Earlier this afternoon, Ray Shero addressed one of the remaining needs for the New Jersey Devils this summer: a new head of scouting. The Devils announced that they have hired Paul Castron to be their director of amateur scouting. Castron is essentially the replacement for David Conte, who was let go back on April 9. The transition of the Devils as we knew them took another step today.
What's notable about this hire is that Castron is not a former Penguin. He was hired from Columbus, where he served in the same position since 2006; and was a member of their scouting department for the since the beginning of the franchise, or sixteen years. This is not to say he has no prior connection with Ray Shero. Per Rich Chere's article about the hire, Castron and Shero both played together at St. Lawrence University back in the early 1980s. Still, two facts remain as immediate reasons to be happy about the hire: he comes from a different organization and he has several years of experience in this role. The former pleases me if only because the Devils are not going to follow the same path as Pittsburgh did with respect to drafting. The latter also pleases me as the Devils will have someone who knows what he's doing to succeed someone who held that position for a couple of decades. As Aaron Portzline on Twitter stated, he's expected to have the same powers except he'll the final say on picks. Whether or not he'll keep that final say, Castron is immediately a vital part of the Devils' rebuilding efforts.
With this hire, I would expect some further changes among the scouts. In a way, that's what the Devils really need in this area more than anything else. While they have found some quality players, the Devils' drafting in recent history has not at all been good since 2000 or so. The drafting issues partially explain why the Devils are where they are now. Therefore, I think it's a understandable and justifiable decision to make sweeping changes to the scouting department. It's not just the roster that needs a rebuild, but management as well - and we've seen that since the Shero hire. For that alone, I am quite content with Castron in charge.
We'll see whether that feeling holds up in a few years. I'll go into more detail later this weekend regarding Castron's draft history. In the meantime, what do you think about this hire? Are you pleased? Are you not pleased? Are you somewhere in the middle? Do you agree that Castron will be a crucial part in how this team progresses in the future? Please leave your answers and other thoughts on the hire in the comments. Thank you for reading. Please share this and other posts with other Devils fans should you appreciate them.