Trading down in NHL Draft could make sense for New Jersey Devils

The New Jersey Devils have the 10th-overall pick in the NHL Draft, but they could use their status as a top-10 pick to add more capital later in the draft.
2022 Upper Deck NHL Draft - Round One
2022 Upper Deck NHL Draft - Round One / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages

The New Jersey Devils are currently holding onto the 10th-overall pick in the NHL Draft. There could be quite a few great players available with that pick. Mock drafts are all over the place because the talent in this draft is scattered by immense. There are stars on stars for the taking. The Devils should be able to take someone really good with the 10th pick, but what if they want to roll the dice?

It all depends on who Tom Fitzgerald fancies in the draft. If he's hoping someone like Sam Dickinson or Cayden Lindstrom falls to them, then the Devils should be keeping their pick where it's at. If they are going to take their favorite player, whether it's Cole Eiserman, Berkly Catton, or Konsta Helenius, then the Devils could afford to get bold.

By bold, we mean assuming this player will be available with a trade down a few picks. We saw the price of trading down just last week when the New York Islanders traded pick 18 and pick 50 to the Chicago Blackhawks for pick 20, pick 54, and pick 61. Getting an extra second-round pick for a two-pick drop in the first round is a massive win for Lou Lamoriello and the Islanders.

So, if that's what it costs for a drop from 18 to 20 (plus a small drop in the second round), one would assume the Devils could get even more for a similar drop.

Would the Devils find value in a trade involving the 10th overall pick in the NHL Draft?

The team that makes the most sense to target is the Minnesota Wild. They have the 13th-overall pick, and there are rumblings they could want to push for a trade to get a more desired player. Wild fans have offered Filip Gustavsson to make the move, but that isn't the goalie's value at this point. He has one good season and one bad one. That's not the type of move the Devils should make at this point.

Instead, the Devils need more draft capital. They no longer have their second-round pick due to the Timo Meier trade. We've seen Tom Fitzgerald make mistakes when he doesn't have a second-round pick. The Wild have the 45th overall pick, which is just three spots lower than where the Devils would have picked.

There, the Devils could take Swedish center Linus Eriksson or CHL defenseman Henry Mews. They could even take a 6'6 goalie in Marcus Gidlof.

Should the Devils consider a trade down if it means adding a second-round pick? Could they also add more draft capital than that?

The Devils could do the funniest thing. What if they make a trade with the Sharks and get their pick back? Would Mike Grier even consider that? The Sharks have the 14th overall pick thanks to the Erik Karlsson trade with the Pittsburgh Penguins. Would the Devils consider moving down for pick 14, pick 73, and maybea fourth-round pick?

The Devils could definitely use the players available at 10th overall, but if Fitzgerald trusts his scouts, they can find a diamond in the rough. Heck, Eiserman could fall to them at 13 or 14, so they might get the pick they should have in the first place, but they would add that second-round pick they no longer have (and possibly more).