The 2010 NHL Draft is just one month away, and most teams probably have a basic idea of what direction they’ll be going in when their name is called on draft day.
The Devils need a few pieces to try and make another run at the Cup before their current core of players move on. They will not get those pieces via draft this season, because they don’t pick until the second round (38th overall).
Because of this, they have to start addressing their biggest issue down the road: goaltending.
Marty Brodeur has two years left on his current deal, and some think he may not have enough to make it to the end of that contract (I’m not one of those people).
Goaltending is a hard position to forecast, so having plenty of options is not a bad idea. The Devils already have Jeff Frazee (drafted, ironically, 38th overall in the 2005 draft by NJ) and Mike McKenna (drafted 172nd overall by Nashville in 2002). Frazee is 23 years old, and McKenna is 27. McKenna also has 15 games of NHL experience with Tampa Bay in 2008-09.
The question is, can either of them become the next starter for the Devils?
The answer? No.
That brings us to this year's draft, and the top two ranked North American goalies by Central Scouting: Calvin Pickard (ranked first) and Jack Campbell.
While Pickard is the top-ranked goalie, most “experts” predict—and I agree—that Campbell will be the first goalie taken.
(There are a few mock draft sites that have both goalies taken before the Devils choose at 38. I find this unlikely, but it wouldn’t be shocking. If that happens, completely ignore this post.)
Let’s take a look at both goalies:
With the draft, and especially with the Devils, you can never predict what will happen. The Devils have a history of trading up or down to get a guy they like. If a guy they had thought would be off the board falls to the early 30s, they would likely trade up. If both goalies are gone, a trade down wouldn’t be shocking.
What could be shocking (but not really) is if the Devils went with another position.
A big, stay-at-home defenseman (like Jarred Tinordi ) would also be a nice pick. But a goalie is what the Devils need to start thinking about for the future.
Campbell would be a very nice pick for the Devils, but he’ll probably be gone. Pickard would be a nice goalie to develop, and he’d be able to play for his favorite NHL team.
That’s always a little added bonus.