Here we go again! The most essential and most nervous part of the NHL season is here. No, I’m not talking about the playoffs. It’s the draft lottery! For many teams, a first overall pick can either change an NHL franchise or make the franchise worse than it already is. For the New Jersey Devils, getting the first pick two years in a row would be amazing. However, with the record they have, it’s not the greatest of chances they’ll get to pick first. So the question is, where will they be placed? Here are the three spots where I say they will get to choose.
According to percentages, the most likely spot see the Devils obtaining the 7th overall pick in the draft. It may not be the best spot, but there have been many NHL stars that were selected at 7th overall. Shane Doan, Kyle Okposo, Jakub Voracek are great players that got chosen at seven. Even former Devil star Jason Arnott was selected 7th overall back in 1993. But which players would be there for the Devils at 7th overall? I think they would take Alexander Holtz. He is a right-winger that comes from Djurgårdens IF of the SHL. While his stats aren’t that impressive this season, including 9 goals and 16 points, he’s known in scouting reports as a sniper. Holtz is known for having a great shot, one of the best in this year’s draft.
If you look at many mock drafts, you can see that people see the Devils at 6th overall. If this does happen, this wouldn’t be the first time they have been in this position. Back in 1983, the Devils drafted John MacLean 6th overall. MacLean would go on to be one of the best players in Devils franchise history. But who would the Devils take here at six? He may go off the board, but taking Jamie Drysdale would be perfect if he’s still there. Seeing how bad the Devils defense was last year, picking him would be an improvement. He played last season with the Erie Otters of the OHL. He’s known to be a great skater and an outstanding offensive defenseman. With 37 assists this year, he is known for his excellent passing skills.
While it’s doubtful it will happen, there could be a chance the Devils pick first overall again. But on the off chance, if it does happen, a lot of fanbases would be mad. It would remind everyone how the Edmonton Oilers did this back in 2011-13. Picking first again would make the Devils fanbase cry with joy. Scoring 112 points this season with just 77 assists alone, I can say I have never seen anyone have stats like these. Known for his quickness and his scoring abilities, the team that gets him will improve right away. If the Devils are in this position, this would be a must.
There are so many beautiful players to take in this year’s draft. For the Devils, this is an opportunity you cannot waste. Fixing the defense is the biggest priority for the team. Adding any of the top wingers in this draft to the team should also be considered. Whatever spot they are in during this draft, the Devils overall are going to improve the team. But if they place number one again, there will be a lot of excitement in New Jersey. I will be glad to be part of that excitement.
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