The Devils Draft Prospect Series continues today with the final two 2016 draft picks; be sure to check through the “Draft Prospect Series” tag for the rest of the 2016 draft picks and every 2017 draft pick. I’ll jump into 2015 draft picks tomorrow!
The New Jersey Devils selected LW/RW Jesper Bratt 162nd overall in the sixth round of the 2016 NHL Entry-Level Draft. The 18-year old Swedish winger is 5′ 10″ and 174 pounds. Bratt has played his entire professional (and junior) hockey career thus far in the Swedish (developmental) system and he’s spent (parts of) the last three years in the SuperElit. He’s played in the Allsvenskan the last four years as well (and in the AIK system) and has represented Sweden on an international level at multiple tournaments. On May 12, Bratt signed a three-year, entry-level contract with the Devils.
Here are some of his stats:
He’s not overwhelmingly offensive or productive but that’s okay because he does a lot of things right on the ice and he has a fair number of assists. Creating goals is an asset but he does have a knack for scoring goals. He has a big shot, he’s a great skater, and he sees the ice really well. However, his defensive skills leave something to be desired. He’s also a bit undersized and could (should) put on some weight and muscle.
Here are some observations from DobberProspects:
May 2017 – New Jersey has signed Bratt to a three-year entry-level contract. At 18 and requiring a bit more all-around development, he will likely remain in Sweden next season to refine his quick, elusive offensive game and hone his defensive chops. Kevin Wickersham
April 2017 – Bratt finished the Allsvenskan regular season with a respectable six goals and 16 assists in 42 games for AIK averaging 13:21 minutes of ice-time per game. In a dramatic playoff series with Karlskoga, AIK lost their final game which included Bratt taking a puck to his hand causing him to exit early. Bratt tallied one goal and one assist in eight playoff games this postseason. Kevin Wickersham
January 2017 – Bratt is small in stature, but possesses a big shot with a quick release. His shooting ability makes him lethal on the power play. He is extremely fast both with and without the puck and maintains his balance well, causing defenders havoc as he can deke and evade them skillfully. He exerts excellent puck control, and is creative at offering timely passes that put his teammates in good position to score, even while blazing across the ice. He displays intuition on offense that allows him to effectively utilize space and his teammates strategically, seeming to plan several moves ahead of the action.
Bratt pursues the puck aggressively in all zones, but is neither physical nor strong by NHL standards. This presents him with problems against larger, fast defenders who can keep up with his speedy skating as they are too often able to knock him off the puck. His small frame also impacts his defensive game. Just how his style and lack of a physical game will play in North America remains to be seen. One may envision him as successful, one-dimensional scorer at the NHL level, but likely he will have to polish his defensive abilities and bulk up a bit to reach that level of play. Kevin Wickersham
Here’s a draft profile from SB Nation College Hockey if you want some more reading material.
As for future potential? Bratt’s going to (hopefully) play for the Binghamton Devils (AHL) in the fall so it’ll be fun to see how he and his game adjusts to the North American system. We’ll also hopefully see how he plays at both development and training camp. I like this pick and I like Bratt but only time will tell just what kind of NHL player he becomes.