Since winning the NHL Draft Lottery in late April, all eyes have been on the New Jersey Devils. Will they keep the pick and draft one of the top ranked prospects Nolan Patrick or Nico Hirschier? Or, will they move the pick to acquire further assets? NHL insider Elliotte Friedman, in his latest 30 Thoughts article, reports that at least one team has made an offer on the pick, but that the Devils haven’t budged.
Watch New Jersey in the lead-up to the draft. There is a growing suspicion the Devils feel their greatest need is on the blue line, and there are some good ones they like (Miro Heiskanen? Cale Makar?). Anyway, would GM Ray Shero take one of them at the top, or would he move down just a little bit, adding something else, if he knew he could still get what he wanted? Vancouver could use a centre, for example. The compensatory pick from Columbus for hiring John Tortorella (55th overall) is something they dangled to see if it could help them move, but so far, no dice.
Interesting. The Canucks have three picks in the draft’s top 60 selections (5, 33, 55) so they could potentially use one or more as part of a package to land first overall. Should they keep the 5th overall selection, they’ll have their choice of good defensemen, but because the team desperately needs a prospect with #1 center potential, Friedman thinks a deal could go down.
Again, all eyes will be on New Jersey in the days leading up to this summer’s NHL Entry Draft.