As if it weren't clear to all of us already, Lou has mentioned that he is looking to add a scoring forward in this year's draft. It seems as though there are 6 really good candidates to fill this position in the draft this year (MacKinnon, Drouin, Barkov, Nichushkin, Lindholm, and Monahan). After them, there appears to be some kind of drop off in talent with players like Shinkaruk, Domi, Wennberg, etc.
Since it seems that Jones is the only defenseman who is guaranteed to go in the top 10 (even though I think Zadorov, Nurse, and Ristolainen definitely could make it in the top 10), drafting 9th overall is less than ideal to address the Devils' needs. I would guess that this year, we will see many more forwards in the top 10 than last. This is not only judging from mock drafts, but also the majority of prospect reports do not mention any non-Jones defensemen until after Lindholm. Moreover, this pick is all the more important with the forfeiting of the 2014 pick.
The only team I could see the Devils trading picks with is Edmonton. Any of the top 6 teams probably should not trade away their pick unless it involves a ridiculous overpayment. The Devils have a few expendable veteran defensemen that could be of interest to Edmonoton, and I wonder if that would be enough to move up a couple spots this year. Sitting at 7th guarantees Monahan or Lindholm as the worst case scenario, which is pretty awesome.
EDIT forgot to post my opinion
I think they trade up. It's a great opportunity for the Devils to take care of one of the biggest problems they had this year. I think that this is also an opportunity to use one of their defensive assets and get rid of this 8+ D rotation, which will hopefully leave room for Jon Merrill to play in the NHL.More importantly, maybe Adam Larsson will no longer be scratched.
Edited by nessus, 31 May 2013 - 01:42 AM.