Setting the table for the New Jersey Devils on Day 2
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Though the New Jersey Devils weren't able to pull off any trades on Friday night, the actual draft portion couldn't have gone much better.
The Devils selected a franchise center in Jack Hughes with the 1st overall pick
, giving them another elite talent to pair with Nico Hischier down the middle for the foreseeable future.
There were also some surprising and somewhat off the board picks made by teams throughout the night, which has resulted in quite a few 1st round talents slipping into the 2nd.
Arthur Kaliyev has his warts but is one of the top-3 goal scorers in the draft. He is still available. Nils Hoglander has elite hands, puck skills, and a very high ceiling. He is still available. Bobby Brink, another small but smart, highly talented winger, is still available. Egor Afanaysev, a massive, productive, volume-shooting LW/C with underrated playmaking abilities and touch, is still available.
The list of players that deserve serious consideration doesn't even end there; I really like Nick Robertson as well.
Suffice to say, the Devils are going to have the luxury of picking another very talented kid early in the 2nd round (much like when Jesper Boqvist fell onto their laps a few years ago).
Either that or they use the pick as a trade piece to acquire immediate help. One would think the abundance of big names remaining on the board would only increase the value of 34th overall.
Ultimately, I do expect the Devils to stand pat at 34 and look to use some of their other 2nd/3rd rounders as bait to address needs on the roster.
We'll see what happens.
New Jersey Devils select Jack Hughes with 1st overall pick
A dream target for the Devils at 34th overall
On the Taylor Hall contract situation
Data tracking Hughes and Kakko at the Worlds
Five pieces the Devils could use as trade bait this summer
The Jack Hughes blog™