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More the merrier? Devils may draft D with first-rounder

2015 NHL Combine

2015 NHL Combine

Bill Wippert

No doubt, the New Jersey Devils have employed some fantastic scorers, yet in many peoples’ minds, the team is synonymous with stingy defense.

New GM Ray Shero often leaned toward defense when drafting in Pittsburgh, and it sounds like that trait may just carry over to his stint with the Devils, even if he wasn’t the one doing the talking with NJ Advance Media.

“I think a defenseman is really in play,” Devils’ director of scouting David Conte said.

“How do you say no to a guy who is projected to be Drew Doughty? So, no, (picking a forward in the first round) is not a given. There are some very good defensemen involved in these top picks. I’m sure the teams ahead of us are thinking that, too.”

Whether you look at their prospects ratings or merely the fact that the big club managed just 176 goals last season (the third-worst total in the NHL), it’s blatantly obvious that the Devils need to add offense. Still, in the long-running tug-of-ward between “needs” and “best player available,” it sounds like New Jersey is leaning toward the latter. And that might just mean adding a blue-chip defenseman with the sixth overall pick.

The draft isn’t the only way the Devils can boost their scoring power, anyway, right?

Oh, and speaking of New Jersey stacking defense on more defense: