The players the Devils have drafted in the last 10 years have almost always been in the bottom 10 picks of the 1st round. It is really difficult to find star players there. So no, the Devils haven't drafted particularly well, but it isn't easy to draft well from there, and when you don't draft well, you create a vicious cycle where you are short draft picks every year because you have to patch holes on your roster every year. NJ used to draft so well that they created a virtuous cycle - they would be able to sell players who weren't able to make the team for draft picks. That's not happening anymore, in part because the league has caught up to some of the things NJ tends to do.
'Putting Kovy aside, you'll never see this team acquire a forward like Jeff Carter' Hurr durr. How about Jason Arnott, who was like Jeff Carter but without the years of NHL success? How about Peter Stastny, Joe Nieuwendyk, and Doug Gilmour? The Devils haven't had the kind of players that help you get a player like this and that's why they haven't done it. And I agree that Carter specifically, I don't think Lou would trade for a player with an 11 year contract, but those are illegal now. I mean you can't on the one hand run down NJ's drafting in the last 10 years then wonder why they haven't gotten a Jeff Carter type player. You can't run down Lou's free agent acquisitions and wonder why he couldn't acquire other, better players in free agency - he uses free agency just like any other general manager now. He's signed players who haven't played for NJ to 5 and 6 year deals. It's hard to keep winning in the NHL.
I suspect the trend you're talking about regarding the Devils not having the chips to land a big name at the deadline will reverse in the next year or two (even if that's the reason for the trend, which I would dispute). I think the stacking of defensive prospects will pay nice dividends, especially as other teams see what the Rangers and Kings have been able to do with deep defensive units. It really appears the Devils have five defenseman under 23 int eh system that should be at least mid pairing NHL caliber defenseman at some point -- Severson, Larsson, Merrill, Santini, Gelinas -- you could even say that Scarlett and Helegson might surprise, and perhaps the Devils nab a player like DeAngelo at 41. I'm not familiar with the systems of most other teams, but I doubt there are many teams that can boast that. At some point those chips have to be cashed in.
The Devils also don't need to worry about the forfeited pick gong forward, which hampered things.
Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk