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Friday, June 24, 2011
Rapid Reaction: Devils draft Adam Larsson

By Mike Mazzeo

All the Devils' picks | NHL draft coverage

NAME: Adam Larsson
POSITION: Defenseman
FORMER TEAM: Skelleftea (Sweden)
AGE: 18
HEIGHT: 6-foot-3
WEIGHT: 200 pounds

WHAT IT MEANS: Twenty years ago, the Devils drafted a defenseman by the name of Scott Niedermayer with the No. 3 pick. They hope they've found a future Niedermayer in Larsson at No. 4. Considered the best defenseman in the draft, Larsson could've been the No. 1 overall pick. He has the potential to be a top-pair defenseman who can quarterback the power play. Henrik Tallinder, Anton Volchenkov, Colin White and Mark Fayne are nice players, but Larsson has the potential to be something special. The Devils normally let players develop through their farm system, but Larsson may be able to play right away.

*SCOUT'S TAKE: Larsson has all the tools and the tool box to go with it. He makes an excellent first pass and has only touched the surface of his offensive game. Larsson shows a combination of size, skill, skating and grit that will make him invaluable as a top-four defenseman. While playing with Skelleftea against the top two teams in the Swedish Elite League, he not only showed his complete game of skating and skills, but also had me leaving the rink feeling his grit for the game was real.

*Courtesy of ESPN Insider's NHL draft guru Gare Joyce.