NHL Rumors: Will the Devils Trade the No. 1 Overall Pick for Key Players?
The focus will be on the New Jersey Devils during the 2017 NHL Draft, which will be held from June 23 and 24 in Chicago. For the first time in franchise history, the Devils will select first overall. Will they use it to boost their playoff chances next season or trade it for key players and prospects?
Fox Sports reported that the Devils won the Draft Lottery despite having just 8.5 percent chance of winning. The Philadelphia Flyers and the Dallas Stars will select second and third, respectively.
The big question is, if that order will be followed or if the Devils have plans to trade the No. 1 overall pick. According to Chris Ryan of NJ.com, the Devils may keep the top pick instead of using it to acquire players from other teams.
"It's good fortune for the Devils, which was well needed," said Devils general manager Ray Shero said. "And we'll take advantage of it." Aside from the top pick, the Devils have 10 more selections in the 2017 Draft to take prospects for their rebuilding process.
The last time a first overall pick was traded was in 2003, when the Florida Panthers sent the top pick and a third-round selection to the Pittsburgh Penguins for the No. 3 pick, a second-round pick and right wing Mikael Samuelsson. The Penguins used that pick on goalie Marc-Andre Fleury.
In a separate report by Ryan, the Devils may pick center Nolan Patrick of the Brandon Wheat Kings. Despite playing just 33 regular season games with the Wheat Kings, he finished with 46 points. During the 2015-16 season, he tallied 41 goals and 61 assists in 72 regular-season games.
The Devils may also consider right wing Nico Hischier of Halifax, left wing Casey Mittelstadt of Eden Prairie High School, right wing Owen Tippett, of Mississauga and defenseman Cale Makar of Brooks. In the past, the Devils have picked No. 2 twice, during the 1984 and 1987 Drafts.
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