Devils Gain Two Third-Round Picks Following First-Round Playoff Results

Very late to the party here, as this was posted to the “Inside the Devils Blog” by Marc Ciampa way back on August 19, following the completion of the first-round of the Stanley Cup playoffs.

The Devils gained two third-round Draft picks following the end results of the first-round of the playoffs. When the Carolina Hurricanes were eliminated by the Boston Bruins (the Bruins were subsequently eliminated in the second round by the Tampa Bay Lightning), the Devils got Carolina’s third round pick in the 2020 NHL Draft.

The pick was originally a fourth rounder, but would become a third-round pick should Sami Vatanen, who was traded to the Canes in exchange for Janne Kuokkanen, Frederick Claesson and the pick, played in 70-percent of the Hurricanes’ playoff games. Ciampa noted that Vatanen played in four of the five games played by Carolina, an 80-percent clip, which means that New Jersey now gets upgraded to a third-round pick from them.

With Taylor Hall and the Arizona Coyotes also being eliminated back in August by the Colorado Avalanche, the Devils gained (at least) a 2021 third-round pick from the Yotes. Ciampa notes that, were Hall to re-sign with Arizona – a proposition that has since gotten smaller since Arizona got into some disciplinary trouble with the league following working prospects out too early – that pick would upgrade to become a second-round pick in 2021.

As for the first-round pick gained in the Hall trade, it “will be no worse than 18th overall” according to Ciampa. He also noted that, had the Calgary Flames or Montreal Canadiens advanced to the Conference Finals, that pick would have become a 17th overall pick (16th overall if both of them had gotten to the semifinals). Since both Calgary and Montreal were eliminated in the first-round, that point is moot.

So, a little bit late, but we now have some clarity on what, exactly, the Devils Draft this year will look like.

As for the playoffs itself, the Lightning have become the first team to advance to the Conference Final, moving on to the East Final by defeating the Bruins. Congratulations to former Devil Blake Coleman for moving on with his new team.

The Islanders and Flyers play game six tonight with the Isles leading the top seed in the East, three games to two. New York will be trying to make the Conference Final for the first time since 1993, a gap of 27 years, which is an NHL record for time between playing in a Conference Final. It would also mark the Islanders’ first Eastern Conference Final, as the last time they played in one, it was still the Wales Conference Final! Good luck to former Devils captain Andy Greene as he tries to help the Isles in their quest to return to glory.

In the West, the Vegas Golden Knights and Vancouver Canucks will play game six tonight as well, with Vancouver on the brink of elimination in that one, down three games to two to Vegas.

We get our first game seven of the 2020 playoffs on Friday when the Avalanche and Dallas Stars will hook up in a deciding game. The Avs fought back to tie the series after the Stars seemed in complete control there.

We should find out how the Conference Finals shake down by the end of this week. I hope everyone is enjoying the playoffs and the great hockey that it has brought so far.

Until then, we’ll see you later and I hope I can keep up-to-date on the news a little better in the future.

Westcott Clarifies Devils’ Draft Picks

With the Qualifying Round largely done, we know that the Islanders, Coyotes, Canadiens, Blackhawks and Canucks will be moving on to the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Only the Maple Leafs-Blue Jackets play-in series remains to be finalized as well as the seeding for most of the teams that already qualified for the playoffs.

Because of that, there was some hashing out of just where the Devils’ Draft picks, acquired in trades with conditions, would be.

Enter Chris Westcott, who posted to the “Inside the Devils Blog” today to clarify where the Devils stand.

Westcott said that the Devils have three first-round picks in 2020. These include their own, Arizona’s first-round pick (the Coyotes defeated the Predators to advance to play the Avalanche in the first round of what will be just Taylor Hall’s second trip to the playoffs) as a part of the Taylor Hall trade and Vancouver’s first-round pick via Tampa Bay (the Blake Coleman deal). The Canucks ousted the Wild to move on.

Now, of course, Westcott does mention that if Hall re-signs with Arizona or the Yotes somehow upset Colorado in the first-round of the playoffs, the Devils would get “a 2021 second-rounder instead of a third. But if both of these things transpire, the Devils would receive a first-round pick in 2021” from the Coyotes.

He also talks about the Sami Vatanen deal where, if Vatanen plays in 70-percent of the Hurricanes’ playoff games, New Jersey “will get a 2020 third instead of a fourth-round pick.”

Westcott said that if the Draft were today, the Devils would have the seventh (their pick), eighteenth and twentieth picks in the first-round. The Arizona and Vancouver picks will likely change as the playoffs move on and teams get “reseeded” in the Draft order.

Westcott says that, essentially, we, as Devils fans, should be rooting for Vatanen and Arizona.

If Vatanen can stay healthy, that pick condition should be met no problem. The Hurricanes probably like what they see and see Vatanen as a good weapon, especially on the power play.

The Taylor Hall thing is where it gets less likely that we get what we want. Hall wants stability above all else. Sure, if the Yotes get him his first ever playoff series win, he would be more apt to re-sign there. The problem is the GM situation. John Chayka is gone, leaving them with an interim general manager for the time being. It is even more chaotic than the Devils towards the end of Hall’s tenure here.

But we will see how things pan out. Right now, the Devils have three first-rounders in a good draft. This is time to move forward and think of the team’s future.