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2020 NHL Draft Lottery Aftermath for the New Jersey Devils: An All About the Jersey Roundtable

Bill Daly revealed the results of the first phase of the 2020 NHL Draft Lottery on Friday. The New Jersey Devils are picking seventh overall. Now what? Multiple writers at All About the Jersey answer some of the questions raised in the aftermath of the draft lottery in this roundtable post.

2020 NHL Draft Lottery
Bill Daly has been done flipping cards. The Devils are picking 7th in the 2020 NHL Draft. Let’s talk about it.
Photo by Bruce Bennett/NHLI via Getty Images

Lottery balls were drawn and the results were given last Friday for the first phase of the 2020 NHL Draft Lottery. A placeholder team won the first overall pick. This means there will be a second phase to determine which one of the eight to-be-determined losers of the qualifying round will get to select Alexis Lafreniere. Let us all hope that Arizona or Our Hated Rivals do not win it. The team that matters on this site, the New Jersey Devils, fell one spot to seventh overall in the lottery.

As we wait as to if and when games will be played and when the 2020 NHL Draft will take place, we at least have one thing for Devils fans to look forward to in the future. It remains to be seen whether the Arizona or Vancouver first round picks will be used in 2020 or 2021. There is no shortage of discussion here and elsewhere online about what the Devils should do with the seventh overall pick and other issues raised in the wake of the first phase of the 2020 NHL Draft Lottery that took place a few days ago. To that end, I asked the writers a series of questions about it all for this roundtable. Here are the answers:

First, how did you react when you saw the lottery results?

John Fischer (JF): I figured the Devils were going to be sixth or seventh based on the odds. I cringed a little when Bill Daly said he had eight cards. This meant a placeholder team won a lottery. When I saw #7 flip over to reveal a Devils logo, I was not bothered since I already knew the odds put them to be more likely to finish there than not. I let out a resigned sigh when I saw that the placeholder team win first overall. My concern and disappointment was more for the possibility of Arizona or Our Hated Rivals getting a high pick, much less first overall.

Brian Franken (BF): From a Devils perspective I was somewhat relieved. Sure, they fell a spot, but that’s much better than falling multiple spots. This draft has a lot of quality prospects in the top ten, especially with the forwards, so they should still get a really solid prospect. From a hockey fan’s perspective I was a bit annoyed at a play-in team getting the top spot. I’d rather have seen all the lottery picks remain with the team’s whose seasons are already over.

Alex Potts (AP): I was annoyed at first. Odds were good the Devils were going to end up with sixth overall or better. However, after I thought about it some more, and thought about who would still be on the board at seventh overall, I was less annoyed. Yes it would have been nice to get one of the top three guys, or even stay put and have a higher chance at the prospect the team specifically wants from the tier of players who will go between picks #4 through #9. But even still, they will have a shot at a top notch prospect. I also agree with Brian: I was annoyed that a team still playing will get 1st overall. It seems rather backwards.

Jenna Verrico (JV): It could have been a bit worse, but it also definitely could have been a lot better. With the depth of this draft we’re still guaranteed a really good prospect at seventh, but it would have been nice to pick a bit higher up especially as a way to heal some of the ire in the fanbase over the way this past season went. Like everyone else I’m not at all happy with the fact that a team likely handed a playoff spot they wouldn’t have earned in a normal season is also now being handed a #1 pick. Given the way we adjusted the playoff format, we should have also adjusted the lottery so that only the eliminated teams were eligible. I’ve seen a lot of fans saying it’s hard not to wonder if it was fixed, and I have to agree somewhat. Seems like a very convenient way to garner a lot more interest in the round robin playoffs so it’s suspicious and overall unsatisfying from my perspective.

CJ Turtoro (CJT): I didn’t, really. It was the most likely result probabilistically speaking so I wasn’t particularly fazed. Don’t get me wrong, I would’ve loved the top pick, but this draft’s top end is so stacked that picks #2 through #8 are all lottery-level in a worse year.

Gerard Lionetti (GL): Like John, I reacted pretty negatively upon hearing of the eighth card, but seventh overall wasn’t really a big fall, nor was it unexpected to me. The Devils have had such good lottery luck in past seasons that while another win would’ve been nice, it wasn’t realistic. Seventh overall wasn’t the worst-case scenario, and there will still be some premium talents available when the Devils approach the podium, so overall not a bad result.

Let us focus on the Devils’ pick first: Who do you want the Devils to take seventh overall?

JF: While it will be driven by the five teams picking ahead of them, Marco Rossi would be my ideal scenario. I wrote a profile on him back in late March and I was increasingly excited the more I learned about him in preparation for that profile. Rossi just does it all and does it all very, very well. Yes, he scored a boatload of points with an incredibly good Ottawa 67s team but he was a key reason why they were incredibly good in 2019-20. He did more than score; he killed penalties, he backchecked hard, he took on tough matchups and ultimately won a lot of them. There were very few flaws identified in his game. If your concern about Rossi is that he is 5’9”, then I suggest you realize he is just two inches shorter than Kyle Palmieri’s official height, one inch shorter than Sergei Brylin’s official height, and three inches taller than Brian Gionta’s official height. Supremely talented players are at a premium in any draft; overlooking Rossi because he is not officially 5’11” or six feet tall would be foolish. If he is available at seventh overall, then I want whoever is actually in charge in New Jersey to run to the podium (or, likely, the virtual equivalent) and yell out his name whenever the draft is actually held.

BF: It’s hard to predict how the picks #3 thru #7 will shake out as a number of players seem primed to go in that tier. My ideal scenario is that center Marco Rossi somehow drops to the Devils at #7. I’ve seen him ranked as high as #3 on some lists to as low as #9. Sure, he’s one of the older players in this class, played on a powerhouse Ottawa 67’s team, and needs to bulk up. But I think he has the potential to be an absolute star in the NHL. Give me a prospect with that high end potential, great offensive skill, hockey IQ, and defensive abilities. Hockey Prospecting has his Star Probability at 85% and NHLer Probability at 85%, which is crazy good. As a quick note, Hockey Prospecting defines a NHLer as 200+ games played and an Offensive Star as a forward with a 0.70+ Pts/GP rate or defenseman with a 0.45+ Pts/GP rate. John had this excellent profile of Rossi’s game in our draft profile series.

AP: I already divulged this information in my post from Saturday, but I want Alexander Holtz. I think he is everything that this team needs, and I think he will be good for a long time. The Devils do not have top tier goal scorers, perhaps outside of Kyle Palmieri. Nico Hischier is a great playmaker, Jack Hughes will become a great playmaker. Where is the top tier goal scoring? Well, Holtz can provide that, along with excellent hockey IQ and a great work ethic. The kid had around a half point per game this season in the Swedish Hockey League, which is one of the top pro leagues in the world where he played against men and professionals. And next year, with continued growth, he will easily surpass his totals from this year as he garners more playing time and a larger, more important role on his team. And that will all happen with him as an 18-19 year old. I think he gets one full season in the SHL, which prepares him excellently for the NHL, which he then begins to play in for the 2021-22 season. From what I would guess, at seventh overall, the Devils are looking at one of Holtz, Rossi, Drysdale, or Perfetti. I would be happy with any one of those. But to me, Holtz is #1 on that list.

JV: I’d be happy with just about any of the top 10 but based on the range we’re likely to have available I have to go with Holtz. Most of the likely options are all more playmakers than shooters, and the Devils have a lot of playmakers and supporting players both on the roster and coming up as prospects. The lack of shooters has been growing painfully noticeable in the last couple seasons, especially with Hall’s struggles with us this past year. It was painfully obviously we had no one to actually take the shot at the end of the setup multiple times every game— that’s a hole that needs to be filled, and Holtz shows every sign of being the ideal player to fill that need- a strong shot with good hockey sense who drives the net is everything we’ve been lacking. His size and current experience suggest he may be able to be able to move into the NHL more quickly than the average prospect, which is also a big factor when drafting by need.

CJT: Lafreniere will almost definitely be #1, Byfield will surely be in the #2 through #4 range, and it feels like Stutzle is probably going to be gone too based on Colin Cudmore’s projected pick aggregator. I think the rest of the guys have a decent chance at being available, and I think Rossi is the most electric player in the draft. As Brian said, his statistical profile is strongest in the draft (including Lafreniere) and he’s not just a spreadsheet starlet because coaches love him too.

GL: While the likelihood of it happening is extremely low, if Jamie Drysdale were to fall to seventh, it’d be a no-brainer of a choice for me. Easily seen as the top ranked defender of this class, the back-end is still the Devils’ largest weakness, and while Drysdale might not be NHL-ready next season, he has the talent to be a key piece for the future. Barring a miracle, next season will be about growth, rather than being a true contender, and in that case the team could afford to wait a season for Drysdale to make his mark.

Following that up, do you think the Devils have a reasonable chance of getting that player or do you think they will be taken before the seventh pick? If not, who would you like to see instead?

JF: I think Rossi might be available at seventh overall. Bob McKenzie’s final draft ranking list at TSN is valuable if only because it does a good job at reading the tea leaves of how hockey executives - people who have a seat at the draft table - feel about the draft class. Rossi ended up seventh on his list, so it is entirely reasonable to think Rossi will be available for the Devils to pick. Looking at who is ahead of NJ, Lafreniere, Byfield, and Stutzle are all locks to be taken before seventh overall. I think Jamie Drysdale is taken by either Ottawa or Anaheim. So the pool of remaining players could very well include Rossi, Lucas Raymond, Alexander Holtz, and Cole Perfetti. It is an exceedingly talented set of options even if one or two of those names are taken earlier.

If Rossi is not available, then I would want the Devils to take another talented forward among who is available. Again, these players are at a premium and they are costly to acquire through other means. Lucas Raymond is who I would be crossing my fingers for falling. Per McKenzie’s rankings, that may be the case. However, I think his skillset makes him worthy of a top-five selection and he has a tremendous amount of upside. Will Scouch went into detail with that in his video profile or Raymond. And the Devils could absolutely use a gamebreaking winger, which is what Mike called him in his profile of Raymond back in March. Again, before you gripe about his size, look at past Devils you’ve cheered for and recognize that Raymond is about the same size as some of them.

BF: As I said before, I can see third through seventh overall shaking out many different ways. In terms of this year’s draft class, it’s not a case of if the Devils can get a high end prospect but which one they will get. While I hope Rossi slips to #7, I think there’s a better than 50% chance he’s gone by then. As of right now I think center Tim Stutzle is likely to go third and I can see Jamie Drysdale being the first defenseman off the board prior to the Devils selection. So my focus would turn to players like winger Lucas Raymond, center Cole Perfetti, right winger Alexander Holtz, and center Anton Lundell. There are other players I like but in terms of the #7 pick, these are the names I would want to consider and think could be around.

Out of that group, I like Perfetti’s potential the most, so essentially I’m hoping that the Devils can land either Rossi or Perfetti at seventh overall. Hockey Prospecting has Perfetti’s Star Probability at 60% and his NHLer Probability at 78%, both really strong among this class. Also, here is Gerard’s awesome profile of Perfetti’s game.

AP: I think it is a coin toss shot that the Devils could see Alexander Holtz on the board at seventh overall. As I wrote above, and in my post from Saturday, I think they are looking at one of Holtz, Rossi, Perfetti, or Drysdale. I know some of the AATJ writers think that Drysdale will be gone by then, but Lucas Raymond could be available instead. To me, I am all-in on one of the Swedes. I think they will both turn into legit pros in the NHL. Honestly, if Raymond and Holtz are both available at seventh overall, I might take Raymond myself over Holtz. I just honestly don’t think he will be available, and I also love that Holtz is the sniper, whereas Raymond is more of the playmaker. And as I said, the Devils need true goalscorers much more than playmakers, hence my call for Holtz. Now, in terms of the rankings I looked at for Saturday’s post, I would say more had Holtz going at either fifth or sixth overall, and so unavailable at seventh overall, but it was close to 50-50 whether he was available or gone by seventh overall. If he is gone, and Raymond is gone, my next pick is Marco Rossi, who was just a pure beast this season.

JV: Flashy playmakers tend to draw more attention lately than shooters, so I can definitely see Holtz falling to seventh behind the series of other top talent prospects around him. However top level talent that’s a bit on the short side has been falling hard lately— Cole Caufield falling to fifteenth last year— so while I believe Marco Rossi will be picked before seventh overall, he may fall in favor of more sizeable prospects like Holtz. If that’s the case, I have no problem picking up their misses and snatching up Rossi, similar prospects like Lucas Raymond, or even Drysdale if he happens to fall that far though I doubt it.

CJT: Colin’s projections which I linked above have Rossi in the four through eight range so it’s certainly possible, but my expectation is that he will be gone — his production is too tantalizing. While I have guys that I like further down the list, I’m fairly in line with the consensus at the top. I think that Lafreniere is #1, Byfield and Rossi are my #2a and #2b, and I have all of Stutzle, Raymond, Drysdale, Perfetti, and Holtz as comparable. I don’t think Stutzle will be there either, so of the remaining four, I would go with Perfetti. His Pick224 profile leaves almost no concerns with the highest even strength relative goals for percentage (EV GF%Rel) of any draft year player in his league, and his eP1/60 was only narrowly below Rossi — good for fourth in the entire draft class.

GL: Despite seeing Drysdale listed at #7 on one of the rankings during the Draft Lottery broadcast, I just don’t see five teams passing on him. Every known team choosing ahead of us has defensive needs as well, and while a team like Detroit only has one pick and may choose to go with a player that will improve their offense, Ottawa has two selections and I just can’t see them passing on Drysdale twice. Alexander Holtz would be a pretty darn good consolation prize if Drysdale is gone, as RW is also still a need for the Devils. Holtz possesses an excellent shot and a shoot first mentality, the latter of which is somewhat lacking among the Devils. If he becomes the pick, either Nico Hischier or Jack Hughes will have some help coming on their wing very soon.

Which player do you not want the Devils to take at seventh overall that could be there and why?

JF: When I saw interim general manager Tom Fitzgerald tell Corey Masisak that he thinks the team needs size and toughness on the back end, I rolled my eyes. The Devils were bodied in the game of hockey; they need better hockey players. A quote like that makes me think he would target defensemen Jake Sanderson. I think that would be a mistake.

I wrote a profile on Sanderson in April and my conclusion was that he was pretty good as a prospect. I also questioned whether he would be a good pick for the Devils given that they acquired Kevin Bahl and drafted multiple defensive-minded defensemen with size and presumed toughness. Sure, Sanderson would be more likely to make it in the NHL than those players and he could do a bit more than that. But he fits a mold that the Devils have several prospects in already. It would be one thing to take him with Arizona’s pick later in the draft, but I would not want to take him ahead of players oozing with skill like Rossi, Raymond, or Holtz. Since the pause, his stock has seemingly risen. That is due in part of people like Steve Kournianos, who pointed out that Sanderson is not really that far behind from Drysdale. That is also due in part because hockey executives still love themselves some size and so Sanderson was ranked in the top ten by McKenzie. I stand by what I wrote in April. The Devils should not take Sanderson at seventh overall and pass up on a very skilled forward that they really do not have in their organization. Size is overrated, especially when your team is getting its lunch eaten in the run of play - like the Devils were during most of the Shero-Hynes Era.

BF: I would have to say goalie Yaroslav Askarov. It’s not that I don’t believe in his potential to be a franchise goaltender, it’s just that there are so many quality forwards available early in this draft, it would be a mistake to not take a forward. So in essence, I’d also avoid defenseman Jamie Drysdale and defenseman Jake Sanderson at #7 even though the Devils need plenty of defense help as well. I believe the forwards available in the top of this draft have more game changing potential.

AP: I definitely do not want the Devils to take a goaltender, but Yaroslav Askarov is potentially a top 10 pick this year, so I really hope that NJ does not take him at 7. I also alluded to this in my post from Saturday, but I do not want Jake Sanderson either. Some analysts think he is as good as Drysdale, which is a mistake in my opinion, and from what I saw, I would not want him in the top nine. There will be too many other good options at that pick, and NJ should opt for one of them.

JV: I’m gonna join the sentiment against drafting Iaroslav Askarov. The Devils in all likelihood already have their goaltender of the foreseeable future in Blackwood; while we do need a reliable backup, that’s not a need you should spend a high first round pick on in my opinion, especially given the talent pool available and the Devils needs in just about every other area. I think first round goalies tend to be a more risky pick than other positions as it is, so I’m definitely not willing to risk/waste our top pick on that.

CJT: Anyone outside the eight I said above would be a clear mistake. So, yes, that includes Askarov and Sanderson as mentioned above. Of the eight I mentioned, the only one that concerns me a little is Lucas Raymond because of his underwhelming 2020. Struggling as a smaller 17-year-old in the Swedish Hockey League is one thing, but his U-20 production was far worse than his U-18 the previous year on the international stage as well. His SHL production was also worse than Jesper Boqvist’s draft year point-per-game rate. He was a second rounder and is still trying to find his way in the NHL.

GL: Going to echo a lot of others here and answer with both Askarov and Sanderson. Goalies are complete unknowns, as some with draft pedigree struggle, while late round or unknown choices go on to find NHL success. Sanderson’s rise, as John stated, seems to be more about size rather than skill, and I don’t think that’s what the Devils should go for with this choice. A skilled defender like Drysdale is one thing to take early in the draft, but go just for size, and you could wind up with another average-ish defender like Eric Gudbranson.

Should the Devils consider dealing the seventh overall pick? What would make it worth your while?

JF: No. The other first rounders the Devils might be worth moving. Especially to pick up a second or third round pick that the Devils do not currently have. But this is not the year to move out of the top ten in my opinion.

BF: I think you should always be open to listening to offers but I can’t see an enticing enough offer coming in for #7. It’s hard to say what I would want without knowing which teams would be interested and where their 1st round pick is but I’d have to be pretty overwhelmed with a deal along the lines of a 1st and a high end prospect to consider this. I think the Devils should just stay at #7.

AP: I agree with Brian that you always have to be open to listening to offers. However, unless a team absolutely blows the doors off and gives the team no choice, I want them to hold onto it. There is just so much talent at the top end of this draft class, and the Devils really want one of those players. Plus, they will already be getting another first rounder from Tampa, and the odds are good that they get a third first rounder from Arizona. You rebuild through the draft, not through free agency, and in a deep draft class, you want to use these picks to build for the future. Perhaps the not-so-distant future if these picks all pan out.

JV: I’d be willing to consider offers, but I highly doubt anyone could offer anything worth losing this pick in this draft for. It’s too valuable to us at a time when our other potential first round picks are not guaranteed and this team needs to add some solid prospect strength.

CJT: Answer every call, but given where the drop-off is, it seems unlikely that moving outside the top-8 in this draft is likely to be wise.

GL: I wouldn’t unless it was an offer that turned into a clear win for the Devils. Usually teams don’t make those types of offers for draft picks, so #7 needs to be held onto.

Based on the lottery results, one of the eight losers of the Qualifying Round will win the first overall pick. The Devils will own Arizona’s first round pick if Arizona does not win the second phase of the 2020 NHL Draft Lottery. Do you prefer Arizona beating Nashville to guarantee the pick even if it is a mid-round pick, or do you prefer that they lose to Nashville and hope Arizona does not win the second lottery, making it a ninth to eleventh overall pick?

JF: I hate this feeling because I know if Arizona does win a lottery, it would be crushing to see Taylor Hall Lottery Magic gain another point of legitimacy. That said, I would prefer they lose to make it a higher pick. Having a pick in that ninth to eleventh range would be massive and give the Devils plenty of options in how they approach the draft.

BF: I’m greedy so I’m hoping Arizona loses to Nashville and also loses the lottery. I want to see the Devils pick at #7 and again in that #9 to #11 range.

AP: I think you have to root against Arizona. I am also a pessimist, and I believe in the Taylor Hall lottery magic, so I think if they do lose, they win the first overall pick. However, I cannot logically predict that when the odds are fairly low, so I want Arizona to lose, as having a 2nd pick as close to the top 10 as possible would be huge. It’s worth the gamble!

JV: The Hall lottery magic is strong, but I’m gonna agree with everyone else that I think you have to root for Arizona to lose and hope Hall’s magic doesn’t apply to playoff teams because it seems silly to, in a way, root against us having a higher pick.

CJT: Lose. Why would I want to guarantee a low pick? If they lose, we could get a high pick, or they could get a top pick, in which case the selection is deferred to 2021, where all bets are off and we should expect a league-median selection. Empirically, them losing is better for the value of that asset (the draft pick) long-term.

GL: I’m going to attempt to dispel some of the Hall “lottery luck” here. Lest we forget, the Oilers did not win the 2011 Draft Lottery; they only held on to the #1 overall pick due to having the worst record in the league, and our Devils, who won, were only able to climb four spots due to the old draft lottery rules. The Oilers were the second worst team in the NHL when they won in 2012. You could also argue that the then third-worst Oilers who won the 2015 Draft were the worst team that did not actively tank in 2014-15, and the Hockey Gods may have punished the Sabres and Coyotes by not awarding them Connor McDavid.

Maybe the Devils did win a couple lotteries with him here, but I don’t think Arizona will have the same luck. Root for a Nashville win and hope that the Devils wind up with the ninth or tenth overall selection on top of the seventh.

Now that the lottery is mostly decided, who are you cheering for in the Qualifying Round, if at all?

JF: I want the Devils to at least have two first round picks this year, so I want Vancouver to beat on Minnesota. Yes, it will be in the late teens or early twenties, but I want the Devils to stop rebuilding sooner rather than later and so I want the first rounder now. To that end, I am going to hope John Hynes can coach himself out of a paper bag in Nashville for Arizona to lose whereupon I will promptly hold my breath at the second draft lottery. It would be nice for Chicago to upset Edmonton to make that Arizona pick move up to tenth. I do not want to see Lafreniere in Pittsburgh or Manhattan, but I cannot bring myself to cheer for the latter so go Pens.

BF: As mentioned above, I’m cheering for Nashville over Arizona with the hope the Devils can get Arizona’s pick. I’m also hoping that Vancouver beats Minnesota and then is bounced in the 1st round of the playoffs so the Devils get their 1st in a decent spot. I’m still hoping the Devils get three 1st round picks this year.

AP: I will definitely be rooting for Nashville and Vancouver in the first round, in hopes of ending with three first rounders, and picks as high as possible. Beyond that, however, I will always root for anyone playing against the Rangers. I know the ideal scenario is for them to win the first round so they cannot get the first overall pick, then to lose as soon as possible after that, but that will be too stressful, and I could never root for them anyway, even if I tried.

JV: On top of rooting for Vancouver for their pick and against Arizona, I’ve always liked Carolina’s style and the fact that they’re playing the Rangers will make that an extra fun matchup to watch.

CJT: Carolina > Rangers. Team Analytics, vs. Our Hated Rivals — what’s not to love?

GL: On top of rooting for Nashville against Arizona, I’ll take Vancouver beating Minnesota but then immediately losing to their next opponent to keep the pick as high as possible. I’ll also take a Carolina win to keep Our Hated Rivals out, on the condition that OHR also do not win the lottery’s second phase.

One last Devils-related question: Will the Devils hire a general manager by the time the second lottery takes place?

JF: They should. However, I doubt they will have that decided. Given that the Devils are interviewing coaching candidates who told them they should figure out the GM position first (hat tip: @DevilsInsiders, who highlighted it from Eliotte Friedman’s 31 Thoughts Podcast), I am not sure who is really in charge here or if they have a clear direction. Josh Harris and David Blitzer have owned sports teams before, so I would presume they know how the chain of command should go. Ray Shero was booted nearly six months ago. If it is not going to be Tom Fitzgerald, who could have had the interim tag removed months ago, then boot him now and make an earnest effort to fill in the position before resuming the interviews for coaches and other personnel. It seems simple to me. However, the Devils have been confusing when it comes to filling these important roles. So much so that I doubt they will have a full-time GM in place whenever the second lottery will happen.

BF: I really hope so. I get that they have more time than usual to make a decision, but I really think they need to pick a direction and announce it publicly so the fanbase can stop stressing out over the direction (or lack thereof) of this organization. Hire a GM, hire a coach, and get on with things. The longer this has gone on, the more pessimistic I have become about this ownership group’s ability to guide the organization.

AP: I mean, I hope so, but my hopes are not very high. The longer they drag this out, the more likely it will just be Tom Fitzgerald being named on a permanent basis. I wrote about this a few weeks ago, and the only other option at the time that the Devils had looked at seriously (from what I could tell) was Mike Gillis, formerly with Vancouver during their Cup run. If they have not gone with him yet, the odds are slim that they will in my opinion. Just get it done quickly so we can get a coach in here and get to work.

JV: I’d be seriously concerned with the idea of a GM who is not meant to be the future of the team handling the drafting of prospects, and I can’t imagine most in hockey ops would approve of it either. It would cast serious doubt on the owners’ focus and ability to run a team if they allowed that, so I have to assume they will either announce a new GM sooner than later or remove the interim tag on Fitzgerald at least before the draft begins. Personally I’m in favor of leaving Fitzgerald for now— he knows the organization already and the available options from outside aren’t exactly sparkling. They lose little to nothing if they keep him for now and wait for a better candidate to come along if he fails.

CJT: I don’t want to talk about it. This entire process has been depressingly inept.

GL: Whether it’s before or after the draft, as long as they hire a GM before they hire a coach, I’ll take it at this point.

Thanks to Brian, Alex, Jenna, CJ, and Gerard for providing me their answers and thoughts about the seventh overall pick and the impact of the lottery results. And if you want a sixth opinion, Dan and I recorded this week’s Garden State of Hockey on Monday night so can hear Dan’s take and my own take on what to expect with the Devils’ pick at seventh overall on this week’s podcast episode tomorrow.

Now I turn these questions over to you - the readers, the People Who Matter. What is your answer to these? Is anyone right on or off base? Please let us know in the comments. Thank you for reading.