Predict the Pick: New Jersey Devils will enhance their system’s blue line with a fine defenseman in NHL Draft

Even a trade for Jacob Markstrom allowed the New Jersey Devils to keep the No. 10 pick in the 2024 NHL Draft, so let’s predict the pick.
2024 Frozen Four - Denver v Boston College
2024 Frozen Four - Denver v Boston College / Richard T Gagnon/GettyImages
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The New Jersey Devils landed a goaltender this past week, and it didn’t cost them a 2024 first-round pick. This doesn’t mean the Devils won’t dish their No. 10 pick elsewhere by the time Friday night arrives, but as of the time of this writing, they still have that selection, so let’s make a prediction on who will end up going to New Jersey on June 28th. 

Last week, I conducted a team-by-team mock draft of the first 10 picks, which ended with the Devils landing Konsta Helenius. But that was a simulation of who fell to the Devils when FC Hockey’s mock draft simulator was picking for the nine spots in front of New Jersey. 

This one was different, as I manually conducted a 32-team mock, one that projected who I believe will end up in the Devils system next week based on where I feel the nine players picked before defenseman Zeev Buium would land. So, if they keep the 10th pick, Buium will be a Devil based on the logic I used in this mock, and he ended up being just the third defenseman off the board. 

Zeev Buium at No. 10 is a logical projection for the New Jersey Devils

This pick came down to three players, all of whom went back-to-back-to-back, with the Buffalo Sabres taking Zayne Parekh and the Philadelphia Flyers rolling with Sam Dickinson. General manager Tom Fitzgerald couldn’t go wrong with any of the above, but none of them have Buium’s upside. 

Zayne Parekh will be valuable when his team has the puck, but will his defensive output match what he does in the offensive zone? Sam Dickinson is a future star who just turned 18, and he’s someone whose size could catapult him into going somewhere in the top six instead of the top 12, but it ultimately came down to upside, and it motivated me to project Buium. 

Will Buium find himself wearing a New Jersey Devils sweater on Friday, will the Devils end up trading that pick too, or will Fitzgerald pick someone else? We will find out where Buium and the rest of the 2024 draft class end up in less than one week.

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