Josh Bailey and Karl Alzner are both real good NHL players, Alzner especially. I'd be just fine if pick #9 turned into either of those.
Either way, getting back to the point, the defense without Greene, even if you include Zidlicky, is Zidlicky Salvador Fayne Tallinder Larsson, which doesn't strike me as all that great and is relying on 3 players well past their prime to hold down serious minutes. If Larsson's ready to make the jump then it's better, but it looks pretty bad without him.
Regarding the #5 - I don't see who's going to be there who's really worth that kind of moving up. I like Nichushkin, but not enough to sacrifice Greene for him. I like Lindholm and Monahan, but again, not enough to sacrifice Greene. You're not getting one of the top 4 guys with that pick unless somehow Seth Jones falls, in which case the Canes will probably keep the pick.
Josh Bailey and Karl Azner are assuredly not "real good NHL players". Neither of them have had much to do with their teams' success, at least above replacement, much more so with Bailey. And for what the Devils need their equivalents would be huge disappointments. Karl Azner is a top four defenseman. We have plenty of those. Josh Bailey is a third line forward. Outside of Kovlachuk and Elias, the Devils have plenty of those guys as well. If the Devils go either of them for nothing, the improvement would be marginal, at best.
Regarding the return, as I keep saying I'm not a scout and am only going on what I've read. Mr. Debbi Downer, Corey Pronman, ranks Nischuskin ahead of Barkov, and raves about both. The assumption is that you'd be getting one of those two with the number 5 pick. (Some have speculated that Tampa will take Nischuskin assuming Jones is gone, and that you might even end up with Drouin).
So far as what the defense would look like without Greene, there would be a step back in the short term. I understand. But among Merrill, Urbom, Gelinas, you could expect at least one of them to be an adequate replacement in two years, and perhaps this year with some luck. That's not including Severson, who I suppose is still a couple of years away from the NHL. You could also make a reasonable bet that Fayne and Larsson will improve to the point that you could take the sting out of losing Greene.
Edited by Daniel, 26 June 2013 - 03:30 PM.