I don't think anyone has posed the question before, but would the team have been better off in the longer term had Lou not made the deal? This is a reasonable alternative history, while minimizing the butterfly effect.
June 2013, Devils keep the pick and draft either Bo Horvat or Max Domi. From what I've heard generally, the pick would not have been Nischushkin, and Domi's name has come up the most in who the Devils would have selected.
The Devils are terrible in 2013-2014 with Marty and Hedberg as the goalie duo, but it makes no difference draft-wise.
2014-15, Devils sign an average to decent starting goalie of the Halak type, and do a whole lot worse in the standings than they did. For purposes of the exercise, I won't say the Devils are bad enough/lucky enough to land Eichel or McDavid, which I think makes the answer a no-brainer yes, but instead end up in a slot where either Marner or Hanifin is available. So you either end up with Marner or, for fun, I'll say Hanifin gets traded to Columbus for Rychel and eighth overall, who turns into one of Rantanen, Crouse or Barzal. I'll buy into the media reports that Zacha was the player the Flyers wanted, and would not be available at eight.
Note, I don't want to complicate things too much by saying that as early as 2013-2014 Lou sees the writing on the wall and trades players like Elias and Jagr, and we manage an extra low first round pick either this year or the year before.
A tough call, but I'll still lean towards pulling the trigger on the deal.