New Jersey Devils: 5 Defensemen Worth Trading Fourth-Overall Pick

Vancouver Canucks defenseman Quinn Hughes and New Jersey Devils center Jack Hughes: (Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports)
Vancouver Canucks defenseman Quinn Hughes and New Jersey Devils center Jack Hughes: (Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports) /
facebooktwitterreddit
Prev
1 of 6
Next
New Jersey Devils
Columbus Blue Jackets defensemen Seth Jones and Zach Werenski: (James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports) /

The latest 31 Thoughts article from Elliotte Friedman had a very interesting note on the New Jersey Devils. It straight up says the Devils are considering a move that would get them a young defenseman for the fourth-overall pick in this year’s NHL Draft.

It seems counterintuitive on the surface. There are multiple young defensemen available with the fourth-overall pick. The Devils would need to get someone who is better for the team than Luke Hughes, Simon Edvinsson, and Brandt Clarke. That means the Devils would have to get a defenseman that has more value than those three who are likely to be available at pick number four. How many defensemen like that are out there?

It’s hard to quantify. A player like Erik Karlsson is better than who the Devils could draft now. He’s likely going to be better over the next several seasons. However, how long will that last? And when one takes the massive salary cap number into account, is Karlsson $11 million better than Luke Hughes?

There are a few defensemen the Devils would absolutely trade for fourth overall, but there’s no way it is happening. Cale Makar, Miro Heiskanen, Charlie McAvoy, and Jaccob Slavin would all make a lot of sense for the Devils. Unfortunately, there’s nothing that would get their teams to move them short of Jack Hughes and the entire Devils prospect pool.

So, who is worth the fourth-overall pick and has at least an outside chance of being available? It’s not an easy task, but let’s take a look at who Elliotte Friedman could be talking about.