seventh round. He is the second American they’ve selected and their third straight defenseman in the last round. The 19-year old blueliner from Minnesota is 6′ 0″ and 187 pounds; he shoots left. He’s played in the U.S. developmental program, as well as for Rogers High (USHS) and the Sioux City Musketeers (USHL). He’s slated to play for the University of Notre Dame in the fall.
Here are some of his stats:
He’s been a pretty consistent player and his production took a huge step forward last year with the Musketeers, picking up 28 points (six goals, 22 assists) in 52 games played. He had just one point in 13 playoff games. The year before, he played for USNTDP Juniors, the U.S. National U18 Team, and the U18 team at World Juniors. Notre Dame is a great hockey program and he’ll learn a lot in addition to putting on some (more) muscle. A couple of developmental years definitely wouldn’t hurt him.
There isn’t any footage on YouTube and there aren’t many profiles but here’s an excellent piece from the official website of USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program (now you know what USNTDP stands for). According to the article, Hellickson is (was) a New York Rangers fan so that’s unfortunate but he redeems himself by liking Ryan Suter (his favorite player) and Imagine Dragons (his favorite music).
He seems like a good kid and I’m excited to watch him at development camp as well; I’m genuinely excited for the prospects that the Devils selected this year because I think they did a pretty good job, all things considering. They had 11 picks and I don’t think any one of them was bad.
I’ll start with a pair of 2016 draft picks tomorrow (hint: they’re Super Buddies) but enjoy your Independence Day!