It was another banner day for the New Jersey Devils. During the NHL Draft Lottery, the Devils became the only team in the league to move up in the draft. Everyone else either stayed in their position, or in the case of the Arizona Coyotes, Philadelphia Flyers, and Seattle Kraken, they fell in the draft. It was all for the dividends of the New Jersey Devils.
Prior to the NHL Draft Lottery, we talked about our desire to get the second-overall pick over the first pick because of the situation the Devils are dealing with right now. They have Jack Hughes, Nico Hischier, and Dawson Mercer as incredibly young, skilled centers. How does adding Shane Wright to that process impact the team as a whole? With so many holes still to fill, the Devils didn’t need to be in a position where they had to take the center.
There are so many options for the Devils at pick two. Some want Logan Cooley, a U.S. NDTP forward who has a scoring prowess. There’s also Simon Nemec, a right-handed defenseman who could eventually turn into the best player in this draft. The favorite to take the spot seems to be Slovak winger Juraj Slafkovsky.
He had a progression up draft charts that is similar to Nico Hischier. Josh Bell of FC Hockey had him ranked 7th in his preseason rankings, and he was one of the highest. He had a huge performance in the Olympics, and that had him rising progressively up draft boards.
Either way, the Devils got the right pick in this draft. They can get themselves a superstar defenseman or a superstar winger. They are still eligible to take Connor Bedard in 2023 if they have another disastrous season, but goodness we hope we’re not in that position again.
There’s also the chance that the Devils could trade the pick. They are sick of losing every season, and they are ready to compete. They want a legit NHL player, and there have been rumors of Kevin Fiala to New Jersey, but this probably changes things. Fiala is a good player who had a great year, but the number-two overall pick is too much to risk.
For now, the Devils fans should celebrate. It’s a great day and they are going to get another great player in the draft. Now, it’s time to win.