The EliteProspects Rinkside 2020-21 Off-Season Prospect Pool Rankings: the No. 7-ranked New Jersey Devils
Newark may be the official home of the New Jersey Devils, but this organization has taken up residence in their natural hellish habitat spiritually in recent years.
This once storied franchise last enjoyed something resembling sustained success during their unlikely run to the Stanley Cup Final in the 2011-12 season -- a brief respite in 2018 notwithstanding.
In the time since, they've counted their victories at the NHL Draft Lottery, a pair of first-overall picks in 2017 and 2018 foremost among them. Those picks don't form the basis for their top rate prospect pool though. Even the most forgiving prospect classification wouldn't accommodate Nico Hischier and Jack Hughes -- not after they stepped off of the draft stage and immediately into the Devils lineup.
It's their scout's savvy, careful maneuvering, and the accumulation of picks outside of lottery range that has propelled this team's prospect pool to the top-third of the NHL. Their work at the draft that just took place in October didn't hurt either; Alexander Holtz and Dawson Mercer, in particular, are bonafide top-of-the-lineup prospects.
Complete with depth at every position, New Jersey has all the material necessary to build a Stanley Cup contender. They're already setting the foundation.
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