'Special' moment for Dudek, drafted by New Jersey Devils
JOEY "J.D." DUDEK is a Devil.
The 18-year-old from Auburn was selected with the second pick of the sixth round (152nd overall) by the New Jersey Devils at the NHL Draft in Philadelphia Saturday.
Dudek, who played at Pinkerton Academy in Derry before transferring to Kimball Union Academy in Plainfield for the past two seasons, will play with Dubuque of the USHL in the fall before starting his career at Boston College for the 2015-16 season.
"When I heard my name called it was something special," Dudek said. "To be able to share the moment with my mom and dad, the ones who supported me the most through my hockey career, it was an unbelievable feeling. No words can describe it."
Dudek was in Philly with mom Jodi and dad Joe, a legendary football player at Plymouth State University who also got into two NFL games in his career.
"It really is an amazing feeling. You always want to see your kids fulfill their dreams and this is definitely a dream of J.D.'s so it was great to here and be a part of it. It's been a first-class event since the start," Joe Dudek said. "It went a little longer than we expected, but at the end of the day it's the New Jersey Devils who have his rights and he's very excited to be a part of that organization."
J.D. Dudek said it felt like a long day from the 10 a.m. opening of the second round until his name was called approximately three hours later.
"It was getting very nerve-wracking from the first selection of the day until I was picked. It was an unbelievable experience," he said. "It is a big sigh of relief. It's going to make me want to work that much harder. This is a great start and I'm heading in the right direction for my career."
Dudek is 5-foot-11 and 178 pounds. According to Kimball Union coach Tim Whitehead, Dudek isn't known as a physical player but does not shy away from contact and is tough enough to take a hit to make a play. His skating is very strong and his ice vision is hockey IQ are both in the elite category.
After helping Pinkerton win the NHIAA Division I state title in 2012 with fellow Auburn native Zach Sanford (a second-round pick of the Washington Capitals last year), Dudek opted to play at Kimball Union as a junior and senior. Dudek scored 26 goals and 60 assists in 54 games at KUA.
Following his selection, Dudek met with the New Jersey staffers who were on hand for the draft. They let him know that he will be reporting for a short rookie camp on July 12.
"They said they were happy to have me in the organization. I'm happy to stay on the East Coast and be with New Jersey," Dudek said. "The preparing has already started, but hard work is never finished."
WILDCATS PICKED: Freshman forwards Warren Foegele and Shane Eiserman of the University of New Hampshire were selected in the third and fourth rounds respectively. Foegele was selected by the Carolina Hurricanes with the 67th pick in the third round while Eiserman was the 100th overall pick in the fourth round by the Ottawa Senators.
Foegele (6-foot-1, 185 pounds) played at St. Andrew's College in Aurora, Ontario, where he scored 58 goals and 49 assists for 107 points in 52 games. Eiserman (6-foot-1, 200 pounds) most recently played for Dubuque of the USHL, skating in 53 games and recording 40 points on 16 goals and 24 assists.
MONARCHS OF THE FUTURE: The Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings made 10 picks in the draft, many of whom will likely be in Manchester with the Monarchs before too long.
In Friday's first round, L.A. picked forward Adrian Kempe (29th overall), a 6-foot-1, 178-pounder who posted 19 points (3-16-19) in 20 games and was an assistant captain with MODO's under-20 team before joining the club's senior team in the Swedish Hockey League, where he posted 11 points (5-6-11) in 45 contests.
On Saturday, the Kings traded Manchester Monarch Linden Vey to the Canucks for the 50th overall pick. With that pick, L.A. took defenseman Roland McKeown of Kingston of the OHL. Other L.A. picks were defenseman Alex Lintuniemi (second round, 60th overall, Ottawa, OHL), center Michael Amadio (third round, 90th, North Bay, OHL), defenseman Steven Johnson (fourth round, 120th, Omaha, USHL), goalie Alec Dillon (fifth round, 150th, Victoria, BCHL), center Jake Marchment (sixth round, 157th, Belleville, OHL), left wing Matthew Mistele (sixth round, 180th, Plymouth, OHL), right wing Spencer Watson (seventh round, 209th, Kingston, OHL) and defenseman Jacob Middleton (seventh round, 210th, Ottawa, OHL).
Vey, 22, played 18 games with the Kings this season, notching five assists. but spent the majority of the season in Manchester, where he had 14 goals and 34 assists. In two previous full seasons in Manchester, Vey had 43 and 67 points.
DONATO A BRUIN: The Boston Bruins drafted a familiar name on Saturday: Donato. That's Ryan Donato, the son of former Bruin and Manchester Monarch Ted Donato, now the hockey coach at Harvard. The younger Donato, a center from the Dexter School in Brookline, Mass., was taken in the second round, 56th overall.
Ian Clark covers pro hockey for the New Hampshire Union Leader and Sunday News. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.