With less than a month left to go until Ray Shero and company make the first overall selection, it’s time to think of the many reasons why I still see Jack Hughes coming to New Jersey. For starters, he spoke live after the NHL Draft Lottery results were revealed where he said he would be very happy to play for the New Jersey Devils. Jack also skates with Taylor Hall which left Shero with lots of high praise after the lottery back in April.
Coach John Hynes was the assistant coach for Jack Hughes and he knows what clicks with the young center who became more of a man who turned 18 during the tournament and scored three points in limited minutes. It’s not easy scoring points when you’re on the same team as Dylan Larkin and Patrick Kane. He looked fantastic alongside Kane as well as James Van Riemsdyk.
The New Jersey Devils sorely need a center that can build the 1-2 punch with Hischier at first/second line center and Zajac at third line center. Devils GM Ray Shero has a lot of his ties in the USNTDP and Hockey USA, something of an advantage after Taylor Hall pleaded that Ray needed to “bring in more talent.” Besides the possibility of bringing Jack Hughes to New Jersey, you gotta try and get Jeff Skinner or even Jordan Eberle. Eberle and Hughes both have talent, skill and a lot of chemistry to work well alongside Taylor Hall.
If this was a detective movie, I would think it’s gonna end up being Hughes, Jordan Eberle and the fact Ray Shero is the Devils GM. A trade with Toronto or Nashville isn’t out of the question at this time, potentially adding on Kapanen or Nylander or P.K. Subban to build up the roster with NHL quality talent.
A lot of Devils fans want to see those surplus picks to get utilized as the currency to be exchanged for a commodity in right wingers and defensemen. When Ray Shero is done making the first pick, I expect trade talks to heat up that both can and will lead into a busy offseason.
That being said, I think Ray Shero is gonna prove every penny of his contract is worth it, both the long and near term growth of getting this team to become a serious contender. This is a team that is on the rise with a lot of youth on the roster and a player like Jack Hughes will help with a mix of high quality acquisitions.
This is a good conundrum to have for Ray Shero, Paul Castron and assistant general manager Tom Fitzgerald who are hoping to have a big offseason, one that can and will lead to great things in the future.