Devils open to moving 1st round pick: is there a deal to be made with the Leafs?

Mike Armenti
June 4, 2024  (12:10)

Brad Treliving
Photo credit: Maple Leafs

The New Jersey Devils are officially open to moving the 10th overall pick in this year's NHL Entry Draft and the Maple Leafs should be very interested.

With the NHL's draft combine currently underway, teams are really beginning to get a sense of what the draft eligible players are like and whether or not they exhibit developable talents that teams believe they can tap into.
For some teams, such as the Toronto Maple Leafs, who draft in the latter half of the first round, the prospect that they select may not be NHL ready for another 2 or 3 seasons, while the teams who pick at the top of the draft, such as the New Jersey Devils (10th overall), may have the opportunity to draft a much more NHL-ready prospect.
This week, Devils GM Tom Fitzgerald spoke with NHL.com and revealed that he is open to moving their 1st round pick this year if they can get something substantial.
"If we feel it helps us now and in the foreseeable future, then, yes, I'm listening. I haven't gotten anything yet but the more I talk to teams, I say 'Listen, I'm open to moving No. 10, but it's going to have to be something (significant).'"

For Fitzgerald, he's been very clear in that he is looking to upgrade all throughout the roster, but the most pressing need is in goal, and the Devils GM knows it.
"I'm in the goalie market talking to teams, but there's a 'but' and the 'but' is how do we want to build our team?" Fitzgerald said. "We'd like to add up front, we'd like to add on the back end, so what are those pieces going to cost us. With the goaltending, what's that going to cost us?

"Does the No. 10 pick get you that type of player that you can add to the group. It's easy to say, 'Go get so-and-so and then you build from there.' But there are some guys who have different contracts so how are those players going to reprice at. There's a lot to it, but, yes, the focus is on finding that goaltender."

Are the Maple Leafs and Devils in a position to help each other here? It's certainly possible. If the Leafs, who are also in the goaltending market, end up landing someone like Jacob Markstrom or Juuse Saros, could they opt to package one of their goaltenders in a deal with the Devils to acquire that 10th overall pick?
Obviously, #10 overall for Ilya Samsonov's negotiating rights would never happen. However, if the deal became the 10th overall pick going to the Leafs in exchange for the 23rd overall pick, the negotiating rights to Ilya Samsonov and a young player like Nick Robertson, does that open the door enough for a deal to get done?
Conversely, the Leafs also have a much more valuable piece in Joseph Woll, whom they've expressed concern with over his persistent health issues. Woll is a quality goaltending prospect, but if he can't stay healthy, could the Leafs look to move him while his value remains high?
There are a lot of interesting possibilities here, and with the draft a little over 3 weeks away, we won't have long to wait to find out what the Leafs plan on doing this summer. Perhaps there's something there with the Devils, who I'm sure are picking their new head coach Sheldon Keefe's brain for information on players in Toronto who may or may not be available.
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Devils open to moving 1st round pick: is there a deal to be made with the Leafs?

Should the Leafs try to acquire the 10th overall pick from New Jersey?

Yes20550.1 %
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