The New Jersey Devils might have the second overall pick at the upcoming NHL Draft, but that should change if they want to be a playoff team next season.
The New Jersey Devils have been rebuilding for a while now. The Devils have made the playoffs once since making it to the Stanley Cup Final in 2012. Since then their only y playoff bid has been in 2018 when they lost in the first round.
They have been through a few different coaches since then and have had some very successful trips to the draft lottery landing stars like Nico Hischier and Jack Hughes first overall, and most recently Luke Hughes with the fourth overall pick in 2021.
The Devils have built up a very talented prospect pool and definitely are ready to take the next step to get back into the playoffs. That next step involves making a deal to bring in an elite forward into their organization.
The second overall pick definitely is going to be a prospect that can make a big impact on this organization for years to come, but for the success of this franchise, it is time to add an NHL-ready threat.
There are players that are going to be available to be traded. William Nylander in Toronto possibly, Alex DeBrincat in Chicago, or maybe even Matthew Tkachuk from Calgary.
Any one of those three names would instantly make the Devils a better team. Each one comes with their own cap situation but for the most part trading away the second overall pick for one of those stars would help the Devils.
The Devils are at the awkward stage of a rebuild where it is time to start trading away some assets. A lot of the guys in this organization came in through the draft. Of their active roster, 13 players were drafted from the organization. That is good but now it is time to add those big names through a trade or two.
Just look at the Tampa Bay Lightning, while Hedman and Kucherov were discovered in the draft, McDonagh and Sergachev were players this team traded for.
The Lightning did a great job building their roster through the draft, but even they fine-tuned it along the way making trades like sending Jonathan Drouin to Montreal for example.
The Devils have a good roster with Hischier and Hughes leading the charge, but it is time for them to go out and grab a top-six winger for those two stars to play with down the line. Alex DeBrincat of the Blackhawks makes sense, but any one of the three guys listed earlier would be a great addition.