today 15:04 | Overseas expert Tony Ferrari from The Hockey News magazine considers Slovakian hockey player Šimon Nemec to be one of the future pillars of the defense of the New Jersey Devils team in the overseas NHL. In addition to this year’s draft number two, he also sees great potential in American defender Luke Hughes, whom the “Devils” drafted last year from fourth place. According to him, both are very talented, but they need to work on each other. “The German and Hughes are the biggest gems among the defenders at the club. Both are excellent with their mobility and attacking instincts, but they will need to improve defensively. Hughes is very intelligent, he outplays opponents with his skating and passing and exploits every crack in their defense. The German is a tactician, takes the game to a higher level and finds teammates in the ideal position with his passes,” wrote Ferrari about Hughes and the German. The name of the current Slovak vice-champion with HK Nitra was mentioned in the July rookie draft as the second after compatriot Juraj Slafkovski. Ferrari considers the German a logical choice for New Jersey, but does not think he will start the 2022/2023 season in the Canadian-American professional league: “Drafting the German makes sense from several points of view, the Devils needed a right-handed defender for the future. They considered the talented and mobile Slovak the best defender in draft, and that’s why they picked him second. They won’t push him to the NHL right away, as they have enough quality on the right side right now. It seems they plan to send him to the AHL at the beginning of the season to adjust to the overseas style of hockey.” The German set a junior extraleague record in the 2021/2022 season with 26 points in 37 games of the regular season, only forwards Marián Hossa and Marián Gáborík collected more points than juniors. He also became the all-time most productive junior in the playoffs with 17 points (5+12) in 19 games. At the Olympic Games in Beijing, he helped Slovakia to bronze medals with an assist in seven matches, at the World Cup in Finland he scored a goal and five assists in eight duels. He was also the most useful player of the other Hlinka Gretzky Cup, where as captain he led the Slovak “eighteen” to win the silver with six points (1+5) in six fights.
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