Last night, the New Jersey Devils picked up a third selection in the third round of the 2016 NHL Draft by trading down one spot with Ottawa. Today, the New Jersey Devils would use one of the three third rounders to get a player. The Devils traded 77th overall - their second third rounder of the day - to the Pittsburgh Penguins for Beau Bennett.
Bennett is a right-shooting winger. He was indeed drafted by the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2010 (first round, 20th overall), so Ray Shero and John Hynes (from Wilkes-Barre) knows him very well. Bennett hasn't made much of an impact in the NHL. In 129 games, he's put up 16 goals and 23 assists. His CF% per Corsica wasn't bad at 51.9% but he played relatively little ice time so I wouldn't take it to mean that he'll help the Devils' issues with possession. The biggest concern is that he's only played 129 games over the last four seasons. He came out of Denver University after his sophomore year to go professional. Since then, it's been one injury after another. His latest one, a shoulder injury, held him out late in the campaign for Pittsburgh and it was something he suffered since December per this April post by Hooks Orpik at PensBurgh. It would be great for him - and Pittsburgh - had he have the fortune of being healthy for a full season to show off what he can really do.
The Devils will need to re-sign Bennett as he's a restricted free agent this summer according to General Fanager. The 24-year old shouldn't cost much. His ELC was $900,000 per season in the NHL and his second deal, which is now expiring, was worth $800,000. Given that the Devils moved a pick for him, I don't see how Shero doesn't sign him. Between his injuries and the fact that he hasn't played much when he was healthy, I can't see him being anything more than depth. The Devils need that depth to fill out their roster for next season, so he fills a short-term need for bodies. Is it worth a third round pick? Perhaps. Most third rounders don't make it to the NHL at all. Bennett will be in the NHL for the Devils next season - provided he's able to do so. So I don't think Shero erred in giving up a third rounder - Pens picked defenseman Connor Hall - for him. I'm fine with the trade in general. Obviously, I'll be more fine with it if Bennett can stay active for more than 50 games in a NHL season.
That's my reaction to the trade. The second day of the draft continues to move real fast, but please leave your thoughts and opinions about the deal in the comments. Thank you for reading.