Would Juraj Slafkovsky Immediately Be New Jersey Devils Best Prospect?

Juraj Slafkovsky of Slovakia. (Photo by Jari Pestelacci/Eurasia Sport Images/Getty Images)
Juraj Slafkovsky of Slovakia. (Photo by Jari Pestelacci/Eurasia Sport Images/Getty Images) /

The New Jersey Devils have a great prospect pool. The players under control for the Devils are deep, including players with amazing upside, some guaranteed NHLers, and a few players who still need time to turn into something. There is a plethora of talent across the world that has been drafted or traded to the New Jersey Devils.

It’s going to get even better on Thursday, July 7th. The Devils got the chance to select the second-best player in the NHL Draft when they moved up three spots in the lottery. That player is likely going to be either Juraj Slafkovsky, Simon Nemec, or Logan Cooley. There is an outside chance other names could be added to the mix, but that seems incredibly unlikely. In fact, the Devils would start a riot amongst its fanbase if they chose anyone besides Slafkovsky. He’s captured the hearts of fans around the world, and it even has fans calling for crazy deals to get the second-overall pick.

Let’s just assume the Devils are taking Slafkovsky with the pick. It’s easy to do right now, and it seems to be where the momentum is taking us. He’s a great player who’s only going to get better. His risk factor seems to be lower than the likes of Cooley and Nemec, although it seems pretty clear all three will become NHL players of some capacity.

The real question is how do we rank Slafkovsky once he’s drafted? Jack Hughes was immediately ranked as the top prospect when he was drafted, but it was really only Ty Smith who gave him any competition (and it was still Hughes by a bullet). The same happened with Nico Hischier and probably Ty Smith for that matter.

The questions about “top prospect” started last season when the Devils drafted Luke Hughes fourth overall. That put him up there with Alexander Holtz for the distinction of Devils’ top prospect. The competition between Hughes and Holtz still goes on today. Those two players are at the very top of the prospect list, and then there’s a drop-off after them. Holtz had a great season in the AHL, but he seemed to lose steam at the end of the season. Hughes was one of the best defensemen in college hockey, but there are questions now that Michigan Hockey lost a good percentage of its talent to the NHL.

There are questions surrounding both of the Devils’ top prospects. Would that make Slafkovsky the Devils’ top prospect right away? He has a slight chance to go right into the NHL, and he might have the highest upside of the three players.

Next. Trade History Of Top-Five Draft Picks. dark

Does that make him the best prospect? It’s certainly a conversation. The Devils are in a great position with three young former first-round picks that seem like they are going to live up to the hype. We won’t know until they play a full season in the NHL, but the signs point to positive.

It’s a really hard question to answer right now, but it seems like we’d lean ever so slightly towards Slafkovsky being the best prospect in the Devils’ system. Holtz showed a few flaws and Hughes has a little proving himself to do. While Slafkovsky has his own flaws, he could be one of the league’s great snipers with size. He’s too perfect for the Devils, and he would be our best prospect.