New Jersey’s NHL team, which is set to announce its final roster on Thursday, is set for the biggest lottery in league history, with a chance to win an all-new jersey.
The Devils, currently in the final year of their current deal, will have the chance to make a blockbuster move, as they are set to lose the most assets in free agency this summer, and are in desperate need of a player who can be a catalyst for the team’s resurgence.
The franchise will also be looking to add to its already talented roster in a number of different ways.
They could be looking at a young winger, a second-line centre, a defenceman, or even a goaltender.
The team will also look to fill out the forward group by bringing in a young prospect to the league, though they have been known to wait until the end of the draft to do so.
The biggest surprise in the Devils’ lottery could be the addition of former teammate Matt Dumba, who is the Devils franchise’s first and only draft pick in franchise history.
The New Jersey native has been the backbone of the Devils team for the last four seasons, with Dumba making the most of his opportunity in a big way last season, winning the Calder Trophy as the NHL’s top rookie.
The 19-year-old Dumba has yet to score in the NHL and his play has been sorely lacking, but he was one of the key players for the Devils last season.
He will not be able to make an immediate impact in New Jersey, but if he plays well and can develop his game in the AHL, Dumba will be a solid fit on the team, and could potentially help the team find their first playoff berth in years.
The next big question mark will be the Devils top goalie.
It is unlikely that Ilya Samsonov will be traded to any team, as he has one year remaining on his contract, but the team could still be looking for an upgrade, and there is no doubt that Dumba and Dumba’s younger brother Connor are two of the best goaltenders in the league.
The Devils would also have to give up a top defenceman to land a guy who can help their roster.
The second biggest question mark for the franchise will be its goalie coach.
Scott Gomez is in his ninth season in the job, but only the second-oldest coach in the history of the NHL.
He has guided teams to a Stanley Cup title and the Presidents’ Trophy in his tenure, but has only been in the position for four years.
The 34-year old Gomez will be looking on for the first time in the role after being a part of the team for just five years, and he will be asked to be the face of the franchise for a while.
If the Devils were to go all-in on a goaltender, they could easily go after one of two goalies in the draft, and both are likely available in the top two picks.
Connor McDavid, who the team is likely to draft in the first round, would make sense, as the 21-year year old has been a huge part of his team’s success.
However, he could also be a nice fit with the Devils, as their goalies would probably need to be a part-time option for the season.
Tyler Parsons is a former draft pick who had stints with the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Ottawa Senators, but it was his breakout season with the Edmonton Oilers last year that saw him become the youngest goalies to win the Vezina Trophy, a prestigious trophy given to the NHL player who best exemplifies the game of hockey.
The Oilers have struggled with goaltending this season, as Connor McAvoy and Zach Bogosian have both suffered injuries in recent weeks, but Parsons is an exciting young goalie with potential.
He also has an impressive record, having led the Edmonton Oiler to the playoffs the past two seasons and leading the Oilers to the Stanley Cup Final in 2015.
He also was one half of a deal that netted the Nashville Predators a first round pick in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft.
Parsons is the second youngest goalie in NHL history, and is the younger brother of goaltender Connor McElhinney.
The final question mark would be the number of forwards available to the Devils.
The roster is currently stocked with forwards who have been in New York for more than a decade.
One of those forwards is Connor McEnroe, who played his entire nine-year NHL career with the Sabres and now plays for the Boston Bruins.
He was part of a five-player trade that sent Ryan Nugent-Hopkins to Buffalo, but was released after just two games with the team.
He signed with the New York Rangers this past offseason, and has been an important part of New York’s success over the last few seasons.
The most likely team to grab McEnneys jersey is the Edmonton team, who are known for their speed and offence.
It seems unlikely that the Devils will want to make the