New Jersey Devils Have Options With 10th Pick in 2024 NHL Draft

The New Jersey Devils have a very important decision to make with the 10th overall pick in the 2024 NHL Draft. What will they do with it? Here are some options to benefit the team perfectly.
May 3, 2024; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Nashville Predators goaltender Juuse Saros (74) makes a
May 3, 2024; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Nashville Predators goaltender Juuse Saros (74) makes a / Steve Roberts-USA TODAY Sports

Given the trajectory of the 2023-24 New Jersey Devils season, it's not unexpected to see them back in the draft lottery. This time, the Devils held the best odds for the 10th pick, a position that carries significant weight in the draft. As the lottery unfolded predictably, the Devils secured the 10th pick. Now, the question is, how will they leverage this opportunity? Let's explore three potential options for the Devils' 10th pick.

Selecting Cole Eiserman

Cole Eiserman is an exciting player to take 10th overall. A left-wing, born in Newburyport, MA, has been in and out of the draft class for a while. Eiserman is currently playing for the USNTDP Juniors. Of course, it’s not surprising that the Devils could take a liking to him, considering they have had two particular players who’ve played for the USNTDP Juniors, Jack and Luke Hughes.  While he may not have the same talent as both this year, he has excellent qualities, like his shot and goal-scoring ability. However, according to Corey Pronman of The Athletic, he has flaws, like his consistency.

"His consistency isn't the best and he can be a frustrating player to watch at times, but I don't think he's soft and actually had some physical bite in his game. Despite all his faults, Eiserman is also a goal-per-game player in junior, so you ride the wave with him. He has the potential to be a top-line winger."

Corey Pronman of The Athletic

 If the Devils select him, Eiserman would be a great project to work with someone like Jesper Bratt, perhaps one of the best LWs in the league. Working with someone who can be a good goal scorer or skater with how he pivots around could be a significant advantage. Eiserman could be a solid LW if he gets the right coaching and support, so he’s a solid pick at 10.

Selecting Sam Dickinson

The most significant liability on the team, no surprise, is the defensive core. So, it wouldn’t surprise anyone if the Devils selected a defenseman in the NHL Draft. This is a defensive-heavy draft class, and since most likely some of them are going in the top 10, Sam Dickinson might be the best available at the time.

Born in Toronto, he’s been a solid defenseman who’s been improving than his previous year. Currently playing in the OHL with the London Knights, his stats rose from a 23-point player to a 70-point player with 18 goals and 52 assists. Dickinson could be a very physical defense, as the lack of physicality has been the main problem for the defenseman on the Devils lately. Getting a raw guy like Dickinson can finally put that issue away. Scott Wheeler of the Athletic agrees.

"He’s not the most dynamic player with the puck, but he has all of the physical tools you look for, he can really shoot it (which I know he has worked on), he comfortably moves it, he has a high floor, and he could have a very high ceiling (at both ends) with continued development along the path he’s on. There are some who want to see him play a little meaner but he’s a dominant defender at the junior level and he competes/plays hard."

Scott Wheeler, The Athletic

With the league getting stronger defensively, especially in the Metro, the Devils need to continue to stack as much physicality as they can, and Dickison can help tremendously with that.

Trading the pick for Juuse Saros or other goalies.

Perhaps Tom Fitzgerald’s biggest mistake during the offseason, which efficiently cost the season, was not addressing the goaltending. Fitzgerald needs to redeem himself and make sure history doesn’t repeat itself. The goaltender that most likely fits that scenario is Nashville Predators goalie Juuse Saros. While there are other options like Calgary Flames goaltender Jacob Markstrom, Linus Ullmark, or Jeremy Swayman from the Boston Bruins, Saros fits the Devils the best in goaltending.

Saros is turning 29 and is in the prime of his career, with a 35-24 record and a .906 save percentage in 2023-24. Sure, it’s a risk, but the Devils do not want to go back to freefalling in their time of trying to be a contender.  Getting someone like Saros would make things so much easier on themselves.

Trading for a goalie, however, has haunted the Devils before. We all remember what happened in the 2013 NHL Draft, where the Devils traded the 9th pick overall to the Vancouver Canucks to get Cory Schnieder. The Canucks would use that pick to select Bo Horvat. While the trade would have its ups and downs for both teams, the fortune turns in favor of the Canucks since Horvat was a big piece for them. Schneider did have great moments for the Devils, but he wasn’t the long-term solution they hoped would work. Doing the same for Saros might have similar issues, but I feel the only difference is that, compared to the 2012-13 team, this team has more talent and needs goaltending to help balance it out. They can also try to get their goalie during free agency, but either way, they cannot ignore goaltending again. Getting a goaltender must happen, especially if Fitzgerald wants to keep his job as GM.