Could the New Jersey Devils offer Adam Larsson for First Overall Draft Pick?
By Kristin Tullo (@K_Tullo)
When Patrick Roy was introduced earlier this week as the new head coach and vice president of hockey operations for the Colorado Avalanche, he did what the fiery former player has done before by grabbing the attention of his viewers.
He stated that the Avalanche would consider trading their first overall draft pick in this years NHL draft.
Not all of the general managers around the league may have perked their heads up, but it may have gotten the attention of New Jersey Devils GM Lou Lamoriello.
Yesterday Lamoriello told Tom Gulitti of The Record that among some of the players the Devils are looking to resign before July 5th are defenseman Marek Zidlicky and Peter Harrold. With eight blueliners already signed for at least one more season in New Jersey, the re-signing of Zidlicky and Harrold could potentially mean Adam Larsson seeing less ice time once again. This could make Larsson, at one time thought of as a Scott Stevens replacement, expendable.
Is Adam Larsson the carrot Lamoriello could dangle in front of Roy’s eyes?
The Swedish defenseman the Devils drafted with their fourth overall pick in the 2011 draft has often been the odd man out when it comes to game time, becoming the healthy scratch in favor of both Mark Fayne and Peter Harrold last season and skating in just 65-games his rookie year. Sidelining the young defenseman has raised a lot of questions about how it could set back his development, his confidence, and if the Devils will ever find the roster space for him. More importantly, will this effect his will to stay in New Jersey beyond his current obligation?
With a year left on his entry-level contract and a desperate need to spark their offense, there is little reason to believe the Devils wouldn’t at least offer Larsson as a part of a package deal that would send him to Colorado in exchange for the first overall pick. Appearing in 102 NHL games, Larsson has proved to me a poised, NHL ready defenseman that will surely get better with experience and age. Knowing they will be getting a player of that caliber could make the Avalanche bite.
It is likely that American defenseman, Seth Jones, will be the first name called at the Prudential Center on June 30th but if the Devils have any say in the matter, Nathan MacKinnon would hear his instead.
There is no guarantee that Roy will in fact trade down, but no team has anything to lose by feeling out to see what the other is willing to do.
Devils Defensive Depth:
Eric Gelinas: 6’4 Shoots: Left
Gelinas has tallied 59 points in two seasons with the Albany Devils (AHL). Lead all Devils defenseman last season in the AHL with six goals and 16 assists in 57 games. The Ontario defenseman, drafted 54th overall in the 2009 NHL Draft, has one-year left on his entry-level contract.
Alexander Urbom: 6’3 Shoots: Left
The 22-year old defenseman has played in eight NHL games since joining the Devils in 2010 after being drafted by New Jersey in 2009. Urbom finished his season with Albany (AHL) with eight assists and 64 penalty minutes and has one year left on his entry-level contract.
Follow Kristin on Twitter @K_Tullo