The New Jersey Devils are sitting with the fourth-overall pick in the NHL Draft. The lottery didn’t go their way in terms of moving up, but they definitely avoided the worst-case scenario, and sitting at number four overall might be perfect to get their desired target. Luke Hughes to the Devils seems like the most obvious pick in this draft. There are three things in the way of the inevitable; the Anaheim Ducks, Seattle Kraken, and Buffalo Sabres.
What is the likelihood that the Devils can’t pick Jack Hughes’ brother? This really isn’t the draft to spend assets to move up. So, the only chance for the Devils to pair the Hughes brothers on the same team is to have him fall to them at four.
What kind of needs do the other teams ahead of the Devils have? Not many analysts rank Luke Hughes as one of the top three prospects, but some do. Friend of the Let’s Go Devils podcast Josh Bell ranked Hughes as his best prospect. He had him ahead of Owen Power, Matthew Beniers, and Brandt Clarke.
However, NHL.com has Hughes listed as the fourth-best North American skater. He has Michigan’s Kent Johnson and Mason MacTavish ahead of him on top of Power. The ratings are all over the place. Another friend of the podcast Rachel Doerie has Hughes ranked between 9 and 15.
So, basically, anything can happen during this draft. There’s no saying who is going to go where. Plus, these teams are going to do a ton of research on these prospects between now and the draft. These prospects could really wow GMs in the interview process, causing them to fall in love with them. Since the talent is so close, one team can fall in love with Hughes. So, who is most likely to take Hughes away from the Devils? Let’s start with number one.