A first-round pick in a strong draft is nothing to look over. Teams are looking for extra picks in next year’s draft which is topped off by Shane Wright, Brad Lambert, and Ivan Miroshnichenko. Shakir Mukhamadullin was a former 1st-round pick himself and the best defensive prospect in the system that isn’t a Hughes brother depending on who you ask. The big defenseman is also playing in the KHL already and while he is a very different defender than Quinn Hughes, he has the potential to while not be as good, at least fill a top-four role in a year or two for the team. He would add size and has a very hard shot that would fit in well with the team and provide a high-end prospect that they would need right away with the devastating loss of Hughes.
Janne Kuokkanen is developing incredibly. The former second-round pick is 100% NHL ready and put up some decent points this season with Jack Hughes. He could make a smooth transition to center, or he could stay at wing with a chance to play the heavy puck retrieval role for Bo Horvat or Elias Pettersson.
Kuokkanen spent the end of last season on the Devils’ top line. Putting him and basically two 1st rounders in a trade is a lofty price. It is likely what it will take to get a young star defenseman away from their team.