Scarlett I agree is awhile away, but that does not mean he has no trade value. There was talk of him having second round talent, but that he fell for reasons I don't quite remember. He's had success in junior, which makes him a pretty good shot at being an NHL defenseman in 2 years. Don't forget that he's though of as having offensive talent, which a lot of GMs seem to value.
While I'm not a scout and I haven't actually seen him play (and perhaps someone like J MacIssac can provide some more insight) I think Severson is closer than you think. He's pretty filled out physically for his age and his numbers at junior are very good (like I said, better than Shea Weber's at a similar stage of his career). At the draft he was also considered a steal in the late second round.
You're right about Merrill having to decommit from Michigan, in the sense that if he has virtually no trade value if he actually decides to play another year. Right now though, I think a big market team that he would want to play for -- like Detroit -- would take that chance at this trade deadline before he makes a decision. I wonder if the Devils could allow an unsigned college player to discuss a contract with another team as a condition of a trade, similar to what happens with RFAs.
None of these players, of course, are going to be given away.
The point I was trying to make is that the idea of a logjam among the Devils' young D is a bit overstated. Merrill, Urbom, and Gelinas are probably ready-ish for NHL duty (if they're ever going to be). Behind them (age-wise) you've got Severson and Scarlett who are at least 2 years away, and probably more. But remember there's not really anyone (yet) behind that, the Devils are short 3 picks in this year's draft, and 5 of the current 8 D are over the age of 30.
The last Devils' D to become a regular after having his full pro year entirely in the AHL was Colin White. Now the Devils will actually have the luxury of developing defensemen rather than jamming them into NHL duty and hoping they sink or swim. I can see them trading one, but 2? I doubt that, unless it's for a guy who'd be around for a while.
Edited by Triumph, 18 March 2013 - 12:41 PM.