Leading up to and during the draft the Devils made a few trades that should shape the team a little bit going forward. The team managed to pick up a few prospects that the scouting staff is fond of as well as a few picks as well that were used during the past draft.
The obvious headliner of the trades was picking up both Pierre-Luc Dubois and Ivan Barbashev from the Chicago Blackhawks for the 3rd overall pick in the 2017 NEFHL entry draft. The Devils were lucky enough to win one of the top 3 spots in the draft but not lucky enough to have a clear consensus guy to pick. After the announcement about getting #3, the team was pretty well sold on Gabriel Vilardi however the team also was quite interested in Mittelstadt and Elias Pettersson however didn't want to pick either of those two at #3. After a few negotations to trade down and trying to still pick one of the 3 fizzled out, the Blackhawks trade sort of came out about pretty quickly. Not wanting to move Tyson Jost or Brock Boeser the Devils settled on Dubois and Barbashev in a bigger package so Chicago could jump into another top 10 pick and he ended up picking Mittelstadt. Also coming to New Jersey in the trade was a 3rd round in the draft with just the #3 going Chicago's way. Thea team figured Dubois <> Vilard was a somewhat parallel exchange even if the new prospect is always more fun however onces Barbashev's name was getting thrown around that got the deal finished. The Devils aren't expecting any kind of franchise forward level of talent from either player, however if both of them can become ~45-55 point all around centers then the team would be quite happy. With some wingers like Perlini and hopefully Kyle Connor on the way up the team needed to make play to get a center or two. Barbs of course has the Russian factor to worry about and Dubois has a profile of a guy who usually ends up being a bust or disappointing. Hopefully with modest expectations the Devils got a couple of solid pieces to help the team down the line.
Also coming to the Devils from Florida was Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson and a 2nd round pick for winger Patrick Maroon. Funny what less than a year can do for a player, as he was a 50/50 to be waived or bought out last year by the team (Cody Franson was instead). While he has a sweet contract for his ratings and is still pretty young - the team decided next year won't be much better than this past season and selling high is probably a good idea. Maroon could have fetched a 1st in this past draft in the 20-30 range but the team liked the center prospect in Karlsson a little more. Another two way type center the team hopes he can fill in and be a reliable all around center for the 3rd line. If he develops some offense that would be great as he showed good point totals in the NCAA (albeit on a powerhouse and low shot totals).
The last prospect coming in was from Nashville for a 3rd round pick in 2018. Potentially a high 3rd as the team projects to be a bottom 10 team, the Devils scouts were not too happy to throw away such a prime pick. However Jesse Gabrielle looks like a fun prospect to follow as he is coming into his first professional year. He's a fan favorite all around gritty in your head type of player. While not big he will hopefully be able to fill into an agitating type of 3rd or 4th line role in the future. He showed great scoring ability in juniors however playing with the big boys is a whole other thing. He very well could struggle his rookie year and at that point a low projection like a 4th liner is probably realistic. Deep down the Devils management is hoping within a few years he's a more valuable and fun player to watch.
FLA 2017 RND 3
OTT 2017 RND 2
Out of NJ:
NJD 2017 RND 1 (3rd OV)
NJD 2018 RND 3