Pro: Devils Get A Guaranteed Asset
The New Jersey Devils have seen first-round picks fall below expectations before. Look no further than Pavel Zacha as an example. It’s been seven years since the Devils drafted him with the sixth-overall pick. This mock draft from 2015 showed the Devils ending up with Mitch Marner and Zacha going 10th. We wish we lived in this universe.
The point of going through that painful paragraph was to show what could happen with a top pick. The past ten second-overall picks are Ryan Murray, Aleksander Barkov, Sam Reinhart, Jack Eichel, Patrik Laine, Nolan Patrick, Andrei Svechnikov, Kaapo Kakko, Quinton Byfield, and Matthew Beniers. Barkov is one of the best players in the league. Andrei Svechnikov is one of the most exciting young scorers in the league.
The others? Well…
Murray is undoubtedly a bust. Patrick is extremely close to being in the same boat. Eichel is a superstar, but he’s falling out of favor after missing the playoffs every season of his career. Laine is an interesting case, but it’s hard to peg his value. He’s clearly not in the top 50 players right now. Reinhart is a fine player, but he was just traded for a pair of picks. Kakko, Byfield, and Beniers are all too young to judge.
As you can see, the second-overall pick is hardly a guarantee. There are an assortment of possibilities with the pick. However, if the Devils trade the pick for the value it holds, they know exactly what they are getting. This is an asset that will help them now and in the future. Slafkovsky is someone who could help them in the future.