After acquiring Pittsburgh’s seventh round pick (214th overall) to grab forward Liam Arnsby, the Florida Panthers capped off the 2022 NHL Entry Draft by selecting another forward, Jack Devine with the 221st overall pick.
A product of the U.S. National Development Team Program, the 18-year-old appeared in 36 games with the NCAA’s Denver Pioneers during his draft season, producing three goals and 19 points, which ranked 11th on the team. He added 18 blocked shots and 16 penalty minutes and finished his freshman campaign with a +12 plus/minus rating and had four multi-point outings during the season. Devine scored his first career goal and added an assist on December 3, 2021 in a road game against the Arizona State Sun Devils. He registered a career-high three points (1G/2A) on New Year’s Day vs. Alaska Fairbanks and was named NCHC Rookie of the Week two days later. Devine played in all four contests in the NCAA Tournament and had an assist in the national championship game vs. Minnesota State on April 9 as the Pioneers took the title.
Devine was ranked 75th in Neutral Zone’s NHL Draft Final Rankings Top 305 and carried a B grade (Low probability of playing NHL games before 22-years-old; some NHL potential), so, this could turn out to be a good value pick by Bill Zito.
Neutral Zone had this to say on Devine:
To be: He had 19 points as a true freshman playing for Denver University averaging 12:45 TOI as they won the National Championship. He won 54% of his puck battles. Although slight at 176 pounds, he understands how to use his body to protect the puck thus extending the cycle.
Not to be: As right shot forward he is most comfortable attacking the offensive zone outside the right dot lane. To be effective in professional hockey he will need to learn how to feel comfortable attacking the offensive zone between the face-off dots. He was not used very often as a penalty killer during his freshman year.
Devine will return to Denver for his sophomore season. A clever playmaker with a high motor, he will need to add strength and bulk up a bit to eventually make it to the next level. The Cats might have a good one here, he’ll just need time to marinate.