The draft is almost upon us, and I thought it would be a good idea to look into the possibility of trading the 6th pick. In this draft with the surplus of talent across the top 10, would it be wise to move down and take in additional assets? Is it possible to move up?
The top ten looks like this
- New Jersey
- San Jose
Now a few observations
- Edmonton and Buffalo will not trade their picks. Moving on
- Columbus and Colorado will almost certainly target defensive help with their picks
- The Devils are presumed to take a forward but Ray Shero has not ruled out drafting a D-man
Seeing as the Devils don't do business with the Flyers, the most realistic trade down options would be Columbus or Colorado. If either one of those teams feel a Provorov or Hanifin are only attainable by trading up, the Devils may be interested especially if they like Barzal, Zacha, or Meier, who may be available at 8 or 10.
Just two years ago, at the 2013 draft, Detroit dropped from 18th to 20th, switching with San Jose and selecting Anthony Mantha. San Jose selected Mirco Mueller two picks early, and sent Detroit a 2nd round pick belonging to Pittsburgh at 58th overall for the swap. Now a drop from 6th to 8th or 10th is more substantial than 18th to 20th, so what would have to come back in order to make this worth New Jersey's while?
Something like this maybe
To Columbus: 6th overall pick, Florida's 2nd round pick
To New Jersey: Kerby Rychel, 8th overall pick
Columbus is actively seeking to improve it's defense, and the only way they get their hands on Provorov or Hanifin might be to jump the Flyers. Rychel is a talented prospect that has not panned out for the Jackets yet, and is viewed as expendable. The Devils lose a second round pick, but improve its forward depth going forward and can still select a Barzal or Zacha at 8.
To Colorado: 6th overall pick, Eric Gelinas, 2nd round pick
To New Jersey: 10th overall pick, Ryan O' Reilly, 3rd round pick
This would definitely be more ambitious but does two things, it allows Colorado to rid itself of the O'Reilly headache, as they are not going to be able to keep him going forward and have a logjam of talent in their top 6. And it gives the Devils a bonafide two way star player in the prime of his career. He may never drop 75 points, but O'Reilly is one of the most well rounded players in the game, and would significantly improve the team. Gelinas gets a chance to play in a more uptempo system, and the Devils can still get a very good prospect at ten.
Both of these scenarios are interesting, especially if your in the camp of wanting to see playoff hockey within the next two years, as opposed to waiting 5+. The talent gap from the top 4 projected picks to the rest of the top ten is there, but it is not (outside the top two) an absurd gap. Moving down gives you more assets, for now and the future. This avenue must be at least explored, because as it stands the Devils do not have many chips to plunk down at the table.
But wait.... Could they feasibly go after Arizona's pick at 3? Probably not, but it is more likely then Toronto or Carolina moving their pick, and it is possible the Coyotes also see a value in moving down. As already mentioned, the Devils do not have many assets, so taking what they do have just to move up and grab Strome or Marner couldnt be worth it, could it? Is the talent gap that wide? Let me know what you think, but one would think to get the 3 pick your sending back at least
the 6th pick, both second rounders, and possibly a roster player, if Arizona even decides to move it.
Of course Shero could always pull a Lou and trade the pick for established talent, though repeated comments he has made about the long term suggest this is a dim possibility.
What do you think? Let me know
(for the record I want to stay at 6 and take Provorov)