As you now know, in my last article, I wrote very key reasons why Jack Hughes will be the Devils first overall selection. Today is more of the forward march from that point on looking ahead.
In recent time, the Devils owner, Joshua Harris, said publicly that he is allowing Ray Shero to use as much cap space as he needs to acquire talent.
When referring to talent, I’m talking possibly guys like P.K. Subban, Kasperi Kapanen, William Nylander all acquired via trade. P.K. makes a ton of sense because the Devils need a really reliable defender who can balance the top two pairings. Also, Shero and David Poile recently swapped Brian Boyle in exchange for a second-round pick.
The Predators would love to keep their Swiss defenseman Roman Josi who is their key cog who is very likely gonna be a lifetime Nashville Predator. With the cap not in favour of Poile and Ray trying to add talent to build around Hall, it sounds like P.K. might be a stepping stone in the right direction.
With the William Nylander situation now at its conclusion in Toronto, I sense Kasperi Kapanen is is very likely the odd man out. He’s a very reasonably priced player who Shero can control near and long-term from a trade which would likely be followed by an extension as well. That being said, money isn’t a problem for the New Jersey Devils.
Kapanen is a very dynamic right-winger who can be on a Bratt-Hischier-Hughes-Nylander pairing with tons of speed on the ice, all around skill, smarts as well as hockey sense. What I find fascinating is that wouldn’t it be a breath of fresh air to get out of Leafs Land where Nick Kypreos and other Leafs insiders keep bringing up guys like Kapanen and Nylander on a daily basis. Sure, in New Jersey, we can be critical of players, but at least it’s on a smaller and more respectable level as well.
Ray is possibly going to try for Swedish defensemen Erik Karlsson if he makes it to the market otherwise, may trade for Jacob Trouba. Either way, you’re going to see a lot of core Devils like Butcher and Nico Hischier sign long-term contracts to build that nucleus that will make people in the Tri-State area sign up for season tickets and grow the team revenue.
Sure, this past season was very sour like lemons, but it really has gotten balanced out with the iced tea with the selection of lottery balls, a few trades and now a big test for Shero to try and extend Taylor Hall long-term.
I know the best is yet to come because ownership, fans, even players like Hall want to see Shero making big moves around and after the NHL Draft concludes.