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.

NHL to Postpone Playoffs Through Friday

The National Hockey League has been firmly in the corner of enacting change through social justice and they are continuing to put their money where their mouth is.

The league announced today that they will postpone the four Eastern and Western Conference Second Round games through Friday. The shutdown comes in the wake of the murder of Jacob Blake in Wisconsin and is being done out of respect for minority communities in this time. The games will resume on Saturday.

The decision came from the NHL players, who “believe that the best course of action would be to take a step back and not play tonight’s and tomorrow’s games as scheduled. The NHL supports the Players’ decision and will reschedule those four games beginning Saturday and will adjust the remainder of the Second Round schedule accordingly.”

The press release put out by the league continued to say that “Black and Brown communities continue to face real, painful experiences. The NHL and NHLPA recognize that much work remains to be done before we can play an appropriate role in a discussion centered on diversity, inclusion and social justice. We understand that the tragedies involving Jacob Blake, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and others require us to recognize this moment. We pledge to work to use our sport to influence positive change in society.”

The NHL also said that the “NHLPA and NHL are committed to working to foster more inclusive and welcoming environments within our arenas, offices and beyond.”

This is a good look for the NHL. The other leagues playing right now, including Major League Baseball (who canceled all games on their slate today) and the NBA are postponing games out of respect for the moment. The NHL should, if they are truly committed to their hashtag of #WeSkateForEquality, postpone these games. Some things are more important than hockey and the NHL understands this.