The New Jersey Devils are a team looking to finally get their team in order so that they can be in the Stanley Cup Playoffs consistently. It has been a long time for them but good things appear to be on the horizon. The 2022 NHL Draft is the next step to reaching that goal.
Of course, New Jersey won one of the two lottery spots this year and will make the second overall selection. There are a lot of things for New Jersey heading into the pick. With this, we are assuming that the Montreal Canadiens take Shane Wright with the first overall pick.
If that is the case, that leaves a few prospects there for the Devils to consider. It will likely be (unless the pick is traded) one of Juraj Slafkovsky, Simon Nemec, and Logan Cooley. That means they are going to consider a winger, a centerman, and a defenseman.
The biggest thing to consider when making this pick is the positions that they play. If the team sees them all about the same, then the position of need should be the deciding factor.
The New Jersey Devils have a lot to consider when making their 2022 selection.
Nico Hischier, Jack Hughes, and Dawson Mercer figure to be the team’s top three centers for a long time. That means that the room for Logan Cooley is small. They can make it work in a variety of ways but is that something they want to try to do?
With the defense, they already have Dougie Hamilton, Ryan Graves, Ty Smith, Damon Severson, and Jonas Siegenthaler there. In addition to them, guys like Reilly Walsh, Kevin Bahl, and Luke Hughes among others are on the way. What would Simon Nemec’s value be in the long term?
That makes Juraj Slafkovsky the perfect fit out of the three here. We may regret saying this but he could even end up being better than Wright which is saying something. Going into the draft, only Jesper Bratt and Yegor Sharangovich seem to be long-term wing options for them.
Adding another winger to the mix that can score lots of goals would really help. Slafkovsky is also someone who could play in the NHL next season. He would be in a good position no matter which of the three centers he stars with.
If their scouting team thinks one of the other guys is a better player, they should roll with that. If they think it’s close, they should take the guy who fits the biggest need for the team in the long term and that is the winger.