In case you missed it, New Jersey Devils’ general manager Tom Fitzgerald conducted an interview with NJ.com. During this interview he talked a lot about the upcoming NHL Draft. If you missed it fret not, as you can find a deeper analyses of it below.
When talking to the media, general managers have to be careful what they say. Sharing too much can put them at a disadvantage. That’s why we’re taking a closer look at what he did say, and trying to read between the lines with a healthy dose of speculation. We did the same thing after the surprise trade that sent Blake Coleman to the eventual Stanley Cup Champions, the Tampa Bay Lightning.
The Seventh Overall Pick
In the interview, Fitzgerald mentions multiple times that he’s open to a trade. But every time the subject comes up, Fitzgerald speaks about the 18th and 20th overall picks. The seventh overall pick is never mentioned.
Therefore, we can reasonably assume that the team’s first pick in the first round is untouchable. Unless Fitzgerald is given an offer he can’t refuse, I don’t imagine he’ll change his current stance on drafting in the top ten.
Is Being Right-Handed A Deal Breaker for Defenseman?
As the article goes on, Fitzgerald briefly discusses some of the players that the team could draft. He seems to cut off all speculation on drafting defenseman Jaimie Drysdale. As he cites, Drysdale is a right handed defenseman.
The team is in desperate need of a left-handed defenseman. And for this reason, it seems Fitzgerald’s comment makes it seem that being a right-handed defenseman is a deal-breaker, at least this early in the draft. Which, raises questions about Jake Sanderson, the lefty defensive prospect, who’s had two interviews so far with the team.
Will the Devils Trade Up?
After touching on trading the later first round picks for players, Fitzgerald addresses the possibility of trading up in the first round.
Once again, Fitzgerald seemed to single out trading up after the team picks at seventh overall. While, at the same time, playing it off to make it seem like such it wasn’t a pressing matter. So, it’s hard to tell for sure whether the team has its eye on someone between that 7th and 18th overall pick.
Then again, anything can happen on draft day. If someone falls far enough, but Lindy Ruff and Tom Fitzgerald think they’ll be taken before eighteen, it would be a perfect time to try to make something happen.