New Jersey Devils Top-10 prospects under 24

Nico Hischier, New Jersey Devils. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
Nico Hischier, New Jersey Devils. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /
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New Jersey Devils
Jesper Bratt, New Jersey Devils. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

8. Jesper Bratt (21), Left Wing, 2016 6th round (162nd overall)

As a sixth-round draft choice, Jesper Bratt certainly qualifies as a huge steal for the New Jersey Devils. His 68 points (including 20 on the power play) in 125 NHL games over the past two seasons certainly backs it up. Going into the 2016 draft, Bratt’s offensive skills weren’t in doubt as he put up good numbers for Sweden’s various junior national teams. His slight, 5-10, 175-pound frame and ability to play a full 200 feet were the big question marks.

While his defensive game is still a work in progress, Bratt’s contributions to the Devs offense are undeniable. His skating ability, which includes outstanding changes of direction, can make defenders look silly when trying to play him one-on-one. Once he gets a step on his man, Bratt is adept at finding an open teammate or taking the shot himself. For someone who isn’t very big, Bratt can unleash a very hard slapper.

The offseason additions of Jack Hughes, Nikita Gusev, and Wayne Simmonds are going to eat into his playing time this season, especially on the man advantage.

7. Jesper Boqvist (20) Center, 2017 2nd round (36th overall)

Despite being only 20-years-old, Jesper Boqvist has spent parts of the last four seasons playing in the Swedish Elite League with Brynäs IF. He became a full-timer in 2018-19, scoring 35 points in 51 games. That total was good for second place on his team and tied for 14th in the SHL.

Since starting his pro career as a 16-year old, his point totals have increased every season. Starting at one point in 8 games during the 2015-16 season, to six points (16 games) in 2016-17, to 13 points (23 games) in 2017-18, before his big breakout last year.

Like many New Jersey Devils prospects, Boqvist is a fantastic skater. He is lightning fast and avoids defenders laterally like a housefly avoiding a swatter. When does makes his exciting moves by defenders, Boqvist does a great job of holding on to the puck. Defenders can’t play the body or puck, because they are both elusive when he is moving up ice. A bit light at 180 pounds, Boqvist can still take a hit to get to the puck. He loves to drive the net and antagonize goalies with his quick shot release.

The Devils bought him some time to develop in the AHL this year with their recent forward acquisitions.